Friday, January 22, 2010
This story is a real humdinger from Justine Larbalestier. The narrator, admits that she lies. The book is published by Bloomsbury USA, which managed to put its collective foot in its mouth by using a cover showing a white girl when the heroine is obviously not a white girl! Loads of protest got Bloomsbury to change it. There's another YA book out there called Magic Under Glass by a first-time author, Jaclyn Dolamore:
This book was published in December. I haven't read it yet, but the main character is described as having dark skin. What's up, Bloomsbury? Why are you lying to your readers? I've been in the library business long enough to know that covers count. Readers will pass up a great story if the cover sucks. They get angry if they buy a book and the cover has no relationship to the story inside.
There are loads of good books out there by authors of color featuring protagonists of color. There are the usual suspects: Walter Dean Myers, who just won the Coretta Scott King - Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement, Sharon Flake, Sharon M. Draper, Mildred D. Taylor, Jacqueline Woodson, Julia Alvarez, and Sherman Alexie, The newer writers including Christopher Paul Curtis, Charles Smith, Anna Na (The Fold), Randel Addel-Fatah (Does My Head Look Big in This?), Sherri L. Smith (Flygirl), and Tanita S. Davis (Mare's War). I'm leaving out a lot here. And this is just the fiction category. Take a look at this article from Salon: www.salon.com/mwt/broadsheet/feature/2010/01/19/cover_whitewashing/index.html
And this blog entry: www.blackteensread2.blogspot.com/2010/01/open-letter-to-bloomsbury-kids-usa.html