October 04, 2011

Adding Our Voices...

As the woman says, "Ya gotta play to win." Blogger Paula Chase Hyman at The Brown Bookshelf brought up a point the other day that we have to underscore: if you don't throw your hat in the ring for a thing, you won't be involved.

There's a huge, massive, horrific, monolithic imbalance in diverse children's books. There aren't nearly as many stories of characters of color having adventures, meeting werewolves, fighting evil, rescuing the baby hedgehogs, or otherwise having romances or emotions, or actions that don't involve standing around and being the felon/henchman/victim or the jive-talking sidekick. There's just not.

Further, there are fewer bloggers of color blogging children's books.

And, ever year, we get to the Cybils, and some people have a lot to say about that. "Why don't we ever see any ___? Why didn't ___ get nominated? How could ____ not have won?! How come ____ and ____ aren't involved in the judging?"

Ya gotta play to win, guys.

Also: the books with diverse characters by authors of color have to be nominated to be read by the panels and perhaps win.

So, PLEASE, please, please nominate as many books as you've loved, in as many categories as you've enjoyed. If the book you love is already nominated, do a little digging. Find a book which sounds interesting - and nominate. If it has diverse characters and setting, so much the better.

If you've already used up all your nominations, call your mother.

And just like you get a little sticker and a cookie when you give blood, after you nominate for the Cybils you'll have a little happy glimmer that says, "I PARTICIPATED!" and know that you're doing a good thing, and giving excellent books for a diverse children's and young adult audience a chance to shine.

Do it now.

Thank you.


Anonymous said...

Well said!! Despite it all, I embrace what Cybils does because it truly is open to *everyone!! It's as diverse as we choose to make it.

Doret said...

I just started nominating yesterday. When it comes to the Cybils I always think diversity first (great story is a given).

If I have time this weekend I'll do a list of eligible Cybils titles featuring a diverse cast or kids of color. Look for it on Sunday or Monday.

Sarah Stevenson said...

That sounds great, Doret! I'll make sure that Anne knows about it, for the Cybils blog--usually she likes to put up some links to posts featuring worthy but not-yet-nominated titles.

tanita✿davis said...

Edi, I hope you can be involved with judging again next year, and I hope that next year the kidlitosphere has a whole new crop of diverse bloggers from which to choose,

Doret, I love you. That is EXACTLY what is needed. Thank you.

Paula said...

I knew I could count on the faithfuls!!! I still have a YA nomination left because my original was Sci-Fi so I'll be checking out Doret's list!

Doret said...

Aquafortis, thanks in advance for the title. Worthy but not-yet-nominated Cybils titles