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K-State Today

April 25, 2017

Discussion on diverse children's books on Friday, April 28

Submitted by Karin Westman

2017 Children's Book Week poster

In anticipation of Children's Book Week, May 1-7, join the Children's and Adolescent Literature Community, or ChALC, to learn about diverse books for young readers.

The event, "Diverse Children's Books in an Age of Resistance," will take place from 4-5 p.m. Friday, April 28, in 126 Leadership Studies Building. The program will include a brief opening presentation about the #WeNeedDiverseBooks movement and then turn to discussion about how to bring diverse literatures to young readers.

Corinne Matthews and Jamie Teixeira, graduate students in English and co-presidents of ChALC, want to raise awareness about representations of diversity in children's and young adult literature, given the power and popularity of these books.

"As a grad student who specializes in children's literature, I often research depictions of diverse characters and intersectionality in children's and young adult books like 'Ms. Marvel,' 'All American Boys,' and even 'Harry Potter,'" Matthews said. "This event provides a great opportunity to discuss how diversity in children's literature matters in the lives of not only the many diverse children in our communities, but also why we need more of it for all readers," she concluded.

Teixeria agrees, saying, "The #WeNeedDiverseBooks movement is working hard to combat this gap in children's literature. It's important, especially in our political, social, and cultural climate that everyone can see themselves and their experiences in a story."

"Changing minds and hearts is a long process," explained Roxana Loza, a graduate student in English and member of ChALC, "but at ChALC we believe in the incredible power of diverse books. We must engage in difficult conversations about the kinds of ideas that circulate in our society and that aim to divide us. The stories that we hear and the representations that we see can help us begin the conversation. So join us for a discussion about children's books and their potential to create positive change!"

The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be provided by the English department and its Program in Children's Literature, a co-sponsor for the event.

For more information about ChALC, visit the group's page on Orgsync or Facebook.

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