Monday, December 01, 2014

I support #WeNeedDiverseBooks

I have two very simple reasons for supporting the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign.  This is a photo of both of them:

These are my two children.  On the left, is The Littlest who is 6. On the right is E, who is 9.  These two boys have grown up in a household raised by a second generation Indian father and a first generation mixed-race American mother.  They are made of 50% British-Indian, 25% Native Alaskan and 25% white.  They've had questions over the years about their heritage and we are a family that is proud of our heritage.  On my list of things that have to be done are to show both these boys where they come from and we will be taking trips to both Alaska and India in the future.

These boys live in a world where mixed race and diversity amongst their classmates is a lot more common than when I grew up in a very white, middle class neighbourhood in the United States.  Whereas I always felt like I stood out with my brown skin, my two boys don't where children of colour make up more than  a third of their classrooms.

Both of my boys are readers.  They've seen me reading on a daily basis since birth and both boys share this passion with the written word.  And I want them to see a reflection of who they are in the books they read.  I want them to see the world and all the diversity in it amongst the books they pick up.  I want my two boys to see different people of colour, different religions and cultures. I want them to be introduced to different religions and see people with different abilities and sexualities.  Because diversity is all around us and to not reflect these differences means that they are not important and worthy.

I love that the WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign is a thing and I love that it's getting so much suppport.  And it's something I feel very strongly about.  I pledge to do more on this blog to celebrate diversity.  Look out for more posts and reviews very soon that will be highlighting diversity in books.  POC, sexuality, religions, ability, mental illness.  A mirror needs to be held up to it all.

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