Recently, there has been a lot of discussions regarding kids reading and how there are not enough books for children to choose from. Newbery Award-wining children’s author Walter Dean Myers stirred up a beehive when he asked boldly in his essay “Where Are the People of Color in Children’s Books? published on the New York Times in 2014. In fact, doing an inventory of books do reveal the fact that out of 5000 kids books published in 2013, only 93 books were about coloured people. Doesn’t this say that there are really less books depicting stories about coloured people? Read on further and you can decide for yourself.
While race is not the central issue in kids stories there must definitely be a trend where you don’t have the stereotype stories of heroes beating the villains, heroes dying, heroes following their destiny, coping with loss of close family members and so on. There must be more stories about coloured people working together with others to get the job done.
Here are some books with diverse characters for kids reading
Written by various authors, this is a multi-platform fantasy series where you have diverse characters – one black, one white, an Asian, and street urchin whose race is a mystery. These four characters run the show. Ideal for children above the age of 8.
Randi Rhodes Ninja Detective: The Case of the Time-Capsule Bandit
A very popular mystery series for tweens having a strong while female character, accompanied by an African-American boy, a hearing-impaired Latino boy and a Chinese-American nanny. Ideal for kids above the age of 8.
Heroes of Olympus
Heroes of Olympus is another famous adventure series ideal for children above the age of 10. Written by Rick Riordan, this Percy Jackson series has a Chinese-Canadian character, a New Orleans African-American girl, and a Mexican-American boy.
Parents of coloured children, who would like to get them books related to colored characters can choose from the above. Of course there are plenty of other books as well. Here are some:
The Year of the Book: Anna Wang, Book 1
Last Stop on Market Street
EllRay Jakes Is a Rock Star!
The Blossoming Universe of Violet Diamond
Lowriders in Space, Book 1
Elvis and the Underdogs
The Ultra Violets
In fact, there are plenty of books, spanning 80 genres!