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  • Writer's pictureharambeepress

Give the Gift of Diverse Books

Diversity in literature is, in part, about representation—who’s telling the stories and who stories are told about. Multicultural literature serves many purposes, but its greatest accomplishment is its ability to bring people closer together, regardless of culture and ethnicity. Here are six reasons why everyone should read diverse books.

1. Reading Diverse Books can Help Build Bridges

Diverse books aren’t just for the diverse. They are for all of us. Books are more powerful than just a bunch of words. They can help build bridges of cultural understanding and allow people to develop an appreciation for the cultures of others. When people hear stories that feel representative, it creates a vehicle for conversations.

2. Reading Diverse Literature will Challenge Your Worldview

Your worldview is the philosophy of your life that shapes your world. It structures your beliefs which in turn form the foundation of your values. Values then influence the choices you make and consequently result in the actions you take. Reading books that represent different abilities, cultures, beliefs, and skin colors helps us change our attitude toward those differences.

3. Reading Diverse Books Bring Visibility to Cultures Different from Our Own

Storytelling is one of the most universal human experiences and gives us a rare chance to look through new lenses. Books that represent a variety of cultures and people help us understand those who are different than us by opening a window into their experiences. If we only see characters and experiences that reflect our own, we’re more likely to believe that our own experience is more important or valid than those that are unfamiliar.

4. Reading Diverse Books Opens the Door to Learning

From young children to adults, we anchor our ideas of individuals and groups on what we see around us. Without adequate, or positive exposure to a wide range of cultural backgrounds and beliefs, minority groups are seemingly ostracized from the “normal” way of living.

5. Reading Diverse Books Creates Openings for Discussions About Current Events

Reading about an experience in a book can allow discussion in a safe space. The empathy and understanding from reading a book can flow over into having a difficult discussion later. We don’t know what we don’t know. People need to have the freedom to ask questions without fearing they will offend.

6. Reading Diverse Books Emphasizes Similarities

One of the reasons to read diverse books is so we can become a community of engaged, educated and empathetic members of society. Not every book featuring a diverse character spotlights diversity as a different experience. Sometimes these books are simply a slice of normal life that shows we’re much more similar than we are different. Books of diversity can reveal not only the differences in marginalized communities but the similarities as well

During this season of giving gifts, consider giving a gift of a diverse book. Below are some sites to help you shop. :-)

24 Diverse and Multicultural Christmas Books covers ages from infant to 13+

Also, when you type, Books / Christianity / Cultural diversity in your search engine, you’ll be introduced to 26 diverse books for children to adults books.

Hope you have a blessed and multicultural Christmas!

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