We all know the problem: Less than one percent of all YA books published in the USA over the last ten years contain ANY LGBTQ characters, even minor supporting ones. And we all know how the few YA novels starring non-white characters tend to get whitewashed.

I propose forming Permanent Floating YA Diversity Book Clubs.

Here's how it works, for those who wish to start or participate in one:

Announce the theme: At the start of the month, you announce your theme. For instance, YA novels with lesbian protagonists, or YA science fiction written by and starring people of color. You can vary the theme month to month, or pick one and stick to it all year.

Vote for a book: You pick a few books to choose from and hold a vote on your blog. The book with the most votes is the book of the month. Everyone who wants to participate reads the book and discusses it.

Read and Discuss: Read and discuss at the end of the month. There are two ways to do that.

1. You can do it like a traditional book club, and have the discussion hosted on a single blog at a set date.

2. You can simply ask everyone to read the book on their own time, and review it on their own blogs some time that month.

The former has the advantage of making sure everyone can discuss everything. The latter reaches more people.

Why bother? If enough people do this, there will be multiple Floating YA Diversity Book Clubs going around the internet, and people can participate in as many or as few as they choose. It will create sales and awareness of the books you wish to support, and keep the enthusiasm and support going indefinitely.

Since the power is in your hands, you can make sure that all the books fit your own personal criteria of worthiness, whether that is books of a high literary quality, books with absolutely no offensive elements, books written by LGBTQ authors, fluffy fun books, books which seriously explore social issues, or any other criterion you choose.

Also, it will be fun. What is the internet for, if not book discussion?

The bad news is that we all hold part of the problem. The good news is that we all hold part of the solution. But while it is essential for agents, editors, and publishers to be part of the solution, this post is directed at readers.

I want to support authors who are writing books about diverse characters, not only to send a message to the publishing industry, but also so that those authors - many of them people of color and/or LGBTQ themselves - can make a living. And the better their books do, the more likely they are to land in libraries and bookshops, where the teenagers who need to read them can find them.

Please join me, if this is a cause you wish to support. You can help by starting your own group, joining other people's groups, or linking this post to spread the idea around.

I will launch my first one ASAP, as October is already half over. After that, I will start each one early in the month, so everyone has almost a month to read.

Here are some links to resources for diverse YA books. Please use your own judgment in deciding which books to support. These are all resource lists attempting, by various criteria, to be comprehensive. They are not lists of recommended books!

Diversity in YA. Updated monthly, its criteria is that the books must feature a protagonist, member of an ensemble, or major supporting character who is LBGTQ or a person of color.

An annotated list of YA fantasy and sf novels with LGBTQ protagonists or major characters, which were published in the USA.

An annotated list of YA fantasy and sf novels with non-white protagonists, which were published in the USA, PART 1.

An annotated list of YA fantasy and sf novels with non-white protagonists, which were published in the USA, PART 2.

A list of multicultural YA sf and fantasy, with full reviews of each book.
rachelmanija: (Fishes: I do not see why the sex)
( Oct. 12th, 2011 04:57 pm)
I will make a filter for this shortly. Until then, cut to spare you, and also for sexual content including some hilarious romance novel excerpts. These are my brief notes, for my own benefit with the exception of the throbbing pistons which are for yours, on today's reading.

Read more... )
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