“While some might see diverse books as limited, we have found the exact opposite is true when discovering each book’s marketing potential. We are open to trying different approaches, depending on what the book is about.” Jason Low, Publisher, Lee & Low Books NOTE: SLJ Conversations is a sponsored supplement to SLJ‘s Extra Helping newsletter. This interview was commissioned by Lee & Low.
From social media to publishing industry-led initiatives, the call for diversity in children’s and young adult literature has steadily grown into a loud roar in the past months. As part of School Library Journal’s SummerTeen virtual conference, the “Embracing Diversity” panel featuring Karen Arthurton, Jonathan Friesen, James Klise, and Amanda Sun, led to a lively and ongoing conversation about the importance of not only publishing books for kids by and about diverse people, but also getting them in the hands of readers. SLJ spoke to industry professionals who are raising awareness on the need for different perspectives in young adult books, and compiled a list of resources to find these titles.