We Need Diverse Middle Grade

Welcome to the home page for our series We Need Diverse Middle Grade (WNDMG), where we archive all our WNDMG posts.

Our mission: We celebrate and promote diversity in middle-grade books, and we examine the issues preventing better equity and inclusion on the middle-grade bookshelf. We intend to amplify and honor all diverse voices.

We Need Diverse Middle Grade posts once a month, drawing on work from our own team of contributors as well as from guest authors, editors, agents, teachers, librarians, and booksellers. You can count on our presence here on Mixed-Up Files to shine a light on the stories, work, and truth of all those who are still underrepresented in this field. You’ll be able to recognize our monthly posts by seeing our WNDMG logo: the diverse world we envision. Our artwork is by contributor Aixa Perez-Prado.

Guest Posts for We Need Diverse Middle Grade

If you’re interested in being considered for a guest post slot on WNDMG, please feel free to email: mufcommunications@gmail.com. Please Note: We do not pay for guest blog posts.

Latest from the Blog

  • We Need Diverse MG
    WNDMG Wednesday – Author Shing Yin Khor
    August 4, 2021 by
    WNDMG Author Interview with Shing Yin Khor Featured in today’s WNDMG Wednesday, a WNDMG author interview with Shing Yin Khor about their graphic novel, THE LEGEND OF AUNTIE PO. (Penguin Random House, June 2021) About THE LEGEND OF AUNTIE PO Part historical fiction, part magical realism, and 100 percent adventure. Thirteen-year-old Mei reimagines the myths of Paul Bunyan as starring a Chinese heroine while she works in a Sierra Nevada logging camp in 1885. Aware of the racial tumult in the years after the passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act, Mei tries to remain blissfully focused on her job, her close friendship with the camp foreman’s daughter, and telling stories about Paul Bunyan–reinvented as Po Pan Yin (Auntie Po), an elderly Chinese matriarch. Anchoring herself with stories of Auntie Po, Mei navigates the difficulty and politics of lumber camp work and her growing romantic feelings for her friend Bee. The Legend of Auntie Po is about who gets to own a...
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  • We Need Diverse MG
    WNDMG Wednesday — The End of the #OwnVoices Era
    July 7, 2021 by
    The End of the #Ownvoices Era About a month ago, we saw the beginning of the end of the #ownvoices era when  We Need Diverse Books chose to stop using the hashtag #ownvoices. Since I am a self-defined #ownvoices author who has used that hashtag for years: querying, pitching manuscripts on Twitter, and even including it on my bio here at Mixed-Up Files, I began asking myself: am I ready — and is it really time? Where #Ownvoices Began To answer that question, I want to start with why we needed it in the first place. Back in 2015 when...
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  • We Need Diverse MG
    WNDMG Wednesday–Pride Month and Beyond: What Tik Tok Told Me
    June 9, 2021 by
      Pride Month June is Pride Month and there is so much to talk about when it comes to middle-grade books and representation. I thought a great way to explore this topic would be by doing a deep dive into book talk on Tik Tok.  In case you’re not familiar, Tik Tok is the platform that so many people are using to talk about books.  I assumed it would be easy to find lots of MG recommendations and reviews for Pride Month, but it wasn’t.  Most of the #booktok I found did not pertain to books aimed at middle grade...
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  • June is PRIDE month
    Happy PRIDE Month
    June 1, 2021 by
    June is PRIDE month, and we at Mixed-Up Files look forward to celebrating and amplifying voices from our friends and family in the LGBTQ + community. As always, books are a great way to create conversation and open up spaces for learning and community. Pride Booklists To start with, here’s an excellent book list. Newer Titles from 2020-2021 THANKS A LOT, UNIVERSE (Abrans Books 2021), by Chad Lucas; ((Read Chad’s guest post on our series We Need Diverse MG here.)) KING AND THE DRAGONFLIES (Scholastic 2020), by Kacen Callender Twelve-year-old Kingston James is sure his brother Khalid has turned into...
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