Diverse Kids Books–Reviews

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Monthly Archives: November 2014

Best-Selling YA novelist Heidi Durrow Discusses Multiracial Identity with Omilaju Miranda of Mixed Diversity Reads

Heidi Durrow looking straight out Heidi Durrow is a super woman. The New York Times best selling author of the 2008 PEN/Bellwether award winning  The Girl Who Fell From The Sky, that gained unintended popularity amongst the YA audience is also an ivy-league and Stanford University educated lawyer, and journalist who hosts the national podcast ‘The Mixed Experience‘ and organizes the annual Mixed Remixed Festival, celebrating the arts produced by biracial and multiracial peoples.

 

On November 14th, Durrow, who is the daughter of a white, Danish mother and black, U.S.American father, interviewed Omilaju Miranda, founder of Mixed Diversity Reads Children’s Book Review, ostensibly to discuss Mixed Diversity Reads Children’s Book Review as a resource for those seeking picture and YA books with mixed heritage protagonists. heidiandomicollage.jpg

But the conversation veered into an unplanned discussion of multiracial U.S.American identity as well as literacy and representation in children’s literature. Listen to the interview here and become a new fan of ‘The Mixed Experience‘ Podcast. Follow Heidi at @heididurrow and the Mixed Remixed Festival at @mixedremixed or on facebook at Mixed Remixed.

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A Gender Creative Child’s Anthem in a Picture Book

Across the country, as trans-identified and gender non-conforming children and teenagers are supported in living their affirmed gender identities, many are finding their anthem in an illustrated songbook by Phyllis Rothblatt:

All I Want to Be is Me.

cover for All I want to Be is Me

Mixed Diversity Reads Children’s Book Reviews’ Interveiw with Phyllis Rothblatt

phyllis rothblatt author photoOmilaju Miranda of Mixed Diversity Reads Children’s Book Review who fell in love with the book upon reading it, had the pleasure of speaking with author, activist, and child and family therapist, Phyllis Rothblatt about her book and the victories and challenges of the movement to respect (not just tolerate) the identities of gender creative and gender non-conforming children and teenagers.

MDRCBR: What Inspired You to Write All I Want To Be is Me?

Rothblatt: I knew a lot of children who didn’t fit inside of typical gender boxes— they expressed their gender identity in more fluid ways, or, perhaps they didn’t identify as either a boy or girl. I knew children who felt like a blend of both genders, and those who felt that their body didn’t match who they really are inside and that they are really the other gender. I didn’t see anything available in children’s literature that affirmed or reflected these gender creative kids or their experiences. I wrote, All I Want To Be Is Me for these kids- they inspired me. Their intense determination to be themselves, even when no one else understood them or supported them- I found that inspiring and so courageous.

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A Talk with the Author: Madhvi Ramani brings new book Nina and the Magical Carnival to life with a “live” reading and interview.

MadhviandNinaandmagiccarnival.jpg Author Madhvi Ramani has brought us three delightful, globe-trotting journeys featuring mystery solving, elementary school protagonist Nina who goes on adventures around the world in her aunt’s magical travelling spice shed. The child of immigrant parents from India, Nina is a first generation Brit trying to excel at school, avoid bullies and define her cultural identity in a way that honors who she really feels she is and isn’t too offensive to her family. In the first two books, Nina’s trips to India and China helped her solve some extraordinary problems. In the third novel, Nina travels to Brazil.

Today, the author reads us the first chapter of the third book in the series: Nina and the Magical Carnival, which gets released in the United States today, just in time for winter holiday gifting.

In addition to reading us the first chapter of her new release, Ramani took the time to discuss diversity in children’s literature and her debut novel, Nina and the Travelling Spice Shed.

Support diversity literature and give the young readers in your life some great reads by buying all three titles or just the new release, Nina and the Magical Carnival.

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