Don’t forget to Diversify Your Reading!

It is approximately two weeks until the Sept. 1 Oct. 1 deadline to enter the fabulous Diversify Your Reading Challenge, where one lucky library and one lucky reader will each win all 53 of these awesome diverse middle-grade and young adult novels!

The challenge rules and entry forms for both librarians and regular readers are on this page here.

We’ve gotten some questions about the contest particulars, so today we’re posting this FAQ with some answers for you. You can also peruse the comments in our original blog post announcing the challenge for other Q’s and A’s, or leave additional questions in the comments on this post.

Diversify Your Reading Challenge Frequently Asked Questions:

1. What do you mean by “diverse”?

By “diversity” 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.

2. What does LGBT mean?

Lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

3. What does “person of color” mean?

A person of color is someone who is not white. You can check out this Wikipedia page for a useful analysis of the term. It does not mean all different ethnicities, because many ethnic groups are white.

4. Why isn’t disability or religion included in your definition of “diverse”?

When we (as in, Malinda Lo and Cindy Pon) 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, and you’re welcome to write about disability in your essay. But please also write about people of color and/or LGBT people.

5. Do you want us to focus on our experience as we read the books or on the books themselves?

We’d like you to write about how the books affected you as a reader. Did they challenge your assumptions? Did they force you to read outside your comfort zone? Or, did they make you feel seen or heard? Did you identify strongly with the characters’ experiences? If you’re a writer as well, what did reading these books show you about how authors can write about diversity?

So, in writing this essay, of course you’ll need to mention aspects of the books you’ve read, but we’re not looking for straightforward book reviews.

6. Is there a list of specific books we should read?

No, you can read any diverse books you want! If you need help finding books to read, you can check out our monthly lists of new books, and these book lists at Black Teens Read.

7. When is the deadline?

September 1, 2011. October 1, 2011.

8. When will the winners be announced?

After Sept. 1! Oct. 1!:)

Go here to enter the Diversify Your Reading Challenge! And if you have additional questions, please leave them below in the comments.

3 thoughts on “Don’t forget to Diversify Your Reading!

  1. Yes, the winner will be announced on the blog as well as emailed personally, but we have decided to extend the deadline until Oct. 1 to give school librarians a chance to enter as well.

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