My Answer to the Challenge
A while back I issued a challenge. I’ve been working on an answer to my own challenge for a while now. I may add to it at some time, but I thought I’d post what I’ve got so far. What do you think?
My apologies to the readers of this blog for the scarcity of posts these days. I could continue to rant about model-y girl photos on covers, but I don’t want to beat a dead horse. I’ve been studying book covers from the 1990s trying to develop something worth saying about the representation of people of color over the years. Without any measurable data to back me up (yet anyway), I’ll just say that it’s looking like there was a lot more representation in the 90s than in the first decade of the 2000s. But I continue to work on this…
The Boy Who Could Fly by James Norcliffe (Egmont 2010): Having grown up in a miserable home for abandoned children, a young boy jumps at the chance to exchange places with the mysterious, flying “loblolly boy,” but once he takes on this new identity, he discovers what a harsh price he must pay.
Zahrah the Windseeker by Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu (Farafina 2007, Houghton 2005): Zahrah, a timid thirteen-year-old girl, undertakes a dangerous quest into the Forbidden Greeny Jungle to seek the antidote for her best friend after he is bitten by a snake, and finds knowledge, courage, and hidden powers along the way.
As You Wish by Jackson Pearce (HarperTeen 2009): When a genie arrives to grant sixteen-year-old Viola’s wish to feel she belongs, as she did before her best friend/boyfriend announced that he is gay, her delay in making wishes gives her and the mysterious Jinn time to fall in love.
The Secret Rites of Social Butterflies by Lizabeth Zindel (Viking 2008): Sixteen-year-old Maggie’s fears about making friends as an incoming senior at an exclusive New York City girls school are allayed when she is invited to join an elite secret society devoted to eavesdropping and recording the “truth” about students and faculty.