A Different Lens: Finding Diversity through Photography
Contributed by Mary Birdsell
Cameras are magic. By capturing a moment in time, cameras
give us the ability to explore actions and emotions in a way that we cannot in
another medium. Each time I look through a lens, my perception of the world is
altered. I can see and photograph something large, magnificent, like a sunset
or something smaller, poignant, like a smile. Perception is a funny thing, it
can change big things to become more accessible and alter smaller things to
become more meaningful. In the instant a photograph is taken, a person is at
their most vulnerable because a camera will show only the truth. Every emotion,
from frustration to triumph, sadness to joy, is seen through the lenses of my
Children in particular express each emotion clearly. I’ve
photographed everything from weddings to landscapes, but working with children
and their families has been the most rewarding. Through previous work, I was
asked to photograph children that have special needs for a Finding My Way Books
series, true stories that highlight inclusion and self-determination. I am
fortunate to use my art to support diversity and literacy.
The Importance Of Fanfiction For Queer Youth - The Establishmenttheestablishment.co
“We should be striving to create more safe spaces for young, queer writers to feel welcome, but until that happens, online fanfiction communities will remain a safe space for them to gather and connect.” via The Establishment
BEA 2016: Strategies for Selling Diverse Children's Bookspublishersweekly.com
The Children’s Book Council Diversity Initiative hosted a BEA panel on May 13, bringing together booksellers and librarians to share insight and tools for getting diverse books into the hands of readers. @publishersweekly
Tell us about your
most recent book and how you came to write/illustrate it.
My new book is titled Genius
– The Game. It is the first in a series of books about child prodigies from
diverse backgrounds who come together to change their stars and the world. The
launch pad for their revolution is a competition called the Game. There, they
will compete with 200 other prodigies in a contest that will not only test
their brains but also challenge their ideals.
Genius – The Game
explores the outer reaches of technology, the explosive power of young minds,
and the bonds of family. It is filled with big ideas and even bigger emotions.
But more than just a book, the Genius series is a movement – it is my call to
the youth of the world: liberate your minds and you can liberate the planet.
National Ambassador Gene Luen Yang Celebrates Children’s Book Week with Raina Telgemeiercbcbooks.org
In celebration of the 97th annual Children’s Book Week, National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Gene Luen Yang appeared in conversation with friend and fellow graphic novelist Raina Telgemeier at the San Francisco Public Library! @firstsecondbooks @graphixbooks
Can you name a single, lovable Middle Eastern character in a middle grade novel? Now you can!
Contributed by Firoozeh Dumas, Author
People often me ask why I waited so long to
start writing. I always thought that in order to be a writer, one had to be
English and dead. I started writing when I was thirty-six years old so I
could tell my stories to my children. I wanted them to know what I have known
since I was seven years old; that our commonalities far outweigh our
differences. I learned this when my family moved from Abadan, Iran to Whittier,
California. From a young age, I did not fear those who are different from me,
and what an asset that has been in my life! As an adult, I discovered that many
people never learn this simple truth. They live in fear of “the
other”, and there are many “others.”
After my first book, Funny in Farsi,
was published, I started giving lectures around the country. Readers in
every nook and cranny that I visited said the same two things to me, “I
never thought a writer from the Middle East could make me laugh out loud”
and “Your family is just like my family!” I soon realized that most
people learn about other cultures from the evening news. The problem is that
only bad news is news. Most people never expect a female Iranian writer to be
relatable; they expect me to be oppressed and sad. That is what they have
seen on the news. I am neither.
Most Diverse? Verse!
5 Easy Steps for Promoting Diversity with Poetry
Janet Wong and Sylvia Vardell
do we find the most diversity in any genre in children’s literature? Poetry—but
it might not always be easy to see, as much of the diversity is embedded in
anthologies that aren’t necessarily categorized as diverse. In the 700+ poems
that we have published so far in The Poetry Friday Anthology series, nearly
a third reflect diverse experiences of culture, language, religion, and more,
including poems that address underrepresented topics such as Diwali (by Uma Krishnaswami), Ramadan
(by Ibtisam Barakat), Day of the Dead (by René Saldaña, Jr.), Dashain (by
Margarita Engle), and Gay Pride Day (by Lesléa Newman).
might never look to the National Geographic Book of Nature Poetry, edited
by J. Patrick Lewis (National Geographic, 2016), for diverse poems, yet it
contains poems by 20 diverse poets. Poems to Learn by Heart, compiled by
Caroline Kennedy (Disney, 2013), contains poems by at least 17 diverse poets.
And more than a quarter of the poets are diverse in The Death of the Hat: A Brief History of Poetry in 50 Objects by
Paul B. Janeczko (Candlewick, 2015).
other genre, however, goes out of print more quickly than poetry. Our
challenge: How can we make sure that diverse poetry books find their audience?
Here are things we’ve been trying:
Recruiting Diversity: A CBC Panelpublishersweekly.com
CBC Diversity held its first panel of the year on April 20, “Recruiting Diversity,” in which Human Resource professionals shared steps for creating a more inclusive industry from the inside out.