Graduate Research Papers


Open Access Graduate Research Paper


The purpose of this quantitative content analysis was to evaluate the race/ethnicity of the main characters and authors in the picture books on the 2015-16 and 2020-21 Iowa Goldfinch Award lists, a student-nominated book list. The books were evaluated using coding that was adapted from earlier research. Then the statistics were compared to ascertain whether the portrayal of diverse cultures changed. Results indicated that the diversity of both the main characters and the authors increased by 25%, to include races other than White. The number of White main characters decreased from 6 to 3, while non-human characters decreased from 15 to 9; and the number of Black, Asian, and Latinx characters increased from 0 to 8. Likewise, the representation of authors of color increased from 0 to 5. It is vital that all children experience books that are by and about diverse cultures. In addition to student-nominated award list book purchases, teacher librarians must continue to seek out picture books that contain characters that reflect the increasing racial diversity in the United States.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Department of Curriculum and Instruction


Division of School Library Studies

First Advisor

Karla Krueger

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (39 pages)



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