Sunday, January 10, 2010


Here are a few things to consider when choosing books for children.


Is the story line interesting to children?

Are the stories age appropriate to ensure that children can understand what is presented?

Are there various conflicts for children to explore?

Are the conflicts resolved in ways that children will find interesting and challenging?

How are obstacles overcome?

How does change occur? Is a magic wand the only way positive change occurs? Can girls take responsibility for their own destinies?

Will the stories encourage discussions?

Are children exposed to multiple perspectives and values?

How is "beauty" defined? Whose standard of beauty is being promoted? Are all or most of the "pretty" girls blond? Are all or most of the "pretty" girls white?

How is "happiness" defined? Do girls need to find their man to achieve happiness?

How is "success" defined? Is the definition of success the same for all people in the book?


Do the characters represent people from a variety of cultural groups?

Do "good" characters reflect a variety of backgrounds?

How is being "good" defined or described in the book? Is being good the same for boys and girls or are there different standards and expectations?

Are females as well as males depicted in leadership roles?


Does the story offer children a variety of things to think about, to question, and to consider?

What messages does the book convey about "race," gender, class, sexual orientation, religion and other human differences?

What values are being communicated in the book? Whose values are they?

Are values being explored rather than preached?

Does the story include lessons to be learned?


Do the stories reflect a variety of settings?

Are urban, suburban, and rural settings represented realistically?

Are cultural settings represented realistically?


Are diverse populations represented?

Are characters realistically and genuinely represented?

Do the pictures show diversity within cultural groups?

Do the illustrations avoid reinforcing societal stereotypes?

Other Considerations:

From whose perspective is the story told?

What are the author's qualifications to tell the story? Do the characters' voices sound authentic?

Do the stories promote understanding of our diverse society and world?

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Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I can see how resolving conflict for children would be different from an adult fiction book. Yet both genres need to have a lesson learned and how the character discovered change and grew from the expereince in ways they nornally would not.

Stephen Tremp

Mayra Calvani said...

Great checklist, Kathy!

Thanks for the reminder. :-)

Unknown said...

Thanks for visiting.