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Friday, November 15, 2013

89

Get These White Boys Out My Children's Books

At the Huffington Post, Soraya Chemaly asks:

How many people would never consider buying Anne of Green Gables or Island of the Blue Dolphins for their 10-year old boy, but don't pause before giving a daughter Treasure Island or Enders Game? Books featuring girls are, for the most part, understood to be books for girls. Which is interesting as well because, in addition to there not being enough, books featuring girls as protagonists are disproportionately among the most frequently banned children's books. In a recent Buzzfeed list of 15 commonly banned books for kids, almost half were about girls. Girls who do things apparently scare a lot of people.

Over the last 100 years, this is how the numbers shake out:

  • 57% of children's books published each year have male protagonists, versus 31% female.
  • In popular children's books featuring animated animals, 100% of them have male characters, but only 33% have female characters.
  • The average number of books featuring male characters in the title of the book is 36.5% versus 17.5% for female characters.

Also, the diversity problem is significantly worse when it comes to ethnicity:

Of an estimated 5,000 books released in 2012, only 3.3% featured African-Americans; 2.1% featured Asian-Americans or Pacific Islanders; 1.5% featured Latinos; and only 0.6% featured Native Americans. God forbid you have the audacity to be a girl of color and expect to see yourself as cherished by our culture.

Shout out to all the "girls of color" out there who, like me, just walked around being like "CHERISH ME, NERDS." [HuffPo]



89 Comments / Post A Comment

adorable-eggplant

I'm going to take this moment to plug my favorite YA book (besides Eleanor & Park): Saving Maddie by Varian Johnson. [My Life as a Rhombus is also really good]. He came and spoke to teen book club I was a part of, and it was AWESOME. So, highly recommended.

j-i-a

@adorable-eggplant YES. I am looking for YA recommendations. I read John Green for the first time last weekend and definitely get the fuss about him now.

Quinn A@twitter

@j-i-a Maggie Stiefvater's prose is beautiful. Maybe not the early stuff as much, but The Wolves of Mercy Falls series (Shiver, Forever, and Linger) and The Raven Cycle (The Raven Boys and The Dream Thieves) are gorgeous.

apples and oranges

@j-i-a Have you read anything by Markus Zusak? It's in YA limbo - released as adult fiction in Australia (his home country) but YA in the USA. I Am the Messenger and The Book Thief are my favorites. (True story, The Book Thief's last 100 pages made me openly sob.) Maureen Johnson also has some really lovely YA books ALL ABOUT LADIES including one gem that - spoiler - has some queer characters! One of my favorites when I was in middle school is Battle Dress by Amy Efaw, about a girl at West Point. Annnd E. Lockhart's The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks is awesome.

I used to just troll the YA section of the library in middle school and read SO MUCH. I wish I could remember the names of some of those books!

adorable-eggplant

@Quinn A@twitter Ooo putting those on the list!

@j-i-a I cannot recommend Saving Maddie highly enough. It's amazing and also a representation of a religious perspective that doesn't get a lot of exploring in young adult literature either. Plus, Varian Johnson is just a really nice person. Looks like it's time for me to be re-reading...

Franny

@j-i-a @adorable-eggplant

In terms of YA recommendations for books that feature great female characters, there are a lot of options. (Although apparently not as many options as for boys.)

1. The many series by Tamora Pierce--Start with Alana and go forward
2. Dianna Wynne Jones is another author that features strong female protagonists
3. The Enchanted Forest series by Patricia Wrede Also Sorcery and Cecilia
4. The Abhorson Trilogy by Garth Nix
5. Meg Cabot is another prolific YA author. I was SUPER into the Princess Diaries books in High School

adorable-eggplant

@Franny I loved Tamora Pierce as a child, especially the Tortall Universe, but then I was going back through the Circle of Magic series, and, while it's nice that there are female protags and female protags of color, some of the magic and culture stuff seemed a bit essentialist and stereotypical in a way that felt like a tiny bit of grit as far as my enjoyment of the series. If I were going to recommend them to a kid, I'd probably want to reread with a fine-toothed comb, with my lit major critical brain on high alert and all.

ETA: Dealing with Dragons was my jam as a child. Cherries Jubilee: never forget.

cuminafterall

@j-i-a I am DYINNGGG to read Prophecy by Ellen Oh. How is there not more fantasy based on Asian/other non-Western mythology??

On the topic of Ellens, Ellen Raskin was my favorite in middle school. The Westing Game is great, obv, but her other books were WAY weirder. Figgs & Phantoms is about art and the afterlife and it is SO weird and heartfelt.

Also E.L. Konigsburg. Again, she's known for one great book but she wrote tons of other good ones. I like her historical books: A Proud Taste for Scarlet & Miniver and The Second Mrs. Gioconda.

j-i-a

@Franny a few of my MFA friends have been recommending Tamora Pierce! I'm not very good with fantasy stuff, but I trust their opinions and y'alls here. I also worked with a bunch of high schoolers last year when I was helping edit the Best American Nonrequired Reading anthology and they were NUTS for Markus Zusak @apples and oranges, so have been def meaning to get at that too.

j-i-a

@cuminafterall for real! like, the Percy Jackson series, I read that while I was in Peace Corps but thought it was fine-ish, but the fact that the myths were all such common knowledge struck me as a weakness rather than a strength

adorable-eggplant

@cuminafterall Added to my list! Not a (non-graphic) novel, but American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang is absolutely fantastic and it incorporates the Journey to the West story.

Keep the recommendations coming y'all! Winter break is coming and I have a crockpot (did you know that you can make crockpot hot chocolate?) and I am not planing to leave my house/couch for days!

ETA: Since I've broken the barrier of graphic formats: let me say that Skim by Mariko Tamaki (drawn by Jillian Tamaki) is my favorite thing I have read ever. If you have ever flirted with Wiccanism or been a girl who went to high school than you have to read it. MUST.

adorable-eggplant

@j-i-a Oh god I almost forgot Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata! That book is a knock out.

ETA: It's also great for addressing inhumane labor conditions and just everything.

turnipgreens

@Franny YESSSSS Enchanted Forest Series, especially the first one, SO GOOD, another one I recommend all the time. And @adorable-eggplant, while you were typing I registered my love for Skim below! Have you seen Jillian's online comic Super Mutant Magic Academy?

adorable-eggplant

@turnipgreens No, because I cannot stop obsessive clicking on the Irish myths and legends preview pictures (as mentioned below)! Glad to see another devoted fangirl out there in cyberspace. :)

cat o'clock

@adorable-eggplant Oh man YES to Maggie Stiefvater (The Scorpio Races is another one of hers that is weird and excellent) and Markus Zusak (I have read The Book Thief several times and it never fails to make me cry a thousand tears). Two more of my favorites: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor (so strange in the best way) and How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff (there's cousin boning but it's fine, somehow).

Also Rainbow Rowell and John Green 4 life, obv.

turnipgreens

@adorable-eggplant I hear you on the Tamora Pierce thing, though, and it actually raises a question that might not be answerable. How do you make that intersectional calculation? Do you give the kid the book and say, "By the way, some of the ways people are shown in this book are racist and thoughtless, so if anything weirds you out let's talk about it?" I LOVED the Alanna books when I was like 11-14, and I think they have a lot to recommend them besides "She's a GIRL! and she has a SWORD!" I think lots of kids of around that age could enjoy them and find something to love in them -- but how do you set them up to also detect the bullshit so they're not slurping it in with the delicious story milkshake (ew, that got grosser than I meant it to, but I'm leaving it). Besides having conversations about how writers portray characters, etc., as part of an ongoing conversation about fairness and unfairness on all axes, which I think parents and teachers can do better the more they do of it, if you see what I mean -- then it becomes less Very Special Episode and more "this is part of the way we talk about things."

adorable-eggplant

@turnipgreens I have thought about this question A LOT and don't really have a satisfactory answer. My parents definitely went the "we want you to see representations of people who look like you, but there really just aren't many, so we are going to scrape the bottom of the barrel here..." which was fine, because really they had very little to work with as far as options. BUT I feel like there's more choice now. OTOH, I'd be loathe to be a censor-type figure, so I think what I'd do is a lot of parallel reading and not waiting for my (at this point very imaginary) kid to detect b.s. (because hey, I paid for a degree in teasing out the b.s. in books so I should werk it) but being proactive about identifying problems and talking about coping strategies and challenging some of the implicit stuff.

This article is tangentially related (and I heard about it here on the pin) and very on point as far as figuring out how to worry about this kind of issue openly and in dialogue, so: http://jezebel.com/im-black-hes-white-who-cares-i-do-actually-1189595810

celeec4@twitter

@adorable-eggplant There really don't seem to be any satisfactory answers to this...representation is better, but still bad enough that I'm pretty sure I'd still recommend/suggest books that have points I get annoyed at?

But you should totally re-read some more YA fiction with lit crit turned on and report back to the 'Pin. ^_~

adorable-eggplant

@celeec4@twitter Thanks for the vote of confidence! Not sure I could say much more than: "Arghhh this [passage, whatever] doesn't feel right!" It's been awhile since I wrote anything scholarly/critical, so it would take some serious pushing to get the ol' cogs to spin again.

de Pizan

@cuminafterall You may be familiar with these, but Asian-based YA fantasies: Eon & Eona by Alison Goodman, Silver Phoenix & Fury of the Phoenix by Cindy Pon, Shadows on the Moon and The Name Itself by Zoe Marriott, Ash Mistry series and Devil's Kiss/Dark Goddess by Sarwat Chadda, Into the Wise Dark by Neesha Meminger, Lotus War series by Jay Kristoff, Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale, The Agency series by Y.S. Lee (more historical with tiny hints of fantasy).
Non-western fantasy: Nnedi Okorafor, Nalo Hopkinson, N.K. Jemisin, Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst, The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson, Kane Chronicles by Rick Riordan, anything on this list from author Martha Wells http://booktionary.blogspot.com/2012/04/recommendations-non-european-fantasy-by.html

Away Laughing

@j-i-a

It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini

Confessions of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

Annals of the Western Shore (Gifts, Voices, and Powers I think were the titles?) by Ursula Le Guin

My Most Excellent Year by Steve Kluger

The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex (this one has the most ridiculous premise but it's actually amazing, I swear)

Also I'm going to shamelessly plug the Georgia Nicolson series, because that one bit where she compares having three boyfriends to being in a donut store and wanting every kind of donut is AMAZING.

bibliobotic

@adorable-eggplant Just logging in to say, if you like Gene Luen Yang, definitely check out his new books, Boxers & Saints: http://www.amazon.com/Boxers-Saints-Boxed-Gene-Luen/dp/1596439246

adorable-eggplant

@bibliobotic It's very high on my to-read list, but not at the library, so it keeps getting trumped by books I can read for free. Maybe I'll just have to bite the bullet and take a trip to the comic store. ;)

carolinaclay

Love it so much!@y

Hellion of Troy

Giving Ender's Game to a child should be considered some type of crime.

j-i-a

@Hellion of Troy SRSLY

Lily Rowan

I am a little embarrassed about how much I felt I had to explain to my friend why I was giving her baby daughter a book starring a blue truck...

Gen. SmedleyT.Butler

ya know we're cherishing so hard, Jia...

j-i-a

@Gen. SmedleyT.Butler ahahha yAY

Blushingflwr

I heard Susan Cooper speak and she basically said that her publisher (or somebody) told her that girls will read books with protagonists of any gender, but boys will only read books about boys, and that's why the stories in The Dark is Rising are about boys.

adorable-eggplant

@Blushingflwr Ugh that sucks!!! Maybe it's time for a gender-swap hack like that dad did for Zelda.

(some one get in touch with Susan Cooper: let's get an authorized version!)

dontannoyme

@Blushingflwr Yes and I notice that is true for men in general. Women read both, men only read about men. It's also why JK Rowling had to be JK, not Joanna, so that the boys could think they were reading a book by a man. I also happen to think it's not a coincidence that Hilary Mantel finally won the Booker for writing a book which was written from a man's point of view. Totally depressing.

Blushingflwr

@adorable-eggplant IIRC, she also indicated that she was a tomboy herself and had read plenty of books written from boys' perspectives so it wasn't a stretch, but yes, it does suck that the heroes of these great epic stories have to be boys, even if there are kick-ass girls helping them.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@Blushingflwr Right, isn't this the reason some people think that women are more open and able to understand male perspectives, but men have more trouble accepting and/or understanding/writing a female perspective? I feel like we've talked about this before....

Blushingflwr

@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose I think it's related to the way that in general, "male" is considered to be the default, neutral perspective, and "female" is considered to be a variation on that. It is (relatively) okay for girls/women to like things that are coded "male" in our society, but it is not okay for boys/men to like things that are coded "female".

damselfish

@dontannoyme Yuuup so true. A friend told me about how she went to a prestigious live-in writer's workshop, and when asked about their favorite and most influential writers, the women had lists of men and women, but the men only listed male writers. Every. Last. Man. And these are generally progressive and already somewhat successful writers! Boggled the mind how none of them saw their own bias.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@Blushingflwr Yes yes yes, that's what it was. The coding. It's fascinating.

mistersister

@Blushingflwr You are so right...it is not OK in our society for boys to like things that are coded "female." As a little boy, I was drawn to the things that were supposed to be for girls: dolls, dance, art. I would only watch or read things with female protagonists, or at the very least, a prominent female supporting character. But I felt like I had to hide all of that, and everything I liked became a secret. But then I saw girls being encouraged to try things coded "male"... and it always confused and upset me.

dontannoyme

In my 70s British childhood, I deeply loved a book about a child of colour where that child was the hero of the story. It was the only one I can remember but I loved it. Trouble is (and I wasn't aware of the issue at the time) it was "Little Black Sambo". No idea if that book is familiar to Americans but it was fairly current here in the UK from my mum's childhood (I had her copy) and mine. It's now been rewritten and reillustrated as The Story of Little Babaji and I read it to my children who love it too - but thankfully now without the off language.

Slanted & Enchanted

@dontannoyme I had Little Black Sambo growing up in California - it was also my mom's copy from when she was a kid in the 50s. It might not have as much familiarity in the US though. I tried telling one of my friends about it in high school and she wouldn't believe it was an actual book until I showed it to her, haha. Aaaand then everyone made fun of me for reading racist children's books, whoops. Thanks Mom.

OhMarie

@dontannoyme Oh my god, I found a copy of Little Black Sambo in my grandma's house when we were clearing it out and went to my Dad with a look of horror, like, what is this I have found. I totally expected him to agree with me and be like, wtf, but what he actually said was "Oh yeah! We loved that book! The tigers turn into butter!!"

dontannoyme

@OhMarie That's the thing...the tigers turn into butter!!! Anyone who has ever read it just remembers that it's fantastic because the tigers turn into butter! I am only glad it's been rewritten so I can share it with my children because otherwise obviously I just wouldn't. But that would be a shame because the hero is a cool one.

large__marge

I guess I've been an eeeeevil misandrist from the very beginning, because I have never liked reading books with male protagonists. I did really like Roadrunner from Looney Tunes, so I made up female counterparts named Ashley and Emma Runner and wrote reams of fic about the two of them hanging out instead.

adorable-eggplant

@large__marge Props!

In lieu of a merit badge:

mistersister

@large__marge Ha. Me too! But I'm a guy. I just told myself Road Runner was a girl. That was a ponytail on her head, right?

klemay

@large__marge I still don't really like books with male protagonists! #misandry4life

Blushingflwr

In related news, I have been reading Rick Riordan's Heroes of Olympus and on the one hand, the cast is fairly diverse - there are three girls on the final quest, one Hispanic character and one African-American, but the two most powerful characters are both white boys. I suppose it's better than ALL the heroes being white boys, but it's depressingly common that even in stories that do include women and people of color, they are relegated to secondary/supporting roles.

adorable-eggplant

@Blushingflwr WORD.

large__marge

@Blushingflwr YEP.

de Pizan

@Blushingflwr I mentioned in up-thread, but Riordan has another series, The Kane Chronicles with Egyptian mythology and the two main characters, as well as lots of supporting, are not white. Which is a nice change from the incredibly bloated genre of Greek mythology retellings.

Blushingflwr

@de Pizan that is next on my list (esp as I have to wait for the last book in the series). I do enjoy his books

turnipgreens

This is my favorite thing to talk about!

For medium-sized kids:

Joan Aiken forever and ever: Wolves of Willoughby Chase, Black Hearts in Battersea, Nightbirds on Nantucket, The Stolen Lake, the Cuckoo Tree. Dido Twite is a hero for all genders and ages (she comes into her own in Nightbirds on Nantucket). I recommend these all the time.

Dragon of the Lost Sea by Laurence Yep. Protagonists are a female dragon, who narrates the story, and a male human.

I thought Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech was pretty good and I've heard kids say they like it.

Jean Craighead George is classic, and Julie of the Wolves is WAY better than My Side of the Mountain. I remember thinking it was great, but I'm white -- any Native readers have an opinion on this one?

There were two books by Elizabeth Enright, Gone-Away Lake and Return to Gone-Away, that I read over and over (young weirdos befriend older weirdos, find awesome things in attics). Mild real-world adventures by kids of both the major genders (and a couple of different age strata, too, I think).

Hiromi Goto's Half World is magically adventurous and horribly creepy and contains two bonuses besides its protagonist: a queer widow (okay, the widow thing is a problem, but the emphasis is on their love) and illustrations by the truly great Jillian Tamaki.

Let us not forget comics! Persepolis (Marjane Satrapi) has attained classic status by now, I think. There was a short series called Courtney Crumrin and the Night Things, by Ted Naifeh, that I remember really enjoying.

For teenagers and adults who like to read things that teenagers read:

Paula Danziger (The Cat Ate My Gymsuit, This Place Has No Atmosphere, The Pistachio Prescription) writes very funny books for young teens that anybody could potentially get into. They were around when I was a kid, and they've aged okay.

Sherman Alexie's Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. I taught some stories from his collection The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven to 6th graders and they were pretty into them.

Mariko Tamaki is the cousin of the aforementioned Jillian and they did a graphic novel together called Skim. SO good.

Malinda Lo's list is also relevant for YA readers, whether Y or A!

http://www.malindalo.com/2013/10/ya-books-about-lgbt-characters-of-color/

adorable-eggplant

@turnipgreens Dude, I am so crazy about Skim! Have you seen her (Jillian's) Irish myths and legends book? I'm have been drool/coveting it hard lately: http://jilliantamaki.com/illustration/irish-myths-and-legends/

turnipgreens

@adorable-eggplant HNNNNNNGGGGGHHHHH and it looks like the Folio Society doesn't have it anymore!

If you're looking for more Jillian in your life, some of her drawings / illos are available as digital prints in the $40-$80 range. I got one. It looks like a watercolor and is super nice to have around.

Hellen Jo has kind of a related / equally incredible style, check this out: http://helllllen.org/blllllog/?p=231

adorable-eggplant

@turnipgreens It is probably good that it is no longer available because I nearly pulled the trigger and almost spent 200+ dollars that I didn't have. That said, if I ever do have a child, then I will have to pay through the nose to get a copy from abebooks or wherever, because it will be an absolute necessity. So perhaps I should've snapped it up. UGH. SO BEAUTIFUL IT HURTS.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

If you're looking for a unicorn of a YA book (female protagonist of color, LGBT themes) check out Malinda Lo's "Huntress." And just check out Malinda Lo in general. She's rad.

damselfish

This is why I always laugh when I hear people talk about how women dominate YA.

Then it was pointed out to me that I should really get out my YA manuscript starring a boy because editors and agents are eating that shit up and actively looking for it (even though it's already the majority!) I'll cry if that's the one that gets picked up (it's good and I love the character but come on!) I mean I'd cry if any of them get picked up but these would be mixed tears of joy and sad irony.

1967336072@twitter

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likearollingpin

@1967336072@twitter This is going to be my new way of changing the subject in any old conversation. "This is a nice research you presented here. A fine collection. All time favorites. But anyway, let's talk about. . . ."

adorable-eggplant

@likearollingpin Or just greeting new people: "That's a lovely tie you're wearing. A fine article of clothing. All time favorite. But anyway, let's talk about. . . ."

ru_ri

@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose The only way this could be more perfect is if that was a corgi's head.

ru_ri

Nahoko Uehashi's Moribito series is amazing. Really popular in Japanese, and the first two volumes have been beautifully translated into English by Cathy Hirano. The protagonist is a female bodyguard-for-hire named Balsa, and it takes place in a mythical magic-real world with demons and dragons. Some of the cultural details are invented by the author, and others are Japanese. I really hope the rest of the books in the series get translated, I have Japanese friends who say they are all great.

Also recommend Terry Pratchett's Nation. The main character is a Pacific islander (sort of). And also his Tiffany Aching books (Wee Free Men, Wintersmith, I Shall Wear Midnight)!

ru_ri

Oh and also what about Ursula LeGuin's "Annals of the Western Shore" series ( Gifts, Voices, Powers)? They're wonderful.

greyeminence

"The Westing Game", "From The Mixed-Up Files of Basil E. Frankweiler" and "Harriet the Spy" were my absolute favourite books as a kid. All have female protagonists, and I'm a dude (although admittedly am gay...does that skew things??). I have never understod the widespread antipathy many men have towards reading books by/about women. None of those aforementioned books are "feminine" in the stereotypical way that men might expect - they're not about makeup, or finding boyfriends, or buying fancy clothes, or whatever - so it breaks my heart that lots of boys out there will never read them.

paper bag princess

Anyone have any good kids' book recs? I'm newly an aunt and want to cultivate my mini-feminist niece even though she can't talk yet.

apples and oranges

@paper bag princess My favorites when I was little... Ramonda Quimby, Little House on the Prairie, Nancy Drew, the Anastasia Krupnik books, Paula Dangizer's stuff.... basically anything serial because I could keep reading. Those are chapter books though so your niece will have to be a bit older :P

alamuzmo

@paper bag princess There are some fantastic picture book biographies of interesting ladies from the last few years:
What to Do About Alice (about Alice Roosevelt) by Barbara Kerley
Me...Jane by Patrick McDonnell
Planting the Trees of Kenya by Claire Nivola
Brave Girl by Michelle Markel
There are just awesome picture books with girls:
The Library by Sarah Stewart
Imogene's Last Stand by Candice Fleming
This Is Our House by Hyewon Yum

alamuzmo

@alamuzmo And then for older readers there are some interesting histories:
Girls Think of Everything by Catherine Thimmesh
Lives of Extraordinary Women by Kathleen Krull
And for when she's slightly older:
Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Wrede
Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Kelly
Each Little Bird That Sings by Wiles
Zita the Spacegirl! by Hatke
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Lin

large__marge

@paper bag princess Deleted my other comment, BUT:
Josephina Hates Her Name by Diana Engel and Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes! Both are about girls who just want to be normal and have a normal name but then are inspired by other unusually-names female role models to be boss and go adventuring through the jungle. Also, Josephina is an alligator and that's awesome.

celeec4@twitter

Perhaps the most insidious thing is that...even I didn't really think about this very hard until it was pointed out to me. Have been sitting here, rapidly sort of, flipping through a mental catalog of books I read as a kid and young adult. Yeah, generally about white, male, protagonists.

Even though I basically chewed through the entire children's, then young adult's fiction sections at my local public library, my list of not-male protagonists basically boils down to: Tamora Pierce, Anne of Green Gables, Little House, Nancy Drew, and the Royal Princess Diaries books.

But if I'm looking for both POC and female as protagonists in books I read as a child...the only things coming to mind are books I read in Chinese. O_o How did I not notice this insane disparity? (Time to start looking for books with female, POC protagonists to gift to my tiny nephews...)

Iam Oranjello@facebook

I have a non-white child and would love recommendations for picture books that feature/include kids of color, but aren't specifically about race. Anyone have suggestions?

cat o'clock

@Iam Oranjello@facebook The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats is a (truly excellent) classic!

adorable-eggplant

@Iam Oranjello@facebook Blackout by John Rocco has a family that reads as mixed to me, and I will try to hunt down more options, but picture books aren't really my strong suit (although I have nieces/nephews, so I should figure this out too!)

adorable-eggplant

@adorable-eggplant ETA: I tend to read families as mixed because I am, but they could also be Hispanic or otherwise identified. It's not really explicit.

de Pizan

@Iam Oranjello@facebook I Look Like a Girl by Sheila Hamanaka, Rimonah of the Flashing Sword by Eric Kimmel, Four Gallant Sisters by Eric Kimmel, The Girl who Spun Gold by Virginia Hamilton, Sense Pass King by Katrin Tchana, The Emperor and the Kite by Jane Yolen, Beautiful Warrior by Emily Arnold McCully, Grace series by Mary Hoffman (although these do get into race/racism a bit).

ghechr

@Iam Oranjello@facebook Also the classic Corduroy by Don Freeman.

Franny

@Iam Oranjello@facebook The Ish trilogy is FANTASTIC. (http://www.amazon.com/Ish-Creatrilogy-Peter-H-Reynolds/dp/076362344X) There is also Tar Beach which is to be fair is a love letter to growing up in Harlem but its totally wonderful.

dontannoyme

@cat o'clock yes I love Snowy Day - a lot because it is just beautifully drawn

Hot Doom

@Iam Oranjello@facebook Thirding A Snowy Day, and I'll add books illustrated by Jerry Pinkney. I loved The Talking Eggs and A Patchwork Quilt when I was a kid.
Once I was a little older, like 9ish, I loved (but no, LOVED) The Dark Thirty: Southern Tales of the Supernatural, by Patricia McKissack. It's an illustrated collection of stories (also done by a Pinkney!) and they all feature African American protagonists who are mostly kids. Prejudice and racism are themes, but not the focal point of the stories, many of which I still find creepy as an adult.

myeviltwin

I think the same thing happens with music. Male singer-songwriter will have mass appeal, but a female singer-songwriter, many men will simply never listen to.

Jim Goad@facebook

I really hate white people for developing all that evil "technology" stuff that continues to humiliate the sub-Saharan Africans who never even developed a written language.

j-i-a

@Jim Goad@facebook lol COOL STORY GO FUCK YOURSELF

Jinxie

@Jim Goad@facebook Haaa more like jimCHOAD@facebook.com amirite????

Jinxie

@Jim Goad@facebook Also something I'd really like to know: do dudes like you have a google alert for "white boys" or something, so you can swoop down in righteous indignation whenever anyone anywhere on the internet dares to say something even the slightest bit not-appreciative about the all-important WHITE GODDAMNED MALE? Because if so I would highly recommend getting a real goddamned hobby.

ClaireGrons5533

I quit working at shoprite and now I make $35h - $80h...how? I'm working online! My work didn't exactly make me happy so I decided to take a chance on something new… after 4 years it was so hard to quit my day job but now I couldn't be happier. Heres what I do, www.Best96.com

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