A reading guide which highlights books that celebrate diversity, representation and inclusion for children and young people
Published in 2021, this themed reading guide highlights books that celebrate diversity, representation and inclusion for children and young people aged 0–18. The Free to Be Me reading guide promotes equity and visibility of diverse stories in both school and public libraries, bookshops and shelves in the home. Every child has the right to be free to be themselves.
The team that produces this guide comprises an overall editor, 8 section editors (covering Ages 0–2, 2–4, 5–8, 9–11, 12–14, Young Adult, Non-fiction, Poetry and Irish language) a volunteer reviewer team and a wider production team including proof-readers and a designer. Free to Be Me is an A5 booklet featuring upwards of 360 reviews, click through link text at bottom. This guide is printed in Ireland, distributed to our members, available in participating libraries and bookshops nationwide during September and available for purchase in our shop. A copy of this guide is sent to every school in the republic of Ireland and distributed to schools in the north of Ireland through strategic partners. The cover showcases original commissioned artwork by Irish artist Ashwin Chacko. Reviews of Irish artists and publications are notated with a shamrock.
The governing aspects of this publication and wider project follow the Arts Council’s Equality, Human Rights and Diversity Policy and Strategy that aligns to the nine Equal Status Acts 2000–2018. The protected characteristics of equality legislation set out by the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission cover the nine grounds of gender, marital status, family status, age, disability, sexual orientation, race, religion, and membership of the Traveller community. In addition, the Acts prohibit discrimination in the provision of accommodation services against people who are in receipt of rent supplement, housing assistance, or social welfare payments. The Acts allow positive action to promote equality for disadvantaged persons or to cater for the special needs of persons. In alignment with the Arts Council’s Equality, Human Rights and Diversity Policy and Strategy we have named a tenth ground as ‘socio-economic status’.
The aim of this collection of truly excellent books is to help facilitate conversations and develop young people’s values, attitudes and knowledge – better equipping them to fully participate in, mould and build a more equitable society – ensuring that all children and their families feel welcomed, valued, celebrated and respected. By supporting our youngest citizens in this mission, we hope to enable tangible long term benefits for society that engender a more equitable future. Every child has the right to be free to be themselves.
To download a database of the books available in this guide, with added information about available accessible editions and other language editions please click here.
If you would like to purchase a copy of the guide or sign up for membership, please click here.