It’s not too late to register for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to celebrate this year’s Boston Globe-Horn Book award recipients at the Mind the Gap event at Simmons College on October 10. In the meantime, brush up on the winning titles by reading the following booktalks and checking out the resources for teaching them.
Books and resources on the history of the Civil Rights movement, nonviolent resistance, the Rodney King legacy, the history of racial tensions between citizens and police, and more.
Amy Cheney, YA Underground columnist, dreams of ghostwriters for gangsters, hopes for more diverse reads for her kids in the margins, and bemoans a recent cover redesign that “could be the death knell for reluctant readers.”
Take a chance on freshening up your middle grade collection with Maria Lennon’s “Middle Child” series, and learn about Time to THRIVE, a unique and much needed conference focusing on service to LGBTQ youth.
Addressing the groundswell of support for more diverse children’s literature, Lee & Low publisher Jason Low spoke at the ALA Annual Conference about where the movement is now and what still needs to happen.
Increasing diversity isn’t simply the responsibility of publishers. While they should make a conscious investment in seeking diverse voices, parents have a major role in nurturing children’s desire to tell their own stories.
Today’s youth gravitate to YouTube, computers, and gadgets more than books. We need more diverse audio and visual material, so kids can listen and watch on their desktops and devices.
Diverse books shouldn’t be considered special interest or shelved in a separate area, yet they are by the majority of us. I challenge all parents, caretakers, and educators to take a hard look at themselves for internalized biases that may affect the way they look at children’s books.
I admit it. I’ve said in confidence to more than one struggling African-American author: “You could always write about slavery or civil rights.” They all looked at me the same way I probably looked at the guy who told me to retreat in time and reach for a tomahawk.
The $700 million spent by librarians annually is not just a drop in the bucket, and our collective spending power can be used to move the needle in the publishing landscape toward diverse authors, characters, and books. So what are we waiting for?
What does your neighborhood really need from you? Tips to help libraries get to know the communities that they serve, with a resource list of potential partners, literacy and early childhood organizations, and sources of demographic data.
To add diversity to your collection, or build one that considers your community’s demographics, consider these titles that you may have missed, including Coe Booth’s middle-grade debut and a memoir by an undocumented immigrant.
Cammie McGovern aims to fill a gap in young adult literature with Say What You Will—featuring complicated, fleshed out characters with disabilities who live, fall in love, and make mistakes just like anyone else. She talks with SLJ about her inspiration for the novel, diversity in YA lit, and what she’s working on next.
Authors address the topic of the day in this 12-minute clip from the “Diversity in Middle Grade Fiction” panel at School Library Journal’s Day of Dialog, held in New York on May 28, 2014.