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San Diego Author Aims To Tackle Lack Of Diversity In Children’s Books

Evening Edition

Aired 7/31/14 on KPBS Midday Edition.

San Diego Author Aims To Tackle Lack Of Diversity In Children's Books

GUESTS

Kevin Gerard, Author, Diego's Dragons

Phillip Serrato, Associate Professor, SDSU

Transcript

Book cover of fantasy series Diego's Dragon by Kevin Gerard

Parents and teachers are overjoyed when a series of books come along that makes children want to read. Harry Potter, the Twilight books and the Hunger Games are all extremely popular with kids — making readers out of millions of girls and boys.

But on closer examination, there's something missing in these popular children's books. Educators and social critics have noted the lack of books featuring children of color as lead characters.

According to Cooperative Children's Book Center out of more than 3,200 books reviewed in 2013, less than 3 pecent of the books had significant African or African-American content and only 2 percent were by black authors or illustrators. Diverse representation was even less for Latinos, Native Americans, Asians and Pacific Islanders.

A San Diego literature professor joins us to talk about what effect that has on kids and a San Diego author will talk about his series that features a Latino boy as hero. The author is Kevin Gerard, writer of the series Diego's Dragon.

U.S. Children's Books By And About People of Color

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