100 Scope Notes
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The 5 Most Popular Books Featuring Diverse Characters in Our K-4 School Library

We’ve (okay, I’ve) been talking a lot in lately about the most popular books in our library for the 2016-17 school year. You know, picture books, chapter books, nonfiction. But then I had another idea: what about a list with just the most popular 2016-17 books that feature diverse characters?

Well? Let’s see them!

Viva Frida

5. Viva Frida by Yuyi Morales

You know what doesn’t hurt this book? Its incredibly appealing cover – the colors, the type, the medals, and most importantly, the beautiful three-dimensional artwork. As a reader, you just want to know what’s inside.


4. El Deafo by Cece Bell

Ahh. This book. This is such a good book (You’re welcome for that bit of high level critical analysis). And on top of being a great book, it allows readers to put themselves in the shoes (cape?) of a main character with a life experience that might be different from theirs.

Snowy Day

3. The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

I’m going to be honest here. Usually the classics don’t fare well in our library (and I’m guessing school libraries in general). I’d hazard to guess this is because there aren’t any parents around to force their kids to read them (too harsh?). But this book has transcended that fate, and for good reason. Truly a classic among classics.

My Colors

2. My Colors, My World (Mis Colores, Mi Mundo) by Maya Christina Gonzalez

Aww yeah. I thought this one would show up here. I always see it getting checked out.

Last Stop

1. Last Stop on Market Street by Matt De La Peña, illustrated by Christian Robinson

*Sniff* You did good, kids *SNIFFFF* You did good.

About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.


  1. Anonymous says

    What are the demographics of your school?