The CBC Diversity initiative was founded in 2012, as part of the Children’s Book Council’s commitment to promoting diverse voices in literature for young people. We believe that all children deserve to see their world reflected in the books they read. We recognize that diversity takes on many forms, including differences in race, religion, gender, geography, sexual orientation, class, and ability.
In addition to championing diverse authors and illustrators, CBC Diversity strives to open up the publishing industry to a wider range of employees. We’ve taken an active role in recruiting diverse candidates, participating in school career fairs and partnering with We Need Diverse Books on its summer internship program.
I write children’s
books because I believe they’re the books that change people’s lives.
My favorite book as a child
was Watership Down by Richard Adams. I
re-read it as an adult, trying to understand why I’d loved it so much. More
than a thrilling adventure story about rabbits, I saw it was a story about the
big questions of human life: Who are we? Where do we come from? Where do we
belong? How should we live?
I think that’s why it
meant so much to me. My family’s roots are in the Middle East. My ancestors were Iraqi, Egyptian, Kurdish,
and Circassian Muslims. I grew up in Britain in the 1970s, where such origins
were unusual. Negotiations around identity, difference and belonging were daily
facts of my life. Even my name was an issue.
Sabah Falah Said is an ordinary Arabic name, but unpronounceable in
English! Whenever it came up, people
would question it to such an extent that I ended up using initials.
The Importance Of Fanfiction For Queer Youth - The Establishment
“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
Though hardly fluent in English herself, my mother had tried very hard to read me English fairy tales when I was young. As a child, I was familiar with Anderson, Grimm and many stories written by Enid Blyton. I remember thinking then, questions like: Where was my snow? Why aren’t there fairies living in our garden? What does a Christmas pie taste like? And especially hated it whenever my mother would say, “We don’t have any of those things here, my dear; they are all in English places overseas.”
Originally posted on the Diversity in YA blog by Sarah Rees Brennan.
The Demon’s Lexicon series is all about roles.
I started the first book, The Demon’s Lexicon, thinking about the role of Mr. Tall, Dark, Handsome and Morally Really Freaking Dodgy, and how we almost never get that guy’s point of view, and what he’d be like from the inside. Almost unforgivably awful, maybe, because you know how bad he is from the start, and you aren’t distracted by his good looks and dashing ways. What’s it like to look into the abyss? And what makes an abyss, anyway?
That was the role that started the ball, ahem, rolling. (Everybody groans and tosses rotten fruit.) From there I thought about roles, and the different ways I could play with them, like genderswitching: what if the hero of an epic fantasy — you know the type, rash and brave and honest and initially clueless — was a girl, what if the Mother Who Would Give Up/Do Anything For Her Kid was a boy?
Some of my ideas were just about going beyond a role, because some roles are true as far as they go, but people are so complex they never go far enough. Such as the gay guy who presents as weaker than other guys — what if he was physically weaker and smaller, and also quite deliberately presenting himself in a certain way, and also a huge magical badass?