“The issue is cultural relevance,” said Jane Robinson, First Book Chief Financial Officer, addressing a room of Clinton Global Initiative attendees, all experts in the field of education. “Children need to see themselves in what they read. Because the price of books is high, book content most often reflects the lives of people of means.”
First Book’s recent attendance at the Clinton Global Initiative and corresponding commitment to remedy the lack of diversity in children’s literature has garnered a good bit of media attention. A wide range of news sources, including Native News Network, GalleyCat, Examiner.com, BooksWorld, The Guardian, and an article in Publisher’s Weekly featured our commitment and our Stories For All project.
To expand diversity in children’s literature we are pioneering a market-driven solution. The First Book Marketplace is an online store available only to educators and program leaders serving kids in need. To stock the Marketplace, First Book purchases new books from publishers on a non-refundable basis. Because of this, publishers gain access to a new market of consumers without having to stock shelves, market or distribute their books. Educators, program leaders, and — most importantly — kids in need, gain access to the highest quality books and stories that accurately reflect their reality.