Over the summer I spotted a mural for the last Harry Potter movie and I remember being impressed. The mural got me thinking about the kind of promotions we could do if we had unlimited funds.
We are THRILLED, thrilled I say, to unveil the covers of our first three Tu Books! Tu Books is our newest imprint and will be publishing multicultural middle grade and young adult science fiction, fantasy, and mystery. We now introduce our Fall 2011 launch list—drumroll, please:
Tankborn, by Karen Sandler
Best friends Kayla and Mishalla know they will be separated when the time comes for their Assignments. They are GENs, Genetically Engineered Non-humans, and in their strict caste system, GENs are at the bottom rung of society. High-status trueborns and working-class lowborns, born naturally of a mother, are free to choose their own lives. But GENs are gestated in a tank, sequestered in slums, and sent to work as slaves as soon as they reach age fifteen.
When Kayla is Assigned to care for Zul Manel, the patriarch of a trueborn family, she finds a host of secrets and surprises—not least of which is her unexpected friendship with Zul’s great-grandson. Meanwhile, the children that Mishalla is Assigned to care for are being stolen in the middle of the night. With the help of an intriguing lowborn boy, Mishalla begins to suspect that something horrible is happening to them.
There’s been a lot of chatter about prizes lately!
The ALA has added another children’s book award—and more diversity. The new Stonewall Award for Children’s & Young Adult Literature Award will be recognizing books for young readers relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender experience.
Book Expo America has finished and Memorial Day is almost here, but in between, here’s your weekly batch of diversity reading!
Looking back to the era of Civil Rights protests and Civil Rights legislation, Breach of Peace presents some amazing portraits of some of the 1961 Freedom Riders—with their mugshots, recent interviews, and recent photos. Some amazing stories here. Meanwhile, an editorial at the Washington Post looks at the 1964 Civil Rights act and government support of private segregation.
Recently, I’ve read a couple books set in fantasy worlds that reverse the skin-tone power dynamic of our world: where dark-haired and dark-skinned people oppress and discriminate against paler, blonder folk. Both are fine books—The Shifter by Janice Hardy and Stealing Death by Janet Lee Carey—and neither oversimplify race relations or relies on our constructs of black and white in describing their characters and ethnic groups, but it does make me wonder about the message we’re sending to minority kids through books like these.
Yesterday we posted a video on the frustrations of biracial people being put into little boxes. Taking a very different view is Michele Elam, with a thought-provoking article about the pitfalls of “mark one or more races” on the census.
On her blog, author Shannon Hale takes a look at the lack of girls in children’s movies, the limited roles they play, and an appeal to parents: take your sons to movies with girl heroes. The same goes for books and the same goes for other types of diversity: give the children you know books with heroes who don’t look like them.
Welcome back for another week of links!
Valentine’s Day can make a lot of us see red, but even more so with Time Magazine‘s looks at racial preferences—or biases—shown on online dating sites.
Meanwhile, America Ferrera—the Latina star of Ugly Betty—gave an interview in which she talked about race and casting in Hollywood. The whole interview isn’t available online, but Jezebel has some highlights.
Every week, we’re going to be bringing you a roundup of interesting articles, commentary, and projects dealing with diversity—race, gender, immigration issues, discrimination, and people bridging cultural barriers.
From Genreville, Josh Jasper discusses the problem of lazy sexism and racism, when women and minorities are excluded not due to conscious bias, but due to a lack of awareness and thought. “Oh, it just happens that all the good stories we found were written by men/white people/middle-class people.” That sort of thing. Also see a follow-up post and this bingo card of excuses for racism. It’s talking specifically about fantasy, but the same excuses get used in many other genres.