November 19, 2017

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Parents: Empower Kids to Tell Their Stories

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

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”

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

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

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

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

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

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.

SLJ and BookExpo America | BEA 2014

SLJ attends this year’s BookExpo America (May 28-30) at the Javits Convention Center in New York City and took the opportunity to catch up with award-winning authors, like A Plague of Unicorns (Zonderkids, 2014) Jane Yolen, and even famous actors like “How I Met Your Mother’s” Jason Segel whose children’s book Nightmares!M/em> comes out in September through Delacorte.

First Book Pledges to Buy Diverse Books | BEA 2014

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.