In this post, contributor Ayesha talks about the need for Diversity in Children’s Books and YA.
How many times have you read a book where most of the main characters are of Caucasian descent? For me, it’s way too many times.
There are hardly any diverse books, although I must admit that recently the numbers have been improving, but not greatly. However, a study has shown that ‘diverse characters are scarce in kids books’. Out of 3,600 titles, only 7.5% of the books revolved around people of colour. It’s kind of a shame to think that diversity is such a minority in children’s books when it holds such importance.
It is important as it educates young minds about different cultures and religions. It broadens their horizons and makes sure that they aren’t completely isolated from the rest of the world. It’s also important so that the reader, who may be of a different race to the characters in the book they’re reading, don’t feel left out.
Many authors may write non-diverse books as they may want to fit in with the writing if other authors, they may believe that publishers won’t want their book if the characters aren’t of the popular race. However, some authors may also be biased and believe it may be easier to write about their own race and culture than adopting a diverse perspective. However, present authors and future authors should keep in mind the massive need for diverse books.
Publishers are always searching for something different and this would be a great start.
An increase in diverse books would be great. In fact, it is said that by 2060, the percentage of diverse books will increase to 57% which is fantastic news. But shouldn’t this be done earlier? Therefore we must convince authors to explore new grounds and hopefully the numbers of these diverse books will increase.