This book couldn’t be even more timely. While I haven’t read the book, based on the summary, this would be a good book to put in the hands of students of all colors to help them make sense of all the horrible tragedies taking place in the past few weeks.
How It Went Down by Kekla Magoon
Diverse Lit is Out There
Last month, René Saldaña, Jr. wrote a guest post over at Latin@s in Kid Lit that sparked some excellent conversation around the availability and purchasing of diverse lit. If you missed it, the title does give a pretty good hint at the topic – “Forgive Me My Bluntness: I’m a Writer of Color and I’m Right Here In Front of You: I’m the One Sitting Alone at the Table.” He made some pretty clear statements and this stuck with me, “The books are there. All you have to do is look for them.” This wasn’t something entirely new either. Back in January of 2013, Shelley Diaz wrote “Librarians Sound Off: Not a Lack of Latino Lit for Kids, But a Lack of Awareness.”
I am all for the creation of a larger number of diverse books given the statistics that CCBC provides, but I would agree that librarians, teachers, readers, and others who make book purchases, may not be finding the diverse books that already exist.
Where to Find It
To help fulfill our mission to promote diverse young adult lit, we have a release calendar up in the menu bar along with our resource page and review archive. In addition, we post many book lists. Beyond the resources here at Rich in Color, there have also been some posts and lists published around the Internet in the past year that you can access for more titles:
Where Can I Find Great Diverse Children’s Books? (Lee & Low)
Embracing Diversity in YA Lit (Shelley Diaz – scroll down for the resources)
Resources Generated by CCBC-Net Discussion (Edi Campbell)
We Need Diverse Books Campaign – full of reading suggestions and resources
Reading Challenges – these challenges supply suggested titles and participants may provide reviews of the books they read
If we want a greater volume of diverse books in the market going forward, we need to buy and promote the ones that are already here. Many people are talking about the need for diverse literature. Talking about it is a step forward, but to make real change happen, we need to act.
As Día de los Muertos has grown in popularity in the United States, so have the misconceptions surrounding it.
In researching the most common falsities associated with Muertos, we were a bit overwhelmed. There were too many! We’re going to try to clarify a few, and hopefully provide some…
A dialogue between publisher and bookseller
New indie booksellers want more diversity. That’s what we like to hear.
I’ve spent the last TEN YEARS relying on my good pal, David, to do all the mysterious websitey things I’ve needed, but now he has an ACTUAL baby and I figured I should learn to walk relatively on my own. Especially since part of my site was hacked a week ago. I used the opportunity to throw myself into Squarespace and made a whole new site last week, almost entirely by my selfums. I’m pretty proud!
Just, uh, don’t look at it on your mobile platform yet. Ahem. Still working on that part.
September 15 - October 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month.
Here’s a round-up of YA books written by or featuring Hispanic characters to not only get you reading this month, but to continue your diverse reading.
I reblogged this earlier, but despite a list of some fantastic looking books, there is still such a huge lack of SFF on this list. And what few books were on this list that could be considered SFF, most are on the list because the author is Latin@, not because the characters are.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s important to see Latin@ authors, but it’s also important to see Latin@ characters.
Young Latin@s need to see reflections of themselves in books where the hero is surviving the dystopian future, picking sides in a battle between vampires and werewolves, battling cyborgs in space or riding dragons in a fantasy world.
If you can name some titles that would feature Latino/a characters in SFF, I’d love to add them. I spent a long time scouring for titles and can’t say I saw much.
I’ve decided to devote a monthly post to highlight author and books that truly exemplify the diversity we wish to see reflected in our literature at large. By diversity, I mean books that bring a rich, nuanced understanding of a particular viewpoint or experience to their readers; a viewpoint traditionally ignored or made invisible by the mainstream media. What this means is that while I love Cho Chang as much as the next Harry Potter fan, her presence does not qualify the series as being an example of diversity. Rather, the books I’m interested in promoting are those that move beyond mere representation (or worse, tokenism) to portraits of diverse individuals that are authentic, unique, and relatable.
That said, I can think of no better author to kick-off this series than Sara Farizan, author of If You Could Be Mine (2014 ALA Rainbow List Top 10 Title) and the upcoming Tell Me How A Crush Should Feel (out October 7th).
Gracefully Grayson, coming this November, is one of the first middle-grade novels ever published about a transgender girl.
By Ami Polonsky
I never set out to write a novel about a transgender girl. In fact, when Grayson’s character first came to me, I thought she was a boy—she looked…
On the surface, Kwame Alexander’s verse novel The Crossover looks simple. It’s about a boy and his brother who play basketball. But it’s a much deeper, more complex novel about the challenges that exceptionally “average” characters can have.
The Crossover makes exceptionally smart use of the verse format, without once feeling overdone or leaving the reader with the feeling a lot was lost because of the style. Alexander plays with the format visually in tense action scenes, and Josh’s voice comes through. He loves rap and he plays around with rap himself, so the poetry and the beat of this story are authentic, natural, and memorable. This is the kind of story you’d read out loud because it lends itself to that. The speed and intensity of the game pair with the rhythm of the text.