why do authors not summarize short stories, children’s books with mixed-race children books
[Winnie rushes home to tell her mom]
But the problem is an ongoing and multifaceted one, as entrenched in economics and culture as is racism itself, perhaps. “I think that it will get better, says Booth. “But I’ve gone to conventions and you look across the entire convention floor and see only Jackie [Woodson] and Walter Dean Myers; those are the only black books represented. It’s getting better, but as a percentage, it looks very low.” In terms of ethnicities represented, however, there does appear to be improvement. Aronson says, “More recently there’s been a growth in the past less than a decade of representations of Asians and South Asians, because you have a middle-class set of English-speaking writers writing about India, Pakistan, etc. Also, on the Native American side, Sherman Alexie’s Part Time Indian is one of the great books of Y.A. But there aren’t 15 of him, he comes to represent the whole field.” Further, some genres within the category are doing better at diversity than others, especially with the popularity of dystopian fiction and fantasy for kids (areas in which it is not being done particularly well). “I think one of the issues is the whole category of Y.A. realism has declined in the face of fantasy and dytopia,” said Aronson. “And generally that [fantasy] world, while not particularly white, is not deliberately multi-cultural. I have seen fantasy worlds with gender-bending, with Asian-seeming characters. But it has seemed whiter [than, say, realistic genres]. I expect the next wave to expand or overlap with fantasy/dystopia.”
I also disliked the way filial piety was introduced in the book. Filial piety is a huge part of Chinese culture, a Confucian virtue of respect, humility, and consideration towards one’s parents. In the book, Fiona’s father shows filial piety towards his mother, yet his behavior is portrayed as pouty and superficial, and is even described as “acting like a child.” It came across more like a ridiculous aspect of Chinese culture, rather than an honorable one.
Half and Half is a very cute story that can really hit home for children who are from multiple cultures. The narrator, Fiona, is half Chinese and half Scottish. Physically, she considers herself to be 65% Chinese and 35% Scottish. Fiona is proud to represent two very different cultures. However, on the day that she has to choose a box to represent her racial background on a form, Fiona discovers that she has a difficult choice to make between being Asian, White, or simply, Other. Her problems Half and Half is a very cute story that can really hit home for children who are from multiple cultures. The narrator, Fiona, is half Chinese and half Scottish. Physically, she considers herself to be 65% Chinese and 35% Scottish. Fiona is proud to represent two very different cultures. However, on the day that she has to choose a box to represent her racial background on a form, Fiona discovers that she has a difficult choice to make between being Asian, White, or simply, Other. Her problems grow when her Chinese grandmother and Scottish grandparents arrive for Seattle’s annual Folk Fest. Although Fiona loves to practice her Scottish dancing, she is also expected to support her children’s book illustrator dad during his presentation of a new book featuring a Chinese girl based on Fiona. Not wanting to disappoint anyone in her family, Fiona has to find a way to make everyone happy, while at the same time finding a way to be satisfied with her multi-racial background.
But new girl Kirsty seems to get Harper in ways she never expected. She has lost a sister too. Harper finally feels secure. She finally feels. loved. As if she can grow beyond the person she was when Jenna died.
From the creator of Meerkat Mail and Dogs, comes a very funny rhyming woodland story about the perils of being too tidy.
LN : So, this is an interesting issue and I will just preface it by telling you a little anecdote. I was in a workshop about diversity many years ago. The workshop leader was trying to make a point, and she said, “ If you like strawberry ice cream, go to the left side of the room. If you like pistachio ice cream, go to the right side of the room.” People divided. She said something like, “ If your favorite color is blue, go to the right side of the room, if your favorite color is red, go to the left side of the room,” and there was some overlap. And then she said, “ If you are a person of color, go to the left of the room, if you are a Caucasian person, go to the right side of the room.” The attitude of the room changed; people weren’t laughing anymore. So people divided, and there was a group of people who, without saying anything to each other, went to the middle of the room. The workshop leader was very puzzled. She asked, “ Who are you?” and I said, “ We’re the Jews.” Without knowing anything about anybody else, all of us grouped together. I said to myself, “ These are my people, and we don’t know where to go.” So, in the “ We Need Diverse Books,” movement, it is just as you said. The Jewish book about names is not seen in the same way as others with the same message, as a book about learning to have pride in your name. We are not purely part of the mainstream world, and yet, we’re not seen in the same way as other excluded groups. We should be included more in the conversation about diversity.
LN : I heard from a little girl who wrote me a thank-you letter for writing Heather Has Two Mommies. She said, “ I know that you wrote it just for me.” I happened to know that this child, whom I had met, was African-American. Heather is white, but Tasha was convinced that I wrote the book just for her. So, children cross gender lines and racial lines to put themselves right in the books. Kids want to see themselves in books so they will go the extra mile in order to do so. As a writer, I work extra hard to make that happen.
In the piney woods of south Alabama, 10-year-old Moon Blake has been raised by his survivalist father, a paranoid Vietnam veteran. When his father dies, Moon buries him beside his mother, who had softened their harsh existence while she lived. Not long before he died, Moon’s father told him to write him letters after his death — and if Moon burned the letters, the messages would reach him. Pap called these “smoke letters.” … With a wonderful villain and touches of distinctive humor, the author takes his wiry, tough, goodhearted hero through a residence in a boys’ “home,” a true friendship, assorted escapes and into a happy ending. … This debut novel is absolutely first-rate.
Perfect for: Kids who like humor stories.
The title, which is also the first line, sets the playful tone. Delightfully anti-authoritarian and anti-establishment, Prelutsky is the unexcelled master of word-playing nonsense. His laugh-aloud poems are rude, disrespectful, annoying and perceptive. In a word, marvelous. Childish readers, however, will read, laugh and pay him the ultimate compliment. They will memorize and repeat them with pickle relish.
Perfect for: Kids who like holiday.