“Kids do have a different kind of connection when they see a character that looks like them or they experience a plot or a theme that relates to something they’ve experienced in their lives,” said Jane Fleming, an assistant professor at the Erikson Institute, a graduate school in early childhood development in Chicago.
Check out this article from the NY Times about the importance of children (specifically Latino children mentioned in the article) being accurately represented in the books they read.
Then check out this NY Times list of books featuring non-white protagonists. Which ones have you read? Any others you would recommend?