For years I’ve written children’s stories with a multicultural emphasis. Being uniquely American means sharing foods and customs from around the globe. A young man from Denmark who stayed with my family for a few weeks teased that Americans have no food of their own. They just try to make the foods from other countries. At the time, standing at the stove cooking for him, I was some miffed. I’ve since come to appreciate the thought. Helping children understand the culture of their family’s country of origin as well as the diverse cultures and customs of folks who share this continent with them is close to my heart. Today I’m offering a challenge from Latin@s in Kid’s Literature:
2014 Reading Challenge
A year ago, The New York Times wrote about the lack of Latin@ literature in classrooms, which leaves the youngest members of the largest ethnic or racial minority in the U.S. with little chance to “see themselves in books.” The School Library Journal countered that the literature is there but needs to be promoted.
We believe both statements and would like to see more all around, meaning: more Latin@ children’s literature on bookshelves and in libraries and classrooms, more titles by and for Latin@s on year-end “Best of” lists and best-seller lists, more people buying, reading, and writing about Latin@ children’s literature.
We cannot control publishing and marketing, but we can read and write about Latin@s in children’s literature. So, as the new year approaches, we invite you to participate in our 2014 Reading Challenge. This would be a great way to diversify your reading lists and support already established and emerging writers who include Latin@s in their books. One of the best ways to express that diversity in kid lit is important is to buy, read, and write about these titles.
Here are the Guidelines:
This challenge will run from January 1, 2014-December 31, 2014.
The goal is one book per month. You may post reviews on GoodReads (use a shelf dedicated to 2014 Latin@s in Kid Lit Reading Challenge), Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Facebook, or wherever else you post your reviews. Again, link back to the challenge. Each month, we will check up on participants, but you can also send a direct link to our email at: firstname.lastname@example.org whenever you read and review a book. We will have a monthly round-up post that lists all reviews available online.