Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Austin SCBWI Diversity Book Club Challenge

Ready to read diversely?

The Austin SCBWI Diversity Book Club Challenge was inspired by the advice Cynthia Leitich Smith gave in her presentation on diversity in children's literature at our February monthly meeting. By participating, you'll diversify your reading, help the featured authors by reviewing their books, and have the chance to win a prize at the end of the year.

The books for April were chosen at our February meeting. New books are revealed each month as chosen by a panel of brilliant Austin librarians: Shelby Counts at Burnet Middle School, Maya McElroy at Graham Elementary School and Rita Painter at Manchaca Elementary School.

The books show diversity in their characters, theme or story. By diversity, we're including books with characters of different race, religion, culture, sexual orientation and body image.

To participate:

1. Choose books in our list to read (see below; new titles are added each month).

2. Post a professional review for the book on a retail site — such as Goodreads, Amazon and Barnes & Noble — and copy the URL of the review. (Please note: Reviews must be written professionally.)

3. Submit your review by logging into our website then pasting the link to the review in a comment on this page along with the book title. (You must be logged in to submit a comment.) For example, you can post: "I reviewed Nightingale's Nest by Nikki Loftin." Then add the full link, including http://.

At the end of the year, the member who has submitted the most reviews wins! We will have a grand prize winner and two runners-up.

Here's the Austin SCBWI Diversity Book Club Challenge book list:


Curious Incident of the Dog in Night-time by Mark Haddon
Wonder by R.J. Palacio
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan
Year of the Dog by Grace Lin
Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork
How it Went Down by Kekla Magoon
Rules by Cynthia Lord
Various picture books by Susan Middleton Elya
My Sister Alicia May by Nancy Tupper Ling
Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom by Lynda Blackmon Lowery
Nightingale’s Nest by Nikki Loftin
Hope and Other Luxuries: A Mother's Life with a Daughter's Anorexia by Clare B. Dunkle
Love is the Higher Law by David Levithan
Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
Books by Tim Tingle
When Zachary Beaver Came to Town by Kimberly Willis Holt
It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Absolutely Positively Not by David LaRochelle
My Father’s Summer by Kathi Appelt
Firegirl by Tony Abbot 
How Smudge Came by Nan Gregory 
More Than This by Patrick Ness


Picture Books
Big Red Lollipop by Rukhsana Khan, illustrated by Sophie Blackall, Viking Books for Young Readers, 2010
I'm Your Peanut Butter Big Brother by Selina Alko, Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2009
This Is the Rope: A Story From the Great Migration by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by James Ransome, Nancy Paulson Books, 2013
Dear Primo: A Letter to My Cousin by Duncan Tonatiuh, Harry N. Abrams, 2010

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, 2007
When I Was the Greatest by Jason Reynolds, 2014
Counting by 7's by Holly Goldberg Sloan, 2013
Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper, 2010


Picture Books
Tia Isa Wants a Car by Meg Medina, illustrated by Claudio Munoz, 2011
Ganesha's Sweet Tooth by Emily Haynes, illustrated by Sanjay Patel, 2012
Knock Knock: My Dad's Dream for Me by Daniel Beaty, illustrated by Bryan Collier, 2013

Born Confused by Tanuja Desai Hidier, 2002
Ask Me No Questions by Marina Tamar Budhos, 2006
Gabi, a Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero, 2014


Picture Books
Jingle Dancer by Cynthia Leitich Smith, illustrated by Cornelius Van Wright and Ying-Hwa Hu, Morrow Junior Books, 2000
Ron's Big Mission by Rose Blue, illustrated by Don Tate, Dutton Children's Books, 2009
Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress by Christine Baldacchino, illustrated by Isabelle Malenfant, Groundwood/House of Anansi Press, 2014

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson, 2014
I Love I Hate I Miss My Sister by Amelie Sarn, 2014
A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park, 2010


Picture Books
Over the Moon: An Adoption Tale by Karen Katz
Separate is Never Equal: The Story of Sylvia Mendez and her Family's Fight for Desegregation by Duncan Tonatiuh
Grandfather Gandhi by Arun Gandhi and Bethany Hegedus
The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams
The Circuit: Stories from the Life of a Migrant Child by Francisco Jimenez
The Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds
Picture Books
Juna’s Jar by Jane Bahk, illus. Felicia Hoshino
I Pledge Allegiance by Pat Mora and Libby Martinez, illus. Patrice Barton
Busing Brewster by Richard Michelson, illus. R.G. Roth, Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2010
Confessions of a Closet Catholic by Sarah Littman
Crossing the Wire by Will Hobbs                                   
American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang
Picture Books
Last Stop on Market Street by Matt De La Pena
Sixteen Years in Sixteen Seconds: The Sammy Lee Story by Paula Yoo
Hope's Gift by Kelly Starling Lyons
Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson
Bombay Blues by Tanuja Desai Hidier
More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera
Picture Books
Henry's Freedom Box by Ellen Levine
A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams
The Day Gogo Went to Vote by Elinor B. Sisulu
Estrella's Quinceanera by Malin Alegria
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis

Happy reading!

5 thoughts on “Austin SCBWI Diversity Book Club Challenge

  1. I read and reviewed the following books this past month.

    When I Was the Greatest by Jason Reynolds

    Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

    A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True Story by Linda Sue Park

    Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

    ~Melinda Payne



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