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Writers Against Racism: Reflections on YA

I have been asked to serve as a panelist for Reflections on YA, being held at The New York Public Library on Tuesday, October 26. If you are free to visit, do come by and say HI, since it’s free to the public.

“As Teen Read Week comes around again, join The New York Public Library for a refreshing and in-depth conversation about the state of YA publishing today. Hear from dynamic and engaging people from the literary world as they discuss the triumphs of the genre, as well as the areas for improvement. From paranormal to economic challenges and from the increasingly diverse population of Ya readers to the dominance of paranormal, find out what’s happening in the world of reading.”

On another note…

“How did it go, you ask?”  My vibe says good, not, GREAT.

My book symposium that is, which was held at The Hewitt School (in NYC) last week.  It’s actually taken me a full week to process all of the thoughts I have as to “how it went.”   I’m sifting through my notes, the e-mails I’ve received, and quite frankly, sorting through my personal feelings.  More later…


  1. i’ll plan to be there on tuesday — looking forward to your thoughts on the symposium…

  2. As an African American, I find that there are very little books with pictures of African American children in our local libraries. The surrounding areas are predominantly African American and hispanic, however many of the books do not represent these ethinicities.

    Therefore, I wrote two children’s books to help our children with literacy, self esteem, confidence and just an overall awareness of self. How do I get these books out to the masses and in the Libraries so that our children can see others in print that look like them?

    Although there may not be racism specifically however there are residual consequences of low self esteem and possibilities because our children are not depicted in positive and successful figures in children’s books. What can we do to change this landscape?

  3. Thanks, Bemi, for coming! My brain is spinning from the feedback and I am sorting through the variety of reactions. A good thing…Glad you are coming on Tuesday.

    Carolyn, this is definitely an ongoing struggle. We have to encourage parents to buy the books, librarians to include them in their collection – there are many librarians, who are doing this. I would seek them out. And, our teachers should also be reading more, so they can guide students in the right direction.
    I agree, too, as to how low esteem is – in my opinion – a direct result of being invisible in the eyes of the world. Let’s keep pushing. Thanks for your thoughts. 🙂

  4. Things are coming, if only slowly. That’s why I was so pleased when my publisher, WestSide books, used an african-american male for the cover of my book PULL, the story of an african-american teen. They could have chosen a generic cover, but refused to try to hide it’s subject, and I salute them for that.

    • B.A.! Thanks for sharing this! I can say with great confidence – that after last night’s panel, with an extremely progressive-thinking, panel of publishers & YA librarian, things are LOOKING UP!!! I’m sooo psyched for what lies ahead.