Within the last few weeks, the New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, and CNN have all published articles examining the lack of diversity in children’s and young adult literature — and next month, School Library Journal plans to publish an entire issue devoted to diversity. While all this mainstream interest in diversity is to be applauded for bringing more people into the ongoing conversation about diversity, they still largely fail to tackle the problem of how we can change the status quo.
We at Diversity in YA obviously don’t have all the answers, and we aren’t the first people to talk about these issues. This conversation has been going on for decades. What we do have are ideas for how you can change the status quo right now. If you’re an ordinary reader, you don’t have to wait to show your support for books that show the world as it is. Here are five ways you can help make positive change right now:
1. Look for diversity.
Make a conscious effort to seek out books to read that feature characters of color, LGBT characters, and/or disabled characters. They may not be front-and-center at your local Barnes & Noble; you may have to look around a bit or go online to find them.
2. Support diversity.
Support the diverse books that are published today by buying them, by checking them out at your library, or by requesting that your library buy them.
3. Recommend diversity.
If you use Goodreads, Facebook, social media, or have a blog, talk up the books you love that happen to have diverse characters. Tell your friends! Word of mouth is still key in bringing awareness to books. And remember: You don’t need to recommend them solely for their diversity — they’re great books to enjoy, plain and simple.
4. Talk up diversity.
When discussions around diversity in literature occur online, join in the conversation if you can to express that you do want more diverse books to read and that the issue is important to you.
5. Don’t give up.
There will always be people who dismiss “diversity” as meaningless. They are the reason we must keep fighting for representation. We’re all in this together.
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Want a list of diverse YA books you can get started reading right now? Here are a dozen YA books of all kinds (contemporary, fantasy, sci-fi, mystery — something for everyone!) that happen to have characters of color, LGBT characters, and/or disabled characters.
Want even more book lists? Here’s a link to all of our book lists.
It’s 42 days and 22 hours until The Beast of Callaire comes out!
Or at least it is according to my little countdown widget.
As the pictures say: if you pre-order THE BEAST OF CALLAIRE, you get swag. Find out how in this post!
If you’d be so kind as to reblog this post, I’d adore you.
To sign up for a free paperback of The Wandering by Saruuh Kelsey (book two in the Lux Guardians series) just fill in the form below. The book is released in September and will not be shipped before then. Donate any amount of money via Paypal for free book swag with your paperback.
Sorry for the constant confusion, this series has a mind of its own. The next book in the Lux Guardians series will be called The Wandering, and will be released later this year. The Revelation, book three, will be released 2015.
Fabulous post from Shannon Hale on the “relatability” of characters who deviate from cultural “norms.” via jensbookpage
Nolan thinks you should pre-order The Beast of Callaire!
As an extra incentive to not disobey him and risk The Wrath of Cat, you get book swag. Not to mention a novel with all this in it
The Beast of Callaire is a YA fantasy out May 20th.
Book Haul #8
- Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
- Witch Finder by Ruth Warburton
- The Forgotten by Saruuh Kelsey (Review Copy)
I haven’t bought many books lately.
It occurred to me, after reading this excellent post on women in fiction and the Bechdel Test, that perhaps you could construct one to address issues of POC and race. The analog seemed obvious, so I just wrote it out.
1. It has to have two POC in it.
2. Who talk to each other.
3. About something other than a white person.
Now, you see the obvious issue there, right? Yeah, it has to do with number one. Even in stories that feature prominent POC characters, it is so rare to find more than one present, let alone who know each other well enough to talk to each other…"