The Smallest, Saddest Numbers

Walter Dean Myers and Christopher Myers both wrote articles this week in the New York Times about the lack of diversity in children’s books. I knew before reading the article that there aren’t an abundance of books written by or about Black people, or POC in general, but I didn’t realize the numbers are drastically low. So according to the CCBC, of the 3,200 books for children they received in 2013, 67 of those were written by a Black author and 93 were written about Black people – which is roughly 2.1 and 2.9 percent.

[Insert side-eye and eye roll gif here]

I don’t need to tell you how ridiculous that is considering Black people make up 13 percent of the U.S. population. I don’t know what can be done to solve this gap, because I doubt seriously that the issue is that there aren’t authors who are writing these stories. But from a public library point-of-view it means that in order to get those 93 books into the hands of children its has to be done purposely, like having a majority of these books in the collection.

I could probably read 93 children’s books in a year. Tragic. I feel like eating all the donuts.


3 thoughts on “The Smallest, Saddest Numbers

  1. I know the feeling. My mom’s a principle of a middle school and she and I are in a constant hunt for children and YA books for readers of color. I think a lot of it has to do with us (readers, parents, kids) demanding libraries, publishers, booksellers, schools stock the shelves with quality books from writers of color.

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