Adolescent Literature

Diversity in Literature

Diversity in literature is something of great importance. As time has gone on, we have been provided with more young adult books covering issues like racism, misogyny, homophobia, xenophobia, sexual assault, and mental illness. However, in a study done in 2016 by Lee and Low, only six percent of young adult books were written by Black, Lantix, and Native authors combined. This is important to notice because as we are getting more diverse novels, we are still struggling to get more diverse authors.

So, why do we need diversity at all? Why can’t all of our books just follow a set criteria that is the same? Other than the obvious fact that this is incredibly boring, people need diversity. Something that diversity provides us is the ability to look at different cultures or issues that we might not be able to see in our regular lives. From the Mirrors, Windows, and Sliding Glass Doors article, “They (children) need the books as windows onto reality, not just on imaginary worlds.” Books are so much more than just words on a page. They allow us to enter a different world by just the words. This is pretty incredible that words have power like this.

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As I said before, books are a way for readers to enter a different life. This can become extremely helpful within the classroom. As teachers, we can use books as tools to show student’s different societies within the world that they might not have access to experience directly. This can be beneficial in many different ways and many different subjects. It is important for students to realize that not everyone in the world is the same and they are.

Overall, these article are able to show how diversity is incredibly important. A major question I have is how can we help provide more diversity within literature. What can we, as readers do, to help get a larger variety within literature? Can we, as readers, even help? I think an important thing readers can do is show that their is a need for diversity books. With this, maybe more authors will come forward with works to be published. Hopefully, this will show that their is a desire for them and that will make the publishing companies more money if they produce them. I am curious to know that you think about how we can help with the diversity in literature.

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4 thoughts on “Diversity in Literature”

  1. Great questions, Rachel! I think,as in the case of the movie, “Black Panther,” when we vote loudly with our pocketbooks, more diverse literature will be produced. Unfortunately, many people are motivated by whatever makes the most money, so I can use that to my advantage by supporting more diverse authors.

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    1. I completely agree. I talked about this in someone else’s post but I feel like they will make whatever makes money and sadly diverse books aren’t as popular because they aren’t read as much. As teachers, we can influence students to read more diverse novels…hopefully, that will help!

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