We Need Diverse Books is launching an app, OurStory, utilizing a database of more than 1,200 curated books reflecting diverse characters and themes that librarians, educators, parents, and children can search for reading recommendations. OurStory will also include an option for users to purchase books from preferred booksellers and will be made available on the Internet and via both iOS and Android platforms in January 2017.

According to WNDB representatives, the organization has heard repeatedly from both adults and children that it is difficult for them to identify quality books with diverse characters, themes, and by multicultural authors from among the numerous books released each year. OurStory, WNDB representatives explained in a release, “seeks to solve the problem with a tool that highlights books with diverse content and by marginalized content creators.”

The app has two versions, OurStory and OurStoryPro. OurStory is intended to aid parents, children, and teens search for diverse books, while OurStoryPro informs teachers, librarians, and educators about diverse books that might be appropriate for their classrooms or patrons. Not only will the app provide a curriculum developed by WNDB and lists of books, but subscribers also will have access to videos featuring authors and books.

“The app provides a way for publishers to shine a light on diverse books and a place for authors and illustrators to be featured,” WNDB president Ellen Oh noted. WNDB COO Dhonielle Clayton added, “We’ve spoken about readers needing mirrors of their own experiences and windows into the experiences of others in the books they read. OurStory is a one-stop shop for those windows and mirrors.”