Can you describe your high school years? Are there echoes of Fabiola’s experiences in your past?
In my junior and senior years, I was voted most creative and class clown. I was definitely on a mission to be different, to not suck up to the cool rich crowd, and to start my own trends. My hair color and identity changed every couple of months. I struggled with self-acceptance. There were no role models on TV or in magazines I could look up to and try to emulate. Many times I felt alone and misunderstood.
An “It’s Complicated!” post by literary agent Stefanie Sanchez Von Borstel
While on faculty at the National Latino Writers Conference last Thursday, a timely
For the first time in US history, more than half of all newborn babies born last year are minorities. The entire US population is 36% minority, and this milestone shows how swiftly our nation’s youth is diversifying.
Yet a recent study by the SCBWI found that in 2010 more than 90 percent of children’s/young adult books published in the US featured white protagonists. As a literary agent, I’ve found it’s important to show publishers there is a demand, and in turn help them feel confident to publish even more diverse voices. As an author advocate, I believe it’s critical for writers of color to see their fellow writers succeed. As a mother, I know it’s urgent that we make sure young readers see themselves in the books they read.
The debut middle-grade novel by Diana Lopez, Confetti Girl (Little, Brown), is an example of a book filled with diversity that doesn’t focus on diversity but instead wraps diversity around a wonderful story. Apolina “Lina” Flores is a sock enthusiast, volleyball player and science lover looking for answers about her life. Filled with colorful Mexican-American cultural details such as dichos, confetti-filled cascarones and cumbia dances, the story struck a chord with middle-schoolers nationwide.