Month: March 2016
National Ambassador Gene Luen Yang’s Creativity in Progress Series
In his first post, Yang shares insider tricks for keeping characters consistent. Here’s an example of a model sheet used as reference for Yang’s upcoming graphic novel, Dragon Hoops:
Storytime with Dogs
At the Scarsdale Public Library in New York, therapy dogs and their owners are paired with kids for storytime activities; and media specialist Mary Hamer is bringing dogs into classrooms …
Scholastic Releases Cover of Upcoming Illustrated Edition of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
New York, NY – Scholastic (NASDAQ: SCHL), the global children’s publishing, education and media company, today for the first time released the cover image of the fully illustrated edition of …
Contributed by Nikki Garcia, Assistant Editor, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
There are a lot of well-meaning people in publishing who work hard to create more diversity in books. But unfortunately there can also be times when excuses are made for not highlighting diversity through books:
*There isn’t enough of an audience to buy these books.
*It’s difficult to reach that market.
*That market is too niche.
*We have too many tough issue books.
These are just a few I’ve heard over the years across the industry. No single group or department is more to blame than the other. When I acquire a diverse book, I often have to think about how to get my point across at various meetings, like an acquisitions meeting. I want to make sure that marketing, sales, and publicity know that there is indeed a market and audience for this book, so I often look for statistics to support my case:
- In November 2015, the Census Bureau reported that at least
350 languages were spoken in homes across the United States.
- In July 2014, over 42 million people identified as Black or
African American, over 3.9 million identified as American Indian and Alaska
Native, more than 17 million identified as Asian, and almost 8 million people
identified with two or more races.
- In July 2014, the Hispanic population of the United States
was at 55 million, making people of Hispanic origin the nation’s largest racial
- In 2014, there were 46.7 million people in poverty.
- In 2014, over 783,000 households were of same-sex couples.
- In 2010, over 62,000 children under the age of 15 years old were reported as having a disability.
I think it’s difficult for some to see a world outside of their own—a world that’s full of children and adults from different walks of life. Sometimes, there are people who are unable to look beyond their own race, lifestyle, and income, and who forget that there are other groups of people who exist—people who will buy “niche” books. But I hope that with each day, we stop looking towards easy excuses.
I think it helps to keep reminding our peers of the big picture. If you’re an author or writer trying to bring more diversity to children’s literature, know that statistics are on your side. There is a child who can relate to your characters and there is definitely an audience for your book.
Nikki Garcia is an assistant editor at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers where she works on books for all ages. During her time at LBYR, she has had the honor of working with picture book authors such as Peter Brown and Frank Viva, as well as novelists such as Wendy Mass, Matthew Quick, and Holly Black. Born and raised right here in New York City, Nikki graduated from St. John’s University, and thankfully didn’t have to travel very far to make her dreams come true.
- In November 2015, the Census Bureau reported that at least 350 languages were spoken in homes across the United States.
James Patterson and Scholastic Renew Pledge to Help Save School Libraries!
New York, NY— James Patterson will personally donate another $1.75 million to school libraries this year, in the second installment of his School Library Campaign. In partnership with Scholastic Reading …
Candlewick Press to Launch New Imprint
Inaugural titles include Animals, a picture book by Swedish designer Ingela P. Arrhenius, and An Artist’s Alphabet by illustrator Norman Messenger. We hope that even from across a bookstore, Candlewick Studio titles will …
Celebrate Children and Books
April 30, 2016 will be the 20th anniversary of Children’s Day / Book Day. Celebrate by reading to a child in your life. To learn more, visit http://www.patmora.com/whats-dia and http://www.patmora.com/dia-planning-booklet. …
Submit for the 2016 WNDB™ Walter Dean Myers Grant
Eligibility Applicants must identify as diverse Applicants must be unpublished as illustrators and/or authors. This includes both trade publishing and self-publishing. Essays, short stories, and articles do not render an …
Scholastic Reports Fiscal 2016 Third Quarter Results
New York, NY – Scholastic Corporation (NASDAQ: SCHL), the global children’s publishing, education and media company, today reported financial results for the Company’s fiscal 2016 third quarter ended February 29, 2016. …
Help Students Turn the Summer Slide into the Summer Leap with Literacy Resources from Scholastic
Scholastic Offers Wide-Ranging Resources to Help Educators Strengthen Students’ Literacy Skills by Promoting Summer Reading and Writing New York, NY – March 28, 2016 – The Scholastic campaign to encourage …
#DrawingDiversity: ‘The Storyteller’ by Evan Turk
The Storyteller by Evan Turk (Atheneum BFYR/Simon & Schuster, June 2016). All rights reserved. @simonandschusterbooks
Behind the Scenes of Tuck Everlasting: the Musical
First published in 1975, Tuck Everlasting is the timeless tale of a young girl named Winnie who encounters a family with the power of eternal life. Author Tim Federle hopes to do …
Robert McCloskey’s Make Way For Ducklings Celebrates 75th Anniversary in 2016
Seventy five years ago, a family of ducks waddled off the page and into the hearts of readers everywhere in Robert McCloskey’s Caldecott Medal winning MAKE WAY FOR DUCKLINGS (9781101997956; …
The Demon Hunting Continues ‘Shadowhunters’ Renewed For Second Season By Freeform
Los Angeles, CA – Constantin Film will produce a second season of “Shadowhunters”. Freeform (the new name for ABC Family) announced yesterday that the hit original saga-series will return. The first saga-series …
Diversity in the News: March 2016
The newsletter is a valuable resource for librarians, teachers, booksellers, parents and caregivers, publishing professionals, and children’s literature lovers. Find thought-provoking articles, diverse new releases, and more in this month’s issue and sign …
Jacqueline Woodson to Present Closing Session at 2016 ALSC Institute
The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA) announced that award-winning author Jacqueline Woodson will present the Closing General Session at the …
LeVar Burton, Al Roker, Dav Pilkey, Gene Luen Yang, and 200+ Speakers Address Educating Youth and Creating a Nation of Readers in Today’s Digital World
April 19 – 22, 2016 at the George R. Brown Convention Center AUSTIN – Librarians from around the state are preparing for the 2016 TLA Annual Conference, taking place in …
No Monkey Business: Curious George Celebrates Ramadan
Contributed by Hena Khan, Author
Like countless Americans, I grew up loving Curious George and his antics—swallowing a puzzle piece, painting a jungle scene on a wall, and flying on a bunch of balloons. And when I had children of my own, I happily reread the classic stories with them, along with a collection of new adventures for George at the library, the chocolate factory, and more. It was exciting for me to watch my sons develop the same appreciation for the mischievous little monkey that I have and to observe how truly timeless he is.
That’s why I was completely floored when I was offered the opportunity to write a book called, It’s Ramadan, Curious George. As the author of other books about Muslim culture, Night of the Moon, which chronicles the month of Ramadan through the experience of a young girl named Yasmeen, and Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns, a Muslim book of colors, I already knew how important it is to have stories that both represent Muslim kids in the literature and introduce a window into the culture for non-Muslims. But this was something new: an iconic and beloved character, curious about our traditions and culture, who actually takes part in them. I imagined what it would have felt like to have read the book myself as a child, or to have held it on my lap when my kids were younger, and I couldn’t contain my glee. Because I was certain that for other American Muslims, reading about Curious George breaking fast with his friend, going to the mosque, and celebrating the Eid holiday, would equally serve as a source of pride and build feelings of acceptance and inclusion.
Plus, the idea to create this book couldn’t have come at a better time. It hasn’t been easy to be a Muslim in America recently, especially for children, but really, for all of us. Anti-Muslim rhetoric is rampant, hate crimes and bullying are on the rise, and fear and anxiety over the future is growing in our hearts. But George has offered the American Muslim community the chance to forget that for a moment and to look forward to something positive, reaffirming, and just plain cute. Since news of the book’s imminent release went public, the response among American Muslims, librarians, educators, and the media has been overwhelming. I watched the initial news of it explode all over my social media feeds and my favorite reactions were people saying things like, “Whoa!! This is a thing??” “OMG. Amazing!” and “I can’t wait to read this to my girls.” Because that is exactly how I would feel if I were to discover it—a little more hopeful, and extremely happy.
I’m grateful for George’s newest adventure, and I think it will go a long way in helping to foster tolerance and understanding as it teaches about a very special time of year. I’m confident it’s safe to speak for fellow American Muslims and say that our Ramadan and holidays will be a little brighter with a little monkey along for the ride.
Hena Khan is a Pakistani-American Muslim who was born and raised in Maryland. The mother of two she has written many picture books for children and is thrilled to be introducing Curious George to his first Muslim holiday!
Applications Open for the 2016 School Librarian of the Year Award
The prize includes $2,500, along with $2,500 worth of print and digital materials from Scholastic Library Publishing, and a profile in the September 2016 issue of School Library Journal. School librarians are …
Scholastic Corporation Announces Date For Third Quarter Fiscal Year 2016 Earnings Release and Teleconference
New York, NY — Scholastic Corporation (NASDAQ:SCHL) announced the following schedule and teleconference information for its third quarter fiscal year 2016 earnings release: Earnings Release: Thursday, March 24, 2016 at …