Teen Librarian Toolbox
Inside Teen Librarian Toolbox

A Great Big List of MG and YA Collection Development Resources

When I give presentations on doing Collection Diversity Audits, I get asked a lot about how I determine whether or not a book is counted as diverse. The process is always changing for me as I learn more and grow, and at this point I focus on Own Voices. The truth is, the answer to this question is that I continually engage in listening, learning, reading and growing. The work is never done and it must be intentional. I keep and continually add to an ongoing list of resources that help me do this work. Today I am sharing the bare bones of that list with you. It is by no means complete, and I’m sure that there are many more that I need to add. But it is a really good starting point.

Anti Racist and Social Justice Reading Lists, A Collection of Resources (in random order)

Chicago Public Library/Ibram X. Kendi (adult books): https://chipublib.bibliocommons.com/list/share/204842963/1357692923?page=1

Publisher’s Weekly (kids books): https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/childrens/childrens-book-news/article/83549-a-children-s-and-ya-anti-racist-reading-list.html

The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2020/jun/03/do-the-work-an-anti-racist-reading-list-layla-f-saad

Center for Racial Justice in Education: https://centerracialjustice.org/resources/reading-lists/

Teen Librarian Toolbox (teen books on social justice and activism): http://www.teenlibrariantoolbox.com/2020/06/33269/

15 Books about Social Justice and Human Rights: https://www.rebekahgienapp.com/social-justice-picture-books/

We Are Teachers 24 Books That Teach Social Justice for Kids: https://www.weareteachers.com/books-about-social-justice/

40 Picture Books for Young Activists: http://www.allthewonders.com/books/forty-picture-books-for-young-activists/

Scholastic 25 Picture Books to Teach Kindness, Empathy and Justice: https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/blog-posts/christy-crawford/2017/Picture-Books-to-Promote-Kindness-Empathy-and-Social-Justice/

We Need Diverse Books has an actual roundup of lists and discussion posts: https://diversebooks.org/resources-for-race-equity-and-inclusion/

Diverse and Own Voices Reading Lists for Youth, by age and format (not comprehensive)

Young Readers

SLJ Diverse Board Books: https://www.slj.com/?detailStory=50-Board-Books-That-Show-IBPOC-Faces-diversity-baby

45 Favorite #OwnVoices Diverse Picture Books: https://imaginationsoup.net/diverse-ownvoices-picture-books/

Read Brightly Black Boy Joy Picture Books: https://www.readbrightly.com/picture-books-featuring-black-male-protagonists/

Read Brightly Black Girl Magic: https://www.readbrightly.com/picture-books-featuring-black-female-protagonists/

#OwnVoices Picture Books: https://imaginationsoup.net/diverse-ownvoices-picture-books/

Own Voices Beginning Chapter Books: https://imaginationsoup.net/ownvoices-beginning-chapter-books/

Middle Grade Readers

#OwnVoices Middle Grade Books: https://imaginationsoup.net/diverse-realistic-chapter-books-middle-school-ownvoices/

#OwnVoices Fiction for Grades 2-6: https://seattle.bibliocommons.com/list/share/220740577/650702937

Diverse Realistic Chapter Books for Middle School by #Own Voices: https://imaginationsoup.net/diverse-realistic-chapter-books-middle-school-ownvoices/

Diverse Books for Tweens and Teens by Own Voices Authors: https://www.readbrightly.com/diverse-books-tweens-teens-written-voices-authors/

8 #OwnVoices Middle Grade Books by LatinX Authors: https://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/8-fabulous-ownvoices-middle-grade-latinx-novels-giveaway/

Teen/YA Readers

Read Black Authors (MG and YA book lists): http://www.teenlibrariantoolbox.com/2020/06/because-black-lives-matter-read-black-authors/

45 Black YA Books to Read to Your TBR: https://afomaumesi.com/black-young-adult-novels/

16 YA Books by Black Authors You Can Pre-order Right Now: https://www.epicreads.com/blog/preorder-books-by-black-authors/#.Xt-kJSzjuw8.twitter

YA Black Girl Magic: https://www.epicreads.com/blog/black-girl-magic-books/?fbclid=IwAR0ft7qSt4YeMPtEN_jXWzewOQjdElvQFj0ZXY1_RBJ_Mg2C5fiePvJxrVc

Diverse Meet Cutes and Rom Coms: https://www.slj.com/?detailStory=meet-cutes-come-all-colors-YA-diversity-romance-POC&fbclid=IwAR0GmjLvKNt_p16R_12_ohYYmIRDmK1loDKox9pr-YjXzUip2mPQgr3LW68

YA with Black Authors 2020: https://www.buzzfeed.com/farrahpenn/young-adult-books-by-black-authors-2020?fbclid=IwAR2RiRZdAHwZ-x5dxNan2O5CuYSAL6ieppEg7Sz2aHOhCdxsWpGFPgFJ4ko

General Resources, to follow important conversations, read reviews, and diversify your reading

Lee and Low Books: https://www.leeandlow.com/

We Need Diverse Books: https://diversebooks.org/

The Brown Bookshelf: https://thebrownbookshelf.com/

Latinx in Kidlit: https://latinosinkidlit.com/

Disability in Kidlit (no longer updated, but a great resource for important discussions and reviews): http://disabilityinkidlit.com/

American Indians in Children’s Lit: https://americanindiansinchildrensliterature.blogspot.com/

LGBTQ Reads https://lgbtqreads.com/young-adult/

Social Justice Books: https://socialjusticebooks.org/booklists/new/

Diverse Bookfinder.org: https://diversebookfinder.org/

Teaching Tolerance: https://www.tolerance.org/

Read Woke Librarian: https://cicelythegreat.wordpress.com/

Project LIT: https://thebrownbookshelf.com/28days/day-28-jarred-amato-talks-project-lit/

Crazy Quilt Edi List of Diversity Resources (including book awards): https://crazyquiltedi.blog/diversity-resources/

Again, We Need Diverse Books has a really great list of resources on Where to Find Diverse Books: https://diversebooks.org/resources/where-to-find-diverse-books/

Blogs that focus on younger readers in general

Brightly: https://www.readbrightly.com/

JBrary: https://jbrary.com/

Celebrate Picture Books: https://celebratepicturebooks.com/

The Picture Book Review: https://thepicturebookreview.com/

Multicultural Children’s Book Day: https://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com

A Mighty Girl: https://www.amightygirl.com/blog?p=11056

Imagination Soup: https://imaginationsoup.net/

A Fuse 8 Production: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/

The Yarn: http://blogs.slj.com/theyarn/

Blogs that focus on Middle Grade readers in general

The Nerdy Book Club: https://nerdybookclub.wordpress.com/

Ms. Yingling Reads: http://msyinglingreads.blogspot.com/

MG Book Village: https://mgbookvillage.org/

Here Wee Read: http://hereweeread.com/

Mr. Schu Reads: http://mrschureads.blogspot.com/

CeCeLibrarian’s Book Blog: https://cecelibrarian.com/

Kid Lit Frenzy: http://www.kidlitfrenzy.com/

Books in the Middle: https://booksinthemiddle.wordpress.com/

Blogs that focus on YA/Teens in general

Publisher Blogs

Epic Reads (Harper): https://www.epicreads.com/

Fierce Reads (MacMilan): https://www.fiercereads.com/

I Read YA (Scholastic): https://www.ireadya.com/

Sourcebooks Fire: https://www.sourcebooks.com/young-adult.html

Get Underlined (Random House): https://www.getunderlined.com/

The Novl (Little, Brown): https://www.thenovl.com/

Riveted (Simon & Schuster): https://rivetedlit.com/

General Blogs

YA Books Central: https://www.yabookscentral.com/

YA Interrobang: https://yainterrobang.tumblr.com/

Teen Librarian Toolbox: http://www.teenlibrariantoolbox.com/

Rec it Rachel: https://recitrachel.com/

Diversity in YA: http://www.diversityinya.com/

LGBTQ Reads by Dahlia: https://lgbtqreads.com/author/dailydahlia/

Reading While White: http://readingwhilewhite.blogspot.com/

Rich in Color: http://richincolor.com/

Book Riot: https://bookriot.com/

Professional Journals and Sources

School Library Journal: https://www.slj.com/

Booklist: https://www.booklistonline.com/

Kirkus: https://www.kirkusreviews.com/

Publisher’s Weekly: https://www.publishersweekly.com/

Edelweiss: https://www.edelweiss.plus/#dashboard

VOYA: http://voyamagazine.com/

Early Word: http://www.earlyword.com/

Children’s Bookshelf: https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/childrens/index.html

Publishing Trends: http://www.publishingtrends.com/

Hasthags to Search and Follow










Blogs that also talk about books on occasion, mostly YA

Buzzfeed: https://www.buzzfeed.com/

The Mary Sue: https://www.themarysue.com/

Hypable: https://www.hypable.com/

Den of Geek: https://www.denofgeek.com/books/top-new-ya-books-2020/

Paste Magazine: https://www.pastemagazine.com/

PopSugar: https://www.popsugar.com/

Teen Vogue: https://www.teenvogue.com/

Resources for Examining Bias in Books

Teaching Tolerance Examining Stereotypes in Books: https://www.tolerance.org/classroom-resources/tolerance-lessons/examining-stereotypes-in-books

In Time Examining Children’s Books for Bias: https://intime.uni.edu/evaluating-childrens-books-bias

Resources from Lee and Low:

Guide for Selecting Anti-Bias Children’s Books from Social Justice Books, A Teaching for Change Project

A Guide to Selecting Multicultural Literature by Dr. Barbara D. Brown, African Studies Center, Boston University

A Checklist for Evaluating Diverse Children’s Media from The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop

Examining Children’s Books for Bias: http://www.racialequityvtnea.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Evaluating-Children%E2%80%99s-Books-for-Bias-Criteria-MAY-2018-3.pdf

10 Criteria for Choosing Diverse Texts in Your Classroom from the Writing Mindset

Classroom Libraries as Windows and Mirrors: Ensuring Diverse, Representative Books for Our Students 2018 ILA expert panel (Answer starts at minute 03:05)

Assessing Children’s Literature from the Anti-Defamation League

Diverse Classroom Libraries for K–6 Students from Reading Rockets

Lee and Low: https://blog.leeandlow.com/ (many of the above Resources for Examining Bias in Books is    from the Lee and Low blog page)

And older list of previous resources

What resources would you add to this list? I’m always looking for new ones. Please leave a comment as I would love to have a more comprehensive list.


  1. Thanks for mentioning me! I post a review of at least one middle grade new release every day.

Speak Your Mind