Imagining Tomorrow: Building Inclusive Futures

Created by Ebony Elizabeth Thomas, Associate Professor of Education, University of Michigan, in collaboration with Llyr Heller, Los Angeles Public Library; and Emily Mazzoni, Monroe Township Public Library.

Timeline for 2023-2024 Grantees

Applications accepted online via ALA Apply: April 5 – May 10, 2023
Grant notification: June 17, 2023
Virtual Workshops for grantees: August 2023 (exact dates TBD)
Online pre-program report (PDF preview coming soon) due via ALA Apply: September 1, 2023
Programming Term: September 1, 2023 – February 28, 2024
Online final report (PDF preview coming soon) due via ALA Apply: March 13, 2024, or within 30 days of final program

About the theme

Humans have always told stories about what they believed tomorrow might be like - not only in faraway places in the distant future, but also about diverse people right here on Earth. It can be difficult to think about tomorrow when there are so many problems today. From social media to the daily news, we are confronted with many challenging issues. Some think that science fiction is just escapist dreaming, and the pressing issues we face right now are more important. But a sense of the infinite possibilities inherent in the word “tomorrow” has drawn children, teens, and adults from all over the world to tell stories about the future.

This Great Stories Club asks: How can we imagine and dream of our shared futures together, alongside each other, in order to create better tomorrows? The books in this series point toward the ways that we might build shared futures while acknowledging the lessons of our origin stories. First, each of these Great Stories emphasize the significance of our lives in the past, present, and future – these characters’ lives matter within their worlds, just like our lives matter within ours. Secondly, each story offers insight into how young people might live in future worlds where they face obstacles toward love, safety, and value, but find friendships and relationships that overcome every barrier. Finally, these stories demonstrate the power and importance of imagination in transforming our world. We cannot change tomorrow if we cannot “imagine otherwise,” and dream of times that are different from today.

Reading List

  • Victories Greater Than Death by Charlie Jane Anders
  • Across a Field of Starlight by Blue Delliquanti
  • The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline
  • The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow
  • War Girls by Tochi Onyebuchi

Programming Materials

Promotional Materials

See Also