It’s vital for all children to see themselves fully represented in literature.
Unfortunately, many children may not have this experience or may have only seen stereotypical depictions of people like them.
As in many other areas, White people have dominated the publishing industry. So it’s important that we place Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) authors front and center to give them the recognition they deserve.
Own Voices titles feature a BIPOC character written by an author of that same background. Own Voice authors are the best source for conveying an authentic message and experience through their own literature.
Sharing titles created by Own Voice authors is necessary to eliminate the effects of the stereotypes and biases that permeate our world. Authentic representation in literature transforms thinking, improves self-esteem for young people of color and helps White readers understand those who may look different from them.
This list contains as many Own Voice authors as possible. It was created by the Race, Reading and You Group of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. For more suggestions, ask a Librarian.
Amy is determined to make a perfect dumpling like her parents and grandmother do, but hers are always too empty, too full, or not pinched together properly.
Told in two acts, this lengthy picture book reveals how Wilson grew up to be one of the most influential American playwrights. Includes author’s note, a timeline of August Wilson’s life, a list of Wilson’s plays and a bibliography. You can also check out this title as eBook on Overdrive/Libby, as eBook on Hoopla, as eAudio on Hoopla, as video on Hoopla or as video on Hoopla with read along.
Celebrates Indigenous heroes from the U.S. and Canada using the lyrics of a rap song. You can also check out this title as eBook on Overdrive/Libby.
Based on a true story, Ho’onani: Hula Warrior is a celebration of Hawaiian culture and an empowering story of a girl who learns to lead and learns to accept who she really is – and in doing so, gains the respect of all those around her.
When Irene is removed from her First Nations family to live in a residential school, she is confused, frightened and terribly homesick. She tries to remember who she is and where she came from despite being told to do otherwise. When she goes home for summer holidays, her parents decide never to send her away again, but where will she hide and what will happen when her parents disobey the law?
Eight-year-old Ava Murray lives in a Bronx neighborhood filled with music, art, and people from all over the world–which is not the Bronx she sees in the news. When her mother explains that the power of stories lies in the hands of those who write them, Ava decides to become a journalist and show the world as she sees it.
Lola was just a baby when her family left the Island, so when she has to draw it for a school assignment, she asks her family, friends, and neighbors about their memories of her homeland … and in the process, comes up with a new way of understanding her own heritage. You can also check out this title as eBook on Overdrive/Libby.
Harpreet Singh has a different color for every mood and occasion, from pink for dancing to bhangra beats to red for courage.
Pakistani American second-grader Yasmin learns to cope with the small problems of school and home, while gaining confidence in her own skills and creative abilities.
Presents the history of hip-hop including, how it evolved from folktales, spirituals, and poetry, to the showmanship of James Brown, to the culture of graffiti art and breakdancing that formed around the art form.
As a young girl observes that each of six women in her life wears her hijab and hair in a different way, she considers how to express her own style one day.
This book brings together 52 iconic talents from countries around the world from the past and present and celebrates their inspirational achievements.
8-year-old Aslan arrived in North Dakota to help stop a pipeline. A few months later he returned — and saw the whole world watching. Read about his inspiring experiences in the Oceti Sakowin Camp at Standing Rock. Learn about what exactly happened there, and why.