This week in my young adult literature class (INLS 530: YA Literature and Resources), we talked about literature of diversity. Growing up where I did it was easy to think that only one race (white), one sexual orientation (straight), one religion (Christianity), and one dominant gender (male) existed. Most of the literature I read supported this view: Anne of Green Gable’s milky white skin, Winnie and Tuck’s straight love story, and Wendy‘s overbearing father.
Through reading Tyrell, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Down to the Bone and We Beat the Street I was introduced to an all-together different facet of YA literature. The importance of these stories is so great. Introduction to these stories should not occur at 22 as it did for me, it should be integrated into the cannon for 11-17 year olds.
Below is a video explaining the importance of representative stories. It’s a little long but incredibly moving. I hope you enjoy!