Back To Regular Life

Posted by on Sep 11, 2014 in Children's Literature, Race | 0 comments

Next sabbatical reading?

Next sabbatical reading?

Not that a life spent researching Japanese demons and plesiosaurs is all that regular, but anyway, the sabbatical is over.

Too bad. It was an intoxicating experience to be able to read for hours at a stretch, the way I used to be able to read (now that I think about it) in childhood. It’s surprising that, as a writer, I could forget how mind-blowing it is to bury yourself in a fictional world, not to be dragged out for anything less urgent than lunch (hey, I like lunch). Thank goodness for this reminder. I may have to schedule mini reading-sabbaticals more often.

I realized something, though. I read realistic fiction, fantasy, humor, autobiography, award winners, and regular everyday books…but what I did not read was anything where the main character is not white. This is disheartening. I’m a fan of children’s literature, reasonably well-read in the field, alert to new trends…and to find books with a character of color, I must go deliberately searching for them. Most readers don’t do that. And then the fictional world reflects and reinforces the world inside our heads, where minorities are not just minorities–they are nonexistent.

So I’ve got Linda Sue Park’s A Long Walk To Water on the list. Anything else I should add?

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