Diversity in Books for Kids: Then and Now

Books have played a huge role in my life from the moment I could walk. This is a love that I have passed on to my children as well and hopefully, someday, to my grandbabies as well.
As a therapist, attorney, author, and CEO of Make A Way Media, my life has gotten exponentially busier, but my love of books and advocating for children’s literacy has never waned.  In fact, my career path has made me even more passionate about passing down the lessons I’ve learned over the years.  My work with families and kids in foster care and made me even more determined to encourage kids to share their own stories.
To let their voices be heard.
I am also adamant about making sure the next generation has books to read where they can see themselves in the pages of what they read. To be able to see and know what in possibly in life. This belief is what inspired me to write my own stories because I know that the words I share could be inspiration and influence for a child…any child…who may be struggling to feel seen and heard.
All eleven of my diverse picture books, poetry books, and workbooks teach coping skills, reinforce the universal message of love, encourage mindfulness, and facilitate inclusion for all. Looking back now, it is so obviously me that I loved literature and pulled my own lessons and values from the stories…but access to books with diverse characters or authors was sorely lacking.

Diversity in Books for Kids: Then (Books I loved as a child)

  • Berenstain Bears (young child)
  • Nancy Drew- the whole series (throughout childhood)
  • Encyclopedia Brown- the whole series (throughout childhood)
  • Judy Blume (adolescent)

Diversity in Books for Kids: Now (Books my 11-year-old has Grown up With)

New Kid by Jerry Craft
Ghost series by Jason Reynolds
Crown by Derrick Barnes
Happy by Pharrell Williams
That being said, all of my children have enjoyed Harry Potter, but I could not get into them for some reason, which is so odd because I realize that one of the reasons I love creating kid’s books so much is because children still believe in the power of anything. They believe that ANYTHING can happen.
Adults, however, will click to point out that you can’t catch a ride on the wings of a butterfly or tunnel your way to Australia. I think Harry Potter is an example of anything is a possible book and I wonder if I had found them as a child as opposed to as an adult would I love them the way my own kids have.

In honor of National Book Month in October This is the Earth along with any book in the Make A Way Media catalog, will enjoy a special discount AND free shipping by using SAVE25 at checkout!

Perfect for anyone who is looking to add to their bookshelf, or wanting to gift one to a special home, classroom, or organization, with some extra incentives. Go HERE to view the full line-up of amazing diverse picture books, workbooks, and coloring books from author Deedee Cummings.


About Deedee Cummings

As a therapist, attorney, author, and CEO of Make A Way Media, Deedee Cummings has a passion for making the world a better place. All ten of Cummings’ diverse picture, poetry, and workbooks for kids reflect her professional knowledge and love of life. Colorful and vibrant, her children’s books are not only fun for kids and adults to read, they also work to teach coping skills, reinforce the universal message of love, encourage mindfulness, and facilitate inclusion for all. Cummings has spent more than two decades working within the family therapy and support field and much of her writing shares her experiences of working with kids in therapeutic foster care. As a result, her catalogs of published books for kids are filled with positive, hopeful messages. Using therapeutic techniques in her stories to teach coping skills, Cummings also strives to lessen the stigma that some people feel when it comes to receiving mental health assistance.
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