Reading Diversely: Serving Our International and Multicultural Teens and Tweens
Our schools are full of multi- and third-culture families, but most popular Young Adult novels are about monocultural American teens. As librarians, we have a responsibility to be diverse readers—reading books across genres which feature characters of different ethnicities, nationalities, genders, sexual orientations, religions, and abilities, and are still worthy of inspiring middle and high school students. Yet it can be as challenging to push yourself to read diversely as it is to present a library collection that both reflects your readers and encourages them to experience a wider world.
This interactive program will include book lists featuring diverse YA characters, criteria for building a diverse collection, authentic teen perspectives, programing and display ideas, and strategies for reader’s advisory. Together, we will answer questions such as: What are excellent diverse books across the genres? How do you respect the complex identities of young people in your library?And how do you encourage teens to expand their reading tastes without turning them off from reading altogether?