OurStory helps teachers, librarians, parents, and kids find the perfect book.

A story for every child. A reflection of every community.

OurStory is a tool for kids, parents, educators, and librarians to discover diverse books. An interactive quiz helps you find the perfect book, and membership levels include access to exclusive content from authors and illustrators and materials that educators and librarians can incorporate into their curriculum and programming. 

OurStory is a book discovery tool that celebrates diversity and strives to include a wide array of titles with diverse content and by creators from marginalized communities.

OurStory uses the We Need Diverse BooksTM definition of diversity when selecting the books included in our app database. WNDB defines diversity as all diverse experiences, including but not limited to LGBTQIA, people of color, Native people, gender diversity, people with disabilities, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities.

  • OurStory Kids: for ages 12 and under
  • OurStory Teens: for ages 13 and up
  • OurStory Pro: for educators and librarians

OurStory is accessible via the internet browser on your computer and tablet. Downloadable apps for iOS and Android tablets are forthcoming.

Membership Levels

By joining OurStory, you are supporting WNDB programs such as mentorships, internships, classroom and library initiatives, and grants for unpublished writers. Click on each membership level to view the perks for each level and to sign up. There is an option for all budgets — join OurStory today!

OurStory Kids & Teen

Bookworm / BookGeek
Free
  • Access to searchable database of diverse books
  • Easily buy books or print a list to take to your library or local bookshop

OurStoryKids & Teen

BookHero / BookChampion
$2/month
  • Access to searchable database of diverse books
  • Easily buy books or print a list to take to your library or local bookshop
  • Exclusive content from authors and illustrators

OurStory Pro

Bronze Level
$5/Month
  • Booktalking kit
  • Printable graphics including shelf-talkers, summer reading series, and reading guides
  • *paid annually

OurStory Pro

Silver level
$10/Month
  • Booktalking kit
  • Printable graphics including shelf-talkers, summer reading series, and reading guides
  • WNDB book programming
  • WNDB reading maps
  • *paid annually

OurStory Pro

Gold Level
$15/Month
  • Booktalking kit
  • Printable graphics including shelf-talkers, summer reading series, and reading guides
  • WNDB book programming
  • WNDB reading maps
  • WNDB bookmarks
  • Walter Award book programming
  • Exclusive content from authors and illustrators
  • *paid annually

Using OurStory

Check out these videos to learn how to navigate the app. OurStory Kids works just like OurStory Teen so check out the Teen video for tips!

Still need help? Send us an email at ourstory.support@diversebooks.org. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why did We Need Diverse Books develop the OurStory app?

As members of the We Need Diverse Books team traveled across the country to conferences and book festivals, they spoke with librarians, teachers, educators, parents, and kids and heard a common theme — diverse books were hard to find. OurStory seeks to answer that problem. We created a tool that highlights books with diverse content and by content creators from marginalized communities.

How does OurStory work?

The web version of the app is accessible via the internet browser on your computer or tablet, and downloadable apps for iOS and Android are coming soon. Log in with Facebook, Twitter, Google, or by creating an account with your email. Choose a subscription based on the membership level that’s right for you. All users have access to the interactive quiz to discover the perfect window or mirror book, curated by WNDB just for you, and the various membership levels give you extra features. OurStory also gives you the option to purchase books directly through the app. Every time you use OurStory, you are supporting WNDB programs, and every time you read, share, or buy a book you discovered, you are encouraging creators and publishers to make more diverse books!

What is a “window” book or a “mirror” book?

The wonderful librarian Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop coined the terms “window” and “mirror” books in a powerful article. She believed books could provide mirrors for children to see themselves and their culture reflected in the pages. She also discussed how books could give children access or a “window” into other people’s experiences.

What’s the difference between OurStory and OurStory Pro?

OurStory is aimed at kids, teens, and parents to help them discover new books with diverse content and from content creators from marginalized communities using a fun quiz. It will also offer cool content perks from their favorite authors and illustrators.

OurStory Teen is for ages 13 and older, and OurStory Kids is for ages 12 and younger. Children can use OurStory Kids as a guest to access the quiz, but perks are available only to registered users. We encourage parents and guardians to use the app together with their children to access additional features.

OurStory Pro is aimed at teachers, librarians, and educators and gives them access to the same database of diverse titles. They can utilize the quiz function to help students and patrons select the right book and also find books to add to their collections. Additionally, OurStory Pro will also provide WNDB curriculum and material perks to enhance the reading and educational experience of students and patrons. Check out the membership levels for more information on perks.

Why does OurStory utilize a quiz function?

We thought a quiz would be a fun way to discover books and lead readers to new titles.

Why is there no search box?

OurStory is a discovery tool! The aim is to introduce you to books and creators you may not know. We encourage you to explore by using the quiz function as well as the buttons within each book profile.

How do you find the books you include in the database?

We use many sources, from personal reading to publisher catalogs to professional review magazines, book review sites, and social media, to keep abreast of titles that may fit with our mission. We are always happy to take suggestions or be notified about books we may have missed by emailing ourstory@diversebooks.org, but due to volume, we cannot respond to individual recommendations or guarantee placement in OurStory.

Do you read the books before you put them in the database?

Yes! At least one member of our OurStory team, and usually a few, have read each and every book you’ll find in OurStory. This ensures that we have a full understanding of the content.

Who reads the books?

OurStory has a team of volunteer readers that consists of librarians, teachers, educators, book lovers, and members of We Need Diverse Books. Our readers have a variety of identities, life experience, academic and professional expertise to draw on as they assess books that they read, and we continuously strive to build a team that represents all diverse experiences and communities. 

So if a book is in this database, it has a WNDB stamp of approval?

OurStory is not a literary award, starred selection list, or book review source. Books are vetted and considered for problematic content, and we decline to put books in the app at our own discretion. We have chosen these books because we think that overall, they have more to recommend them than they do problematic elements, but this is something every reader should determine for themselves. We suggest that if you find a book that has a problematic, troubling, or offensive element, teachers and librarians use those texts as teaching tools to explore issues such as institutional racism, hurtful language, etc. Helping young people become critical, thoughtful readers is as important as finding great titles for them to discover in the first place.

You may also email us at ourstory@diversebooks.org to share your comments about books that you consider problematic.

Are there books in other languages in OurStory?

At this time, there are books that are bilingual (English/second language). We do not currently have the capacity to read and assess books that are not written in or translated to English.

Are there self-published books in OurStory?

We recognize that because of structural and institutional challenges and privileges at play, self-publishing has long been a world where marginalized voices not picked up by the traditional publishing industry can find audiences. We absolutely respect the hard work and resolve these authors put into producing high quality books for young readers, and we will accept self-published books for OurStory at our discretion. However, there is already quite a large field of traditionally published books for us to work through before we even get to this additional field. For this reason, we consider self-published book suggestions only if they are accompanied by a link to a professional review (for self-published authors, Kirkus is one professional review magazine that will accept self-published books for a fee) or with links to three reviews by highly visible book bloggers. After receiving those suggestions, our above selection policy applies, and we make no guarantees as to whether a book will be added to our database.

I found a book about "fill in the blank". That's not diverse!

Again, there are many definitions of diversity. OurStory also includes books by marginalized creators, even if their books do not feature diverse content.

I found an error or a problematic book.

Please email ourstory@www.diversebooks.org, and we will look into it.

Why does OurStory have a subscription cost?

OurStory is a tool for the We Need Diverse Books nonprofit to help fund its programs and further its important mission. A subscription to OurStory will help We Need Diverse Books run its major programs: mentorships, internships, WNDB in the Classroom, WNDB in Libraries, the WALTER Award, and the WALTER Grants for unpublished writers.

How do I change or cancel my subscription?

Manage your subscription on the account page. If you upgrade during your current subscription, you will receive credit for the remaining months of your subscription and this amount will be applied toward your new plan.

Subscriptions renew automatically. You may cancel your subscription at any time from the account page. No refund is issued for canceled subscriptions, but you will continue to have access for the duration of your original subscription.

Who is BookGeek, and why is that the name showing up on my bank statement after subscription payment instead of We Need Diverse Books?

BookGeek is a separate company that houses all things related to OurStory. BookGeek (a tech startup for book apps) developed OurStory in partnership with We Need Diverse Books to enable readers to discover diverse books and support WNDB. BookGeek specializes in the technical development and maintenance of the app, while WNDB focuses on advocacy and program development.

Does OurStory use affiliate links?

Yes. Every time readers purchase a book, OurStory receives a small affiliate income, which we use to support WNDB programs.

What do I do if I can’t log in?

Email our OurStory support team at ourstory.support@diversebooks.org and we’ll help you resolve the issue.

I can’t use my phone during the day at school or in my library to take advantage of OurStory with my students.

OurStory is available in website format for desktops and laptops as well as on tablets.

But I’m a public librarian inside a large library system and want to use OurStoryPro. Where is the district-wide licensing option?

OurStory Public is in the works. You have not been forgotten!

How can booksellers use OurStory?

We Need Diverse Books is so grateful to all our bookseller support, and thus, we’re working on a version of OurStory for booksellers specifically. In the meantime, booksellers can use the quiz function to help customers find books.

What’s Coming Next

OURSTORY PUBLIC
A version of OurStory Pro for large public library systems.

OURSTORY INDIE BOOKSELLER
A version of OurStory for booksellers to sync with their inventory.

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