Diversity Links – July 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:

Diversity News

In late June, the Cape Henlopen School Board in Cape Henlopen, Delaware, voted to remove The Miseducation of Cameron Post by emily m. danforth from its summer reading list for incoming freshman, citing parental concerns about explicit language. Catch up on the whole story here. Unfortunately, despite much public discussion about censorship and literature, last week the school board voted to remove the entire summer reading list, not just Cameron Post. This is not only a sad end to a wonderful and diverse reading list, but the board’s decision, as former librarian Kelly Jensen noted, “undermine[s] the knowledge and experience of the educators employed by this school to do right by those kids.”

Yes, that is super depressing, which is why we need to take steps to change the way people think about books that depict kids who are different from them. If you’re part of the kid lit blogging community, you can join in by going to the 8th Annual KidLitCon, this Oct. 10–11 in Sacramento, CA. Their theme this year is “Blogging Diversity in Young Adult and Children’s Lit: What’s Next?” And you can submit proposals right now!

Reading Diversity

Latin@s in Kid Lit dedicated all of July to Latin@s in science fiction and fantasy! SFF lovers, go visit them to check out interviews with Guadalupe Garcia McCall, Sara Fine, and Steven dos Santos; guest posts by Stephanie Diaz and Zoraida Córdova; and book reviews too.

Sometimes people read a book and have no idea that a character is not white. (Remember Rue?) Author Justina Ireland has gotten enough questions about the race of the main character in her novel, Promise of Shadows, that she was moved to clarify the fact that her main character is black.

Looking for some great books about disabled characters to read? Check out this list of the Top Ten Schneider Award Favorites of the 2014 Schneider Award Jury.

Latinas for Latino Lit offers up 10 Latino Books for Teens.

Seeing Diversity

To celebrate the publication of The Shadow Hero, Gene Luen Yang and Sonny Liew’s reimagining of the Green Turtle, the first Asian American superhero, 27 artists have illustrated the superhero in various ways. Check out the master list of artists here. and view many of the Green Turtle pinups at Sonny Liew’s blog. Here’s a fantastic Green Turtle pinup by Dan Santat:

The Green Turtle by Dan Santat

Writing Diversity

Author Corinne Duyvis talks about diversity, getting published, and why her YA fantasy isn’t an “issue book” (xoJane).

Disability in Kid Lit celebrated their one-year anniversary this past month with a slew of interviews (Shannon Hale! Hilary T. Smith! April Henry! Shaunta Grimes! Jennifer Castle! Rachel M. Wilson!), discussion posts (useful both for readers and writers), guest posts (Cece Bell on El Deafo), and more. What are you waiting for? Disability in Kid Lit, folks.

Diversity in Publishing

Scholastic editor Cheryl Klein has some advice on how to build a bestseller with non-white characters (School Library Journal).

Author Shannon LC Cate talks to Gay YA about race and gender histories, the importance of small-press or self publishing, and her debut novel, Jack, about a biracial orphan girl who lived as a man in the 1870s.

Last but not least…

We were saddened last month to hear that children’s and YA author Walter Dean Myers had passed away. A towering figure in the kid lit community and a champion of diversity for his whole career, he will be sorely missed. Read the New York Times obituary here, and read these tributes at The Brown Bookshelf.