Children’s Intersecting Identities Matter: Beyond Rabbits and Princesses in the Common Core Book Exemplars

  • Joyce Gomez-NajarroEmail author
Original Paper


In delivering instruction aligned with the Common Core State Standards, many teachers are utilizing the accompanying book exemplars. While prior studies have revealed the importance of selecting texts that represent diverse characters, few studies have examined the extent to which the book exemplars reflect this trend. In this paper, an intersectionality framework is used to identify what social identity markers are represented in a targeted sample of the book exemplars, and how those identity markers are portrayed. Findings reveal that diverse social groups—particularly intersections of multiple historically marginalized social groups—are underrepresented in the texts. Although female characters are present in three-quarters of the books, female characters predominantly assume supporting roles, and are oftentimes portrayed through stereotypes. These findings have implications for teachers, who may need to explore ways to supplement their curriculum with books that affirm and validate the diverse, multi-faceted social identities of the students in their classrooms.


Common core state standards Book exemplars Children’s literature Intersectionality Identity 



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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Literacy and Reading EducationCalifornia State University, FullertonFullertonUSA

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