A World Full of Color Database

This library of more than 1500 books has been developed to serve as a collection of books celebrating racial and ethnic diversity. There are two main criteria: (1) the main character(s) of the book must be a person of color and (2) the story, while it might include themes of identity, is not primarily driven by issues surrounding race and ethnicity. The original intent of this database, when I started keeping it back in 2009, was to help parents, teachers, librarians, and readers find books featuring kids of color as the main characters, as the point-of-view heroes of stories, rather than serving as token sidekicks or as figures who somehow lived only in the past. My African-American friends were particularly tired of their kids only seeing themselves in books about slavery and Civil Rights struggles, often portrayed as victims rather than protagonists. My Asian-American friends were frustrated by their invisibility in children's books, period. As a former teacher and librarian, and as a bookseller serving ALL of the children in my community, I was desperate to find books that reflected the beautiful diversity of our nation's communities.

The wheels of publishing have at very long last begun to squeak and roll toward inclusion, and while representation is still vastly lopsided, it isn't quite as hard to find mainstream books featuring main characters of color. Given the prominence of discussions about race and identity in our culture, and the importance of celebrating and acknowledging those struggles and triumphs, it now feels as though the original purpose and need for this database is shifting. Now that there are so many more #OwnVoices books beginning to be available to young readers everywhere, it feels like time to relax the stricture requiring books in this database to NOT be driven by issues surrounding race. We needed that criterion in the beginning, because it was so hard to find a range of experiences beyond the publishers' limited definitions of stories featuring main characters of color. But this is no longer the case. The original criteria would exclude so many AMAZING books from the database, and I have a hard time tolerating this exclusion. So I am considering different ways of handling this, from opening it up to all books featuring main characters of color regardless of storyline, to creating an #OwnVoices database inclusive of all stories by and about people of color that are published for children and teens. I'm open to feedback about this update to the database.

With the exception of a few resource books, all titles in this collection are in print and available from independent bookstores and from publishers. I add to this database constantly and am always delighted to hear from readers about books that belong here and haven't yet been added. This is a labor of love, and is welcome to be freely shared with readers everywhere.

How to Use Your Gift Cards Online

Hello! If you have a Flying Pig gift card (the cute plastic one with the pig and clouds), here's how to use it online:

Select the books you'd like to order. During the checkout process, you'll see a menu of options. Click on the little black arrow next to Store Gift Card pane:

Once you've expanded that menu item, you'll see a box to check Yes:

Once you click the checkbox Yes, you'll be asked to enter your gift card number. That's the number under the barcode on the back of your gift card. It might be a short or long number:

Enter it into the box below the words Enter Your Gift Card Number:

That's it! You will have to add a credit card as a backup in case your gift card doesn't cover the full amount of your purchase. **Because the website doesn't 'know' what amount is on your store gift card — the website and store system are separate entities — you will not see your gift card applied until your order leaves its Pending status and is Processing or Completed.**

If you received an Online Gift Code (NOT a physical card, but a string of numbers and letters emailed to you), please refer to your emailed gift to redeem those! They are applied instantly when you visit the website via the gift code email.

If you have further questions, please email us at flyingpigorders@gmail.com!