About SHIFT Book Box:
“Books are sometimes windows, offering views of worlds that may be real or imagined, familiar or strange.
These windows are also sliding glass doors, and readers have only to walk through in imagination
to become part of whatever world has been created and recreated by the author.
When lighting conditions are just right, however, a window can also be a mirror. Literature transforms human experience and reflects
it back to us, and in that reflection we can see our own lives and experiences as part of the larger human experience.”
~ Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop
It is the mission of SHIFT Book Box to center the works of creators who are deeply under-represented in the publishing industry and to get those works into the hands of more readers. We amplify stories that reveal the lived experiences of people who face oppression and enact resistance, stories that celebrate and honor the myriad of ways of being in this world. In doing so we aim to engage readers in big, important ideas and to remind the overwhelmingly white publishing industry that there is a high demand for these books.
We know that messaging in media-- including picture books!-- influences the ideas that children form about the world. What would our society look like if we all grew up with a library of books filled with incidental representation, books that imagine and reflect an inclusive, just world? What if intersectional, anti-racist, anti-ableist principles became truly commonplace? What if same-sex parents were more often presented as everyday characters rather than found only books from the “issues” section of bookstores? What if members of traditionally marginalized communities were regularly portrayed as actors in their own adventures and not as victims or tokens? What if more of these stories were TOLD by members of the communities represented in their pages? What a beautiful library that would be. It is the library we help you build.
There is no other picture book subscription service doing exactly what we do-- not only do we send you stories created by and celebrating members of underrepresented communities, but we also choose books designed to explore a specific social justice theme with each box. Along with the books we provide educator-crafted discussion guides to support you in exploring these social justice themes with the young readers in your care.
We continue to seek more ways to co-conspire with organizations, organizers, and creators committed to work for the subversion and destruction of white supremacist, heteronormative, patriarchal systems of oppression. We are working on it one conversation, one partnership, one reader at a time.
Meet Co-Founder and Operator Rebecca Hachmyer- she/hers
I am a parent, a reader, a political podcast-lover, and an educator who has worked with students ranging from preschoolers through university post-grads.
I hold a BA in History from the University of California, Davis, a multiple subject teaching credential from UC Davis, and a masters in Children’s Literature from the Center for the Study of Children’s Literature in Simmons College.
I have reviewed children’s books for the Horn Book and the Horn Book Guide since 2007.
I have served on the committee for UC Davis School of Education's Words Take Wing: Honoring Diversity in Children’s Literature since 2011.
I am a co-host on Seth Thomas Day's Rad Child Podcast.
I am a doctoral candidate in UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Education.
I am the new Director of Child Development for the Old Adobe Union School District in Petaluma, CA.
It is important to state here that I am also a white women. A work-in-progress mobilized to be a co-conspirator-- to listen and learn, to forward intersectional thinking, to interrogate white, cis, ableist, hetero privilege, to grow as an anti-racist, and to promote anti-racism and anti-isms. When my Co-Founder and I launched SHIFT Book Box in 2018, we committed to do what we could to leverage the privileges and expertise we possess, to do our homework, and to "come get our people." With SHIFT Book Box I feel as though I have found my purpose-- a project that lives at the intersection of education, parenting, social justice, and books for kids.
This year SHIFT Book Box's Co-founder, Chrystal Sunshine, pivoted away from our company in order to pursue other projects.
We are so excited to follow her next adventures!
For now, SHIFT is a one-woman operation. But not for long: Please stay tuned for the roll-out of our forthcoming Editorial Board!
Throughout any and all changes to come, SHIFT Book Box will continue to push back against inequity
and will push toward justice and greater representation one box at a time.
I promise that if and when we screw up I will own it and work hard to do better.