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Literature Emphasizing Diversity
LED is a monthly book subscription service meant to shine a light on voices that are largely underrepresented in children’s literature.
Reading can take us to new worlds, but it can also open our eyes to the world we already live in—we can see ourselves in ways we aren’t used to and come to understand more about experiences and identities we don’t share.
We are thrilled to work in collaboration with We Need Diverse Books on LED: Literature Emphasizing Diversity. Each month, you will receive a book chosen by Flashlight Books and WNDB—one starring diverse characters we often don’t get to see in books, movies, or television. We will try to honor #ownvoices by having many of our featured books written by those who have lived the experiences they’re portraying.
Subscribers will receive one book a month in their chosen category: picture book, middle grade, or young adult. Each mailing will come with additional content encouraging readers and their families to further explore the month’s stories, through art, writing prompts, and other activities.
LED Picture Books: Receive an illustrated picture book every month for children and their families to read together. Most appropriate for children ages 3 – 7, added content will be focused on activities and conversation for children and grown-ups to participate in together. $16/month + shipping.
LED Middles: Receive a middle-grade book every month, suited for independent readers, grades 4 – 8. Added content will largely be geared for the reader, but often include discussions or activities that can involve family as well. Please note that our recommended age is based on content rather than specific reading level. $8/month + shipping.
LED Teens: Receive a young adult book every month, suited for readers grades 8 and up. Added content will largely be geared for the reader, but can include discussions or activities that can involve family as well. Please note, teen selections may include mature content, such as violence, sexual situations (though nothing graphic), etc. If you are concerned your reader may not be comfortable, please consider our Middles option, even for older readers. $10/month + shipping.
In keeping with We Need Diverse Books’ philosophy, we define diversity as stated on their website: 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.
Q: My child is in fourth grade but reading at a ninth grade level. What subscription should I get her?
A: We would still recommend going with our Middles option. While advanced readers may be capable of reading our Teen selections, the content may be confusing. Our extra content will encourage your child to think critically about what she is reading, which will add to her experience!
Q: How are your books selected?
A: We are collaborating with the non-profit We Need Diverse Books to get the best selection of #ownvoice books possible. All our selections are either suggested or approved by WNDB.
Q: What does #ownvoice mean?
A: #Ownvoice books are books where a protagonist has a marginalized identity that is shared by its author. For more information, please see this page by Corinne Duyvis, the author who coined the term.
Q: Can’t I get these books for cheaper on Amazon and other online or discounted retailors?
A: Some of them, yes. Some of the books we feature will be available at discounted prices elsewhere. But we offer many things these behemoths can’t: careful selection and curation by book and diversity experts; additional content designed to encourage further thought and discussion on important topics; and the chance for exclusive content. Furthermore, by subscribing to LED, you are supporting an independent business and individuals who build their lives around promoting and loving children’s literature.
Returns and Refunds
If your book is damaged on arrival, please take a photo and send it to and we will make arrangements to send a replacement.
If your subscription automatically renews when you did not intend it to, you can also email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will work with you to reverse the charges and ensure your subscription cancels or skips as you intended.
Should a particular month’s selection turn out to be uninteresting to you or your reader, we apologize! We know not every book is suited to every person. We encourage you to donate the book to your local library, or a local book drive. Alternatively, there are several book swapping communities online, such as PaperBack Swap and Books Free Swap, where you can trade for something you prefer. (Kids, make sure you have your parents permission for anything involving an online sign up!)