In 2008, when daughter Sophi ’20 was in elementary school, Waynflete parent and Bates College Professor Krista Aronson found her worlds as a psychologist, scholar of racial identity, and parent colliding. As her town’s majority-white public school district rapidly diversified, Krista—a mixed-race mother raising a multiracial family—turned to research with children’s picture books for answers to the difficult questions her young daughter had begun asking about her own identity (read more here).
Multiple publications, two picture books, and a decade later, Krista—in close collaboration with Maine children’s author/illustrator Anne Sibley O’Brien—launched the Diverse BookFinder so that other parents, scholars, and educators could benefit from her research.
Upper Schoolers have also taken advantage of the Diversity BookFinder program. Jocelyn Rodriguez ’20 has been the driving force behind “Planting Compassion,” an initiative that introduces Lower School students to books that promote dialogue about race. Jocelyn and group of other students—the “Friends of Founders”—have used Diversity BookFinder to help with their work.
Check out the Diverse BookFinder’s circulating collection, search tool, and unique data on racial/cultural representation in mainstream picture books here. Use the Diverse BookFinder tools to diversify your own bookshelves, and sign up for their newsletter to stay up-to-date.