About Kids Lit Zines

Kids Lit Zines is a zine series spotlighting excellent children’s and young adult literature by nonwhite authors. These zines are a tool for parents, librarians, and educators to help them make more diverse choices when recommending and assigning books. Each zine focuses on a certain genre or reading interest, whether that be science fiction or art history, in order to make sure kids are able to find books they love.

Choosing books for children written by authors from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds is important for many reasons. Reading books that represent diverse cultures has shown to have a positive effect on the self-image of children who identify with these cultures. However, it’s not only important for children to see themselves reflected in the literature they read. Children who read books that represent other cultures experience increased empathy for others.

As an aspiring librarian, I created these zines not only to help kids find books they love, but also to promote and spread awareness about these excellent books. Despite the benefits of reading books with diverse representation, white characters and authors still dominate the publishing industry. In 2018, only 1% of children’s books published depicted First Nations characters, only 5% depicted Latinx characters, 7% depicted Asian Pacific Islander or Asian Pacific American characters, and 10% depicted African American characters while 27% depicted characters that were animals or otherwise nonhuman and 50% depicted white characters. Librarians have been instrumental in increasing the demand for books by nonwhite authors through numerous efforts including the creation of awards like The Coretta Scott King and Pura Belpre awards, but there is still a lot of work to be done. I hope you enjoy Kids Lit Zines and are inspired to pick up one of these books for your favorite child or teen!

About the Creator

Amanda Lorge is currently a graduate student in UCLA’s Masters of Library and Information Science program, where she focuses on Library Studies and Rare Books & Print Cultures. After getting her bachelor’s degree from Chapman University in Public Relations and Advertising and working for several years in sales and marketing, she decided to apply her skills to promoting the fantastic and necessary resources available through public libraries. She works part time as an assistant for UCLA Library’s Cataloging and Metadata center and as the Marketing Director for Malibu Contemporary Art Gallery. In her free time, she loves reading science fiction and hanging out with her dog, Luna.