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2018 Diversity Audit Resources – The Quest to Create an Own Voices Master List as an Audit Tool

Whenever I talk about doing a YA collection diversity audit (links at the end of this post), the #1 question I get asked, after how in general, is how do you know if an author is own voices or not. It’s a good question that typically takes a lot of research, even for me. I have somewhat of a basis now using my own collection and my first audit, but starting from scratch was a time consuming endeavor that had me checking and double checking lists I found online and cross checking them with my own shelf list. There are lots of good individual resources out there that focus on things like Latinx authors, or LGBTQ authors, or POC authors, but you have to find and navigate each one, which makes the task a bit more cumbersome.

Lee and Low have a good resource to help librarians understand the Diversity Gap in Children's Litearature http://blog.leeandlow.com/2017/03/30/the-diversity-gap-in-childrens-book-publishing-2017/

Lee and Low have a good resource to help librarians understand the Diversity Gap in Children’s Litearature http://blog.leeandlow.com/2017/03/30/the-diversity-gap-in-childrens-book-publishing-2017/

This year, I want to work on creating an Own Voices master list that would help other YA librarians have some starting points for doing their own diversity audits. Some other librarians have agreed to help.  Lisa Krok (@readonthebeach), Allie (@alphabeticallie) and I are working on creating a YA Own Voices Master List that we can upload to Google Docs and share with the general public. But it’s quite a task and we are working out the details. It’s a discussion in progress. In the meantime, we could really use your help.

Want to know more about Own Voices? Here’s a brief beginning.

#ownvoices • Corinne Duyvis

1. Help us create the Master List by sharing resources you know about in the comments so we can add them to our list.  A lot of people have done some initial work and compiled great lists, so if you know about them please place a link in the comments.

2. If you have some sort of a spreadsheet already and don’t mind sharing, please consider sending it to me via email. We will make sure that your work is acknowledged.

3. If you are an author who wants to be included, please comment below or email me.

A note about this list: Our goal is to create a tool to help YA librarians assess the make up of their collections in order to build the most inclusive collections as possible. We do not expect that this list will ever be exhaustive or all inclusive because new authors are always being announced and also, some authors may not wish to be identified. For example, we do not want to ever accidentally out an LGBTQ author who does not wish to be identified. We also want to work and make sure that we correctly identify authors in the ways they wish to be identified and respect their right not to be included if they so choose. We are choosing to focus not just on works that include diverse characters, which have value, but on focusing on and lifting up own voices authors to help ensure that we are not just lifting up diverse titles, but diverse authors because as recent research has indicated, children’s and YA publishing is still overwhelmingly white. We want our kids to not only read about characters that look like themselves, but to read about it from an author who looks like them and can remind them that not only can they read diversely, but that they too can grow up to be an author and share their words if they so choose.

We live in an increasingly diverse world, but many areas of our lives do not reflect this. Publishing is one of these areas, and we want to provide a resource to help libraries do the necessary work of making sure that they are purposefully curating inclusive collections. While organizations like We Need Diverse Books does the work on helping to diversify publishing, librarians need to do the work of making sure we are buying the books and building inclusive collections for our patrons.

Please note, for the purposes of this discussion, we are talking about books published as YA. I fully understand that teens read both down and up, but for the purposes of this project we will be looking at YA authors who have published at least 1 title published as YA/Teen.

Current Resources and Discussion

Diversity in Publishing

Statistics | Diversity in YA

The Diversity Baseline Survey | Lee & Low Books

Infographic Series: The Diversity Gap | Lee & Low Books

SLJ Resources for Diversity in Kid and YA Lit | School Library Journal

We Need Diverse Books | Official site of the #WeNeedDiverseBooks

Children’s Book Council (CBC) Diversity ;CBC Diversity Initiative | Children’s Book Council

Cooperative Children’s Book Center: Publishing Stats on Children’s Books and Diversity

Population Statistics

U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts selected: UNITED STATES

LGBT America: By the Numbers | Washington Week – PBS

Doing a Diversity Audit

Diversity in Collection Development – American Library Association

Having Students Analyze Our Classroom Library To See How Diverse It Is

Diversity in Libraries–From Collections and Community to Staff

Third Graders Assess and Improve Diversity of Classroom Library

How You Can Support the #WeNeedDiverseBooks Campaign

Additional Resources: Book Lists and New Releases

Diversity in YA (General)

We Need Diverse Books | Official site of the #WeNeedDiverseBooks

Reading While White

Rich In Color

Book Lists | Diversity in YAwww.diversityinya.com/category/book-lists/

Diversity in Young Adult and Middle Grade (1351 books) – Goodreads

31 Young Adult Books With Diverse Characters Literally Everyone

Diversity YA Life: Diverse Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror – The Hub

Diversity YA Life: Urban Fiction – The Hub

Rich in Color | Reading & Reviewing Diverse YA Booksrichincolor.com/

Diversify YA Life: Horror with Diverse Characters

50 Years of Diversity in Young Adult Literature by Edith Campbell

60 Diverse Books To Look for in 2017

10 Diverse Books by YA Authors of Color to Read in 2017 | Teen Vogue

Faces of Color on 2017 YA Books – Book Riot

#OwnVoices YA Favorites

14 of Our Most Anticipated OwnVoices YA Books of 2018 – July through December

Asian American Protagonists

Best Asian-American Teen Fiction (156 books) – Goodreads

A Round-Up of Awesome Asian American Protagonists in YA Lit

11 Young Adult Novels By Asian-American Authors – Bustle

LatinX Representation

Latinx Ya Shelf – Goodreads

13 Upcoming YA Books By Latinx Authors To Start Getting Excited

9 Books By Latinx Authors I Wish I Had As A Teenager – Bustle

Latinxs in Kid Lithttps://latinosinkidlit.com/ 

Native American Representation

American Indians in Children’s Literature

#OwnVoices Representation: Native American Authors – YA Interrobang

Teen Books With Native American Characters and Stories (66 books)

Some thoughts on YA lit and American Indians – American Indians in Children’s Literature/Debbie Reese

Books Outside The Box: Native Americans – The Hub

Teen Books by Native Writers to Trumpet Year-Round | School Library

POC Leads

10 Diverse Books by YA Authors of Color to Read in 2017 | Teen Vogue

Faces of Color on 2017 YA Books – Book Riot

12 Young Adult Novels With POC Protagonists – Bustle

14 YA Books About LGBTQ People of Color – The B&N Teen Blog

Books By and About People of Marginalized Races

BrownBookShelf

LGBTQAI+

YA Pride (formerly Gay YA) : YA Pride (@YA_Pride) | Twitter

30 Essential LGBT Books for YA Readers – AbeBooks

100 Must-Read LGBTQIA YA Books – Book Riot

23 of Our Most Anticipated LGBTQA YA Books of 2017 – The B&N

72 Must-Read YA Books Featuring Gay Protagonists – Epic Reads

LGBTQIAP+ Books By People Who Identify as LGBTQIAP+

Trans-Identifying Authors

The Rainbow Book List

Stonewall Book Awards List

Disability in YA Lit

Disability in Kidlit — Reviews, articles, and more about the portrayal of …

People First: Disabilities in YA Lit – The Hub

#ownvoices in Disability and Neurodiversity

Feminist YA

50 Crucial Feminist YA Novels – The B&N Teen Blog

34 Young Adult Books Every Feminist Will Love – BuzzFeed

100 Young Adult Books for the Feminist Reader | Bitch Media

Body Acceptance

5 Body-Positive YA Reads to Take to the Beach – The B&N Teen Blog

Celebrating Every Body: 25 Body Image Positive Books for Mighty Girls

7 Body Positive YA Books That Slay | Brit + Co

Julie Murphy’s ‘Dumplin’ And 6 Other Body Positive YA Novels – Bustle

Religious Diversity in YA

#FSYALit at Teen Librarian Toolbox

Rich in Color | Six YA Books with Middle Eastern or Muslim Protagonists

Diversity in YA Literature: Muslim Teens – The Hub

Jewish Themed Young Adult Books, Not About The Holocaust

The Big Five (+1) in YA: Atheism and Agnosticism – The Hub

The Big Five (+1) in YA: Buddhism – The Hub

Mental Health in YA

#MHYALit at Teen Librarian Toolbox

29 YA Books About Mental Health That Actually Nail It – BuzzFeed

16 YAs That Get it Right: Mental Health Edition – The B&N Teen Blog

YA novels that get real about mental health – HelloGiggles

11 YA Novels That Deal With Mental Health Issues – Bustle

10 Must-Read YA Books That Also Talk About Mental Health – Healthline

Socio-Economic Diversity in YA Lit

Socio-Economic Diversity in YA Lit

Poverty in YA Literature

Rich Teen, Poor Teen: Books that depict teens living in poverty

#SJYALit: A Bibliography of MG and YA Lit Featuring Homeless Youth

Own Voices

MG/YA/NA #ownvoices (216 books) – Goodreads

#OwnVoices in Disability and Neurodiversity | The Daily Dahlia

11 of Our Most Anticipated #OwnVoices Reads of 2017

10 Amazing #OwnVoices Reads from 2016

LGBTQA Science Fiction and Fantasy YA by #OwnVoices Authors

Don’t forget to check out the hasthag #OwnVoices on Twitter

New Releases

YA Books Centralwww.yabookscentral.com/

Teen Reads – www.teenreads.com

Book Riot – www.bookriot.com

Barnes and Noble Teen Blog – www.barnesandnoble.com/blog/teen/

YA Interrobang – www.yainterrobang.com

YA Lit – www.yalit.com

Epic Reads – www.epicreads.com

Pop Crush – www.popcrush.com

Bustle – www.bustle.com

Adventures in YA – www.adventuresinya.com

Coming Soon

17 Upcoming YA by Authors of Color: Bustle

Teens of Color on 2018 YA Book Covers – STACKED – books

2018 YA/MG Books With POC Leads (120 books) – Goodreads

Thirteen YA Books That Feature POC Leads Coming to You This 2018

17 YA Books By Authors Of Color To Look Out For In The First Half Of 2018

2018 YA Books with (Possible) LGBT Themes (114 books) – Goodreads – please note the possible noted here

The Complete List of 2018 YA Releases | Fictionist Magazine

YA Novels of 2018 (708 books) – Goodreads

YA Debuts 2018 (96 books) – Goodreads

Electric Eighteens | Electric 18s – 2018 Debut Young Adult

*with assistance from TLTer Heather Booth

Complete YA Collection Diversity Audit Series

Doing a YA Collection Diversity Audit: Understanding Your Local Community (Part 1)

Doing a YA Collection Diversity Audit: The How To (Part 2)

Doing a YA Collection Diversity Audit: Resources and Sources (Part 3)

Diversity Audit Outline 2017 with Sources

WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI and Sex Positive YA, a guest post by author Sandhya Menon and a GIVEAWAY

Today we are honored to host author Sandhya Menon as she discusses writing a sex positive YA story. We’re also giving away a hardback copy of this upcoming YA title, one of the most anticipated YA releases of 2017.

whendimplemetrishi

Growing up, my parents and I never discussed sex. It wasn’t even something that they considered discussing with me, I’m sure. In general South Asian parents don’t ever, ever talk about sex with their children. It was weird, in the South Asian community, if your parents were open about that kind of thing, and they were usually judged pretty harshly by the other parents; being that open was viewed as putting your kids on the path to promiscuity. I didn’t really figure out all of the ins and outs of sex—so to speak—until I was well into high school, and only then thanks to other overzealous, (non-South Asian, naturally) high school students who couldn’t wait to share their exploits.

So you can believe me when I say that putting in a sex scene into my debut YA, When Dimple Met Rishi, was something I agonized over. I knew South Asian people (and others who don’t typically discuss sex with their teenage children) would be reading this—strangers, acquaintances, friends, those in my family, etc. What would they think? Would they feel that the book would corrupt the youth of today? Would they glare at me for breaking the unspoken rule—no South Asian adult shall educate unmarried South Asian youth about sex until the night before their wedding, and only then in the vaguest terms? I spent many a sweaty day fretting.

In the end, with my editor’s blessing (she’s Cambodian American, and shared my concerns), I decided to put it in there. It’s not on the page, per se…I fade out once things get going. But I do also very plainly state what’s going to happen. Dimple and Rishi have a very frank and open conversation about sex and what it means to them, and even talk about using a condom to be safe. In some ways, I still can’t believe my family members in India might read this one day soon. (And that I’m not immediately begging Simon & Schuster to stop the presses.)

Why, then, given my anxieties about it, did I put the scene in and leave it there? Honestly, I feel like it’s time for adults in the South Asian community to begin having those conversations with our sons and daughters (especially our daughters, who’ve traditionally been kept in the dark the longest). Not talking about sex doesn’t prevent sexual activity. If anything, it only makes sex something carried out in shameful secret—which means more venereal diseases and unwanted pregnancies, more unneeded psychological pain and damage.

I certainly don’t think all teenagers need to have sex. Sex depends on the individual, and readiness will vary with emotional and physical maturity, among other factors. But I do think that talking about healthy sexual practices like consent, birth control, and readiness (and for South Asian teens, that may well mean considering their parents’ stance on premarital sex) should become more of a practice in our homes.

Most importantly, by writing the sex scene in When Dimple Met Rishi, I wanted to show that sex can be safe and positive, something that, when undertaken with care, is a normal part of a consensual, adult relationship even when the individuals in question aren’t married. I hope it opens the door for teens in households where sex isn’t a part of the conversation to approach it in a non-threatening, healthy manner.

About WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI

A laugh-out-loud, heartfelt YA romantic comedy, told in alternating perspectives, about two Indian-American teens whose parents have arranged for them to be married.

Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways. (Simon Pulse, May 30th)

Meet Author Sandhya Menon

Sandhya Menon author photo, credit Timothy Falls

Sandhya Menon is the author of WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI (Simon Pulse/May 30, 2017) and a second YA contemporary coming in the summer of 2018. She was born and raised in India on a steady diet of Bollywood movies and street food, and pretty much blames this upbringing for her obsession with happily-ever-afters, bad dance moves, and pani puri.

Sandhya currently lives in Colorado, where she’s on a mission to (gently) coerce her family to watch all 3,221 Bollywood movies she claims as her favorite.

Visit her on the web at http://www.sandhyamenon.com.

Social media:

Twitter: http://bit.ly/sandhyatwitter

Instagram: http://bit.ly/sandhyainsta

A GIVEAWAY

U.S. residents can enter by Saturday, May 20th to win a hardback copy of this swoon worthy book. Do the Rafflecopter thing below to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Setting a New Default for Readers and Myself: A Guest Post by LABYRINTH LOST author Zoraida Cordova

Today we are very honored to host a guest post by LABYRINTH LOST author Zoraida Córdova. Labyrinth Lost is book one in the Brooklyn Brujas series published by Sourcebooks Fire. It is the story of Alex, a girl who wants to reject her magical destiny and in doing so banishes her family to another plane where she must journey to find them before they become victims of the Devourer.

labyrinthlostI started my writing career very young and never had a back up plan. When I was 13 I decided this is what I wanted, and I started writing. When I was 16 and 17, I attended the National Book Foundation’s writing camp. Though camp no longer exists, it was the most defining experience in my life, both as a person and writer. Led by poet and author, Meg Kearney, a group of students spanning all ages and backgrounds took summer workshops in Bennington College in Vermont.

There are two lessons I remember the most from camp, and still use when writing. Cornelius Eady, poet and co-founder of Cave Canem, would tell us to “trim the fat.” Every time I have a massive first draft, the kind of draft that makes my agent and editor pause, I tell myself to “trim the fat.” The second lesson was by Jacqueline Woodson. First of all, it was incredible having someone like Jackie teaching us. As we shared our short stories, Jackie always pointed out the white default in our characters. I was a teen, the fourth youngest in our group. I went to public school. I knew about metaphor and symbolism, but I’d never heard of the “white default” before. Looking back, I’m guilty of this as well. My tv shows, my books, my movies, my music, my magazines. Everything I read was predominantly white. As an adult, I went back to my very first manuscript: a ground breaking teenage epic at 20 something pages, based on the Jessica Simpson song “Final Heartbreak.” You can laugh. I certainly do. “Final Heartbreak” was written by a thirteen year old who had internalized the white default. All of my beautiful characters were white. The two exotic characters were the only ones described as having slightly darker skin. This was the first time I ever wrote the white default.

After hearing Jackie Woodson tell us, “If you describe one person’s race, you have to do it for everyone else. Otherwise, they’re white by default,” my world changed. Thanks to discussion that’s at the forefront of publishing thanks to We Need Diverse Books, Diversity in YA, and other like-minded organizations, we know what the white default is. But as a teenager who wanted to write fantasy novels, it felt like everything had shifted. When you don’t see yourself represented in media, you start to erase yourself. The default has to change.

Changing the default starts with the authors. Daniel José Older tweeted, “If a character’s white I say it. Otherwise, assume they’re not. The default is POC.” Reading this made me think about what Jackie Woodson said all those years ago. Even though, I was conscious of what the default was, I was afraid. When I wrote The Vicious Deep, I did my job. I designated an ethnicity for all my characters. But that wasn’t enough. What was I so afraid of? Four years later, I know. When you’re an author of color, you fear being “too” diverse. You wait so long for the market to be ready, not just for your book, but also for you as a person.

Writing Labyrinth Lost was liberating. I’ve written Brooklyn before, but even that Brooklyn was white washed. In this world, the default in characters is POC. One of the reasons I started reading fantasy was because I hated contemporary stories as a kid. The only books I could find were about poor or struggling Latinxs (never Ecuadorian like me). And while those stories are brilliant and important and still need to be read, I also wanted to be a superhero. I wanted to be Buffy and Sabrina and Prue Halliwell. The issue in Labyrinth Lost isn’t my protagonist’s ethnicity or bisexuality. These are things that should’ve been normalized a long time ago. The issue that Alex Mortiz has is her magic and power. Being afraid to have power is something that everyone can relate to, especially when you’re a girl. How are you influenced by the people who surround you? How do you deal with feeling abandoned by a parent? How do you cope with the pressure of being sixteen and the pressure of school? These are the things that make Alex relatable to teens, no matter where they come from, and despite that the default in this book is POC.

Alex lives in an untraditional house. If you take the magical aspect for a second, what am I left with? A single mother. A working class home in a (made up) part of Brooklyn. A huge extended family. A girl with anxiety. A trio of sisters. A girl trying to find her place in the world.

I’m twenty-nine and sometimes I still feel like I haven’t fully understood my place in the world, so in my book, Alex Mortiz is already on the right track. In setting a new default for myself and for my readers, I hope others will see themselves in Alex’s strength.

Publisher’s Book Description

“Enchanting and complex. Every page is filled with magic.”-Danielle Paige, New York Times best-selling author of Dorothy Must Die

Nothing says Happy Birthday like summoning the spirits of your dead relatives.

Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation…and she hates magic. At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires. Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone with Nova, a brujo boy she can’t trust. A boy whose intentions are as dark as the strange marks on his skin.

The only way to get her family back is to travel with Nova to Los Lagos, a land in-between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland…

Praise for Labyrinth Lost

“Zoraida Cordova’s prose enchants from start to finish. Labyrinth Lost is pure magic.” -Melissa Grey, author of The Girl at Midnight

“Magical and empowering, Labyrinth Lost is an incredible heroine’s journey filled with mythos come to life; but at its heart, honors the importance of love and family.” -Cindy Pon, author of Serpentine and Silver Phoenix

“A brilliant brown-girl-in-Brooklyn update on Alice in Wonderland and Dante’s Inferno. Very creepy, very magical, very necessary.” -Daniel Jose Older, author of Shadowshaper

“Labyrinth Lost is a magical story of love, family, and finding yourself. Enchanting from start to finish.” -Amy Tintera, author of Ruined.

Karen’s Thoughts

This was a unique and interesting twist on magic from a cultural perspective that I am not very familiar with. It was fascinating, dark and compelling. I highly recommend it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Zoraida Córdova was born in Ecuador and raised in Queens, New York. She is the author of the Vicious Deep trilogy, the On the Verge series, and Labyrinth Lost. She loves black coffee, snark, and still believes in magic. Send her a tweet @zlikeinzorro

Book Review: If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

Publisher’s description

ifi wasA new kind of big-hearted novel about being seen for who you really are.

Amanda Hardy is the new girl in school. Like anyone else, all she wants is to make friends and fit in. But Amanda is keeping a secret, and she’s determined not to get too close to anyone.

But when she meets sweet, easygoing Grant, Amanda can’t help but start to let him into her life. As they spend more time together, she realizes just how much she is losing by guarding her heart. She finds herself yearning to share with Grant everything about herself, including her past. But Amanda’s terrified that once she tells him the truth, he won’t be able to see past it.

Because the secret that Amanda’s been keeping? It’s that at her old school, she used to be Andrew. Will the truth cost Amanda her new life, and her new love?

Meredith Russo’s If I Was Your Girl is a universal story about feeling different—and a love story that everyone will root for.

 

Amanda’s thoughts

YA novel about a trans main character, written by a trans writer, featuring a trans cover model? YES!

 

I don’t want to give away too much of the plot, so I’ll keep this review short. This book was fantastic. THE END.

 

Just kidding. Here’s a little more: This book is about changes in Amanda’s life, and not just the changes that come from transitioning. She’s in a new town, at a new school, living with a father she hasn’t seen in six years, and making new friends (for the first time in forever). She gets her first kiss and starts her first relationship. We see enough snippets of her past to know some of the things she’s been through, from suicide attempts to brutal assaults. She’s had varying levels of support, from a dad who still hasn’t “come to terms” with everything to a mom who quickly realizes that she’d rather her kid be trans than be dead. We learn a little about Amanda’s journey—understanding from little on that she was a girl, therapy, hormones, surgery, etc.

 

Amanda’s new friends and new start at a new school give her the chance to just live her life, for once, without being in constant fear. It takes her a little while to feel at ease, and there is a degree of worry underlying all the time, but she finally gets a chance to do things lots of teens typically do—go to football games and dances, be in a relationship, share secrets, and be supported and included. There is still fear and some ugly incidents, but for the most part this is a very positive, hopeful look at the life of a trans teen (something Russo addresses in the author’s note). At the beginning of Amanda’s story she tells us her goals for living in her new town: “I would keep my head down and keep quiet. I would graduate. I would go to college as far from the South as I could. I would live.” She soon realizes she has more options than that, than just simply trying to survive. She gets a chance to really start to live her life—the life she’s wanted to live for so long. A VERY welcome addition to the growing selection of books about trans teens—not to be missed. 

 

 

Review copy courtesy of the publisher

ISBN-13: 9781250078407

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Publication date: 05/03/2016