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July 30, 2014

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East Harlem Bookstore Launches Book Drive to Aid Unaccompanied Child Immigrants

Donations to La Casa Azul's book drive for unaccompanied child immigrants. Photos courtesy of La Casa Azul Bookstore.

A bookseller, a professor, and members of the El Barrio community in Manhattan’s East Harlem neighborhood have launched a project to serve the needs of detained children from Mexico and Central America.

Middle Grade Fiction Giveaway; Conference With Service to LGBTQ Youth Focus | SLJTeen News

Confessions of a Middle child

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.

Diversity Movement Gains Visibility at ALA Annual | ALA 2014

Photo by Angie Manfredi, Los Almos Public Library.

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.

Sure #WeNeedDiverseBooks but don’t forget #WeNeedMoreWalterDeanMyerses

Sure #WeNeedDiverseBooks but don’t forget #WeNeedMoreWalterDeanMyerses

“We haven’t just lost a great author. We’ve lost a man that filled a very great need in our children’s literary landscape,” writes Betsy Bird.

Parents: Empower Kids to Tell Their Stories

Monica Olivera (thumbnail)

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.

We Need More Diverse Audio and Video Content

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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: Don’t Categorize as “Special Interest”

Ellen Oh (thumbnail)

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.

Write Outside Your Comfort Zone

Cheryl Leitich Smith (thumbnail)

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.

How to Build a Bestseller with Non-White Characters

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Creating a blockbuster with diverse characters requires years of commitment, collaboration, and buy-in from every segment of the publishing community.

Librarians Have Buying Power—Let’s Use It for Change

Sandra Hughes Hassell (thumbnail)

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?

Know Your Neighborhood: A Community Needs Assessment Primer

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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.

A Collection Built Around Its Community—Incarcerated Teens | YA Underground

Black Sheep

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.

The Illusion of “Normal” | SLJ Chats with Cammie McGovern About ‘Say What You Will’

Cammie McGovern

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.

#WeNeedDiverseBooks: Not a Trend, But Here to Stay | BEA 2014

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Over 300 people attended the #WeNeedDiverseBooks panel on May 31 held at New York City’s Jacob Javits Center as part of BookExpo America’s consumer-focused BookCon event; the session was added late to the program after the grassroot campaign’s hashtag went viral following its launch, eliciting more than 162 million tweets since May 1.

First Book Pledges to Buy Diverse Books | BEA 2014

FirstBookfeature

On May 13, First Book, a nonprofit committed to providing books to children in need, called for U.S. publishers to publish diverse picture books and then pledged to buy 10,000 copies of each title selected by First Book. The nonprofit will also fund affordable paperback editions of diverse titles that are only publicly available in expensive hardcover formats.

Video: “Do You Write About Race?” | SLJ Day of Dialog 2014

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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.

How Diverse are Comics and Graphic Novels?

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Diverse characters are on the rise in comics and graphic novels. But superhero comics remain predominantly white and male.

Bridging the Age Divide: Intergenerational Relationships | Focus On

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These are books that bring together elders and youngsters, relatives and friends, as they explore the various roles of caregivers, mentors, and companions. The intergenerational relationships that are depicted can be richly rewarding, poignant, and sometimes wildly funny.

This article was published in School Library Journal's May 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

“In the Margins” 2014 Nominees Announced

Caged Warrior

In the Margins (ITM), under the umbrella of Library Services for Youth in Custody, has announced the nominated titles for their 2014 book list. A couple may be familiar, but there are definitely some that will be new to you.

Seeking an LGBTQ Middle-Grade Blockbuster

No castles here cover

Kids are coming out younger, reflecting their courage and desire to live authentic lives. Will the first major queer character for middle-graders emerge through a big publishing house—or find a voice through the chaotic fan fiction of the Internet?