Sheila Ruth, an ’06 and ’07 organizer of the Cybil’s Sci-Fi and Fantasy category, has a very extensive and heartfelt blog about how too many lists recommending children’s books are focusing on only the best selling books.
This is at the very core of the Brown Bookshelf’s mission – spotlighting those left in the shadows and comes right on the heels of the CCBC’s annual report on Children’s lit. The good news – the number of books by African American’s hasn’t fallen. Check out Kyra Hicks’ posting of the news.
Recently, I was surprised to learn that there are some who believe The Brown Bookshelf is guilty of only focusing on the award winners. Obviously I’m biased, but I beg to differ in a big way. Beyond our veteran authors, our under-the-radar authors are all legitimately selected because either their books aren’t out there enough or they, the authors, aren’t very well-recognized. Would if we could, we’d cover every children’s book out there but there are limitations to our time when it comes to research.
Which is why we rely on you, loyal visitors.
But I digress. Sheila has put out a call to arms:
Please post in the comments your favorite children’s or YA books published in 2008 that were not widely buzzed, reviewed, or awarded. I’ll compile all the suggestions into a book list and post it on my blog, with permission for anyone to copy it and post it elsewhere.
I am calling for all visitors to the Brown Bookshelf to take another step and post suggestions of brown books on Sheila’s blog. I say “another” because many of you are loyal readers who constantly spread the word about the books we post about here.
We want to make sure brown books are represented wherever children’s books are mentioned. No shame in our game, we want the masses to be aware that the literature is out there, merely “unbuzzed.”
Interpret unbuzzed that the way you’d like but it’s safe to say if it’s best selling or has garnered a significant literary award, it’s not eligible. So, unbuzzed would not include veteran authors featured during 28 Days Later, but would include many, if not most of the others. It would include books by Brown Bookshelf members, books we’ve reviewed but haven’t featured within 28 Days Later and books that you’ve nominated for 28 Days later but perhaps didn’t make the cut.
Please, head over to Wands and Worlds and recommend as many children’s books – PB, MG and YA across the genres, as you feel deserve the recognition.
Sheila has asked that authors nor their publishers submit their own books and that commenters indicate their connection to childrens’ books (librarian, teacher, parent, reader of kiddie lit, blogger).
Hey, Zetta, here I go again – waving the flag! Wanna help?