Holiday House Celebrates a Diverse Array of Voices Through Publishing Inclusive Literature

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America’s first and oldest children’s-only publishing company has empowered authors to use their personal and professional experience to talk about diversity of race, sexuality, ability, and more.

“Holiday House has a legacy of high-quality children’s publishing. We’re committed to ensuring this includes #ownvoices stories and inclusive titles, so that readers of different backgrounds see themselves in our books and learn about experiences outside of their own.”

Holiday House, the first children’s-only publishing company in America, prides itself on the diversity of voices telling the stories it publishes. Holiday House is now celebrating that diversity by highlighting some of its recently published and upcoming inclusive works.

To give the children who read these stories of diversity and inclusivity the most meaningful experiences, Holiday House looks to authors who can write authentically by leaning on their own personal and/or professional experience. In a recent editorial written for Mediaplanet’s Literacy campaign (which launched Dec. 29 in USA TODAY and online as part of its larger Future of Education campaign), which Holiday House has partnered to produce, Lesa Cline-Ransome delves into the importance of inclusivity in literature and why diverse voices must be available for readers of all ages.

Lesa Cline-Ransome is an experienced writer when it comes to telling stories about diversity and inclusivity. In 2018, Holiday House published her historical fiction book “Finding Langston,” the first installment in a trilogy about a trio of African American boys set during the Great Migration. “Finding Langston” earned the Coretta Scott King Author Honor and won the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction. Some other celebrated works of inclusive literature recently published by Holiday House include:

“Dreamers” by Yuyi Morales (September 2018) — In this lovingly illustrated picture book memoir, Yuyi Morales celebrates her experience of coming to the United States with her infant son. “Dreamers” perfectly captures the feeling of finding your way in a new place, navigating an unfamiliar world, and finding the best parts of it.
“A Place to Land” by Barry Wittenstein, illustrated by Jerry Pinkney (August 2019) — To tell the lesser-known story behind Martin Luther King, Jr.’s historic speech, Barry Wittenstein teamed up with legendary illustrator Jerry Pinkney. A winner of multiple Coretta Scott King Awards, Pinkney’s artwork features gorgeous portraits of famous civil rights figures and jaw-dropping renditions of the March on Washington
“The Space We’re In” by Katya Balen (October 2019) — Using her experiences working in a number of schools for autistic children and running a non-profit that organizes creative projects for neurodivergent people, Katya Balen respectfully crafted this novel about a boy trying to navigate his relationship with his younger brother who has autism.
“Forget This Ever Happened” by Cassandra Rose Clarke (October 2020) — In this Y.A. horror novel set in rural Texas, queer author Cassandra Rose Clarke achieved her goal of writing a work of speculative fiction where the characters’ queerness was an afterthought, not a plot point.

“Holiday House has a legacy of high-quality children’s publishing” says Derek Stordahl Executive Vice President and General Manager of Holiday House. “We’re committed to ensuring this includes #ownvoices stories and inclusive titles, so that readers of different backgrounds see themselves in our books and learn about experiences outside of their own.”

Holiday House will continue amplifying these diverse voices and publishing works of inclusive literature in the future. In the coming months, several other works are set to publish that will further accomplish this mission:
“Fat Chance, Charlie Vega” by Crystal Maldonado (February 2021) — Growing up as a “fat Puerto Rican girl” in a white suburban neighborhood, Crystal Maldonado often felt like her world had ended. She wrote “Fat Chance, Charlie Vega” as the novel she wishes she’d had as a kid to make her feel less alone.
“Watercress” by Andrea Wang, illustrated by Jason Chin (March 2021) — Andrea Wang’s autobiographical picture book shares the story of a child of immigrants connecting with her Chinese heritage. Illustrator Jason Chin took inspiration from Chinese painting techniques.
“Lucas Makes a Comeback” by Igor Plohl, illustrated by Urska Stropnick Sonc (April 2021) — In this picture book, Igor Plohl uses his own experiences as a paraplegic to speak to children about disability.

About Holiday House
Since 1935, Holiday House has been proud to gather talented authors and illustrators, and publish quality books that entertain, enlighten, and educate children. Known for having a deep list of timeless and award-winning books for children and young adult readers, Holiday House publishes the award-winning I Like to Read® series of picture books for emergent readers. In 2018, it launched its first eponymous imprints, Margaret Ferguson Books and Neal Porter Books. The iconic logo of the Holiday House little boy is by Ernest H. Shepard, the renowned illustrator of “The Wind in the Willows” and the Winnie-the-Pooh books, from the original edition of “The Reluctant Dragon” by Kenneth Grahame. For more information, visit

Press Contact:
Sara DiSalvo
Senior Publicist, Holiday House

About Mediaplanet
Mediaplanet specializes in the creation of content marketing campaigns covering a variety of industries. We tell meaningful stories that educate our audience and position our clients as solution providers. Our unique ability to pair the right leaders with the right readers, through the right platforms, has made Mediaplanet a global content marketing powerhouse. Our award-winning stories have won the hearts of countless readers while serving as a valuable platform for brands and their missions. Just call us storytellers with a purpose. Please visit for more on who we are and what we do.

Press Contact:
Donna Nuriel
Communications Manager, Mediaplanet

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