Multicultural YA Lit
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Where Are the People of Color in Children’s Books?

Where Are the People of Color in Children’s Books? | Multicultural YA Lit | Scoop.it
I want to make them human in the eyes of readers — and in their own.
Jennifer Smith's insight:

"Books transmit values. They explore our common humanity. What is the message when some children are not represented in those books?"

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Beth Revis: Why is Diversity Important?

Beth Revis: Why is Diversity Important? | Multicultural YA Lit | Scoop.it
Jennifer Smith's insight:

Alaya Dawn Johnson's quote about stories being a part of societal concerns.

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Diana López on Migas, Confetti, and Martha Stewart

Diana López on Migas, Confetti, and Martha Stewart | Multicultural YA Lit | Scoop.it
By Diana LópezRecently, I was asked an excellent question. This came from a writing teacher who shared Ask My Mood Ring How I Feel with his class and wanted me to comment on the narrative technique...
Jennifer Smith's insight:

How does an author decide what cultural info to include?

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Lack of diversity by the numbers in librarianship and in book stuff

Lack of diversity by the numbers in librarianship and in book stuff | Multicultural YA Lit | Scoop.it
When we talk about diversity and social justice in libraries and librarianship, it is good to know exactly what we are dealing with: According to 2009-2010 ALA stats, 88% of credentialed librarians...
Jennifer Smith's insight:

Even though there is a lack of diversity in the librarian world, does that necessarily translate to lack of diversity in book selection? Most librarians I know are conscious of the need to reflect their populations.

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5 things to know about black culture now

5 things to know about black culture now | Multicultural YA Lit | Scoop.it
Filmmaker Justin Simien writes that what's sanctioned as "authentically black" in popular culture doesn't always reflect actual black experience.
Jennifer Smith's insight:

Good discussion of black culture vs. "Black Culture".

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Welcome to Latinos/as in Kid Lit

Welcome to Latinos/as in Kid Lit | Multicultural YA Lit | Scoop.it
Luis was a high school freshman who hadn't read a novel independently for so long he couldn't remember the title or year it happened. During the first semester of high school Reading, Luis read We ...
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Heck YA, Diversity!: ‘So, What ARE You?’

Heck YA, Diversity!: ‘So, What ARE You?’ | Multicultural YA Lit | Scoop.it
Blogger Hannah Gomez visits FYA to talk about multiracial and multicultural identity in both YA literature and her own life.
Jennifer Smith's insight:

Diversity is not just about one race or cultural.  It crosses many divides.

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BJ Neary's curator insight, August 6, 2013 9:22 PM

Such a great article with some really good multicultural YA titles included- I loved Mexican Whiteboy and Cuba 13.

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An Equal Place at the Table: A guest post by Neesha Meminger

An Equal Place at the Table: A guest post by Neesha Meminger | Multicultural YA Lit | Scoop.it
{Trisha's note: My most recent post at the Kirkus blog is about Neesha Meminger's new novel, Jazz in Love. I said, among other things, that it was predictable but fun, and I was intrigued by Neesha...
Jennifer Smith's insight:

"Fantasy and play and romance. Play. It’s the space where creativity happens. It’s a place of joy, hope, rejuvenation, innocence, and a throwback to childhood when things are (or should be) carefree. In the vast majority of books featuring people of colour and other marginalized voices, the offerings are of overcoming suffering, the pain of being “other”, and the untimely loss of innocence. Not that there isn’t a place for these novels. They are vital and necessary, and offer a most important mirror for those in similar situations–and I reserve the right to have my next book explore suffering and pain and violence, and maybe even identity. All I am saying is that to only put forward stories of marginalized people suffering nobly or weathering hardship, to the exclusion of other types of stories, is where we once again risk falling into the trap of what Chimamanda Adichie terms the “single story” trope."

 

"I wrote Jazz in Love because I believe teens deserve all kinds of stories. Teens who fit the mainstream ideal could benefit from reading about teens of colour dealing with the same sorts of issues all teens face, and teens of colour deserve to see themselves reflected in the complex multiplicity of their experience. They deserve an equal place at the table of fantasy and play and romance."

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The Ongoing Problem of Race in Y.A.

The Ongoing Problem of Race in Y.A. | Multicultural YA Lit | Scoop.it
In 1965, 11 years after the Supreme Court outlawed segregated schools, Nancy Larrick wrote an article titled "The All-White World of Children's Books" for the Saturday Review. Much has changed since then.
Jennifer Smith's insight:

Coe Booth - "because the books we were forced to read that had black people in them, I didn’t relate to them. As a little black girl growing up in the Bronx, I had no connection to books about sharecroppers or those books that took place in the ‘50s. I discovered Judy Blume. In those books, the perspective was always from the white character; the black character was the 'other.' In the '70s and '80s, the blackness of the person was the story."

 

"There are so few books featuring black characters, with the one or five that come out, there's so much pressure to represent all of this particular race."

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Guadalupe Garcia McCall

Guadalupe Garcia McCall | Multicultural YA Lit | Scoop.it
Interview with Guadalupe Garcia McCall, author of Under the Mesquite Guadalupe Garcia McCall was born in Mexico and moved to Texas as a young girl, keeping close ties with family on both sides of t...
Jennifer Smith's insight:

Scroll down to McCall's answer to the question about Latino writers.  Good observations.

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BJ Neary's curator insight, July 5, 2013 7:57 PM

The students loved this Reading Olympic title, Under the Mesquite!

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Heck YA, Diversity!: Are ‘Ethnic’ Heroines a Tough Sell?

Heck YA, Diversity!: Are ‘Ethnic’ Heroines a Tough Sell? | Multicultural YA Lit | Scoop.it
Author May-lee Chai stops by to discuss the trubs she had with publishing her "ethnic" heroine book, Hapa Girl -- and how her following books (Dragon Chica and Tiger Girl) found a home with the YA crowd.
Jennifer Smith's insight:

Great author perspective. Getting around the gatekeepers to get books in readers' hands.

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The Apartheid of Children’s Literature

The Apartheid of Children’s Literature | Multicultural YA Lit | Scoop.it
Too often today’s books are blind to the reality of thousands of children.
Jennifer Smith's insight:

"This apartheid of literature — in which characters of color are limited to the townships of occasional historical books that concern themselves with the legacies of civil rights and slavery but are never given a pass card to traverse the lands of adventure, curiosity, imagination or personal growth — has two effects."

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Writability: On Diversity Within Diversity

Writability: On Diversity Within Diversity | Multicultural YA Lit | Scoop.it
Jennifer Smith's insight:

Sometimes, we look at a representation of a minority, and we forget this is one person in a community of people who are gay, or black, or chronically ill, or blind, or a combination thereof, or whatever the case may be. Sometimes we forget that the community of that one sect of people is just as beautifully diverse as the world as a whole. Diversity within diversity.

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Day 4: Jason Reynolds

Day 4: Jason Reynolds | Multicultural YA Lit | Scoop.it
Jason Reynolds is the author of two critically acclaimed books. My Name Is Jason. Mine Too: Our Story. Our Way. (HarperCollins, 2009), an autobiographical collaboration co-written with his friend a...
Jennifer Smith's insight:

Carrying on the tradition

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"Working with What We've Got," by Phillip Serrato

"Working with What We've Got," by Phillip Serrato | Multicultural YA Lit | Scoop.it
Volume 1, Issue 1 (February 2014) Download PDF Abstract:   Abstract:  This work originally appeared as a blog entry on Arte Y Loqueras, in response to a 2012 New York Times article bemoaning the ab...
Jennifer Smith's insight:

"Reading literature about people from other cultures has been proven to have positive developmental [effects] on children of all backgrounds. For the children of a specific ethnic minority, reading positive stories about their own ethnic group can increase self-esteem and make them feel part of a larger society. For children of a “majority” group, reading stories about other cultures can increase their sensitivity to those who are different from themselves, improve their knowledge of the world, and help them realize that although people have many differences, they also share many similarities"

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Why Mainstream Critics Fail Writers of Color | Talking Writing

Why Mainstream Critics Fail Writers of Color | Talking Writing | Multicultural YA Lit | Scoop.it
Jennifer Smith's insight:

Interesting point:

"My students of color often relish the readings, but some white students say they feel anxious about discussing unfamiliar cultures. They don’t know how to speak about the topics with any depth, they tell me, and are afraid of saying something politically incorrect.

In short, they’re scared to talk about race."

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Shh. A simple tip for talking about race.

Shh. A simple tip for talking about race. | Multicultural YA Lit | Scoop.it
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BJ Neary's curator insight, December 15, 2013 11:18 AM

I urge all YA literature lovers to read Open Mic : Riffs on Life Between Cultures in Ten Voices edited by Mitali Perkins.  Amazon says, "  ten YA authors -- some familiar, some new -- use their own brand of humor to share their stories about growing up between cultures. "

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Guest Blog by Zoraida Córdova

Guest Blog by Zoraida Córdova | Multicultural YA Lit | Scoop.it
Mermaids in America



Or, how does this Ecuadorian girl end up writing fantasy?










I’m Zoraida Córdova, and this post is a can of worms. I wish they were tequila worms, but I don’t think those are allowed in YA.
Jennifer Smith's insight:

Even though she comes from a diverse environment, her early writing showed characters as white because that's how she experienced literature and pop culture.

 

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Hello Ello: Why Being a POC Author Sucks Sometimes

Hello Ello: Why Being a POC Author Sucks Sometimes | Multicultural YA Lit | Scoop.it
Jennifer Smith's insight:

"But there is that part of me that wonders why is it that when I see a list about what Asian fantasy books are out there, the books are predominantly by caucasian authors. Are POC writers not writing them or are they being passed over for books written by non-POC authors instead? And why is it that books by or about POC don't tend to sell as well as other "mainstream" books. What is the difference? Is it the difference in how they are marketed? Is it their cover art? Where they are placed in the bookstore or library? How they are pushed or not pushed by the booksellers, librarians, and teachers?"

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Children's Books by and About People of Color

Children's Books by and About People of Color | Multicultural YA Lit | Scoop.it
Jennifer Smith's insight:

Good statistics

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Authoring Stories About Cultures Not Our Own by Katie Quirk

Authoring Stories About Cultures Not Our Own by Katie Quirk | Multicultural YA Lit | Scoop.it
I cried straight through, from morning into evening, on that last day in the Tanzanian village I had called home for two years. It was spring of 2000 (well, spring in North America where I was head...
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