My head has been spinning with all of the discussions and activism around diversity in children’s and YA lit lately. It has been a wild ride since February actually. The CCBC-Net discussion in February was centered around Multicultural Literature. I loved that Sarah Hamburg asked us what activism would look like to each of us. It made me stop and think about the many possible ways that an individual could work toward change. I responded and many others did also. Ultimately, Sarah gathered the results and they were posted on many blogs such as Crazy QuiltEdi. During that discussion, School Library Journal announced that they would be devoting an entire issue to Diversity in May. I was able to write an article from the Teacher Librarian perspective. In case you missed it, the issue is still available online and has many excellent articles.
Next up was the announcement of a BookCon panel of all stars from the kid lit world which they planned with all white men. Kelly Jensen explained it well here. The result of that particularly glaring example of ignoring diversity inspired the #WeNeedDiverseBooks Campaign. Amazing things have been happening ever since and I am excited about the potential for change.
One of the best ways to support diverse lit is to buy it, read it, and let other people know about the amazing books you find. Here are some of the books I plan to read and talk about this summer. Do you have some books on your summer reading list? Have you read any amazing books already this summer? We’d love to hear about any that have caught your attention.
7 Replies to “Diverse Lit Conversations & Summer Reads”
I really liked Pig Park, and Benny Alvarez is coming out soon. I also read one called Shelter yesterday that was about a family where the father was abusive. The family was Puerto Rican, and it was interesting that the boy in the cover had a strong resemblance to one of my students who is of Puerto Rican descent. Lots of good titles out now thanks to all of the “hashtag activism”!
I have Pig Park on my longer To Be Read list too. Thanks for the other titles!
I have Otherbound on my list, along with Varian Johnson’s The Great Greene Heist and Estela Bernal’s Can You See Me Now? which is published by Arte Publico/Piñata Books. In fact, I was in a workshop with Estela in 2010 when she first started the novel, so I’m especially thrilled to see that everyone else will get a chance to read it too.
I really enjoyed The Great Greene Heist. It’s a lot of fun. Thanks for the reminder about Can You See Me Now? I will add it to our Goodreads list.
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Great list! I’m always looking for more good reads. I assembled my own list of summer diverse lit:
and have read #2, currently reading #3 Cristina Henriquez “Book of the Unknown Americans.”
I’m anxiously awaiting “China Dolls,” Lisa See, to be available at the library.
What a great list. Thanks for sharing! I just picked up China Dolls on audio yesterday. I will be on a road trip soon and am looking forward to hearing it.
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