Embracing Diversity in YA Lit | School Library Journal
SLJ spoke to industry professionals who are raising awareness on the need for different perspectives in young adult books, and compiled a list of resources to find these titles.
A comprehensive, helpful article and list of resources for librarians on increasing diversity in YA lit. (And I was interviewed for it, too!)
DiYA is in it too! And yes very good resources at the end.
Fabulous article! Three of CBC Diversity’s founders are interviewed. What a great resources section at the bottom. Way to go, Shelley!
It was tough choosing which of my Tu Books fall titles to share with you this week, as they’re both awesome, and they’re both diverse titles that I want all the world to know about. I had to draw straws, in the end, and Summer of the Mariposas
won. This time.
Guadalupe Garcia McCall is known best for her debut novel in verse, Under the Mesquite,
which was a finalist for a Morris Award—given for a debut novel—and which won the Pura Belpre Award. McCall carries that same poetic voice to prose in her second novel, a retelling of The Odyssey
starring five sisters. I sometimes like to call it a Mexican American Weekend at Bernie’s
meets Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
via The Odyssey.
Let me tell you why.
When Odilia and her four sisters discover a dead man floating in their swimming hole on the Texas side of the Rio Grande, their first instinct is to report the dead body to the authorities. But when one of the sisters, Juanita, finds a family photo in the dead man’s wallet, their path is clinched—he was a father with two small children at home. They decide they will return the dead man to his family in Mexico, despite Odilia’s opposition to this plan. Eventually Odilia is overruled and she joins them on the urging of the ghostly legend La Llorona, who tells Odilia that this quest is something the five sisters must undertake. La Llorona will be their guide. They pile into their father’s old car and set off on an adventure to Mexico.
While returning the dead man to his family doesn’t come without its disappointments, the most challenging portion of their trip comes on their attempt to return home to their mother, when they must defeat a witch, a nagual (warlock), a chupacabras, and a coven of lechuzas while navigating the desert of northern Mexico on foot. Can the Cinco Hermanitas truly stay “together forever, no matter what” through these challenges? Can they face the ultimate real-world challenge once they make it home, where La Llorona and other magical means can no longer assist them?