WHO WE ARE
OurShelves Founder, Alli Harper, is an attorney, organizer, public policy advocate and most importantly, mom to Anna, age nine, and Isaac, age three, who have two moms. Here is Alli’s story. You must also meet our Curation Team, the heart and soul of OurShelves. Here is additional background information on OurShelves.
WHY WE EXIST
ALL children and ALL families deserve a place on OurShelves. Yet, we face two problems OurShelves is here to address: 1) There are not enough diverse children’s books, period, and 2) There are actually more than we might guess, but they’re too often much too hard to find. Here is our inaugural blog post that explains how OurShelves responds to both of these problems.
WHAT WE DO
Our diverse children’s book boxes connect families, teachers and librarians to high-quality books that feature LGBTQ+, racially and ethnically diverse, feminist, and disabled characters, among other traditionally under-represented characters and families in kids’ books. See our welcome page to learn how our subscriptions work.
We also advocate for the many diverse books still needed. As an example of how the OurShelves advocacy mission and subscription mission work together, publisher Barefoot Books recently published The Bread Pet that features a multiracial two-mom family—a choice influenced by Harper’s advocacy, says Barefoot Books Senior Editor, Kate DePalma. OurShelves then purchased this book to ship to its members across the country, strengthening the book’s sales. As OurShelves’ membership and buying power grows, OurShelves will continue advocating with publishers, backing that advocacy up with ever-increasing sales, proving the currently underestimated market for these books. Harper seeks to prove to publishers that there is opportunity, rather than risk, in creating these books.
In all fifty states and Washington D.C., our members are families, teachers, librarians, healthcare providers, and other caregivers and service providers cultivating values of inclusion, equity and social justice with the children in their worlds. Here are some sample testimonials from families and teachers. We have members willing to speak to the press.
During the pandemic, the membership base of OurShelves tripled in size. OurShelves has reached members in all fifty states and Washington D.C.
IMAGES AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST
IN THE NEWS
New York Times / Wirecutter: 7 Book Subscription Boxes We Love for Adults and Kids
Mombian: The New Yorker Looks at the Past, Present, and Future of LGBTQ Children’s Books
Thrive Literacy Corner: 10 Gifts For Kids That Encourage Reading
Hello Subscription: The 17 Best Diverse Books Subscription Boxes for Kids in 2022
Macaroni KID: OurShelves: Diverse Book Boxes for Children
Queer Forty: Why OurShelves? Be counted for diverse kids’ books!
It's OK to Say Gay: Trans & Nonbinary Kids: The basics for parents
Verywell Family: Best Baby Book Subscriptions 2022
CEI: Celebrating Diverse Individuals and Families in Children's Books
Verywell Family: Best Book Subscriptions for Kids 2022
Perpetual Page-Turner: The 5 Very Best Book Subscription Boxes For Little Kids
BookRiot: 7 Great Book Subscription Boxes for Kids
Romper: The Parents Fighting for Diverse Books
CNET: 9 Book Subscription Services for Kids and Young Adults
Buzzfeed: 7 Ways To Read More In 2020
The Advocate: Why one queer mom (and former lawyer) took matters into her own hands when it came to diversity in children’s books
Family Equality OutSpoken Voices: An Open Book: LGBTQ+ Inclusivity in Children’s Literature with Alli Harper at Ourshelves
Portland Press Herald: OurShelves holds a mirror up to the world, one children’s book at a time.
Cratejoy: The 16 Best Monthly Book Clubs For Kids in 2021
Parents: The 9 Best Book Subscription Boxes for Kids
Nasdaq: Alli Harper: Ensuring Equal Representation on Kids Bookshelves
One Bad Mother: Episode 395: Can A Book Make A Difference? Yeah! Duh. with Alli Harper
The Skimm’: Daily Skimm’
Maine Women’s Magazine: Reading Rainbow
MaineBiz: Alli Harper, of OurShelves, doesn't want kids to judge a book by its cover
Red Tricycle: 5 Ways to Celebrate Portland Pride this Month
BookRiot: 31 of the Best Kid’s Book Subscriptions
Philadelphia Gay News: OurShelves connects LGBTQ families with diverse books and advocates
Mombian (Leading LGBTQ+ Parenting Site): OurShelves Connects LGBTQ Families with Diverse Books and Advocates for More
If These Ovaries Could Talk: OurShelves
Latter-Day Lesbian: Episode 114: Getting to Know OurShelves
Lifehacker: Introduce Your Kids to Diverse Books With This Service
Popsugar: 25 Book Subscription Boxes For Kids That Will Keep Their Bookshelves Full of New Reads
One Bad Mother: Episode 332: Alli Harper of OurShelves
Cratejoy: The 21 Best Monthly Book Clubs For Kids in 2020
Primary: Using Our Words This Week: August 14, 2020
BookRiot: 31 of the Best Kid’s Book Subscriptions
Pretty Progressive: 6 Important Trans Books To Stop The Ignorance In Your Family
Hardy Girls Healthy Women: Hardy Gift Guide
Family Equality Council (Largest national LGBTQ family organization): Why Our Family is Thrilled About OurShelves, a New LGBTQ-Affirming Book Subscription Service
One Bad Mother: Episode 282: Diverse Books Advocate Alli Harper
Mombian (Leading LGBTQ+ Parenting Site): New Book Box Service Seeks to Serve and Show Need for Diverse, LGBTQ-Inclusive Children’s Books
Mothering: The Best Gifts for Kids of All Ages
Cratejoy: 15 Homeschool Subscription Boxes for Educational Activities
Cratejoy: 15 Best Baby Book Clubs Perfect for Storytime
Cratejoy: Parenting Hack: Fun Reading Activities to Turn Your Child Into a Bookworm
Cratejoy: Celebrate Cratejoy's 12 Days of Giving with Hot Sales!
Cathy Renna (She/Her/Hers), Media Consultant