Help Kids See Themselves as Heroes

girl holding the book Island Born at Juneteenth event

What is the Books Like Me Campaign?

Books Like Me is our ongoing effort to get more diverse books into the hands and homes of the children we serve. This multicultural fund, originally established in honor of Kids’ Book Bank co-founder Judy Payne, allows us to purchase, distribute, and build programs around brand-new culturally relevant books to augment and diversify the wonderful, donated books that we receive from the community.

Each spring we launch a month-long “Books Like Me” campaign to raise funds to purchase and distribute new diverse books as part of the awareness campaign for the need for these books in our community.

This year we will distribute at least 40,000 brand-new, diverse books to the children and partners we serve.

How you can help:

  • Make a donation. $25 provides up to 10 brand-new books.
  • Run a book drive for diverse books.
  • Purchase brand-new books from our wish lists on Amazon and or shop local for books featuring kids of all backgrounds.
  • Spread the word! Share our social media posts with friends and invite them to get involves.

Why is the Books Like Me Campaign necessary?

  • A child’s ability to engage in reading and to learn, imagine, and grow, significantly increases when the stories they read reflect their lived experiences.
  • 84% of the children who receive books from the Kids’ Book Bank are Black or Latinx. However, only 4% of the books donated for distribution feature diverse characters. We must bridge this gap by purchasing diverse books.
  • Only 22% of all children’s books published feature diverse characters.

Mirrors, Windows, and Sliding Glass Doors
Renowned children’s literature researcher Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop coined the phrase “Windows, Mirrors and Sliding Glass Doors,” referring to how children see themselves in books (mirrors), how they see other people and experiences (windows), and how they can walk into a story and become part of the world created by the author (sliding doors).

All children need to see themselves in the books they read, to imagine themselves achieving dreams, to feel seen. Seeing characters that look like them and represent their own experiences tells children that their lives are being celebrated. “If you see it, you can be it.”

What do we do with the brand-new diverse books we source?

When we purchase or receive brand new diverse books, we sprinkle them throughout our entire inventory. We want every box of books we distribute to contain a handful of diverse books.