Saturday, October 17, 2015

A More Diverse Universe

Here it is October 17th and I am just checking in with my Diverse Universe post.
As I said when I signed up tho--I did pick the busiest month of the year for me.
It was sort of fun watching the 'due date' come closer and closer knowing I still had a book to read.
2 days ago!
I love the threat of the guillotine of deadlines.
Why did I think it was important to participate in this challenge?
I, too, am a middle class white female American, who has a pretty easy life. Food on the table, laughter around the table with family and friends,  a warm house to enjoy the impending winter, enough money in the bank to go shopping today (for things I want and don't necessarily need).
Well..... I agree 100% with Aarti from BookLust, who started this challenge!
She says:
Reading diversely is important because we live in a global world.  Period.  If you read books only by white authors, you are limiting yourself to less than 30% of the world's experience of race and culture.  If you read books only by Christian authors, you are limiting yourself to only about 33% of the world's experience of religion.  If you read books only by authors in developed countries, you are limiting yourself to a very privileged view of what the world has to offer you.  If you read books that focus only on Western thought, history, and philosophy, you are missing out on many rich and varied traditions and worldviews that have informed and continue to enrich the way we view the world today. 

I have always felt that I have a very diverse family, BUT we still all live in that (mostly), white middle class world, so I thought it would be interesting to see what I could pull off of my own bookshelves.
I went to check out  the 'grandchildren's' room/bookshelves first---and  I went no further.  I found everything I needed right there.
You might think I'm cheating, because some say that children and JR novels and Young Adult are easy books to talk about, but my thinking is this:
Authors who write for children and middle age readers HAVE TO be good writers, because kids aren't going to stick with a book that doesn't pull them in right away. Right?
I have a lot of children's and middle aged books by authors of color.
My favorites are:
The Watson's Go To Birmingham by Christopher Paul Curtis
Mississippi Bridge by Mildred D. Taylor
Those are two great, GREAT books that you should read to your children!
I grabbed one I had not read yet--
Hoops by Walter Dean Myers.
What did I think?
I think you should read it.
The language/slang is a bit dated, EVEN for a diverse, set in Harlem, book.
The language is very ' 70's.
It was funny, you jive turkey!
Beyond that, it is the story of a poor black boy in Harlem, trying to find his way in the world.  He's a great basketball player, his coach (who has his own problems) sees that Lonnie has great potential and helps him develop his gift, warns him about pressures.  There is a life-changing decision (of course).
Basically, it's a coming of age story set in Harlem amid the game of basketball.
I think most kids can relate to certain aspects of the story ---how one decision change alter your life--Peer Pressure, etc.
But then seen in the Harlem setting, is a new and diverse setting for a lot of us, kids and adults.
I found it very interesting to see the regional,culteral and social differences set in the same America I live in.

Walter Dean Myers was an American writer of children's books best known for young adult literature. He wrote more than one hundred books including picture books and nonfiction.
He died July 1, 2014
I found this list on the Cooperative Children's Book Center website.
It was an eye-opener for me.


Total Number
of Books
Published (Est.)

Number of Books

African /
African Americans

American Indians

Asian Pacifics/
Asian Pacific Americans



1 comment:

Aarti said...

Thank you so much for participating in #diversiverse! You squeezed in to get the review count up to a round 80 :-) I linked to your post on the link-up post vs the sign-up post that you commented on.

Thanks again!

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