Today, you’ll discover a tasty new middle-grade chapter book, and hear from its writer about why diverse books matter.
What am I saying? You’ve probably heard the buzz about diverse books already.
But are you convinced yet?
Jean Ramsden is. These days, she’s connecting with her readers one-on-one. And she’s hearing from them how much it means to kids to see characters “just like me” in the books they read, on the covers, on the pages of magazines and on TV.
Jean’s book, The Secret Life of Jenny Liu (Jam & Jabber Books, 2014) is about an 11-year-old Chinese-American girl who defiantly refuses to be a stereotype. When the world tries to shove her into a box, she bursts free and discovers she has the strength to be unique.
The book confronts all the stereotypes head-on – Jenny is Asian, but she’s no good at math and spelling, and she’s not the piano whiz her teacher and slightly-tiger mom hopes she’ll be. I loved watching Jenny solve her own problems, finding balance in her own life and helping others along the way.
So why do diverse books matter?
Let’s let Jean speak for herself…
Moving Small Stones: Closing the Diversity Gap in Children’s Books
The fury of activity following my book reading had subsided—questions had been answered, books had been signed, kids and their parents and teachers had moved on to the next event—when a girl holding her copy of my middle-grade contemporary book, “The Secret Life of Jenny Liu,” approached.