Some of you may be familiar with Diversity in YA (DiYA), a lovely project started last year by authors Cindy Pon and Malinda Lo to bring more attention to diversity in children’s literature. During the year-long DiYA project, Cindy and Malinda were kind enough to do a roundup each month of new titles coming out that featured diversity, and they defined diversity in the following way: (1) main characters or major secondary characters (e.g., a love interest or best friend kind of character) who are of color or are LGBT; or (2) written by a person of color or LGBT author.
Since DiYA is on hiatus, Cindy and Malinda gave us their blessing to continue their monthly roundup. We all felt that it was important to keep the spotlight on diverse books, and we hope you’ll join us in that mission!
It’s hard to believe we’re already in March! Warm weather may still be a few weeks away (although I’m ready any time now…) but there’s already plenty to celebrate this month—including, of course, Women’s History. Here are five of my favorite titles to give some color to your March reading list:
One of the many reasons why I love Thanksgiving is that, in my mind, it’s really the start of winter coziness. Despite the fact that I’m always grumbling by February, I really do love this season.
But we’ve had a weirdly warm fall thus far here in NYC, which has forced me to turn to books to get myself in the winter spirit. Here are my top 5 books that get me in the mood for the snow and slush ahead— and of course, all of them are best enjoyed in pajamas, with a warm cup of hot chocolate in hand:
It’s Native American Heritage month, and do we ever have recommendations for you! You can go to our site and see all our Native American titles, but we’re going to highlight a couple of them today.
Sky Dancers is a majestic story of the Mohawk steal workers who built the skyscrapers of New York City, as seen through the eyes of a young boy. On weekends, John Cloud lives with his parents on the reservation in upstate New York, but during the week his father is off in the city. When his mother takes him to New York, John Cloud is proud to see his father high above the city on a crossbeam of the Empire State Building. The Art Deco-influenced art and John Cloud’s independent mind make this book stand as tall as a skyscraper.
It’s Hispanic Heritage Month, the only heritage month that is not contiguous with a calendar month! (It runs from September 15-October 15, because September 15 is the anniversary of independence for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua, and Mexico, Chile, and Belize also have independence days following September 15). That means it’s a great time to talk about favorite books featuring Hispanic/Latino characters!
We’re curious—well, we’re always curious about what you’re reading, but this time we’re asking. What are the last five books you’ve read? Include the one you’re reading right now or not, it’s your call.
Now, I’m a big fan of Nancy Pearl’s Rule of 50: if you’re under fifty years of age, read the first fifty pages of a book and, if you’re not enjoying it, stop; if you’re over fifty years of age, subtract your age from 100, read that many pages of the book, and, if you’re not enjoying it, stop. I apply this rule often—there is just not enough time, and I am blessed to live a life filled with far more free books than I can possibly read. However, some books I’ve really tried to keep reading, hoping that if I just keep slogging through it I’ll love it.
These tend to be books that were recommended by people who are important to me, whose opinions I respect, and who know me well. With those recommendations behind them, they’re books I should really love, right?