New Books that Promote Diversity and Social Inclusion


  • Robert Desmarais



Dear Readers,

As you can easily imagine, our journal receives regular deliveries from publishers of children’s books who would like to see their new titles reviewed by Deakin writers. For many years now, I have been pleased to open an increasing number of courier boxes filled with children’s books that raise awareness of diversity. The boxes keep coming and so do the books featuring diverse characters, including (but not limited to) LGBTQ youth, people with disabilities, ethnic and cultural minorities, and Indigenous peoples. The number of books written and illustrated by people from culturally, ethnically, and racially diverse backgrounds is also on the rise, and this circumstance bodes well for the future of children’s literature. Indeed, publishers appear eager to let their readers know that they take diversity seriously, and many publishers, such as Groundwood Books and Penguin UK, include a diversity statement or manifesto on their websites. This is good news that should be celebrated.

Our fall issue is filled with thought-provoking books that embrace diversity, including Inuit Spirit (containing line drawings by world-renowned Inuit artist, Germaine Arnaktauyok), People of the Sea (describing the role of sea-people in Inuit culture), Isaac and His Amazing Asperger Superpowers! (helping children to understand the Asperger’s/autism spectrum), and many other compelling titles. These books help children appreciate differences in ethnicity, disability, culture, gender, lifestyle, and perspectives.

If you read and enjoy a book about diversity, please spread the word and let other readers know about your discovery. We can all help to advocate for diversity in children’s literature by buying diverse books from booksellers and sharing them with young readers. Please spread the word that diversity matters!

Best wishes,

Robert Desmarais
Managing Editor

Author Biography

Robert Desmarais

Robert Desmarais is Head of Special Collections at the University of Alberta and Managing Editor of The Deakin Review of Children’s Literature. A graduate of the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Information Studies, with a Book History and Print Culture designation, he also has university degrees in English literature and publishing. He has been collecting and enjoying children’s books for as long as he can remember.



How to Cite

Desmarais, R. (2017). New Books that Promote Diversity and Social Inclusion. The Deakin Review of Children’s Literature, 7(2).