A recent article in Publisher’s Weekly emphatically backs what The Brown Bookshelf has long endorsed — importance of increasing the diversity of books out there for young African American teen readers.
The article points to signs that this is happening.
One interesting point – editor Stacey Barney (who actually acquired So Not The Drama for Dafina) asks where are the Gossip Girl and the like for Af-Am readers? But then Marva Allen of Hue-Man books worries that “the marketplace will become filled with fad titles that eventually become irrelevant.”
To that I say, I’d rather see that happen then to see us left out of contemporary portrayals. I know it’s a slippery slope, believe me, I do. But being left out of the various niches within YA is not fun for the authors or the readers.
So bring on the fad titles be it fantasy, paranormal or teen soap operas – just let us get in the game. It doesn’t seem right that mainstream fads pass us by, as if somehow our readers are too “good” for them. Pleasure reading is just that, reading for fun and sometimes those titles are faddish. Doesn’t mean the heavy stuff gets left behind – there are enough different readers for us all.