January 26, 2010

Multicultural Tuesday: Introduction

Agent Kristin, of the blog Pub Rants, has posted a blog about the controversy over whitewashing book covers. I originally spoke about the subject in this blog. Though very little.

I live in an area of the United States that has a unique kind of necessity. Multicultural books are a high demand, and a huge part of learning should you try to become a teacher or learn about children's literature. This is because the area that I live in is dominated by Hispanic culture. When I took classes in children's and young adult literature the professors discussed a lot of books that had to do with multicultural literature from several different kinds of cultures. Not just one culture, but many and ranging from contemporary fiction to fairy tales.

When I took classes for my Masters program in Library Science I took at least two classes on children's and YA lit and both of them dealt with multicultural literature, because I knew the demand for this kind of literature in my area. Teachers in this area are always looking for more books that have to do with Hispanic culture and books that are written by authors from different countries like Mexico, Argentina and Spain. The area that I live in demands that the literature available relates greatly to the students, because that is their culture.

The only problem with that kind of demand, though, is that books on the one particular culture can dominate over other cultures. Teachers are trying so hard to accommodate their students that including other cultures tends to fall by the way side. It is only natural after all to look for books that appeal rather then spending money and time on books that would not appeal. I believe, however, if you really want to showcase good multicultural literature you should be willing to look at all cultures. So I decided to start featuring good literature and authors that deal with all cultures on a new feature in this blog, and I'm calling it Multicultural Tuesday.

So that way every week at least one author and one book is showcased. Hopefully new readers will find these books, love them, and want to show them to their students or children. If we really want to get books out there we need to be willing to talk about them. And isn't that what book blogging is all about?


Wendy said...

A very intelligent post! I like that you acknowledge that getting kids to read "multicultural" books isn't as easy as simply ordering the books and having them there. Often they need to be talked up.

Sami said...

Aw thank you.

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