One thing I hear a lot about is the lack of diverse books for children, I have written previously on the subject of diversity and my previous posts include Honest Books about slavery for children and Racism In Childrens Books.
The issue with diverse books for children is one that has been noticed and there are a few organisations trying to change that. A recent article by Huff Post entitled 'Tackling diversity in children's books 'highlights the National Deaf Children’s Society who work tirelessly to change the situation and the Guardians recent post regarding the All-white Carnegie medal longlist provokes anger from children's authors where some writers have called for a boycott of the awards.
There is a snowballing collection of voices gathering pace out there about the lack of diversity in children's literature, and initiatives are growing in the UK as it is in the USA, were there are grants available by organisation such as We Need Diverse Books who are offering $2500 Internship Grants, awarded to each of eleven diverse publishing and agency interns, this is now running into it's third successful year.
Initiatives in the UK such as the Megaphone based in Birmingham, is a new writer development scheme for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic writers who want to write their first novel for children, there are a number of positive initiatives on the boil, along with the voices that have already spoken we are seeing movement in the right direction, publishers and a number of various organisations are taking calls to action, what we need are those talented writers of diverse literature to step forwards and start applying for some of the grants available such as those on the Whitefox website that provides an index of grants available to writers in UK and Ireland.
In the mean time while we wait for the plethora of talented writers to arrive here is a short list of places that offer a diverse range of children's books.
Letterbox Library - Letterbox Library is committed to celebrating equality and diversity in the very best children's books
Sweet Apple Books - Aims to publish high quality books that reflect the world we live in.
Fire Tree Books - Produce a range of books that feature children who are under-represented in books
Mirrors Windows Doors - Mirrors Windows Doors (MWD) is an online magazine whose aim is to draw attention to the riches of children’s and YA books from across the world that highlight cultural and multi-cultural diversity.
I hope this article has been helpful and you are either inspired to write a diverse child's book and apply for some of those grants available or it has helped you to open up your access to some of those diverse children's books, all be it not enough diversity as of yet, but watch this space, diversity in children's books is on the rise.