BEA09PaT: Multi-Culti Panel

Hello and welcome to Day 2 of BEA Pout-A-Thon, sponsored by the lovely Laurie Halse Anderson. I’m your host for today’s panel – Who’s Who Among Brown Authors.

This panel is 100% virtual. And although I’m known to talk to myself, I’d like it very much if you guys didn’t leave me hanging today. My self-esteem needs a boost.

In the comments, please list the brown authors writing kiddie lit that haven’t been mentioned on our site before.

Ahh…if you’re new to the site you must first review our archives to see who we’ve covered!

These are authors who should be at BEA (hey, maybe some of them are!) signing, schmoozing and letting booksellers, librarians and readers know about their great work.

Remember, this is a diversity panel brown encompasses many, many racial and ethnic make ups.

I’ll kick it off with…

Neesha Meminger, author of YA novel, Shine, Coconut Moon.

* Shine, Coconut Moon has been nominated a Best Books for YA pick by the American Library Association’s Young Adult Library Services division.

* Neesha’s very active on the issue of diversifying publishing and the stories told to young readers.

* She lacks a life like me, so we kicked it quite frequently during YAIdol chats on Twitter.

Your turn. In the comments, share the brown authors you’re aware of and what they’re writing.

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16 Responses to BEA09PaT: Multi-Culti Panel

  1. I am so jazzed. When you were setting up the Brown Bookshelf we talked a bit about who qualifies as brown, and now with Neesha mentioned here … I THINK I’M IN, TOO!!!!

  2. susan says:

    So you are asking for writers of color who are not African American?

  3. elliottzetta says:

    How about Tonya Hegamin? Author of Pemba’s Song, Most Loved in All the World, and M + O Forever. She’ll be participating in a live chat at rapper Common’s teen book club, The Corner Book Club, on June 9th @ 7pm: http://www.commongroundfoundation.org/thecorner.html

  4. tanita says:

    Here’s a who’s who, as reported by Galleycat just today — one Paula Chase Hyman! Go, Paula.

  5. Karen says:

    Paula, you took Neesha! LOL. That’s who I was going to say.

    Okay, I have another one. Kekla Magoon, author of THE ROCK AND THE RIVER. Met her at the AACBWI Conference and she was wonderful. Read an excerpt from her book. Definitely one to pick up! She should be in the Who’s Who’s Among Brown Authors.

  6. paulahy says:

    @Tanita Awww shucks. Thanks. *kicks at the floor as she blushes*

    @zetta – Ahh thanks for the heads up about the chat.

    @Mitali – you are most definitly in. Ooh that feels so exclusive. :-)

    @Susan – no, no ANY brown author you want to shout out. That to me means African American, Asian, Indian, American Indian, Middle Eastern, Latino…as long as they write kid lit.

    I, personally, was going outside of African American brown because that’s my primary focus most of the time. So I’m enjoying diving deeper into brown authors for this one.

    For those who don’t know Mitali, I’ll out her as not just a MG and YA author, but an incredible resource on the children’s lit industry. When I want to know something, I look to her website and the ever resourceful Cynthia Leitch Smith – a brown author of American Indian descent.

    Keep ‘em coming everyone. All are welcome. Summer’s fast upon us. We want to spread the word on good reads.

  7. paulahy says:

    @Karen – Not that it matters but what ethnicity is Kekla? Just because I’m curious.

    I know this may be opening a can of worms, but I’m opening them because, this is after all a panel on diversity.

    As Mitali mentioned, when The BBS launched it generated healthy discussion about how to define brown and the issue of exclusion.

    Within that discussion, we made it clear that here at The BBS it isn’t about exclusion, but all five members were African American so it was obvious why we were primarily focused on African American authors.

    However, we have and continue to be open to embracing uplifting a myriad of brown authors within other initiatives outside of 28 Days Later.

    Some feel that dilutes the cause. But I’m of the mind that a rising tide floats all boats. As diversity is discussed within publishing is it better for the browns to “unite” or should each brown clan carry their own flag to get recognition in publishing?

    What say you?

    Hmm…may have to start a whole new post for this…

  8. susan says:

    Paula, I do the same. I’m at the Fire Escape quite a bit. Cool, you mean people of color. Alrighty then. My first round:

    An Na
    Randa Abdel-Fattah (Oh, she’s an Aussie so not likely to be at BEA?)
    Tanuja Desai Hidier (She joined a rock band!)
    Dorina K. Lazo Gilmore
    Cindy Pon
    Traci L. Smith
    Lori A. Williams

  9. Neesha says:

    OMG, Paula, this is SOOOO awesome! I LOVE that you’re doing this and that LHA is sponsoring it!! SQUEEEE!!! Rock on witcho bad selves!

  10. Neesha says:

    Oh, I haven’t scrolled through all your archives, but I want to add Uma Krishnaswami, Anjali Banerji (hope I spelled that right!), Marina Budhos, Tanuja Desai Hidier, An Na, Justina Chen Headley (!), Cynthea Liu, Olugbemisola Perkovich (though hers comes out in ’10), Malinda Lo, Cindy Pon, and Sheba Karim. I’m sure I’ll come up with more, but those are off the top of my head for now.

    Did I mention how excited I am about what you’re doing? :)

  11. Concerning who is and isn’t including in the term “people of color”, I’m a big fan of the Cooperative Children’s Book Center’s definition of multicultural literature.

    Also, I want to throw Francisco X. Stork into the mix. His latest novel, MARCELO IN THE REAL WORLD, has racked up FIVE starred reviews (Booklist, PW, Horn Book, Kirkus, and SLJ). I love the book, and I hope the various committees remember it when awards season rolls around.

  12. paulahy says:

    See how much fun this is? Who needs to be at BEA? :-)

  13. Edi says:

    This is going to be a challenge, but that’s what happens when you’re late to the party! School just ended and I have A LOT of catching up to do! Let’s see…
    Simone Elkeles
    NiNi Simone
    L Divine
    Gary Soto
    Alisa Valdez Rodrigez
    Rene Saldana Jr
    Laura Resau
    Benjamin Alire Saenz
    Many Ly
    Amjed Qamar

  14. Paula says:

    Edi, you know what they say? Better late than never! Welcome.

  15. bookmarkergurl says:

    Hey, everyone!

    “Bless me, Ultima,” by Ruldofo Anaya is another great book by a latino author. The book is like a hispanic version of Harry Potter. In fact, Walmart’s heiress is taking it to the big screen! =)

    Has anyone heard of it besides me?

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