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

  • book cover Letters from Cuba
    Diversity in MG Lit #26 Moving and Migration April 2021
    April 14, 2021 by
    Moving is a watershed experience in a young person’s life whether it is across town or across the world. Here are six recently published or soon to be published diverse books about moving and migration. One of my favorite things about historical fiction is the window into seldom studied chapters in history. Letters from Cuba by Ruth Behar is an epistolary novel about a Jewish refugee putting down roots in Cuba while working to bring the rest of her family out of Poland during the horrors of the Second World War. Twelve year old Ester narrates her new and mostly welcoming life in Cuba in letters to the sister she left behind. It is based on the author’s own family story. (Published Aug 2020. Nancy Paulson Books, PRH) Land of Cranes by Aida Salazar is a contemporary refugee story set along the US-Mexico border. In spare and haunting verse, nine year old Betita tells the story of her family, fleeing...
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  • We Need Diverse MG
    WNDMG -Interview with THE COMEBACK Author E.L. Shen
    March 8, 2021 by
    Today for We Need Diverse MG, we are delighted to share an interview with E.L. Shen, author of The Comeback, and editor at Farrar, Straus & Giroux. Also: be sure you check out the book giveaway after the interview! Welcome to Mixed-Up Files, Elizabeth! Thank you so much for having me! Interview with THE COMEBACK Author E. L. Shen Please tell us about The Comeback. What inspired you to write Maxine’s story?  In fourth grade, I watched the movie, Ice Princess, and desperately wanted to become a famous figure skater. While that did *not* happen, I did take lessons for...
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  • We Need Diverse MG
    WNDMG — Author Interview and Book Giveaway
    February 8, 2021 by
    I had the good fortune to talk about her award-winning book Lupe Wong Won’t Dance with kidlit author Donna Barba Higuera. She was just awarded a Pura Belpré honor and a Sid Fleischman award for humor! Lupe Wong Won’t Dance APP: Donna, can you tell me something about yourself and your journey as a kidlit writer? How did you get started? DBH: I didn’t set out to write “kidlit” specifically. I’ve always written down the stories that entered my imagination. Mostly short stories. I decided to try writing a novel about nine years ago and knew I had a lot...
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  • Christina Li
    WNDMG – Guest Post – Christina Li Why Kids Need Diverse Middle Grade
    January 8, 2021 by
      Happy New Year,  from all of us at We Need Diverse MG … and WOW, are we excited it’s finally 2021! For our first entry in 2021, we’ve got a real treat: a guest post from debut author Christina Li. We’re excited to tell you all about Christina’s debut novel, CLUES TO THE UNIVERSE (Quill Tree Books/HarperCollins) … but first, a great reflection from Christina on why kids need diverse middle-grade books. Guest Post: Christina Li See it and Be it: Why Kids Need Diverse Middle-Grade books  By Christina Li One of the texts I read at the beginning...
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