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:
character playlists [1/?] ; Andrew Minyard of The Foxhole Court
1. In time - FKA Twigs // 2. Sister - The Japanese House // 3. I Found - Amber Run // 4. Trouble [stripped] - Halsey // 5. idfc - Blackbear // 6. Bite - Troye Sivan // 7. Disasterology - Pierce The Veil // 8. Tag You’re It // 9. Sarah Minor - Keaton Henson // 10. Small Cuts - The Brobecks // 11. Colours - Halsey // 12. Novocaine- Fall Out Boy
Back in May, the #weneeddiversebooks campaign lit a fire to fulfill the desperate need for diverse books in children’s literature. Behind the Book has always championed efforts to find diverse authors and protagonists that will appeal to students since we serve communities of color. For your enjoyment (and enrichment), we’ve created an epic list of diverse books to reflect the diversity in our city; here’s our list for high school students.
I’d totally like to see a YA story where the epilogue is like “oh, and they broke up three months later; once the we-saved-the-world-together high wore off, they released they literally had nothing in common, and also that shared life-altering trauma is a poor basis for a stable relationship”.
Why is this still a thing? I just saw yet another article trying to recommend a few female authors as though they’re some rare species. The suggestions turned out to be just as boring as every other list: Rowling, Austen, Rowling, Bronte, Rowling.
I don’t know why people keep struggling to come up with 5 amazing female authors (or even making these lists. Like whyyy). So let me now walk over to my bookshelf and rattle off some names of my favorite modern female authors… (also, enjoy my attempt to break my endless “YA fantasy” books into groups).
If you’re searching for that super elusive book written by a woman, try:
Janet Lee Carey
Janet B. Taylor
Marion Zimmer Bradley
Sarah J Maas
Maria V. Snyder
Mary E. Pearson
Sara B. Larson
Jennifer A. Nielsen
Diana Wynne Jones
Gail Carson Levine
Cinda Williams Chima
Danielle L. Jensen
Lori M. Lee
Jennifer L. Armentrout
Jenn Marie Thorne
Tamara Ireland Stone
(Sorry to Leigh Bird Dog and anyone else whose name autocorrect couldn’t deal with if I didn’t catch it).
These are just the books I happened to glance at, so feel free to add! And then maybe this can stop being a thing…
“Not everyone has to be the Chosen One. Not everyone has to be the guy who saves the world. Most people just have to live their lives the best they can, doing things that are great for them, having great friends, trying to make their lives better, loving people properly. All the while knowing that the world makes no sense but trying to find a way to be happy anyway.”
The news just broke… Walter Dean Myers has passed. In his lifetime, he wrote over 100 books, served as the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, won too many awards and honors to list, advised and inspired kids and young writers everywhere, and impacted thousands of lives. He was a lifelong proponent of diversity in children’s literature, and just a few months ago wrote an article that once again sparked the discussion.