Zetta Elliott, the talented author and blogger, cites an article on her blog noting that:
“…studies have consistently found that minority-race characters are underrepresented in fiction for children and young adults, and that existing portrayals of minority characters are often riddled with stereotypes or otherwise negative images.”
The source for this quote is riveting research reported in “The Journal of Research on Libraries and Young Adults” published in June, 2011. The data that captured my attention the most was from Table One:
As the authors point out, citing Hazel Rochman:
“Books can make a difference in dispelling prejudice and building community; not with role models and literal recipes, not with noble messages about the human family, but with enthralling stories that make us imagine the lives of others.”
Book bloggers can help make a difference by requesting books at stores and libraries that reflect more diversity, and by publicizing good books through reviews. All races, ethnicities, and genders can benefit from reading stories about each other and learning that really, we are all alike more than we are different.
If you prick us, do we not bleed?
if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison
us, do we not die?”
(The Merchant of Venice, Act 3, Scene I, William Shakespeare)”