Imagine a world in which all children can see themselves in the pages of a book. #WeNeedDiverseBooks is a national effort by children’s book lovers who advocate essential changes in the publishing industry to produce and promote literature that reflects and honors the lives of all young people.

Join authors Crystal Chan, Lori M. Lee and Kurtis Scaletta as they discuss the importance of diverse voices in youth literature on October 11 at 6:30 pm in the Wriston Art Center at Lawrence University.

Crystal Chan watched with amazement at the exotic zoo outbreak in Zanesville, Ohio in 2011, where scores of animals—hungry lions, panthers, and tigers—ran loose around the county. That incident helped inspire her most recent novel, All That I Can Fix. When Crystal isn’t writing, her passion is giving diversity talks to adults and kids alike, telling stories on Wisconsin Public Radio, and hosting conversations on social media. Crystal will also present at area schools during the festival.


Lori M. Lee is the author of the Gates of Thread and Stone YA fantasy series. She has a borderline obsessive fascination with unicorns, is fond of talking in capslock, and loves to write about magic, manipulation, and family. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband, kids, and an excitable shih-tzu.

Kurtis Scaletta is the author of several novels for young readers including Mudville (2009), Mamba Point (2010), The Tanglewood Terror (2011), The Winter of the Robots (2013), and Rooting for Rafael Rosales (2017). He is also the author of the Topps League series (illustrated by Eric Wight and Ethen Beavers). Kurtis will also be presenting to area schools during his visit to the festival.

Books are more than mirrors. They are windows. A story takes us outside of ourselves and inside someone else, across time and space. It is as important to read books about people who are not like you as it is to read books in which you see yourself reflected. Reading books increases our capacity for comprehension and compassion. Join the conversation on why we need diverse books in our community.