Daily Archives: April 30, 2014

Diversity Links – April 2014

We link to a lot of things over on Tumblr, but in case you missed them, here they are rounded up for you all in one place:


Over the last couple of months there’s been a groundswell of public support for and concern about diversity in children’s and young adult books, and in reaction to that a campaign has just launched to bring even more awareness to the issue: the We Need Diverse Books Campaign. Taking place over three days, May 1-3, #weneeddiversebooks was organized by a group of authors and bloggers  and we are excited to take part in it! Follow We Need Diverse Books on Tumblr and check out the #weneeddiversebooks hashtag on Twitter. Take action!

Diversity News

Congratulations to the winners of the 2014 Américas Awards for Children’s & Young Adult Literature!

Congratulations to Sara Farizan for winning the Publishing Triangle’s Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction and the Ferro-Grumley Award for LGBT Fiction for her debut novel, If You Could Be Mine, published by Algonquin Young Readers!

Book Expo America’s BookCon, which is meant for the reading public, not only announced an all white male lineup for their “Blockbuster Reads: Meet the Kids Authors That Dazzle” panel, it also announced an all white lineup of authors — except for Grumpy Cat. Rebecca Jones Schinsky of Book Riot says that Readers Deserve Better Than BookCon, and we agree. After a loud public outcry over social Media, Book Con asked bestselling middle grade author Rachel Renee Russell (The Dork Diaries), who is also African American, to join their initially all-white-male panel of children’s literature authors:

Advocating for Diversity

Ashley Strickland takes a look at diversity and the lack of it in YA literature (CNN), including interviews with DiYA’s own Cindy Pon and Malinda Lo.

Kelly Jensen argues that We Need Bigger Megaphones for Diversity in Kid Lit (Book Riot).

Author Ellen Oh says We Are Still Not Doing Enough for Diversity in Kid lit.

Author Lamar Giles says Don’t BS the Change when it comes to diversity in YA.

Entertainment Weekly issues a report on Kid Lit’s Primary Color: White.

Reading Diversity

Author Mitali Perkins offers 10 tips on seeing race, culture, and power while reading.

Rich in Color highlights Cinco Puntos, “an independent publisher whose mission is to publish ‘great books which make a difference in the way you see the world.’”

Rich in Color offers a list of diverse novels in verse in honor of National Poetry Month.

Mike Jung, a Korean American author of middle grade fiction, writes about his complex reactions to the diversity discussion and reading Eleanor & Park.

Preeti Chhibber takes a look at the issue of authenticity in literature about people of color.

Writing Diversity

Author Zoraida Córdova breaks down What We Talk About When We Talk About Diversity in YA (Latin@s in Kid Lit).

Author Brandy Colbert on writing her novel Pointe, which is “the third book I’ve written about a teenage black girl, but it’s the first in which her race was not the focal point or even a subplot of the story” (Stacked).

Author Joseph Bruchac shares a wonderful essay about Native American identity, stereotypes, and language (Cynsations).

Diversity in the Publishing Industry

Sarah McCarry, aka The Rejectionist, on How to Publish Writers of Color: Some Basic Steps for White Folks In the Industry.

Author Daniel José Older says that “The publishing industry looks a lot like these best-selling teenage dystopias: white and full of people destroying each other to survive” in Diversity Is Not Enough: Race, Power, Publishing.

Simon & Schuster Executive Editor Zareen Jaffery does a multi-part interview at Story and Chai on diversity in children’s literature and the publishing industry.

Daniel Ehrenhaft, editorial director of Soho Teen, blogs about the difficulties of selling foreign rights to YA books about characters of color or LGBT characters at the Bologna Book Fair (CBC Diversity).

Editor Yolanda Scott says that “that despite my best intentions, my predominantly white upbringing, educational background, and chosen profession have not adequately prepared me to be as racially and culturally sensitive as I would like” (CBC Diversity).

Ruth Tobar, Chair of the 2014 Pura Belpré Award Committee, says that while there are excellent books being published about the Latino experience, there are not enough of them (CBC Diversity).

Author Lamar Giles (Fake ID) shares his experiences with diversity and the publishing industry.

Last but not least…

Here are five things you can do to support diversity right now.