A Conversation Starter about the Lack of Diversity in Young Adult Literature

I posted this on Facebook and I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts?

But can we talk about the lack of diversity in books for young adults? I swear that I have read hundreds and hundreds of books since elementary school because I adore reading (um, that BookIt program in elementary & middle school was giving us the pizza hook up which led to my beautiful relationship with reading) but of those hundreds of books that I have read I can probably count on one hand how many have been either written by black authors OR had a black main character. And I’m not talking about those “Paster needs a boo” type books either. I’m talking about legit books for teens that don’t involve a teenage pregnancy plot line or whatever passes as “marketable”. Most YA books by black authors that I have read are either super religious OR have a tendency to have extremely graphic sexual content OR takes place during the times of slavery.

So these are my questions:
1. Where are all the books about the kids who looked like me/acted like me/talked like me?
2. How can we go about creating a market for young adult books written by black authors who feature black characters?
3. Does this bother anyone else or is it just me?

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3 thoughts on “A Conversation Starter about the Lack of Diversity in Young Adult Literature

  1. Hi
    I think that you are right, there is a lack of diversity in YA literature. This tends to remain the case until something becomes a hot topic – ie. Transgender issues is currently very hot topic at the moment.
    The best author I have found for race – is Malorie Blackman – not sure if you have read Noughts and Crosses – but thats really good.

    1. I haven’t read anything by Malorie but I’m about to, thanks! And yes, I suppose it will take a hashtag to get the proper amount of spotlight on this subject. Thanks for your comment!!!

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