photosetJul 10, 2014 11:52 am
Attanya: #WeNeedDiverseBooks because I love science fiction and fantasy books, but I’m tired of authors treating dragons and robots and magic as more plausible than black and brown characters
Jennifer: #WeNeedDiverseBooks because… when I was 13 a white girl told me it was selfishthat all of the protagonists in my stories were Latina because she “just can’t relate to nonwhite characters.” She made me feel guilty for writing about people like me.
Aiesha: #WeNeedDiverseBooks because…Black Girls are more than sidekicks or “sassy, ghetto friend”
Facts and Figures About Race/Ethnicity in YA and Children’s Lit:
- 88% of the books on the 2013 Publisher’s Weekly YA Bestsellers were about white protagonists
- 93% of the authors on the 2013 Publisher’s Weekly YA Bestsellers were white authors
- 85% of the books on the 2014 Young Adult Library Services Association’s Best Fiction for Young Adults list were about white protagonists
- 90% of the authors on the 2014 Young Adult Library Services Association’s Best Fiction for Young Adults list were white authors
- 91% of the authors on the 2013 New York Times’s Bestseller Lists for YA and Children’s Lit were white authors.
- According to the 2012 Cooperative Children’s Book Center, only 3.3% of books were about African-American protagonists; only 2.1% were about Asian and Pacific Islander protagonists; only 1.5% were about Latinx protagonists; and only 0.6% were about Native American protagonists. That means over 90% of children’s books surveyed were about white protagonists.
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photoMar 14, 2014 11:37 am
Teaching children about environmental issues is incrediblyimportant, but it can also be pretty darn difficult. When some folks from Tennessee realized there weren’t any good resources to educate kids about mountaintop-removal coal mining (which threatens the land and communities in the region), they decided to make their own.
photoMar 06, 2014 9:49 pm
Authors Nico Lang and Zach Stafford set out to collect a group of stories revealing the voices, stories, and lives of gay, queer, and trans men when they compiled (and contributed to) the anthology “Boys.” Little did they know the books would be pretty inspiring before the stories even started.
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videoFeb 19, 2014 12:22 pm
quoteFeb 17, 2014 8:38 pm
The problem that needs to be fixed is not kick all the girls out of YA, it’s teach boys that stories featuring female protagonists or written by female authors also apply to them. Boys fall in love. Boys want to be important. Boys have hopes and fears and dreams and ambitions. What boys also have is a sexist society in which they are belittled for “liking girl stuff.” Male is neutral, female is specific.
I heard someone mention that Sarah Rees Brennan’s THE DEMON’S LEXICON would be great for boys, but they’d never read it with that cover. Friends, then the problem is NOT with the book. It’s with the society that’s raising that boy. It’s with the community who inculcated that boy with the idea that he can’t read a book with an attractive guy on the cover.
Here’s how we solve the OMG SO MANY GIRLS IN YA problem: quit treating women like secondary appendages. Quit treating women’s art like it’s a niche, novelty creation only for girls. Quit teaching boys to fear the feminine, quit insisting that it’s a hardship for men to have to relate to anything that doesn’t specifically cater to them.
Because if I can watch Raiders of the Lost Ark and want to grow up to be an archaeologist, there’s no reason at all that a boy shouldn’t be able to read THE DEMON’S LEXICON with its cover on. My friends, sexism doesn’t just hurt women, and our young men’s abysmal rate of attraction to literacy is the proof of it.
If you want to fix the male literary crisis, here’s your solution:
Become a feminist."