At Orlando REP, one of our favorite spots in our theatre is in our Education offices. It’s a small space, but what it lacks in size it makes up in imagination. Each square foot is full of characters, worlds, images, challenges, triumphs, sadness, and joy. What is this special place? It’s our library! Whether we’re working in schools, in our park outside with babies and caregivers, or engaging audiences before a play, we love using books and getting lost in beautiful stories. 

What makes a book a great drama book? Ask yourself, does it engage your mind, body, imagination, or voice? Does it invite you into an environment or take you on a journey? Is there a problem you can solve or even a character you can help? These are the books that invite us in and are so fun to explore.

Our books that we read with and for young people are also important tools to support representation and culturally responsive teaching. Books help our diverse participants see themselves reflected on the pages. When looking at your own library, are you seeing predominately white characters or narratives? Join us as we continue to diversify our library and celebrate the narratives and authors who are Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC). Check out a few of our favorites that we’re using in programs right now.

Max Found Two Sticks by Brian Pinkney

Explore the different elements of a city environment, along with all its surrounding rich sounds. Join Max, a young boy inspired to create new beats and rhythm with his two found sticks! 

Harlem Grown: How One Big Idea Transformed a Neighborhoodby Tony Hillery

Tony Hillery volunteered at a school in Harlem, New York, and soon found an empty lot nearby which he turned into a garden for the community. Based on true events, this story teaches the importance of cultivating, collaboration, and community!

Saturday by Oge Mora

Ava and her mother always plan fun activities on Saturdays, but on this particular Saturday, things don’t turn out quite as expected. Learn about the importance of staying positive and making the best of a situation, even when it doesn’t turn out as planned. 


Please, Puppy, Please by Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee

Taking care of a puppy isn’t easy! Join two fun-filled friends on their journey as they navigate how to be responsible with their pet puppy – and not let him get into any trouble! 


What are some of YOUR favorite BIPOC narratives or authors? What should we add to our library?

Email us at [email protected].

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