“As a writer of mixed descent (half-Chinese, half-white) who was a voracious reader as a child, I never saw myself in the kind of books that I devoured,” writes YA novelist Amy McCulloch…which is why she finally sat down to write such a book herself.
“To make sure children see themselves represented in literature, we need to put books by diverse authors, featuring diverse characters, in their hands,” she says. “There are diverse authors out there, likes Sufiya Ahmed, Tariq Mehmood and Jacqueline Roy, writing about diverse characters – they just don’t get nearly the attention they deserve. Publishers need to make more of the diverse voices they have on their lists already.
“But it doesn’t just end with publishers. Retailers need to display them on their front tables. Librarians and teachers need to recommend them. And parents need to buy them. To reverse the trend, we need to celebrate the authors that are already blazing that trail. We need to be armed with the best possible opportunities – because trailblazing is never as easy as riding a wave….
“One day, I hope we see bookshelves that represent the rich and diverse world we live in.”
(Read the full article here.)
For recommendations of YA fiction with a rich range of characters and themes, visit the Diversity in YA blog.