Abstract

Previous studies have examined diversity in children’s literature: Gender diversity, racial diversity, religious diversity, and diversity in family composition. This project examines an often overlooked diversity issue in children’s literature: Housing diversity. In the stories they read and the accompanying images, children need to see a variety of housing environments and need to see the settings and the people portrayed in a positive manner.

Renting an apartment is an increasingly popular housing option for many families. However, many children’s books glamorize living in a traditional house. Using a rubric designed by the course instructor, students in a university immersive learning course evaluated the “housing message” in a convenience sample of children’s books.

Students then partnered with local preschools, elementary schools, after-school programs, and community libraries to examine their book collections. With support from apartment industry leaders, students purchased and donated copies of the most apartment-friendly books to fill the gap in the book collections in these locations.

DOI

10.5703/1288284316439

 

Housing Diversity in Children’s Literature

Previous studies have examined diversity in children’s literature: Gender diversity, racial diversity, religious diversity, and diversity in family composition. This project examines an often overlooked diversity issue in children’s literature: Housing diversity. In the stories they read and the accompanying images, children need to see a variety of housing environments and need to see the settings and the people portrayed in a positive manner.

Renting an apartment is an increasingly popular housing option for many families. However, many children’s books glamorize living in a traditional house. Using a rubric designed by the course instructor, students in a university immersive learning course evaluated the “housing message” in a convenience sample of children’s books.

Students then partnered with local preschools, elementary schools, after-school programs, and community libraries to examine their book collections. With support from apartment industry leaders, students purchased and donated copies of the most apartment-friendly books to fill the gap in the book collections in these locations.