Racism in US Children’s Books

I recently came across this blog post by Sharon Chang about the tiny number of children’s books published in the US that feature characters of any other ethnicity than “white”. Chang points to a number of societal problems and impacts on literacy practices that may arise from this situation – not just for the minorities that are invisible in most children’s books, but for “white” families as well. But is the situation just as bleak in other countries, including the UK? There are certainly media reports suggesting this, and some UK professionals who point to positive examples of diversity in publishing from the US, while lamenting the UK situation. Comments and examples welcome!

Johnny Unger


1 thought on “Racism in US Children’s Books

  1. Hi Johnny, this is an interesting post, drawing attention to very important issues. When Malorie Blackman became Children’s Laureate she talked about the need to bang the drum for diversity in children’s literature. http://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/jun/05/malorie-blackman-childrens-laureate-interview

    I’m glad to report on two organisations that do a lot to promote diversity in children’s literature. I was very impressed by attention given to this by the National Council of Teachers of English in the USA who this week are discussing ‘banned books’ http://www.ncte.org/ I’m not quite sure what that is about, but I have followed some of their children’s literature chat on Twitter #nctechat. Here, the UK do a great deal to promote diversity in children’s literature, as I’m aware from several conferences – and see their book awards – voted for by teachers http://www.ukla.org/awards/ukla_book_award_2013_sponsored_by_mls/

    Julia Gillen

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