Whitewashing, Sexism, and More: Using Book Covers to Start a Conversation with Kids

Over the past four years, Allie Jane Bruce has co-created a sixth-grade curriculum that uses book covers as an entry point to examine explicit and implicit biases in children’s and young adult literature. Students engage in conversations about whitewashing, race, gender, sexual orientation, and other social identifiers as they relate to books and beyond. In this webinar, she will summarize the curriculum and provide resources for those who wish to lead similar programs.

Learning Outcomes

Participants will:
  • Discern inherent structural biases in the field of children’s and young adult literature
  • Learn how to start, and continue, a conversation with kids about race, gender, or any aspect of identity

Who Should Attend

  • School librarians
  • Public librarians who work with children and/or teens
  • Anyone interested in social justice in the field of children's literature


Allie Jane Bruce is Children's Librarian at the Bank Street College of Education, where she works with the Bank Street School for Children, the Bank Street Graduate School of Education, and the Bank Street Book Committee to support the literacy needs of the community and to create a culture in which every child will become a lifelong reader. She co-founded ReadingWhileWhite.com, a blog that seeks to examine whiteness and confront racism in the field of children's and young adult literature. She is also Education Liaison for We Need Diverse Books and was a member of the 2016 Newbery committee. She has presented at numerous national conferences, co-facilitated the Day of Diversity and Dialogue at ALA’s 2015 Midwinter Meeting, and co-led the following online seminar. Her articles have been published in School Library Journal, Children and Libraries, and the Guide to the Newbery and Caldecott Awards.



ALSC offers this archived webinar to all ALSC members free of charge. Non-members can purchase the webinar archive for $25 per individual, or $195 for groups.
Become an ALSC member and save on the price of the webinar.

How to Register

ALSC members, please click this link to view the archived webinar. Note that you will need your ALA login information to access the archived webinar; if you click on this link and receive a page error message, please ignore it and proceed to the login link in the top right corner of the page. If you are an ALSC member and you are having problems logging into the ALSC website please contact Kristen Figliulo.

Non-ALSC members, please use the links below to purchase the webinar archive through the ALA Store:

Individual Rate
Group Rate

Tech Requirements

computer, internet access


Kristen Figliulo
ALSC Program Officer for Continuing Education
(800) 545-2433 ext. 4026