Tag Archives: Diversify Your Reading Challenge

Reading Challenge Winners & San Diego!

Thank you to everyone who entered the Diversify Your Reading Challenge. It was a pleasure to read your entries and see how reading has directly affected so many of you in such positive ways.

After careful consideration, we are excited to announce the winners of the Diversify Your Reading Challenge!


Library Challenge

The winning library is …

The Howard County Library System in Columbia, Maryland!

Here’s how librarian John Jewitt described what they did:

We produced a sign for a display in the teen section at each of our six branches, and then asked the teen specialist at each branch to create and maintain a display that reflected the diversity in our community. Our goal was to enable all of our teen readers to see themselves represented in our collection, and also to encourage teen readers to develop an inclusive and open concept of their community.

And check out their awesome displays:

Congratulations, Howard County Library! You’ll be receiving all of these fantastic books to add to your collection.

But of course we couldn’t stop at just one library! We’ve decided to give an Honorable Mention to the Baxter Memorial Library in Gorham, Maine, which organized a discussion group for teens. Here’s how librarian Kathy Stevens described it:

Baxter Memorial Library and the Gorham Recreation Department’s Teen Extreme program partnered this summer for several different projects. One such project was our diversity discussion and display. The teens participated in a discussion, with the youth services librarian and identified ways that they could foster tolerance and appreciate the diversity they encounter at school and in their neighborhoods.

Here are the teens and their display:

Congratulations, Baxter Memorial Library, you’ll also be receiving a box of books for your Honorable Mention!


Blogger/Reader Challenge

The winning blogger/reader is …

Angie Manfredi of Fat Girl Reading

Angie wrote a wonderful post, I Am a Good Liberal — Rita Williams-Garcia’s “One Crazy Summer” & Reflections on Diversity in YA, that really dug into the meat of the question we asked you to consider: how did reading these books affect you as a reader? Here’s part of what she said:

Reading One Crazy Summer did much more than just cause me to go look up Bobby Hutton and find out more about him.  (though I am grateful this book afforded me the opportunity to do that!) That’s too simple an answer to “how this book affected me as a reader.”  Bobby Hutton, One Crazy Summer, the question about what any of can do to change the country we live in and the world we’re a part of – reading this book was a reality check for a good liberal like me.  I know there’s always more for me to know, but I honestly wasn’t prepared to find it in a children’s book about the 1960s. …

It was more than a reality check: it was a reminder that the best books about “diversity” do more than fulfill check boxes in an effort to educate you.  The best books about diversity, like One Crazy Summer, get straight to your heart and your brain and open the world up to you – they make you, like Delphine,  ask questions about Bobby Hutton that are more than “So, who was this guy?” and are, instead, “What did he mean?  What can I learn from his life?  How can his life make my  life better and more meaningful?”

Congratulations, Angie! You’ll be receiving all of these fantastic books for your collection.

Because we received so many great entries in this portion of the contest, we’ve also decided to name three Honorable Mentions:

Honorable Mentions in the blogger/reader category will also receive a box of book prizes!


Finally … We’re coming to San Diego this week!

Last but not least, just as the Diversify Your Reading Challenge has drawn to a close, our Diversity Tour is also wrapping up with one final event this week in San Diego.

Thursday, Oct. 27 at 7 p.m.
San Diego County Library Poway Branch
13137 Poway Rd.
Poway, CA 92064

Highlighting YA fantasy and science fiction with authors Holly Black, Cinda Williams Chima, Karen Healey, Malinda Lo, Cindy Pon and Greg van Eekhout

If you’re in the San Diego area, please come out and talk diversity with us one last time. We hope to see you there!

News from Diversity in YA

It’s September already, can you believe it? We can’t either. But we’ve got some great news to tell you about:


Diversify Your Reading Challenge deadline extended to Oct. 1

We have received some wonderful entries from book bloggers, readers, and librarians to our Diversify Your Reading Challenge. Thank you so much for entering!

The original deadline for the challenge was September 1, 2011, but we’ve decided to extend the deadline until October 1, 2011, which will enable school librarians to participate as well. So if you meant to enter the challenge but missed the deadline, you’re in luck! You now have an extra month to tell us how you have diversified your reading.

For more information, check out the Diversify Your Reading Challenge page (where you can find the entry forms), or read the FAQ on this blog post.


Diversity in YA is coming to San Diego!

We’ve secured the location for our San Diego Diversity in YA event, and we’re very pleased to announce that we’ve added authors Cinda Williams Chima (The Gray Wolf Throne), Karen Healey (The Shattering) and Greg van Eekhout (The Boy at the End of the World) to our event! Here is the final event and lineup information:

Thursday, Oct. 27 at 7 p.m.
Diversity in YA: Highlighting fantasy and science fiction with authors Holly Black, Cinda Williams Chima, Karen Healey, Malinda Lo, Cindy Pon, and Greg van Eekhout
San Diego County Library Poway Branch
13137 Poway Rd.
Poway, CA 92064

Books will be available for sale from Yellow Book Road.

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.

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.


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!