Diversify Your Shelves!

Saturday, May 3rd, 2014

Recently there’s been quite a bit of discussion about the lack of diversity in children’s and young adult literature (and, let’s face it, literature in general). This discontent inspired a 3-day campaign, We Need Diverse Books, which runs from May 1st through the 3rd. (I know, I know; I am forever late to the party!)

Day 1 involved tweeting, tumbling, instagramming, etc. pictures of yourself (your friends, your kids, your library patrons, etc.) holding a sign that says “We need diverse books because [fill in the blank].”

On Day 2, there was a Twitter chat using the hash tag #WeNeedDiverseBooks (which is still going strong and includes some really rockin’ recommendations!).

Today, the Diversify Your Shelves initiative encourages people to buy diverse books and share pictures of their shiny, newly diversified book piles. (Or, if you’re short on cash, borrow some books from the library, or request that they carry more diverse titles.) There are even some cool contests to sweeten the deal; see, e.g., Oddly Blogless and We Need Diverse Books. Like I needed an excuse to buy another book!

2014-05-03 - Diversify Your Shelves Order

In honor of the event, I downloaded a copy of Project Unicorn, Volume 1: 30 Young Adult Short Stories Featuring Lesbian Heroines. It’s a new addition to my wishlist; after reading Sarah Diemer’s short story The Witch Sea (free on Amazon!) earlier this week, I hopped on Amazon and added most of her oeuvre to my to-read list.

Project Unicorn (“A Lesbian YA Extravaganza!”) is a ya fiction project created by Sarah and her wife Jennifer Diemer. Though the project is currently on hold, the idea is this: every week they post two free short stories on their website; these are gathered in a monthly zine, along with two previously-unpublished titles, which you can buy on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Smashwords. There’s also a quarterly edition that includes the contents of the previous three ‘zines, which is also available on etsy.

(More below the fold…)