Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Diversity Challenge 2016

As part of reading more mindfully, I want to read books outside my usual path. Also, I want to look for books that I've been ignoring because of barriers I don't even see, extra walls that marginalized authors have to climb over, because of their color, gender, nationality, or whatever. So I'm looking for more diverse books.

I found two Diversity Challenges (well, they are linked, one is kidlit and one is adult) so I'll try them both. For some reason the buttons don't seem to like my blog, so I found some open source icons to give me some color.

The Unconventional Librarian's 2015 Diversity Reading Challenge has 12 books:

2016 Diversity Reading Challenge Checklist (Kidlit):
  1. A book written by or about a person of Hispanic Origin. Becoming Naomi Leon, Pam Munoz Ryan 3/1/16
  2. A book in which a character suffers from mental illness: Every Last Word, Tamara Ireland Stone 2/19/16
  3. A book written by or about someone with Spectrum Disorder The Reason I Jump, Naoki Higashida 7/10/16
  4. A book with an African American young woman as a main character (think Jacqueline Woodson, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker): Everything Everything, Nicola Yoon 3/1/16
  5. A book containing an Asian main character. The Truth Commission, Susan Juby 1/8/16
  6. A book with an illustrator of color (think Kadir Nelson):  Twin Spica 5, Kou Yaginuma 2/26/16
  7. A book with a LGBT main character. Bayard Rustin: Invisible Activist, Jacqueline Houtman 3/4/16
  8. A graphic novel (Raina Telgemeier or Jennifer Holm). A Bride's Story 6, Kaoru Mori 2/21/16
  9. A book with a Muslim girl on the cover (I Am Malala, A Thousand Splendid Suns, Persepolis): A Bride's Story 5, Kaoru Mori 1/21/16
  10. A book written by or for African American young men (Richard Wright, Walter Dean Myers, Ta-Nehisi Coates):The Spies of Mississippi, Rick Bowers 3/12/16
  11. A book in which the author, main character, or strong secondary character has a physical disability.  Tale of Despereaux, Kate DiCamillo 2/3/16
  12. The Diary of Anne Frank or Night by Elie Wiesel. (Since I've read both of these already, I'll substitute any Holocaust book).  Courage and Defiance, Deborah Hopkinson 3/31/16.  Symphony for the City of the Dead, M.T. Anderson 4/12/16 also almost qualifies, although it has Russian atrocities followed by the starving of Leningrad.  Both are not the standard Holocaust book I was thinking of, but both show aspects of the horrible consequences of the ideologies of WWII. Paper Hearts, Meg Wiviott 6/20/16 is set among the horrors of Auschwitz and qualifies perfectly.

There's a twitter #ReadDiverseLit and chats at on 4th Thursdays at 9pm

The adult partner is From Left to Write 2016 Diversity Reading Challenge and her twelve steps are:

2016 Diversity Reading Challenge Checklist (Adults):
  1. Contemporary book with a person of color on the cover (set in present day)  The Year of Living Dangerously, C.J. Koch 5/5/16; Crux, Namez Raam 6/2/16
  2. Historical fiction about marginalized group (due to race, ethnicity, gender, mental ability, physical ability): The Book Thief, Markus Zusak  3/1/16
  3. Graphic novel featuring protagonists of colorSkim, Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki 6/4/16, Saga Vol 1, Brian Vaughan 8/5/16
  4. Book written by or about someone with spectrum disorder: The Reason I Jump, Naoki Higashida 7/10/16
  5. Romance novel with main character of color: Prisoner, Lia Silver 1/18/16. 
  6. Book of poetry by LGBT writer
  7. Science fiction or fantasy with female main character of color (Republic? large cast though) Fire Touched, Patricia Briggs 4/1/16
  8. Memoir or biography by or about a diverse authorMarch, Book Two, John Lewis 8/11/16
  9. Book with a main character who is mixed race, The Fifth Season, N.K. Jemison, 4/23/16
  10. Novel with an LGBT main character: An Apprentice to Elves, Sarah Monette, Elizabeth Bear 1/19/16
  11. Book in which character suffers from mental illness Laura's Wolf, Lia Silver 1/8/16
  12. Book in which a main character has a physical disability: Dick Francis's Refusal, Felix Francis 1/10/16; Cyrano de Bergerac, Edmond Rostand (Hooker) 2/1/16

diversekidlit-logo-200px 11/12. I wouldn't mind getting another #9, since my current book was set on a non-Earth planet.

I also want to concentrate each month on a different type of diversity, where I track what my reading is about that month.  If I'm really on the ball, I'll update the image down here for this:
  1. January: Location: US, Canada, Chile, Japan, U.K. (England and Ireland), Norse, Indonesia, Gabon, Iran, Botswana, Outer Space
  2. February: Race: European-American, European, African American, African, Asian, Hispanic, biracial (African-American/Asian), American Indian.
  3. March: Gender: Main Character (half points for doubles): Female: 10, Male 9; Authors: Female 10, Male 9; (I'm guessing based on picture and/or name, unless stated in author's notes, so it will be hard to know any non-binary identities here)
  4. April: Sexuality: Main Character: Straight: 20, Gay/Lesbian: 0. Bi: 1. Author (this I won't usually know, so these numbers will be smaller. If they mention a spouse I can guess, but that still won't catch a lot of orientations): Straight: 4. Gay/Lesbian: 1. 
  5. May: Class (economic): Lower Class: 7, Middle Class: 9, Upper Class: 9. I won't even try to gauge authors this month.
  6. June: Mental Health: Typical: 24 (main character), Autism spectrum or equivalent: 0 (main character), 1 (relevant side character), Mental Disorder: 4 (main character), 5 (side character).
  7. July: Physical shape (able/disability): Normal: 32 (main character), Other -- specify: 0 (main character),  1 quadriplegic, 1 Deaf (side characters), 1 (Ancillary stub), 1 (burn victim), 2 (crutches), 2 (amputee)
  8. August: Religion: characters: Evangelical Christian: 2, Roman Catholic: 3, generic Protestant: 13, Jewish: 2,  Super Pagan: 4, None: 16; author: 1 Mormon, generic Protestant: 1, Bhuddist: 1
  9. September: Integration (race): Single Culture: 9, Single Culture with Visitors: 5, Majority With Minority Population: 5, Minority in Majority Culture: 2, Mixed Cultures: 5, I Just Didn't Notice: 6
  10. Native Americans: Present: 5;  Present and identified by tribe: 3. (I'm counting Hawaiians here.)
  11. Family Type: Hetero couple/no kids: 2, Married hetero family, blended kids: 7, Gay couple no kids: 2, Gang of Friends: 4, Married hetero family with kids: 5, Divorced parents with kids: 1, Single Adults Romancing (hetero): 4, Polygyny: 1
  12. (forgot to switch until mid-December): Age: Protagonist: Under 11: 1, Middle aged: 2, Teen: 1

1 comment:

Bonnie Jacobs said...

Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper is about a wheelchair-bound ten-year-old girl with cerebral palsy, who has never been able to walk, or talk, or write. Because of that, everyone at school, including the teachers, thinks Melody isn't very bright. In fact, she's brilliant. She has a photographic memory, and her mind is like a video camera always running, recording everything. Yet even though she's the smartest kid in her whole school, nobody there knows it because Melody has been stuck inside her mind all her life — until now.

Here's my review of the book, if you are interested in reading it for #11 on your kidlit list: