Reading a book by an author of color in July can help you complete a Summer Reading Challenge activity! Do you need some help finding a book written by an author of color? Let this blog post be your guide!
Before we begin, a note about what we mean by "authors of color." When speaking about books published in the United States, for example, we are referring to authors of non-Euro American backgrounds. In other words, authors who are not white.
If we do not make the effort, it is very easy to only read books written by white authors. According to a 2020 report by The New York Times, 95% of the fiction titles published between 1950 and 2018 were written by white authors.
In children's literature, we talk about readers needing books that are "windows and mirrors." Coined by Rudine Sims Bishop, Professor Emerita of Education at The Ohio State University, books are windows when they introduce the reader to worlds—people, places, ways of thinking— unfamiliar to them. Books are mirrors when the reader sees themself and their world reflected back to them.
For some readers, then, it is that much easier to find books that are mirrors. But we need both. Take this opportunity during Summer Reading Challenge to read a book outside of that 95 percent.