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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fusenews: Quickie Tidbits

Care for a little depression with your coffee?  Well let’s play a fun game.  Can you tell me by what percentage the number of African-America children’s book authors increased by between the years of 2006 and 2007?  Oh go on, guess.  Was it 10%?  Colder.  7%?  Warmer.  2%?  Even warmer.  0%?  Warmer but still not there yet.  No, you see Kyra Hicks, author and blogger on the site Black Threads in Kid’s Lit has been good enough to post the results of the CCBC’s annual study of Children’s Books by and about People of Color Published in the United States.  The news?  There was a 12% drop-off between 2006 and 2007.  Latinos held steady but Asian Americans and American Indians also took a small plunge.  Sounds bad, but Don Tate II suggests that perhaps this is just a reflection of the decrease in the number of books being published altogether.  Still kind of a downer, though.

  • Less of a downer: Two awards of note.  The first is the E.B. White Readaloud Award.  I have a great affection for this award since last year it took the time to honor the magnificent and too little lauded Houndsley and Catina by James Howe.  This year the winners, according to Read Roger, are When Dinosaurs Came with Everything by Elise Broach and David Small (Simon & Schuster) and, The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart (Little, Brown).  In other news the 2008 Amelia Bloomer List of kick-ass girl titles (I think it may have a description with a slightly different wording) is out.  Loving that Middle Reader Fiction category (cheers, Mitali) as well as a bit of graphic novel loving in the Young Adult section (Plain Janes style).  Robin Brande is mentioned too.  Well chosen!  Thanks to the ALSC Blog for the link.

  • Hey!  Apparently the goodly women of 7-Imp are guest blogging in my neighborhood!  Diane Chen at Practically Paradise will be hosting the multi-talented ladies sometime this week.  Keep your ears peeled and your eyes cocked.

About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.


  1. Looking at the chart on Kyra’s blog, the CCBC results do show a 12% drop in African American authors over a one year period. But since the year 2000 the average has been about 85 and standard deviation about 11. So based on the numbers this decade, about 68% of the time you’d expect between 74 and 96 African American authors in any year. (Most statistics people use 2 standard deviations to look for “significant” differences – this means less than 63 would be a significant deviation based on the data since 2000.) The trend between the 1990s and the 2000s seems to be sloping downward, but the trend in the last 5-7 years is pretty flat. So two good questions from the CCBC data are: (1) why is the slope not positive in the last 5-7 years? (2) why is there a negative trend from the 90s to the 2000s?

  2. My four year old and I love When Dinosaurs Came with Everything. Glad to hear it’s getting some love.

  3. If you look at the chart on her website, it becomes very clear: a huge upswing in the late 80s, when affirmative action was popular. Since the backlash against “political corretness” in which affirmative action became a “quota system”–it’s flattened out. There’s a direct consequence to our action,folks.