A Renaissance of Children’s Literature

29 Dec

I saw this terminology (or something very similar) on Twitter over the past week and it seems to continually be popping up after hearing many librarians, teachers, parents and kids enjoying soooooo many of this year’s books published for children.

Don’t get me wrong, according to statistics, the publishing world still publishes primarily white, cisgender, “traditional” characters, but I think that now, more than ever the world of children’s literature is not only asking, but demanding that every child will see themselves in the books they read.  The quote that so many people continually come back to is a quote that describes books as windows and mirrors:

mirrors.png

That being said, publishers have taken these demands to heart and although I don’t know that more books are being published about diversity, I think that the books that are being published are often times extremely well done and getting a lot of buzz in the children’s literature world. What I most appreciate are the books that are diverse without being about diversity.  You don’t need to scream diversity when writing these books, just be sure to include characters that are diverse.

Award committees both through ALA and across the blogging world are promoting diverse books as well which makes them even more wanted by kids, teachers, bloggers, librarians and parents. What I love about this community more than anything else is everyone’s passion for getting the right books into the right hands.  Every podcast I listen to, every interview I read, continues to amaze me.  Authors and illustrators in the children’s literature field are some of the most kind, humble and beautiful human beings on this planet. I’m convinced. They care so much for getting these stories into the hands of kids and their love for teachers and librarians shines just as bright.

Still not convinced we’re in a Renaissance? Check out the upcoming list of titles for middle grade novels coming out in 2017 from Mrs. Knott’s Book Nook. Check out the Mock Caldecott from Watch. Connect. Read., the Newbery and Caldecott Predictions from Fuse #8 Production and if you Google “best of children’s literature 2016” you’ll be sure to find lists upon lists of amazing literature published over the course of the past year.  Soak it all in and update your TBR lists!

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