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Do children’s books need more diverse characters?

ReadingCHILDREN’S Laureate Malorie Blackman has called for more diverse characters in children’s books.

If something is diverse it reflects difference, acceptance and equality, and successfully represents different cultures, races, religions and people.

Sparked by an initial interview with Sky News, friend of First News and author of Noughts and Crosses Malorie Blackman has said that she wants to see more diversity in the books that you’re reading.

Commonly, the word ‘diversity’ is associated with race, but Malorie confirmed on her official Twitter page that by calling for more diversity in children’s literature she would like to see more books featuring kids/young adults with disabilities, gay people, people of colour, travellers, different cultures and religions.

Her comments have sparked debates as to whether the current lack of diversity reflected in many children’s books is a poor reflection of the multicultural society we live in and whether this could have a negative impact on young minds. Both children and adults need to relate to the characters within a story and if these characters are all white males and females, for example, that’s excluding a large proportion of society.

Malorie told Sky News: “That’s not to say that children and young adults only want to read about themselves. Of course not – you want to escape into fiction as well and read about other people, other cultures, other lives, other planets and so on.”

The Children’s Laureate is not the first author to call for more diversity in children’s books. Earlier this year a national campaign, #WeNeedMoreDiverseBooks, made headlines for their mission to diversify your reading.




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