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Showing posts from January, 2013

Children's/YA Book Awards: A Demographic Survey

Most of you know I'm teaching a Jan Term course called "Race, Culture, and Power in Children's/YA Stories" at Saint Mary's College in California. In class today students researched and compiled statistics about 12 children's/YA book awards (13 books) NOT restricted by the race of the author or illustrator. We included the National Book Award, Newbery, Caldecott, Printz, and other major awards.

GENDER: In 2012, 10 protagonists were male, while 4 were female (one book had two main characters). Meanwhile, 6 authors/illustrators were women (about half). So, to generalize, last year's award-winning books were mostly about boys, but created almost equally by men and women.

RACE: In 2012, 9 protagonists were white, while 4 protagonists were not (2 African American, 1 Middle Eastern, 1 Japanese). Meanwhile 10 authors/illustrators were white, while 3 were not (2 African American, 1 Middle Eastern). So, to generalize, last year's award-winning books were mostly …

Race, Culture, and Power in Kid/YA Books

I'm heading west to teach a Jan Term course at Saint Mary's College of California called "Race, Culture, and Power in Children's and Young Adult Books." Here's the first part of my syllabus:

Why are children’s stories so powerful? Who has the right to tell stories about marginalized communities? This course will explore the question of authenticity in storytelling and unmask explicit and implicit messages about race, power, and culture communicated through books for young readers. A secondary course goal is to help students improve their analytical writing.
Part One: The Subversive Power of Children’s StoriesPart Two: Race in Children’s StoriesPart Three: Culture in Children’s StoriesPart Four: Power in Children’s Books Alison Lurie, author of Don’t Tell The Grown-ups: The Subversive Power of Children’s Literature makes this argument about how children’s books can affect the common good:
The great subversive works of children's literature suggest that there…