This is the week when we as bloggers pause to give thanks, starting with the fact that we have so many amazing readers–readers who care about Latin@ kid lit as much as we do! We appreciate each one of your clicks, comments, social-media shares, and other forms of participation. If you’ve been silent up to now, let us hear from you soon. We value your partnership.
Another thing we’re super grateful for this Thanksgiving is the emergence and explosive growth of the We Need Diverse Books campaign. Ceilings are cracking under the pressure of this push and all of us stand to benefit, so thank you to the bright minds that dreamed it up.
Another reason to feel grateful in 2014 is that Latin@ kid lit is in much better shape than it was in years past. As we reflect back on our own or our children’s bookshelves, we’re delighted that kids today have a growing number of Latino options.
To demonstrate this point, check out a few of Cindy‘s beloved titles from her childhood, matched by current Latino options.
I, Lila, decided to frame this comparison through my oldest daughter’s experience. “J” was a 1980s baby who read late into the night by the light of her digital alarm clock, so you know she was crazy about books. Here are a couple of J’s favorites, matched with contemporary Latino options she would’ve loved.
Now for expressions of thanks from two other members of the team.
2014 has been crazy for me. I work full time, launched the last book in my trilogy, wrote, sold and launched a New Adult romance. And I’m still not done yet. Despite a crazy work schedule, I am thankful that I do have a support system that allows me to find time to write. I have a wonderful network of friends and a boyfriend who knows me extremely well. I’m thankful that I get to be part of a wonderful group of writers here at Latin@s in Kid Lit, but most importantly that we’re getting the conversation rolling about issues dear to our hearts. I hope the next year brings even better things for us all.
Growing up in Puerto Rico, Thanksgiving in my family seemed like “Eating Turkey with Fried Plantains Day.” Considering that November is Native American Heritage Month, I find deeper reasons to feel thankful. In my late teens, I started questioning the impact of this “first meal,” and saw it more as the beginning of genocide, colonialism, and the suffering of our indigenous people and ancestors. I’m thankful for books that teach us the real story and those that talk about Native people in the present tense and show us that they live everyday lives. Books that highlight these realities disrupt the narrative of old-school texts, which often historicize and stereotype indigenous people.
Here are three of Sujei’s recommendations for children’s books that honor the experiences and history of Native Americans.
Our mission is to promote diversity in children’s books, specifically Latin@ books and creators. So when you’re thinking about ways to diversify your kid lit bookshelves, explore our archives for reviews and posts. We’re so thankful that you care about Latino representation in children’s and teen’s books, and we want to continue serving those interests.