I’m participating in the We Need Diverse Books Resolution and have pledged to read twenty diverse books in 2015. This reading challenge is one of many WNDB campaign actions that address the lack of diversity in children’s literature. The WNDB blog reports this alarming fact:
In June of 2013, multicultural publisher Lee and Low Books put together a graphic illustrating that although 37% of the population of the United States are people of color, only 10% of children’s books published contained multicultural content. This gap has remained steady from 1994-2013—18 years! (Source)
We Need Diverse Books is doing plenty to change that statistic with their author classroom initiative, the newly announced Walter Dean Myers Award and Grants, and numerous other programs and resources. Plus, they introduce fun ways for people to engage on social media. Like this reading challenge for 2015!
Now, I won’t be limiting my list to children’s books -- though there will definitely be kidlit and young adult titles. I’m also going to vary things up by reading across genres. Poetry? Oh yeah. Non-fiction? Uh huh. Play scripts? Well, duh.
Here are some of the titles I’ll be including on my list of 20 Diverse Books in 2015:
- Autobiography of the Lower East Side. Rashidah Ismaili. Northampton House Press.
- Brown Girl Dreaming. Jacqueline Woodson. Nancy Paulsen Books/Penguin.
- Gabi, A Girl in Pieces. Isabel Quintero. Cinco Puntos Press.
- God & Mambo: truth, rhythm and verse/ritmo, verdad y verso. Meriel Martinez. Nariad Publishing.
- Killer of Enemies. Joseph Bruchac. Tu Books/Lee & Low Books.
- Seven Guitars. August Wilson. Samuel French, Inc.
- Thick-Skinned Sugar. LaToya Jordan. Finishing Line Press.
- Time of the Locust. Morowa Yedijé. Atria Books/Simon & Schuster.
I look forward to adding books throughout the year and posting about each of my diverse reads as I complete the challenge. Should be a blast! If you want to share that your 2015 reading list will include texts beyond the traditional narratives and perspectives, you can make your own pledge here.