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Full Circle Publishing is equally concerned with both process and product. The core idea is simple: to create a collection of culturally authentic, high interest picture books that enhance language and literacy skills in young readers by privileging the work of authors and visual artists from historically underrepresented communities. Then, armed with these #OwnVoices mentor texts, creators engage and inspire young readers, catalyzing the next generation of storytellers, beginning the process anew.


Inspire the reader to become a storyteller.

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To construct a truly American imagination, children’s book creators must accept the responsibility of planting seeds of diversity and equity. Of empathy and unity. Book publishers must provide the vast fields of hope for us to do our work. And librarians and teachers must continue to water them, nurture them, grow them.
— Kwame Alexander

Full Circle Publishing, LLC seeks to privilege the unique storytelling traditions of Minnesota’s immigrant, refugee and indigenous populations by publishing culturally authentic, #OwnVoices picture books.

As a growing body of research suggests, young readers naturally gravitate toward concepts, words and pictures that reflect their daily lives. They are understandably drawn to what professor emeritus at the University of Southern California and bilingual education expert Stephen D. Krashen calls “comprehensible input”—culturally relevant books in which they see themselves.

“When we don’t understand a language, we don’t acquire it,” Krashen explains. “Incomprehensible input becomes undifferentiated noise, signifying nothing. It fails to register in the brain…. What matters is the quality—not the quantity….”

It’s a well documented fact that high illiteracy rates correlate directly with high poverty rates. Conversely, literacy is a skill universally linked with poverty reduction, economic development, wealth creation and even better health outcomes. At the same time, a growing body of research suggests that kids who connect with books on personal level—those who see themselves in books—read more frequently and more deeply. In short, increased access to books is only part of the solution.

It is vitally important to provide culturally relevant, high interest books that speak to young readers’ lived experiences and reflect their daily environments. Unsurprisingly, texts that readers connect with on a deep, personal level substantially expedite language acquisition and literacy development. Regrettably, many individuals and groups with the lowest literacy rates are not well served by traditional, mainstream publishing models.

The Full Circle model is different. Aside from giving creators a more significant financial stake, we don’t simply buy or license a manuscript, assign an illustrator and dive into production. In fact, as the name suggests, the Full Circle model is equally invested in both process and product. We work closely with creators to help realize their unique, uncompromising vision.

Once published, the books themselves serve as tangible teaching tools, or #OwnVoices mentor texts, inspiring young readers to see themselves as storytellers too, beginning the process anew.