We Need Diverse Books™ Announces partnership with Madcap Retreats for diversity-themed author retreatsweneeddiversebooks.org
Need Diverse Books is joining forces with Madcap to address a real need –
lifting up marginalized voices while also showing writers how to write outside
of their communities in a careful, diligent and thorough way.” @weneeddiversebooks
I recently started working in an indie bookstore. The great
thing about this job, aside from being surrounded by beautiful books all day
long, is that it gets me out of my writer brain and back in touch with my
reader brain. I work mostly in the kid’s section, and every day customers come
in with very specific requests. I’ve noticed a lot of the teens who frequent
the young adult section don’t ask for recommendations all that much, but the
middle grade and advancing readers section is a cornucopia of parents looking
for certain books or certain topics for their kids.
The other day, I had a mom ask me for a book with a trans
character for a first grader.
Tell us about your most recent book and
how you came to write/illustrate it.
Lou Lou and Pea and
the Mural Mystery is about two best friends, Lou Lou Bombay and Peacock
Pearl. Lou Lou loves horticulture and Pea loves art. Every Friday afternoon,
they get together in Lou Lou’s backyard garden for their PSPP
(Post-School-Pre-Parents) tea party. They chat about school, discuss Pea’s
latest fashions, and plot the weekend’s activities.
But all plans go out the window when a series of small
crimes crop up around El Corazón, their quirky neighborhood, right before the
Día de los Muertos procession. First, Pea’s cousin’s quinceañera dress is
tragically ruined. Then Lou Lou’s beloved camellia bush, Pinky, suffers a
serious blow. And that’s just the beginning! When clues start to appear in El
Corazón’s outdoor murals, the best friends join forces, using Lou Lou’s floral
expertise and Pea’s artistic genius to solve the mysteries.
This is my first middle grade novel, and I began working on
it when I was caring for my mom during an illness. My mom was a school
librarian who cultivated my love of reading, so I felt that writing a
children’s book was a fitting way to spend my time. I wanted to tell a story
inspired by my neighborhood, San Francisco’s Mission District, and its amazing
community art, food, traditions, and local culture.
Talking the Talk: Publishing Professionals Connect with Boston Teens
Contributed by Julie Bliven, Editor at Charlesbridge
On October 4 the CBC Diversity
Initiative, in conjunction with Boston publishing professionals, held its first
Teen Outreach Panel. It was a wonderful success! But first let’s back up a minute.
past January the Lee
& Low Baseline Survey came out, confirming the lack of diversity in children’s
publishing. In response, the members of the CBC Diversity Initiative gathered
around the little back table at the CBC’s NYC office and established a specific
goal for the next two years: recruitment. That is, we want to recruit more
readers and creators of diverse books, and a more diverse workforce in the
Enough is enough. Haiti has
been dealt another crushing blow; and most people have yet to recover from
2010’s devastating 7.0 earthquake. Hurricane Matthew pounded our side of the island,
leaving hopelessness in its wake. The death toll, now one thousand, continues
to soar. We cannot take much more.
The country has not seen
a storm this monstrous since Hurricane Hazel, in 1954. The category 4 monster brought
treacherous winds, debris, and swollen rivers that rushed past with a fury.
Bridges collapsed, ripping families apart, leaving husbands stranded on one
side and wives on the other. The flood stripped away layers of what remained of
our thin-thin topsoil, taking with it delicate saplings, crops, and faith.
Walking a Bridge between Two Worlds: An interview with Nancy Bo Flood
Bo Flood, author of more than fifteen books, sat down with her editor, Yolanda
Scott, to discuss Soldier Sister, Fly Home, out from Charlesbridge in August
YS: You often mention “walking a bridge between two worlds
or cultures,” and you’ve said that’s what Tess does in the Soldier Sister, Fly Home. What do you mean?
NBF: Soldier Sister, Fly Home is about walking the bridge between two
worlds, Navajo and Anglo, and also the bridge between three generations: one’s
own, one’s parents’, and one’s grandparents’. The two sisters, Tess and Gaby,
are bi-racial. They walk several bridges daily, between different cultures and
different generations. Many of us do this, to different degrees and at
different times in our lives.
#DVpit is a Twitter event created to showcase pitches about and especially by marginalized voices. It will be held on October 5 and 6th. Visit dvpit.com to learn more.
I have always been a reader. Many times, I would read the
last page of a book only to immediately flip back to the beginning and start
again. What brought me back to books again and again was the escape, but it still
felt like I was escaping into someone else’s story, someone so far removed from
my own reality. It never felt like it could be mine, or that my own stories and
experiences could be worth sharing.
needs to change. And it’s starting to, but there’s still so much more to do. Thanks
to Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop, we have this important concept of mirrors, windows,
and sliding glass doors. And I know there are younger readers out there who
were and are, like me, still searching and still deserving of many different
reflections and many different