It’s been a very enlightening month here at Little Pickle Press; the search for diverse books has yielded exciting ideas, new reading lists, and tough questions. Here are just a few of the highlights:
“I think the real issues around diversity are subject to what is being taught in schools and what kind of literature our children will read and absorb (I am a new grandfather of twin girls so this subject is now hovering on the horizon for me). The relationship between society, education, and publishing is a very complex one that is affected by federal mandates, historical precedents, library priorities, and state machinations.”
“What my wife, and many others told me is this: It’s ok to create a diverse character, as long as you acknowledge that their diversity is an element of who they are and what their experience is. It doesn’t have to define everything about them, but you can’t ignore it either. If you strike this balance, and you truly love your characters, you will convince others that they are worthy of being loved as well.”
“Many independent publishers are stepping up to fill a void that is becoming more and more obvious to readers everywhere. We asked some of our fellow Pickles to tell us about their favorite diverse books, and they offered up some fine suggestions.”
“There were no books that I found that had an Indian girl as a normal main character; not during some war, or explaining about treating people the right way. This made me feel alien, even though there are a number of Indians in San Jose.”
Although the month is over, the search for diverse books goes on. Tools such as the Twitter hashtag #WeNeedDiverseBooks will not only lead you to titles, they’ll send a powerful message to publishers. We may not all be the same, but we can work together as one. Please share your stories of the search for diverse books in the comment section; we love to hear from you!