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Diversity by the numbers

kbisal1rPlease read Martha’s interview with K.T. Horning about the CCBC‘s fabled accounting of diversity in children’s books. I wonder what those numbers would look like from here, that is, if you counted the same variables for those books reviewed by the Horn Book Guide, would you get the same kind of numbers? I don’t think CCBC is seeing the same volume of series nonfiction we are; on the other hand, they include some paperbacks and small presses we don’t review. Not that I expect the numbers to be wildly divergent–equally dismal in both cases–but it would be valuable to know just where the diverse books are coming from. K.T., if you’re there, any thoughts?

Roger Sutton About Roger Sutton

Roger Sutton has been the editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc, since 1996. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his M.A. in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a B.A. from Pitzer College in 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @RogerReads.

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  1. When I did a close look at Fiction/US Publishers in their 2014 log of books by/abt Native peoples, it was about half from major publishers (Big 5) and half from small ones. The ones from Big 5 were ones that I had reviewed and not recommended. I think that was the year when Ghost Hawk came out. Of the ones from the small presses, I recommended all but one. In that group was Gansworth’s If I Ever Get Out of Here.

    I have a post on that. Here’s one for 2015 that has similar results.
    https://americanindiansinchildrensliterature.blogspot.com/2016/09/a-close-look-at-ccbcs-2015-data-on.html

    My own counts are similar to their’s overall. More books by/abt Native people are being published in Canada than in the US. This is because Canada subsidizes small presses. I’m trying to remember if said that in her interview with Martha. Their log for books by/abt Native people includes Canada or US as publisher. I don’t know if they do that for logs of other groups.

    I have to study this (or maybe not) to know with certainty, but it seems that nonfiction series gets re-done by publishers periodically. Not every year. I could look that up, I think, in the Guide database.

    My guess is that you want to know if there is a major publisher who is doing more diverse books than others?

  2. Roger Sutton Roger Sutton says:

    It would be interesting to know if some major publishers were more on board the diversity train than others, but I’m guessing you would find their efforts fairly similar, adjusted for size. No, I was looking more for just what you mention, a sense of the raw numbers of diverse books published by trade, educational, and small presses. Thanks!

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