Here’s what May brought:
- Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold (Crown, 1991)
- Gilberto and the Wind by Marie Hall Ets (Viking, 1963)
- The Dreamer by Pam Munoz Ryan, illustrations by Peter Sis (Scholastic, 2010)
- Chirchir is Singing by Kelly Cunnane, illustrated by Jude Daly (Schartz and Wade, 2011)
Okay, this is a short list, but these books are all gems in my eyes. Quality, not quantity this month!
Here’s what Cynthia Leitich Smith has to say about creating more diverse characters in kids lit. The woman is not messing around about this at all.
If you live in the world, you’re in this conversation—and, yes, staying quiet is a statement, too. What that silence means may vary from writer to writer, but for far too many, it’s a product of fear.
You, the fearfully silent, I’m talking to you. Have you ever thought “I’ll mess up” or “they’ll reject me,” and then set aside a story or character or plot line?
…I can’t promise that you won’t make a mistake or be unfairly criticized. But all writing stems from courage. If writing for and about all children requires more courage, then hunt it down.
Own your awesomeness and redefine this conversation. We’ve been self-congratulating, self-flagellating, cycling, and choir preaching too long. Make me less bored. Please.
Open your teeth and roar.
The whole article is here at the CBC Diversity Blog, a very nice place to roam on the web.
Plus, you can find more Cynthia Leitich Smith on her wowsa website and blog.