Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Multicultural Books For Young Readers

How do you define "multicultural literature?" The folks at the Cooperative Children's Book Center (CCBC) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison point out that "there is no single definition of the term 'multicultural literature' as it is applied to books for children and young adults. At the CCBC, we use the term to mean books by and about people of color." The Center provides these statistics about the 2800 books they received in 2005 (hat tip: the Rutgers-based child_lit listserv): 

By African or African/American authors 75
About Africans or African/Americans 149

By American Indian authors 4
About American Indians 34

By Latin American authors 50
About Latin Americans 76

By Asian/Pacific or Asian/Pacific authors 60
About Asian/Pacific or Asian/Pacific Americans 64

I found the low numbers in the Latino community striking, given the changing demographics in the U.S. Also of note is the fact that the large majority of books about American Indians are mostly still written by people outside those communities. For more statistics about multicultural books for young readers from 1985-2005, check out this page.

4 comments:

Christy Lenzi said...

It's surprising to learn just how many of these books were written by authors outside the communities.....

(I've just discovered your blog, Mitali. It's so interesting--I already bookmarked it.)

Mitali Perkins said...

Thanks, Christy. Stop by any time ... and feel free to post a link to your site and/or blog in your next comment.

Christy Lenzi said...

I think clicking on my name will whisk someone off to my profile, and I have a link to my blog there. It's http://christylenzi.blogspot.com (Thanks!)

Grit said...

Do you have any numbers on this matter but for Canada?