The New England Children’s Booksellers Advisory Council is a voluntary organization dedicated to excellence in independent children’s bookselling. We offer a support network to any current NEIBA member who shares the goal of encouraging quality and service within the children’s book industry, and also a means for helping NEIBA organize periodic educational programming.

NECBA Windows & Mirrors

2019 Submission Form & Information


Fall 2018

Windows & Mirrors Handout

Edelweiss Collection



The concept of children’s books as “windows and mirrors”* is simple: that children’s literature should contain diverse characters and experiences such that all children can find representations of their own experiences and identities (“mirrors”), and be exposed to many experiences and identities of people unlike themselves (“windows”).

The NECBA Windows and Mirrors committee, taking a broad view of diversity*, seeks to draw on the expertise of the New England bookselling community in curating a yearly list of diverse titles that demonstrate strong representation of marginalized identities as well as great literary merit.

All NEIBA members and publishers may submit titles for reading by the committee; these titles may be any new edition of a book published within the calendar year. All submitted titles will be read by two or more members of the committee with consideration for quality of writing and representation. A final list will be presented each year at the NEIBA Fall Conference.

The NECBA Windows and Mirrors list aims to highlight diverse titles that might otherwise be overlooked, and provide bookstores throughout the region with a resource that will help them easily reach for titles that showcase a breadth of human experience beyond our societal “defaults.” In this way, we hope to serve all the young readers who visit our stores, providing windows and mirrors through books that will expand and enrich their worlds.

*The concept of windows and mirrors was first popularized by Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop http://readingwhilewhite. ever-used-phrase-mirrors-and. html.

*Following We Need Diverse Books, we use this definition of diversity: We recognize all diverse experiences, including (but not limited to) LGBTQIA, Native, people of color, gender diversity, people with disabilities*, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities.

*We subscribe to a broad definition of disability, which includes but is not limited to physical, sensory, cognitive, intellectual, or developmental disabilities, chronic conditions, and mental illnesses (this may also include addiction). Furthermore, we subscribe to a social model of disability, which presents disability as created by barriers in the social environment, due to lack of equal access, stereotyping, and other forms of marginalization (http://weneeddiversebooks. org/mission-statement)

Fall 2017


Edelweiss Collection


Blurbs from the Windows & Mirrors Committee Members for titles presented at the NEIBA Fall Conference

At the Edge of the Universe by Shaun David Hutchinson

Everything changes the day that Ozzie wakes up to find his boyfriend, Tommy, missing. Worse, Tommy isn’t just gone– he never existed. As Ozzie embarks on a journey to try to find a boy no one even remembers, he receives support from his best friend, Lua, a delightful genderfluid punk rocker, his brutally honest and calm friend Dustin, who is on the asexual spectrum, and Calvin, bisexual and the former football and academic king of the high school suddenly turned introverted and self-harming flunkie. Dealing with the mysteries of Tommy’s disappearance and Calvin’s concerning behavior, Ozzie begins to realize that change, both good and bad, is inevitable and it is ultimately what we make of it that matters.

– Zazu Galdos-Shapiro, The Bookloft, Great Barrington MA


A Boy Called Bat by Elana K. Arnold

This early chapter book is the first in a series, and it’s a wonderful gift. Few (if any) children’s books featuring an autistic main character manage to treat autism as simply part of who the character is, with no gimmicks or exploitation. Arnold succeeds; Bat is a complete and deeply relatable character, and he is written about with love and honesty. In this first book, animal-loving Bat is thrilled when his veterinarian mother brings home a baby skunk, and he’s able to take the lead in caring for it. Great for fans of Sara Pennypacker or the Lulu books.

– Alex Schaffner, Brookline Booksmith, Brookline MA


A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi

“Roshani Chokshi’s second book features Gauri, a princess who has been taken as a prisoner of war. She has no hope of escape and therefore nothing to lose when Vikram, the prince of the enemy kingdom, proposes a deal. He needs a partner to enter the Tournament of Wishes, a competition held in a mythical city with a wish as the victor’s prize. This beautifully written book is a companion novel to The Star-Touched Queen but stands perfectly on its own. It draws on Indian mythology to create a lush, dangerous world that sucks you in and won’t let go. Great for readers who enjoyed Caraval.

– Rebecca Wells, Porter Square Books, Cambridge MA


First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Perez

María Luisa O’Neill-Morales, or Malu, as she prefers to be called, loves punk music and making zines. She does not love cilantro or her middle school dress codes. Malu often feels pulled in two very different directions–there’s her white record-store owning dad, and her Mexican American college professor mom. Her mom is very proud of their heritage, but being a model senorita is the last thing Malu wants to be. When a popular girl at her new school accuses her of not being Mexican enough, Malu and a group of fellow misfits must team up to prove to the world that being yourself is the most punk thing of all.

– Beth Wagner, Phoenix Books Essex, Essex Junction VT


Forever, or a Long, Long Time by Caela Carter

“Flora and her brother Julian have lived in so many foster homes that they’ve forgotten where they come from. And even now that they’ve been adopted, they still can’t quite believe that they’ve found their forever home. When their mother announces she’s pregnant, the family embarks on a quest to discover the siblings’ past in order to finally be able to step into their future. This book is a beautiful tearjerker about family — both the kind you’re born into, and the kind you build along the way.”

– Rebecca Wells, Porter Square Books, Cambridge MA


Hello Goodbye Dog by Maria Gianferrari, Patrice Barton

In this charming picture book, Zara’s enthusiastic dog, Moose, loves hellos. Good-byes are hard, especially when Zara goes to school. Moose repeatedly finds a way to escape and visit Zara at school, “hello!” The teacher, librarian, principal, and Zara’s parents all struggle to send Moose home. Zara has an idea. What does Moose love more than “hello?” Stories! Zara takes Moose to therapy dog school so that he can be the Class Reading Dog! A lovely story about a girl and her dog, with the added bones of modeling good problem solving skills, The Hello, Good-bye Dog is a delightful story with lovely, soft illustrations. Bonus: back matter about therapy dogs.

– Sara Hines, Eight Cousins Books, Falmouth MA


The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed

Empowering, enlightening, and devastating all at once, this novel features three high school girls coming to terms with the everyday sexism and the other prejudices they are subjected to daily. Erin Delillo is autistic but is more defined by her love of marine biology and Star Trek; Rosina Suarez is a queer, first generation Mexican-American girl, struggling to find a place for her personal identity in her Catholic immigrant family and for her cultural identity in her country of birth; and Grace Salter must deal with her low self-esteem and body image issues while coping with the radical change in her family’s faith and residence, having moved from a southern Baptist community to a liberal church in Oregon. After a fellow classmate is shamed into fleeing their town when she speaks out against her high school boy rapists, they anonymously bring together the other girls in the school to fight the rape culture that allowed this to happen.

– Zazu Galdos-Shapiro, The Bookloft, Great Barrington MA


Piecing Me Together by Renee Watson

Jade is a collage artist. This imagery infuses this story in which Jade finds pieces from all the different aspects of her life (her neighborhood and her school,) as well as from all the different people in her life (her mom, mentor, friends, teachers) to create her whole identity. One of the many notable aspects of this book is the strong female friendships and relationships. The characters are complex and nuanced and the relationships between them are incredibly realistic. This YA novel will have crossover appeal in both directions. It could just as easily be handed to a middle-grade reader ready for teen books as an adult who loves character driven stories.

– Sara Hines, Eight Cousins Books, Falmouth MA


Say Hello! by Rachel Isadora

Carmelita loves to visit her neighborhood, and say hello to all her friends in their native language. Rachel understands the importance of connecting to our diverse communities, and how empowering it is to show you care enough to learn about other cultures!

– Robin Gross, Books on the Square, Providence RI


Up! by Susan Hughes

Because its so important for babies to see lots of different  color faces,  and to know that we all are not so different, this brilliant collage, shows how all different kinds of families carry their little ones!

– Robin Gross, Books on the Square, Providence RI


When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Smart, sweet, but never sappy, When Dimple Met Rishi follows the developing relationship of two Indian American teens whose first encounter is…icy. Dimple, who rejects the traditional path her parents set out before her, and Rishi, who embraces his heritage, seem like polar opposites. Dimple is furious when she discovers that their parents have arranged their introduction at an exclusive summer camp, and Rishi wonders what he’s gotten himself into. Forced to work together on a coding project, they discover they have much more in common than not. But how can they compromise on the things that matter most to them?

– Beth Wagner, Phoenix Books Essex, Essex Junction VT


Words On Bathroom Walls by Julia Walton

Adam is schizophrenic and on a new experimental drug. In this journal to a therapist, he records the experiences he won’t talk about out loud–everything from how the meds diminish his cast of recurring hallucinatory characters, to his romance with an incredible world-hating girl named Maya. Adam is one of the funniest and most likable YA protagonists I’ve read in years, and his story is written with respect and kindness (and the best girlfriend ever). 14+.

– Alex Schaffner, Brookline Booksmith, Brookline MA