In the summer of 2016, Kiera Parrot and Shelly Diaz of School Library Journal offered an eight week course to SLJ reviewers. It was designed to increase skills in looking critically at diversity in the books they review.
I gave the opening lecture. KT Horning of the Cooperative Children's Book Center at the University of Madison-Wisconsin gave the final one, on July 21, 2016.
I live tweeted KT's lecture and am using my tweets and additional items to create this Storify of her lecture.
Their data is based on books that publishers send to them.
It is important to note that the data is about numbers of books--it says nothing about the quality of the books themselves.
She asked us to look at the dotted orange line, which is books about African Americans, and to compare it to the solid orange line, which is books written by African/African American writers.
She asked us to look at the solid yellow line, which is books by Native writers. See how flat it is?
She asked us to look at the dotted yellow line (books about Native people). See the period between 1994 and 2003? In that period, CCBC received a lot more books about Native people than they have since 2003.
Then she asked us to look at the decline that started in 2007. She said it "may correlate to when Debbie Reese started her blogging..."
The "Woah" in my tweet reflects many things. As scholars, we all hope to make a difference in the world. Hearing KT's hypothesis affirms the work I've been doing at American Indians in Children's Literature. For those who don't know about it, I launched it in 2006 with the specific intent of making my work as a researcher available, at no charge, to people working with children and books.
Here's a screen cap from the lecture: