Diversify Your Reading!

Now that the Diversity Tour is over, Diversity in YA is moving on to our next big DiYA endeavor: the Diversify Your Summer Reading Challenge!

This summer, we’re challenging readers to read books that feature a diverse world, to read beyond their comfort zones, and to just plain dive into some wonderful stories. Our challenge will have two components: one for libraries, one for readers and book bloggers. At the end of the summer we’ll be giving away some wonderful book prizes donated by publishers.

Here are the details:

Libraries: We invite librarians to incorporate diverse middle grade and young adult novels into your summer reading programs, whether it’s as a book display, a book club event, or a book list you’ve created to share with your patrons. Please take photos or shoot video of your display or event and share them with us!

Readers and Book Bloggers: We invite readers and book bloggers to read diverse MG and YA books throughout the summer (you choose the books!) and write an essay (at least 500 words) about your experience. You can post it on your website, Blogger, LiveJournal, Tumblr, or on Facebook; we only ask that your post be publicly readable.

What to read: You can read whichever diverse books you like! By diverse we mean: (1) main characters or major secondary characters (e.g., a love interest or best friend kind of character) who are of color or are LGBT; or (2) written by a person of color or LGBT author. If you need some suggestions, check out our monthly lists of new books, and these book lists at Black Teens Read.

Judging: Cindy Pon and Malinda Lo will select one grand prize winner in each category, and that winner will receive a giant collection of fabulous MG and YA books. In addition, our favorite blog posts may be posted on www.diversityinya.com later this year.

Prizes: Many major publishers have generously donated books to serve as prizes for our challenge. You can check out the preliminary list of prizes here, and we will update the page as more donations come in.

Fine Print: This challenge is open to US libraries only, and prizes can only be sent to a US mailing address.

How to enter: Go to this page and fill out the form when you are ready.

Deadline: The deadline for all entries is September 1, 2011.

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But wait, there’s more! A kick-off giveaway!

To start this challenge off and help get the word out, we’re offering a great giveaway of ARCs to those who blog about this challenge and link back to our challenge page. Here are all the ARCs you could win:

You do not have to participate in the actual reading challenge to win this kick-off giveaway! All you have to do is blog about the Diversify Your Reading Challenge and link back to this page. The deadline to enter is July 31, 2011, and this giveaway is open to US mailing addresses only.

To enter the Diversify Your Reading Challenge Kick-off Giveaway, fill out this form:

Updated 8/16/11: The Kickoff Challenge is over! Congratulations to the winner, Dorine White, and thanks to everyone who helped to spread the word about the Diversify Your Reading Challenge. You still have until Sept. 1 to enter that!

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A note to publishers and authors: if you’d like to donate novels that fit our reading challenge criteria, please email us directly (diversityinya at gmail dot com).

Any questions? We’re so excited to dive into some great books this summer!

58 thoughts on “Diversify Your Reading!

  1. Ohhh, I’m posting a review of Huntress next week so that would be the perfect time to link back to this! Also question, for the end of the summery essay, I’m currently reading Anything But Typical by Nora Raleigh Baskin about a boy with austism, would that count even if he’s straight and (I believe, the character actually is vague about it) white? At this rate I’ll have multiple books to talk about but I was curious if that would kinda count as diversity as well.

  2. Of course this is right up our alley at Finding Wonderland! I’ll include a link in my post tomorrow. Not sure yet if I’ll be able to participate, but I wouldn’t mind donating a copy of THE LATTE REBELLION if you like…(If so, e-mail me!)

  3. In the definition of diversity above, we did not include disability. That’s because when Cindy and I launched this site, we knew that we personally did not have enough knowledge or time to make sure we included every possible type of diversity in the books we’d be featuring. Disability has certainly been a topic of discussion at our tour stops. I think if you read a book about a character with a disability, you’re welcome to include that book in your blog post, but be sure to read about people of color and/or LGBT people, too. Hope that answers your question.

  4. I saw this link on a retweet and retweeted it myself. What a cool venture. I made notes of the entries and deadlines too. Thank you for the generous deadlines, by the way. This is exciting!

  5. This challenge fits perfectly with my personal summer reading challenge. LGBT books like I Am J and books with diverse characters like Tyrell are on my list. I’m trying to include more of these books in my classroom library. Do I need to sign up now, or do I come back later after I’ve written my blog post about what I’ve read?

    This is a fantastic idea! :D

  6. You don’t have to do anything until you’ve written your blog post. Then come back and fill out the form on the Reading Challenge page. Deadline is Sept. 1 so you have all summer!

  7. Thank you all so much, what a great idea!

    Is there any way you can provide an official blog button as a way to advertise the challenge? I will blog about it, but that post will fall off the main page within a week. I’d like to have something visible throughout the summer, if possible (in the meantime I’ll link it in my sidebar). I’ll also spread the word on Twitter and put up a post about it in the Absolute Write YA forum.

  8. I’m so excited for this! I haven’t officially entered yet, but I just wanted to let you know of a website you’d probably be interested in, since the authors who started it have similar interests to yours. The Pirate Tree (http://www.thepiratetree.com/) deals with social justice issues in teen literature, but you’ll definitely find some overlap.

  9. You’re welcome to use the banner at the top of this post that says Diversify Your Reading Challenge! Or, if you’re handy with Photoshop, feel free to create your own and let us know about it. :)

  10. there are no official lists.
    the books simply have to qualify
    by how the above post explains it.
    good luck and have fun!

  11. Ok, so I thought Diversify Your Reading would be fun, immediately got into the swing of things and registered my blog. Only problem – the instructions that said to post about the challenge first. I have already posted about two books for this challenge. So I plan on write about the challenge next post. My question – will my previous posts counts. They were such good books and I have more lined up.

  12. I think you may have misunderstood the instructions? There’s no need to register your blog — you may have simply filled out the entry form a bit early. Basically, for bloggers/readers, this is an essay contest. When you’ve written the essay you want to submit as your entry, then you fill out the entry form and give us the link to the essay you wrote about your experience of reading diverse books. Each person gets one entry only, so you should choose the post you think is the best one and submit that one as your entry. If you’ve mistakenly entered more than once, email us at diversityinya at gmail.com and tell us which essay you wish to submit as your entry and we’ll delete the other ones.

    The kick-off giveaway is different than the challenge itself. The kickoff giveaway, which has the entry form on this page, is to encourage folks to spread the word about the challenge. You don’t have to read any books to enter the kickoff giveaway.

    Hope that helps?

  13. Excellent idea. There isn’t enough diversity in YA. I recently read White Cat by Holly Black. After some pages in, I realized the MC was supposed to be much darker than he was depicted on the cover. Why did the publisher do that?

  14. We’d like you to write about how reading those books affected you, as a reader. So I’m sure you’ll mention aspects of the books, but we’re not looking for a straight-up review.

  15. The winner of the kickoff challenge will be announced next week! (Aug. 15) Sorry for the delay! The winners of the diversify your reading challenge will be announced in September after that contest closes.

  16. The winners won’t be announced until October because we’ve decided to extend the deadline to Oct. 1 to enable school librarians to participate, too!

  17. If you’ve already entered, you can’t change your entry. Sorry! Hope you understand. Please don’t enter twice, because that will just confuse us.

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