15 Dec 2015
It's A Wrap! | Dive Into Diversity
Honestly? Keeping up with the movement. There is *so* much going on beyond We Need Diverse Books, and all of it is so important. It’s almost a bit overwhelming because when you are planning a challenge like this one, you want to be knowledgeable and have the time to do research, but there are so many different avenues – it would take forever. I’m so glad to see this conversation is happening so frequently though. It’s great.
Time to rewind and reflect: Favourite DID post of the year?
Of yours, I loved: how diverse are your shelves? For ours, I had so much fun with my YA Diversity Book Club interview.
Recommendation time: Top three favourite diverse books you’ve read this year. Plus, an underrated pick we should all bump up our TBRs.
A toughie! The Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds (who is a genius); The Secret Side of Empty by Maria E. Andreu; Cut Both Ways by Carrie Mesrobian. I think all of these are underrated but I’m all for recommending a fourth book: Kinda Like Brothers by Coe Booth.
From reading diverse books and listening to marginalised groups voice their thoughts, it’s been a year full of learning and growing for me. What’s something you've learnt over the past year?
There are so many ways to look at “diversity”; no one story is alike. I hope that these campaigns and conversations reach those who are outside of the “book bubble” and readers start asking questions about why their experiences aren’t reflected in the books they are reading. It’s one thing for all of us to be blogging about it and for there to be articles in trade magazines, but I hope the reader in a classroom realizes they have the power to question the lack of diversity in the stories they are seeing at school and in their library.
We’ve seen good progress since the We Need Diverse Books campaign launched and this past year has seen a number of diverse titles published and do well - but we’ve still got room to improve. What do you think is next for diversity in lit?
I think I sort of answered it in the above question. Going beyond what has happened so far is important. The diversity conversation has the power the engage young kids who are curious about others, want to learn about the world, and also want to feel like their own story is important and worth telling. Everyone deserves to pick up a book that speaks to them.