*NOTE: the statistics in the graphs below are from the 2017 numbers. Due to our many projects, we unfortunately may not be able to update with current numbers at this time. While there have been strides made in greater representation there is still much work to be done and still plenty of work to repair the damage done from years of lack of reflection and voice.
**Additionally it is important to note that current statistics count a book as "BY" a particular community if either the author or illustrator is BIPOC or LGBTQ. While it is of course valuable to have visual representation, we have seen a trend of white and/or straight authors writing stories that are illustrated by BIPOC and/or queer illustrators. These books would still be included in the "BY" category for BIPOC and/or queer communities even though a white/straight author wrote them. So, we ask the question... whose voice is still prioritized in these situations?
It also means that the numbers of books MISSING by each community to be equal with White Americans in the graphs below are likely MUCH LOWER than originally thought and in fact might need to be DOUBLED to have a more accurate picture of who is actually getting to TELL the stories and who's VOICES are being left out and ignored.
While we value any and all work done to change the tide of representation in children's books (particularly in relation to first-voice/own-voice books), because of our history, it is always good to keep a critical eye when reviewing children's books. Especially those books written outside the community they are representing. For help in reviewing LGBTQ+ children's books, check out this handout.
Where we stand as of 2017 in U.S. Children’s Book Industry:
Statistics from the Cooperative Children's Book Center (CCBC)
Where we should be if POC&Indigenous authors were telling our own stories:
The SILENCE we live with. How the last 12 years (& beyond) has impacted us:
Looking closer at US Publishers ONLY and the last 3 years:
And looking closer at the LGBTQI community:
***PLEASE NOTE: CCBC updated their statistics on books by LGBTQ authors from 21 to 56 on July 5th, 2018 (an increase of more than double which is interesting). So the numbers and percentages shown in the graphs will change slightly however the majority of books are STILL written from outside the community.
Statistics for LGBTQI children's books from the Cooperative Children's Book Center (CCBC) only started in 2017
*Want to share and use these infographics? Feel free to spread the word!
...just please cite us when sharing, thanks!
A Powerful Tool for Social Change. Children’s books offer the potential to engage all of our creative faculties to transform the stories we, as people of color, queer, or indigenous people heard as children that often did not include us. Using a holistic approach, creating children’s books can heal and strengthen the creator as much as the reader.
This is the potential power available through children’s books and what we want to seed out into our communities. The 3 R’s—Reflection, Reclamation and Regeneration—help us envision a full and effective path of action that ultimately supports true power rising from our communities in the form of our OWN VOICES.
How WE Make Children's Books a Radical Act:
How YOU can Make Children's Books a Radical Act:
- SUPPORT INDIE PRESSES!
- Buy Books (and Posters and Stickers) through our Press and other presses like ours or ask your local indie bookstore to order
- Join our mailing list for updates on what we're doing
- Read More about two of the Indie Presses we're aligned with
- MAKE YOUR OWN BOOKS!
- INSPIRE FUTURE ARTISTS AND STORYTELLERS!
- Empower the kids in your life to Write Now! Make Books! Visit our free online program, download your field guide and follow along with the videos.
Support our Work
- The Time is Now. Let's flood the world with our voices
- Is Equality in the Children’s Book Industry Possible? And Do We Have Time to Wait?
- 3-Part Blog Series: A State of Emergency in Children's Books
- We Are Stronger Together: Aligning with Other Indie Presses
- Let’s Talk about Reparations: What Does the Publishing Industry Owe Our Kids?
(more current infographics at top of page)
Graphics from our Radical Act Campaign with 2015 CCBC Statistics:
A Look at the Last 10 Years (up to 2015):