Really, diversity is not about black or white or gay or straight or anything so specific. Diversity is about inclusion. It’s about including everyone in a world that doesn’t just yet. It’s about leading by example, not by lecture. So often, readers don’t need an explanation when it comes to diversity. What they need are characters who are naturally themselves in a story that easily fits them. Seeing those pure examples of diversity, the reader can feel at ease in the real world without having to explain or lecture or look around and question.
This week, Library Journal and School Library Journal staffers are reading narratives of risqué histories and the earliest movement toward establishing racial equality in local U.S. public schools, media criticism, and discussions of gender. Oh, yes, a few novels are mentioned here and there.
Mahnaz Dar, Associate Editor, LJ
I’m reading Behind the Burly Q: The Story of Burlesque in America by Leslie Zemeckis and Blaze Starr.
Josh Hadro, Executive Editor, LJ
I have some ambitious plans to finish China Miéville’s Kraken ASAP, and then start Douglas Rushkoff’s new book, Present Shock.
Stephanie Klose, Media Editor, LJ
Jo Walton’s Nebula– and Hugo–winning Among Others has long been one of those books I’ve heard is great but never read.
Molly McArdle, Assistant Book Review Editor, LJ
I just started a book I’ll be reviewing for LJ‘s education section First Class: The Legacy of Dunbar, America’s First Black Public High School School.
Chelsey Philpot, Associate Book Review Editor, SLJ
I am very excited to have finally received a library copy of Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, & the Prison of Belief by Lawrence Wright.
Meredith Schwartz, News Editor, LJ
I’m reading Gender on Planet Earth by Ann Oakley.
Henrietta Thornton-Verma, Reviews Editor, LJ
I took out my well-worn copy of Letters from Motherless Daughters: Words of Courage, Grief, and Healing by Hope Edelman.…Edelman’s Motherless Mothers: How Mother Loss Shapes the Parents We Become has been perfect over the years too.
Mahnaz Dar, Associate Editor, LJ: Words in Your Face: A Guided Tour Through Twenty Years of the New York City Poetry Slam by Cristin O’Keefe & Francesca Lia Block’s I Was a Teenage Fairy.
Shelley Diaz, Associate Editor, SLJ: The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender.
Kate DiGirolomo, Editorial Assistant, LJ: Isaac Marion’s Warm Bodies.
Josh Hadro, Executive Editor, LJ: Kraken by China Miéville.
Stephanie Klose, Media Editor, LJ:Catriona McPherson’s Dandy Gilver and the Proper Treatment of Bloodstains.
Molly McArdle, Assistant Book Review Editor, LJ: Marilynne Robinson’s Home.
Chelsey Philpot, Associate Book Review Editor, SLJ: F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Flappers and Philosophers as well as A LOT of new June and July YA novels.
Meredith Schwartz, News Editor, LJ: Suzanne Joinson’s The Public Domain: Enclosing the Commons of the Mind.
Henrietta Thornton-Verma, Reviews Editor, LJ: Suzanne Joinson’s A Lady Cyclist’s Guide to Kashgar & Pól Ó Murchú’s A Grammar of Modern Irish.
Wilda Willams, Fiction Editor, LJ: Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane.
Reading is not purely academic and I hope that there is resurgence of positivity toward reading. Young people are getting distracted at their most distractible time—middle school, and never returning to reading. But they are eager participants when they are hooked. So we have to be more adventurous in the ways we engage in reading instruction and advocacy.
Moroni endorses a nuanced approach. “She is an advocate for reading in any manner—print, audio, electronic—and never tells a person about a book without mentioning all the formats in which it is available…and how she will make it accessible to them wherever they are,” says Stover. While KCLS integrates ebooks, it continues to maintain a robust print collection based on in-depth research. She has an “unwavering belief,” says Stover, “that libraries are part of the ecosystem [that] needed to connect library users with reading materials.”
What was the last book you loved? Tell us!
Starting February 1st, we’ll be posting our absolute favorite submissions by Tumblr users about the last book (any book!) they loved—an extension of The Rumpus’s ongoing series. Part book review, part love letter, your piece should communicate everything that’s wonderful about your chosen title. Every Friday, one submission will go up on Tumblr Storyboard, The Rumpus, and of course, your humble Rumblr.
If there is one group of people I know who excel in talking up much-loved books (preferably Satanism), its you, my much-loved tumblarians. <3 <3 <3
Public libraries have long served as gathering places and offered a range of nonliterary programs. And those who predicted their demise ‘have been proved wrong,’ says historian Wayne Wiegand, emeritus professor of library and information studies at Florida State University.
Introductory chapter books aimed at second, third and fourth grade readers overwhelmingly reflect a suburban milieu with white protagonists. Students of other races and ethnicities seldom encounter characters like themselves in books, and some education experts say that can be an obstacle to literacy.
Sometimes I feel like we understand each other, NYT, other times—not so much.
Every Monday, in thousands of language and language arts classes, children are given a list of 20 vocabulary words … If you show the list of 20 words to a child who has read, who grew up with books, he probably knows 15 or 16 of the words already. He has seen them before, in Choose Your Own Adventure, Harry Potter, and Batman Returns. If he studies, he gets an A. If he doesn’t study, he gets a B. If you show the list of 20 words to a child who did not grow up with books, the situation is very different. He may know five or six of the words. If he studies, with a heroic effort, he might get a D+.
A great Backtalk piece from Brian Samek online at Library Journal.
Reading is extraordinary. It captures a child’s imagination while teaching him or her how to read, how to write, and how to think, and the mere existence of a public library causes children to read more. Encouraging parents to bring their children to the library is even better. When you discuss the broad array of services provided by public libraries, don’t forget the books.
Return on Reading | Backtalk, by Brian Samek. Library Journal
Don’t forget the books!
I would say GPOLJ but to be honest none of us here can do this.