Saturday, February 2, 2013

All the Colors of the Rainbow: 2012 YA Book Covers That Display Racial Diversity

As a follow-up to the last post, we thought something positive was in order. So, here are all the YA covers from 2012 we could find that prominently feature POC. Enjoy and be encouraged--things are changing, even if it is not as quickly as we might hope.

VesselQuantum Coin (Coin, #2)Fair Coin (Coin, #1)Cat Girl's Day OffMy Beating Teenage HeartPinnedA Certain OctoberMagic Under StoneFire in the Streets (The Rock and the River, #2)Boy21 Crazy LoveThe Traitor in the Tunnel (The Agency, #3)The ChaosStormdancer (The Lotus War, #1)Burning Emerald (The Cambion Chronicles, #2)Fading Amber (The Cambion Chronicles, #3)Daughter of the Flames (Ruan, #1)Foxfire (Other, #3)The Friday SocietySoul of the Band: Making the CutThe Girl in the Clockwork Collar (Steampunk Chronicles, #2)Transcendence (Transcendence, #1)The Good BraiderSpirit's Princess (Spirit's Princess, #1)Jump into the SkyLosers in SpaceBlack Boy White SchoolBad BoyTornTeam HumanInto the Wise DarkCreeping With the Enemy (Langdon Prep #2)Be My Enemy
Burn for Burn (Burn for Burn, #1)Shadows on the Moon
 http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1344391555l/12988074.jpg Vodnik

Did we miss any? Let us know in the comments!

~Stephanie

15 comments:

  1. This is an amazing list! And a reminder of how much our store is missing. With all the negative talk about racism and YA covers, it's great to see some evidence to the contrary. You're so right about covers being a symptom of larger issues. Far too often, in my experience, customers respond to covers featuring diversity in exactly the way publishers fear they might. We need to deal with that problem, which is way bigger than children's publishing. On the other hand, however, it's about time POC see themselves on the covers of books and posts like this will help get the word out that there are far more books available than you might find on the bookstore or library shelf. As usual, we've come so far, but we've got so far to go.

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    1. Agreed. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!

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  2. I agree, and think it also logically speaks to the need for more POC depicted in the stories told in YA literature. I grew up reading (and still read) YA experiencing subversive disappointment when the heroines, love interests, friends in these novels are always white. Or even worse, the sporadic involvement of a person of color results in a disappointing confirmation to stereotypes of broken vernacular and overly gregarious behavior. Still the list like the one you present shows that things are changing, but it will only continue to do so if there is a perceived interest in seeing and fostering that change. I believe posts like this proves that desire is there so thank you so much for bringing it to the forefront! Great work!

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    1. Unfortunately, we Ink & Penners have shared your experience, Sam. That's our hope for this blog--that it'll do some good so that children, teenagers, and adults in the future will not have to experience the disappointments we've endured.

      Thank you for your kind words!

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  3. I, too, love the positivity of this post. Instead of focusing on the lack of diversity on YA covers, you show us some great models to emulate. Publishers, take notice! My one thought is that the covers with the white girl front and center and the girl of color off to the side with her face cut in half by the trim (Friday Society, Burn for Burn) aren't exactly championing diversity in the same way that the other covers are. They make me think of the smattering of books that make white readers feel warm and fuzzy about reading books with white protagonists who have friends of color. (And movies, too: Clueless, anyone?) What I'd like to see is more cover images of characters of color facing the reader straight on, which would indicate that the book has a protagonist of color. Encouragingly, there are some great ones on your list.

    Great blog, BTW! I look forward to following.

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    1. Thanks, Elaine! I agree with your thoughts on the covers with the girls of color to the side/obscured. The root of the problem is a need for more protagonists of color being written, first, and then being properly represented. It's okay to have POC as friends of the protagonist, of course, but it becomes a big problem when that is the only way we see characters of color.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts and for your kind words!

      ~Stephanie

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  4. THE UNNATURALISTS, by Tiffany Trent. Naturally. :-)

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    1. Thanks so much! We'll add it, naturally ;)

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  5. What Can(t) Wait by Ashley Hope Perez! :-) I think Illegal by Restrepo was also published in 2012.

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    1. Thanks for those titles, Liza! It looks like they were both published in 2011, but we'll keep them in mind for future posts :)

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    1. Thanks so much for those two titles! Looks like they were published 2011 and 2013, respectively, but we will definitely remember them. Thanks for sharing!

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  7. Vodnik by Bryce Moore depicts a Roma character.

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    1. Part-Roma, that is--he is multiracial.

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    2. Thanks a lot, Stacy! We'll definitely add Vodnik to the list. Thanks for stopping by and for commenting!

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