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Resources for middle grade and teen titles with diverse content


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Handout of resources to accompany presentation entitled "Deconstructing the Debate about the Lack of Diversity in Young Adult Literature" at the 8th Annual Adolescent Summer Literacy Institute, William Paterson University, July 7, 2014

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Resources for middle grade and teen titles with diverse content

  1. 1. 1 Resources for Middle Grade and Teen Titles with Diverse Content from session entitled “Deconstructing the Debate about the Lack of Diversity in Young Adult Literature” 8th Annual AdolescentSummer Literacy Institute, William Paterson University, July 7, 2014 Compiled by Sharon Rawlins, Youth Services Specialistfor Lifelong Learning, NJ State Library, Teen Latino Titles Compiled and annotated in 2011 by Alma Ramos-McDermott and Lyn Miller-Lachmann, members of the CAYASC of REFORMA QueerYA Fiction for LTBGQ Teens - School Library Journal – The Diversity Issue, May 2014 Featured in the issue:  Children's Books. Still an All-White World?  The Publishing Perspective on Diversity in Kid Lit  Culturally Diverse Books Selected by SLJ’s Review Editors  Everyday Diversity: A Teacher Librarian Offers Practical Tips to Make a Difference  The Multiracial Population Is Growing, But Kid Lit Isn’t Keeping Up  SisOps: Tech for Girls  LGBTQ & You: How to Support Your Students  Representing the Muslim American Experience  Program Diversity: Do Libraries Serve Kids with Disabilities?  How Diverse is Librarianship? Check Out the Stats.  School Librarian Talks to Students About ‘Whitewashing’ Children’s Book Covers  Preschool and the Income Gap: Libraries must step up to serve children of color  Shining the Light on Pura Belpré's Legacy  Dedicated to Diversity: Honoring Differences and More  An Expanded Cultural Diversity Booklist: SLJ Readers Respond  How Cross-Racial Picture Books Build Acceptance Take These Reading Challenges:  “Diversity on the Shelf” (
  2. 2. 2  “Latin@s in KidLit” (  “Africa Reading Challenge”( - Provides reading selections; participants offer reviews  “Birthday Party Pledge” ( –blog that includes reading lists and asks that you give diverse literature as birthday gifts for a year. CCBC-Net Discussion in February 2014 generated list of blogs that focus on diversity: ( Other websites: - In 2014, we are piloting four programs:  Equal Read Classrooms Collections of diverse books, balanced for gender, representing the diversity of learners and their communities.  Equal Read Books for Libraries and Booksellers  Equal Read Research Studying the impact of diverse books on student engagement and stereotype threat.  Equal Read Authors A cadre of outstanding, established authors mentoring new diverse authors of diverse books. CBC Diversity - The CBC Diversity Committee is one of five committees established by the Children’s Book Council, the national nonprofit trade association for children’s trade book publishers. We are dedicated to increasing the diversity of voices and experiences contributing to children’s and young adult literature. To create this change, we strive to build awareness that the nature of our society must be represented within the children’s publishing industry. We endeavor to encourage diversity of race, gender, geographical origin, sexual orientation, and class among both the creators of and the topics addressed by kid lit. We strive for a more diverse range of employees working within the industry, of authors and illustrators creating inspiring content, and of characters depicted in children’s and young adult books. We plan to achieve these goals by taking the following actions: Recruitment  Participate in high school and college career fairs.  Visit high school senior level English classes to discuss careers in publishing.
  3. 3. 3 Resources  Maintain an up-to-date blog consisting of industry news, book spotlights, CBC Diversity event information, the personal stories of Committee members, and other ready resources for publishing individuals.  Provide a CBC Diversity Bookshelf through Goodreads that curates front and backlist books by CBC member publishers in order to raise awareness of the diversity-friendly content already in existence. Keeping the Conversation Going  Hold safe space meetings at which industry employees can discuss the obstacles to diversity that they have encountered within the children’s publishing world.  Host panel discussions at which different industry arms can communicate the challenges they face in selling and promoting diverse books, and can work together to develop solutions to these problems. We can’t do this alone, however. Please visit our Get Involved page to learn more about how you can get involved. Committee Members Daniel Nayeri (Chair), Director of Children’s Publishing, Workman Ann Dye, Associate Director, Brand Marketing, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers Daniel Ehrenhaft, Editorial Director, Soho Teen/Soho Press Antonio Gonzalez, Marketing Manager, Author Visits, Scholastic Zareen Jaffery, Executive Editor, S&S Books for Young Readers Wendy Lamb, VP and Publishing Director, Wendy Lamb Books/Random House Children’s Books Andrea Davis Pinkney, VP and Executive Director of Trade, Scholastic Yolanda Scott, Editorial Director, Charlesbridge Caroline Sun, Assistant Director of Publicity, Integrated Marketing, HarperCollins Children’s Books Mark Von Bargen, Sr. Director of Children’s Trade Sales, Macmillan
  4. 4. 4 Book Lists and Bibliographies – From CBC Diversity website 50 Multicultural Books Every Child Should Know  This list compiles books for children by and about people of color including African and African Americans, American Indians, Asian/Pacific and Asian Pacific Americans, and Latinos. Provided by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC). 30 Multicultural Books Every Teen Should Know  This list compiles books for teens by and about people of color including African and African Americans, American Indians, Asian/Pacific and Asian Pacific Americans, and Latinos. Compiled by Megan Schliesman and Kathleen T. Horning 101 Ways to Combat Prejudice (PDF)  Barnes & Noble and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) first launched the Close the Book on Hate campaign in September 2000. They compiled this free informational pamphlet (PDF) to “break the cycle of hate through reading.” Asian American Book List  From the National Education Association: “a bilingual reading list of titles appropriate for K-12 students. The following titles are listed by grade level and include fiction, non- fiction and poetry.” "Close the Book on Hate," Reading List (PDF)  These works of fiction, non-fiction, photography, and poetry help families to catalyze discussions surrounding diversity and its importance in communities.
  5. 5. 5 I’m Your Neighbor  A recommended list, sorted by country and culture of origin, of children’s picture books, novels, and narrative non-fiction featuring American’s “new arrivals” or recent refugees and immigrants. Multicultural Books for Adults  A comprehensive list for educators about the how race, education, and multiculturalism come together. Booklist compiled by the Bankstreet College of Education. Multicultural Books for Younger Children  List of picture books that promote diversity and multiculturalism compiled by the Bankstreet College of Education. younger-children/ Multicultural Books for Older Children  List of middle-grade books that promote diversity and multiculturalism compiled by the Bankstreet College of Education. younger-children/ Top Black History Books for Youth (Booklist)  Every year the editors of Booklist highlight the top – usually starred reviewed – books of the year that “offer unique ways of presenting the African American experience, then and now.” You must be a subscriber of Booklist to see all previous year’s lists. Kelley/pid=5243492 Library Book List  maintains an amazing array of titles for children and young adults. They have lists for Ethnicity & Race, Religion, Gender, Sexuality and Disability.
  6. 6. 6 Multicultural Children’s Literature  An annotated bibliography of children’s multicultural books maintained by Dr. Robert F. Smith, Professor Emeritus, Towson University, Towson, MD. Each book is appropriate for the elementary grades (K-6). Great Gay Teen Books  Young Adult Author Alex Sanchez has compiled a booklist of LGBT books. GLBTQ Booklist  The Multnomah County Library in Multnomah, County, Oregon, has posted an GLBTQ booklist on their website. Lesson Plans and Discussion Guides Asian American Curriculum Projects, Inc.  "Our mission is to educate the public about the Asian American experience, fostering cultural awareness, and to educate Asian Americans about their own heritage, installing a sense of pride." Offers quality books related to the following communities: Cambodian, Chinese, Filipino, Hawaiian, Hmong, Indonesian, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Lao, Samoan, Thai, and Vietnamese. LessonPlan: Multiculturalism and Diversity  Resources to help educators bring discussions about diversity and multiculturalism to the classroom that speak to the background of each student.
  7. 7. 7 LessonPlan: Teaching “Diversity”: A Place to Begin  A guide to teaching diversity to Pre–K, Early Childhood, Grades 1–2 students and their families. LessonPlan: Diversity- The Crayon Box  An activity for students grades PreK-2 that addresses physical differences and working together despite them. LessonPlans for Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Mont  This website provides resources for grades PreK-8. It is great for educators wishing to study Latino and Spanish-Speaking artists and writers. collection-resources Coretta Scott King Book Awards Discussion Guide 2011  Every year the ALA, the Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table (EMIERT) and the Coretta Scott King Book Awards Committee compile a discussion guide that includes activities and teaching topics for the previous year’s Coretta Scott King Book Award winners. Exploring Diversity  Cynthia Leitich Smith’s online resources for exploring diversity in children’s and young adult books include links, booklists, and teaching guides.
  8. 8. 8 Nonprofit Organizations that Provide Book Resources ALA’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Round Table (GLBTRT)  Perhaps the number one resource for librarians seeking information about LGBT books and authors. Rainbow Books: February-June 2014 Rainbow List Update Over The Rainbow Books: June 2014 The Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table  ALA’s EMIERT has been an active force in the American Library Association (ALA) for more than 30 years. EMIERT’s main purpose is to serve as a source of information on recommended ethnic collections, services, and programs. Asian American Writers Workshop  The preeminent literary arts organization dedicated to excellent Asian American writing. Information on membership, programs, publications, awards, fellowships, people, and more. PacificRimVoices  The aim of Pacific Rim Voices (PRV) is to encourage and promote greater understanding of and among the peoples and nations of the Pacific Rim and South Asia. Pacific Rim Voices pursues this aim through its three principal programs, the Kiriyama Prize,, and Paper Tigers  is part of Pacific Rim Voices, which via its family of websites and real- life projects, celebrates literary voices from and about the Pacific Rim and South Asia. Pacific Rim Voices promotes books and reading as a means to achieve greater understanding of and among the peoples and nations of this region.
  9. 9. 9 Lambda Literary Foundation  The Lambda Literary Foundation nurtures, celebrates, and preserves LGBT literature through programs that honor excellence, promote visibility and encourage development of emerging writers. They do this through three programs: The annual Lambda Literary Awards (Lammys), the Lambda Literary Review (online literary magazine); the annual Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBT Voices, their Book Clubs and their Writers in Schools programs. Great Articles about Multicultural Book Topics "A Watershed for Bullying?"  Nine students arrested; DA criticizes school officials by Scholastic Administrator Magazine. "Race On YA Covers: Survey Reports A Continued Lack Of Diversity"  Kate Hart, a YA novelist, compiles 624 books. diversity_n_1533982.html?ref=books The Ongoing Problem of Race in Y.A.  Jenn Doll – The Atlantic Wire. In 1965, an article was published disparaging the lack of diversity in children’s literature. We are still struggling with this issue today. "Cover Matters: On Whitewashing"  “We begin by taking a look at a few examples of Whitewashing over the ages, following up with an examination of the rationales justifying this practice. We proceed to talk about problems of whitewashing, as this form of discrimination has much broader implications in not only the publishing and book world, but in the real world as well. We finally conclude the post with a call for awareness and a guest article by the eloquent and passionate Ari from Reading in Color.”
  10. 10. 10 "Whitewashing in Young Adult literature"  A discussion about recent instances of whitewashing in YA literature By RACEBENDING.COM. "There Needto Be More Nonwhite Protagonists"  Sharon G. Flake, African-American YA novelist, advocates the importance of diversity in books for young people. fiction/more-nonwhite-characters-are-needed "Straight Talk on Race: Challenging the Stereotypes in Kids’ Books”  Mitali Perkins gives comprehensive look at race in contemporary literature. Is the cover art true to the story "The Importance of Multicultural Children’s Literature: Closing the Gap Between ‘Us’ and ‘Them’"  A positive article by The Anti-Defamation League about the importance of diversity in children’s literature and the ever increasing aggregate of resources. "The Importance of Multicultural Children’s Books"  “…Of the 4,500 children’s books published in the United States in 1997, 88 were by African-American authors and/or illustrators, 88 were by Latino/a authors or about Latino/a themes, 64 books were on Native American themes and 66 were about Asians and Asian Americans.” "Multicultural Children’s Literature in the Elementary Classroom"  This article discusses the value of multicultural literature and provides guidelines for choosing appropriate classroom materials.
  11. 11. 11 "10 Outstanding LGBT Teen Reads"  The Lambda Literary Review (the official Blog of the Lambda Literary Foundation) posted an article written by Alex Sanchez called, 10 Outstanding LGBT Teen Reads (from the last 10 years). last-ten-years/ "13 Great Books for Gay Teens"  In 2010, the Huffington Post published this list of 13 Great Books for Gay Teens. te_n_649606.html#s114142&title=The_Arizona_Kid Publications and Blogs with a Multicultural Book Focus AALBC  According to Alexa rankings, (The African American Literature Book Club), is the largest and most frequently visited web site dedicated to books and film by and about people of African descent. They maintain a list of profiled authors, booklists, book events, newsletters and discussion groups. American Indians in Children’s Literature  Established in 2006, American Indians in Children’s Literature (AICL) provides critical perspectives and analysis of indigenous peoples in children’s and young adult books, the school curriculum, popular culture, and society. Scroll down for links to book reviews, Native media, and more. Reading in Color
  12. 12. 12  Reading In Color is a book blog that reviews YA/MG books about people of color (poc). There is a serious lack of books being reviewed by teens that are YA/MG about people of color, I hope my blog is one step closer to filling in this void. The Brown Bookshelf  The Brown Bookshelf is an online community devoted to promoting young adult fiction by African-American authors and illustrators. Paula Chase-Hyman and Varian Johnson promote many contemporary African-American YA authors nationwide. Color Online Blog  Founded in 2005, the Color Online blog focuses on women writers of color for adults, YA, and children. Diversity in YA  Diversity in YA Fiction is a website and book tour (and now a Tumblr) founded by two young adult authors, Malinda Lo and Cindy Pon, to celebrate diverse stories in YA. The website is a resource of information with bios and lists of Young Adult authors who actively take a stand for diversity in their work from David Levithan to Jacqueline Woodson. The DiYA Tumblr is going strong and continually highlights original articles, links, and great books to know about. The Happy Nappy BooksellerBlog  The Happy Nappy Bookseller includes book reviews for middle grade, young adult, and picture books. The Latina Book Club  Spearheaded by Maria Ferrer, The Latina Book Club’s goal is to promote Latino authors and literacy by reading at least one Latino book a month. The blog features interviews, guest blogs, reviews, and other useful links.
  13. 13. 13 PaperTigers Blog  The PaperTigers Blog includes almost daily updates of news and views about multicultural children’s and YA books, and literacy issues from around the world. Regular features include book reviews, including Books at Bedtime, participation in the Kidlitosphere’s Poetry Friday, and our monthly Eventful World calendar of children’s literature events around the world. Genreville  PW Editor, Rose Fox, is a strong supporter of LGBT authors and books – so it’s no surprise that LGBT authors and books are often featured in her Blog for PW Genreville. La Bloga  La Bloga is a blog dedicated to Latino and Hispanic literature for both grown-ups and not so grown-ups. They feature authors, events, discussions, and other literary relevant stories. Although they don’t focus specifically on Young Adult and Children’s literature this is great place to begin and ask questions about the latest in the Latino literary scene. I’m Here. I’m Queer. What the Hell do I Read  Lee Wind’s blog, “I’m Here. I’m Queer. What the Hell Do I Read.” is a great resource for teens who want to discuss their favorite LGBT YA titles with other teens. Awards and Prizes with a Multicultural Focus
  14. 14. 14 Américas Book Award for Children’s and Young Adult Literature  The Américas Award is given in recognition of U.S. works of fiction, poetry, folklore, or selected non-fiction (from picture books to works for young adults) published in the previous year in English or Spanish that authentically and engagingly portray Latin America, the Caribbean, or Latinos in the United States. By combining both and linking the Americas, the award reaches beyond geographic borders, as well as multicultural- international boundaries, focusing instead upon cultural heritages within the hemisphere. The award is sponsored by the national Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs (CLASP). American Indian Youth Literature Award  The American Indian Youth Literature Awards were established as a way to identify and honor the very best writing and illustrations by and about American Indians. Books selected to receive the award will present American Indians in the fullness of their humanity in the present and past contexts. The award is sponsored by the American Indian Library Association. Asian/Pacific American Literature Award (APALA)  The goal of the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature is to honor and recognize individual work about Asian/Pacific Americans and their heritage, based on literary and artistic merit. Each award will be named and given the award seal during the annual APALA Literature Award Ceremony. The Winner of each category will receive a plaque and a press release will be sent to various national publications. Children’s Africana Book Award  The Children’s Africana Book Awards were established in 1991 by the Outreach Council of the African Studies Association to encourage the publication and use of accurate, balanced children’s materials on Africa. The award focuses specifically on books published in the United States about Africa. Christopher Awards (Religious Affiliation)  First presented in 1949, the Christopher Awards were established by Christopher founder Father James Keller to salute media that “affirm the highest values of the human
  15. 15. 15 spirit.” Their goal is to encourage men, women and children to pursue excellence in creative arenas that have the potential to influence a mass audience positively. Award winners encourage audiences to see the better side of human nature and motivate artists and the general public to use their best instincts on behalf of others. Coretta Scott King Book Awards  Given to African American authors and illustrators for outstanding inspirational and educational contributions, the Coretta Scott King Book Award titles promote understanding and appreciation of the culture of all peoples and their contribution to the realization of the American dream of a pluralistic society. ALA - EMIERT Multicultural Awards  EMIERT offers two awards to encourage and recognize multiculturalism in libraries and the library profession. Kiriyama Prize, Notable Children’s Books  Kiriyama Prize was given by the Pacific Rim Voices organization. Although they are no longer given out, the archives live online. Lambda Literary Award  The Lambda Literary Foundation gives out the Lambda Literary Award every year (since 1992) for the best Children’s and Young Adult Literature. Previous winners include Jacqueline Woodson, Nancy Garden, and Kevin Jennings and David Levithan. Myers Outstanding Book Awards: Honorable Mention  The Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights in North America gives this award to books that are, “outstanding in helping shed light on bigotry in America”.
  16. 16. 16 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Children’s Literature  An NAACP Image Award is an accolade presented by the American National Association for the Advancement of Colored People to honor outstanding people of color in film, television, music, and literature. New Voices Award  Publisher Lee & Low Books sponsors the New Voices Award which is given for a children’s picture book manuscript by a writer of color. The Award winner receives a cash grant of $1000 and our standard publication contract, including our basic advance and royalties for a first time author. An Honor Award winner will receive a cash grant of $500. Once Upon a World Book Award  To support and perpetuate the values and mandate of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the Museum of Tolerance by honoring children’s books, aimed at young readers (ages 6- 10) and young adults (ages 11+), which deal with issues of tolerance, diversity, human understanding and social justice, thus inspiring readers to promote positive change in the world. Pura Belpré Medal  Named after the first Latina librarian at the New York Public Library, the Pura Belpré Award, established in 1996, honors a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth. This is a great place to begin to seek out top Latino/Hispanic authors and illustrators. Stonewall Book Awards  The Stonewall Book Award-Barbara Gittings Literature Award, the Stonewall Book Award-Israel Fishman Non-Fiction Award and the Stonewall Book Award-Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children’s & Young Adult Literature Award are presented to English language works published the year prior to the announcement date. The award is
  17. 17. 17 announced in January and presented to the winning authors or editors at the American Library Association Annual Conference in June or July. The award winners each receive a commemorative plaque and $1,000. Sydney Taylor Book Award  The Sydney Taylor Book Award is presented annually to outstanding books for children and teens that authentically portray the Jewish experience. Presented by the Association of Jewish Libraries since 1968, the award encourages the publication and widespread use of quality Judaic literature. Gold medals are presented in three categories:Younger Readers, Older Readers, and Teen Readers. Honor Books are awarded silver medals, and Notable Books are named in each category. Tejas Star Book Award  The Tejas Star Book Award was created by the Region One ESC Library Advisory Committee to promote reading in general and for readers to discover the cognitive and economic benefits of bilingualism and multilingualism. All the children of Texas will have the opportunity to select their favorite book from the Tejas Star list during the month of February 2013. Book Lists and Resources 50 Multicultural Books Every Child Should Read  This list, compiled by the renowned Cooperative Children’s Book Center at the University of Wisconsin, is a great launching pad for diverse reading at every age level. A World Full of Color  Independent bookseller Elizabeth Bluemle has compiled a wonderful database of children’s and YA books across all races and ethnicities where race is not the driving factor in the story.
  18. 18. 18 Cynthia Leitich Smith’s Children’s and Young Adult Literature Bibliographies  This fabulous online bibliography includes links to lists of books about adoption, interracial children and families, and Native American life. The Brown Bookshelf  As the website says, “The Brown Bookshelf is designed to push awareness of the myriad of African American voices writing for young readers.” The site includes booklists, links to publishers of diverse books, and a frequently updated blog. Paper Tigers  celebrates diverse books of all kinds, especially those by and about people of the Pacific Rim and Southeast Asia. Their website includes interviews with authors and illustrators, opinion pieces, an art gallery, and a fantastic, highly comprehensive list of links and booklists about people of all ethnicities from countries around the world The Seattle Public Library’s List of Online Resources  A terrific general list of resources about children’s books, including award lists, links to online digital libraries and activities, and pointers to homework help. Other Resources: Where can I find great diverse children’s books? A resource list Beyond Good Intentions: Selecting Multicultural Literature Seven Ways to Explore Race in the Classroom How inclusive is my classroom library? A Toolkit Disability in KidLit - Disability in Kidlit began as a month-long event in July 2013, featuring daily posts by readers, writers, bloggers, and other people from the YA and MG communities discussing disability and kidlit. The main contributors are Corinne Duyvis (Otherbound, 6/17/14),
  19. 19. 19 diagnosed with autism at 14 & ADHD/ADD at 23; Kody Keplinger (DUFF, & others, legally blind); Kayla Whaley (born w/Spinal Muscular Atrophy III & is in a wheelchair). Diverse Characters in Science Fiction and Fantasy by Molly Wetta, from Novelist (*Originally appeared in the February 2014 issue of Kids & Books.*) YALSA’s The Hub blog (Your Connection to Teen Readers). Writtenbyteenlibrarians andguestteens,blogsare posteddaily,exceptweekends,SharonRawlinsis one of the original bloggers tags: #alaac14, diversity Hannah Gómez's post June 16 #DiversityatALA #weneeddiversebooks movement post from May 1, 2014 LGBTQ featured books from June 19 post by Kelly Dickinson fiction/#more-10221