Tuesday, January 26, 2010

POC Challenge

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Last week, as I went about my way reading blogs and leaving comments, I was quite literally educated on the subject of whitewashing of cover art. I read every post I could on the subject, and I talked about the appalling practice at school with my fellow teachers, principal, district coordinator, and school librarian. I sent emails to register my complaint to the publishers, but I did not post anything about the practice  because I found that bloggers with a lot more experience than myself were covering the subject better than I could ever hope to do. If for some reason you do not know what I am talking about, Chasing Ray has a great summary post you should check out.

As an eighth grade communication arts teacher, who believes that our youth needs to read more and, who for years have incorporated independent reading into my curriculum, I am always looking for
books with protagonists that represent people of color. Certainly, I have a collection of great authors, who have written wonderful books with strong POC characters and protagonists such as Walter Dean Meyers, Sharon Draper, Patricia McKissack, Jacqueline Woodson, Mildred Taylor and others available to my students. However, I know that I need to actively search for diversity among young adult literature and  support new authors who write about people of color. Therefore, I have taken up the POC Reading Challenge to help me with this goal, and encourage all to do the same. In addition, the books I read for this challenge will help me to recommend titles for next year's book battle list.

There are five levels:

Level 1: Read 1-3 POC books
Level 2. Read 4-6 POC books
Level 3. Read 7-9 POC books
Level 4. Read 10-15 POC books
Level 5. Read 16-25 POC books

I am signing on at Level 4, and hope to get to level 5 before the challenge ends.  

As I continue to blog about young adult books, and be a part of an amazing community of people who love to read and share their love with others, I hope that I will join the ranks of people making a differences. We all have a responsibility and Colleen at Chasing Ray sums this responsibility up the best:

If you choose to read books for teens and children, if you choose to go one step further and review them, especially if you choose to receive books for review from publishers, then you owe something to every child and teen who might read that book. You owe something to an audience beyond those who look just like you. 

Books Completed for POC Challenge

  1. Skuck Girl by Sheba Karim 1/8
  2. Leyla: The Black Tulip by Alev Lytle Croutier 2/5
  3. Lockdown by Walter Dean Myers 2/6
  4. Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper 2/13
  5. A True Confession of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie 3/3
  6. Standing Against the Wind by Traci L. Jones 3/17
  7. Gringolandia by Lyn-Miller Lachman 4/12
  8. Wabi A Hero's Tale by Joseph Bruchac 4/10
  9. We Were Here by De La Pena 5/15
  10. The Red Umbrella by Christina Diaz Gonzalez 5/18
  11. Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok 6/30
  12. Sweet, Hereafter by Angela Johnson 8/1
  13. Teenie by Christopher Grant 12/28
  14. Emako Blue by Brenda Woods 12/28
  15. No Way Out Peggy Kern 12/28


Kristi said...

Hello! I found you through MotherReader's comment challenge. I'm planning on joining the POC Reading challenge as well. I'm ashamed to admit this is something I haven't paid enough attention to in the past.

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