Monday, January 25, 2010

People of Color Challenge

Given all the recent talk about the whitewashing of covers of YA books on the blogosphere and the listservs, I thought it would be great to do something proactive. Not that lodging complaints with publishers isn't a really important thing to do, because it is, I just hope that we can also positively encourage publishers to feature, both in print and in cover art, characters who are not white. To do that, we need to prove that there is a market for books featuring people of color. Hence, the People of Color Reading Challenge.

I'm committing to read at least 10-15 books that feature POC this year. How many will you read?

  1. Year of the Horse by Justin Allen
  2. Crossing by Andrew Xia Fukuda
  3. Libyrinth by Pearl North
  4. Amiri & Odette: A Love Story by Walter Dean Myers 
  5. Secret Keeper by Mitali Perkins 
  6. The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan 
  7. Saving Maddie by Varian Johnson
  8. Simply Divine: A Novel by Jacquelin Thomas
  9. Gringolandia by Lyn Miller-Lachmann
  10. Don't Know Where Don't Know When by Annette Laing
  11. The Thin Executioner by Darren Shan
  12. A Different Day A Different Destiny by Annette Laing
  13. The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan

I loved this challenge. It helped me to focus my reading and reviewing habits rather than always just reading the next shiny thing in my line of sight. :) One of the great things about having this little blog is my ability to shine a tiny bit more light on books that don't get a lot of attention. Looking specifically for books featuring or written by POC just narrowed my focus a bit.

The greatest thing about this challenge, though, was that out of the 13 books featuring POC that I've read since tracking them for this challenge, only 5 (FIVE!) are realistic fiction! The remaining 8 have some element of fantasy or sci-fi. Take that, folks who think fantasy/sci-fi is only for or about white people! :)


    Margaret Ann Abrahams said...

    Fabulous challenge! I'm actually in the process of writing one - although I wasn't thinking of it in those terms. I'll make a point of seeking out these books and try to meet the goal of reading ten.

    MissAttitude said...

    Ooo I'm thrilled that out of 13 books you read, 8 of them were sci fi/fantasy! Libyrinth is on my list this year and I guess The Red Pyramid would count as fantsy. Didn't think of that, I liked the book. It was really long though, more power to all the elemantary school kids who read it!

    I hope you decide to participate in 2011 and we thank you for all your support!