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Why didn’t you include THIS AWESOME BOOK I KNOW ABOUT on your website?

via Ashia
Published: Last Updated on

Most likely reasons I haven’t included your suggestions in an article in Books For Littles


Possibility #1: I haven’t had the time to personally screen it and test it with kids.

I don’t recommend books that I haven’t read, and that haven’t been personally approved by Actual Real Live Children.  Anything else seems unethical, right? We’re screening thousands of books each year, but I have to sleep sometimes.


Possibility #2: I considered it, but it sucked a little (or a lot)

This is not a judgement on you. Just your read on this particular book. Folks get so angry when I dislike a book they love!

Maybe your favorite book is fine for one specific topic or perspective, but throws another targeted group under the bus, or reinforces some problematic concepts. Most books do.

Or I tested it with  kids and they hated it or found it bleh. If you’d like me to pour time and effort into explaining why your fave is problematic, you can read through the archives to get a better idea of how subtle messages ripple into systemic injustice, or book a 1-on-1 consult if you’d like to skip months of reading and value my time in personally educating you.


Possibility #3: The maker has harmed people and has not acknowledged, apologized, or made amends

Sometimes individual books are great, but they’re written by rapists, jerks, or ass-hats. Or the broader body of the maker’s work does so much damage to targeted people that I’m just generally holding a grudge and unwilling to drive readers and profit to them.

There are so many hard-working, awesome authors, illustrators, and publishers in the world struggling to get their story into the right hands to do real good. Why clutter up the place with assholes?


Possibility #4: I can’t afford it

If it’s not available at the local library, I can’t afford to buy a personal hard-copy to screen & test with real kids. Until our 40,000+ monthly readers cough up 10 cents to pay for what they consume, we’re still operating on sweat and fumes. I still can’t afford to pay for shelter and groceries for my family – there’s just no budget for purchasing books.

And no, I can’t use digital copies, or read-alouds to test books with my kids. Even if the read-aloud itself isn’t theft of hard-work and intellectual property (it usually is!) – reading a hard copy book with kids is where we generate the best conversations.

Possibility #5: My kid-testers aren’t the right age to screen it

My kids are getting older, and can no longer adequately give an #OwnVoices perspective on whether books for younger (or older) kids are engaging and anti-ageist. I’m slowly finding ways to work around that by collecting younger kids for honest reviews (not in a creepy kidnappy way!) but since I don’t have funds to pay for that, those will take more time.

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