Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Why do we need more children's and YA books with characters of color?

"If you cannot find yourself on the page very early in life, you will go looking for yourself in all the wrong places."
- Richard Peck

I heard Candy Gourlay quote Richard Peck in a speech and I was nearly in tears thinking of all the kids of color who are still looking for themselves in the pages of books.

13 comments:

MotherReader said...

As I was making a list of chapter books that have a summer theme, I found it very difficult to find ones that featured children of color. Especially as I wasn't looking for more serious books - which is all I could find for African-American characters. It highlighted the problem for me once again.

Tarie said...

Sigh.

C'mon, authors and publishers, give us more characters of color!!!

MissAttitude said...

What an appropriate quote. Thank you for sharing it Tarie.

@Mother Reader- It's as if publishers don't think African Americans or any other people of color can have fun! Our books cover some serious topics yes, but they can also be chick lit, paranormal, etc.

Tarie said...

Ari, I'm very happy to share the quote. :o)

tanita davis said...

Word to Uncle Richard.

So, so true.

Tarie said...

Tanita, heck, I'm *still* looking for myself on the page.

Zarah Grace C. Gagatiga said...

Peck's quote made a dent and I'm thankful Candy shared it with us!

Chachic said...

What I'd really want to see is a well-written YA book by a Filipino author set in the Philippines. :) Wouldn't it be great to have something like that? I would encourage all my book blogger friends to read it.

Tarie said...

Zarah, Richard Peck and Candy Gourlay rock!

Chachic, that book exists. Let's chat about it later. ;)

Doret said...

Tarie, I can't wait to read your review of Tall Story.

Tarie said...

Doret, I will review Tall Story for Color Online this month or at the beginning of Sept. :o)

Robyn Bavati said...

I agree that it's so important for kids to find themselves in books. I was raised Jewish, and the prevailing literature when I was growing up (in the sixties and early seventies) was Christian. Weddings were in Churches, families always but always got together for Christmas. Though I wanted to be a writer, I didn't see how I could accomplish it when I'd never set foot inside a Church. The situation isn't much better for Jewish kids today, when almost all Jewish literature for kids is Holocaust based. Kids need to know literature can be as varied as life.

Tarie said...

"Kids need to know literature can be as varied as life."

Hear, hear Robyn! :o)