Diversify Your Summer Reading

Here’s a Summer Reading Challenge from your book-loving friends at The Mixed-Up Files:

Diversify Your Reading!

Something about the way the modern world works has a tendency to create silos or echo chambers in which are our tastes, desires, and beliefs reverberate back to us from like-minded sources. Ultimately, that kind of intellectual isolation isn’t good for any of us. Books are one of the best ways to broaden your perspectives, but only if you diversify your reading.

Several readers have written about how their lives were changed by changing the way they read. Instead of sticking to the tried and true genres or authors that they knew and loved, these women actively sought titles outside of their usual selections. Kelly Jensen decided to only read women authors for a year, Sunili Govinnage chose to focus on writers of color, and K. T. Bradford excluded books by cis, white men from her list. Each one was surprised at the shift in her perspective after a year of focused reading.

Gene Luen Yang, the current National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, has launched a program with the Children’s Book Council called Reading Without Walls to encourage similarly adventurous reading among kids and teens. You can download an Activity Guide here. Even better, you can play Reading Without Walls BINGO! The BINGO cards are available through the American Bookseller’s Association and at many independent bookstores. I got mine at Roundabout Books in Bend, Oregon!

Here is a list of The ABC Group 2017 Summer Reading Program suggestions to get you started:

  • A book about a character who doesn’t look like you
  • A book about science
  • A book with a differently-abled character
  • A book in verse
  • A book about personal identity
  • A graphic novel
  • A biography about someone who lived long ago
  • A book about a young girl
  • A book about civil rights
  • A book about a young boy
  • A book by someone with a different religion than yours
  • A book about something you know nothing about
  • A book about a character who doesn’t live like you do
  • A book about technology
  • A book about a character like you
  • A book about history
  • A chapter book
  • A book about sports
  • A book written by a woman
  • A book written by a man
  • An award-winning book
  • A book published before you were born
  • A memoir or autobiography
  • A picture book

If you need suggestions for specific titles, We Need Diverse Books has aggregated a wonderful selection of diverse book lists here.

All of us here at The Mixed-Up Files hope that you’ll share youR new favorite books with us!

Happy Diverse Reading Everyone!

 

 

 

 

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Amber J. Keyser
Evolutionary biologist-turned-author Amber J. Keyser has a MS in zoology and a PhD in genetics. She writes both fiction and non-fiction for tweens and teens. Her young adult novels include POINTE, CLAW (Carolrhoda Lab, 2017), an explosive story about two girls claiming the territory of their own bodies, and THE WAY BACK FROM BROKEN (Carolrhoda Lab, 2015), a heart-wrenching novel of loss and survival (and a finalist for the Oregon Book Award). She is the co-author with Kiersi Burkhart of the middle grade series QUARTZ CREEK RANCH (Darby Creek, 2017). Her nonfiction titles include THE V-WORD (Beyond Words/SimonTeen, 2016), an anthology of personal essays by women about first-time sexual experiences (Rainbow List, Amelia Bloomer list, New York Public Library Best Book for Teens and Chicago Public Library Best Nonfiction for Teens) and SNEAKER CENTURY: A HISTORY OF ATHLETIC SHOES (Twenty-First Century Books, 2015), among numerous other titles. More information at www.amberjkeyser.com.

One response to “Diversify Your Summer Reading

  1. Multicultural Children’s Book Day has a huge resource of diversity book lists for kids here: https://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/multicultural-reading-resources/diversity-book-lists-for-kids/

    It’s broken down by category such as by geographic region, world religion, ethnicity, genre, etc.

    They also published Read Your World: A Guide to Multicultural Children’s Books for Parents and Educators , a book of diversity KidLit book lists. It’s for sale for $4.99. The proceeds of every book sold results in a book donation to a teacher’s classroom library. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01NCWUGD3/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B01NCWUGD3&linkCode=as2&tag=pragmom-20&linkId=1efd1f867c016bc22393f3c56cc05e05