Friday, August 14, 2009

A List of 50 Multicultural Books with Not a Single South Asian Title?

Neesha Meminger brought to my attention the fact that the CCBC list of 50 Multicultural Titles Every Child Should Read, which is also featured on the NEA web site, doesn't have a single South Asian title on it. Not one.

Mind you, this is a worthy list, developed by caring people at a greatly respected institution. I also know that the list was first drawn up in 2001. The 2006 revision added a couple of titles I'm very pleased to see--Cynthia Leitich Smith's Indian Shoes, and Jackie Woodson's Show Way. But really, I wonder why there's no South Asian content at all, in any of the categories. Pooja Makhijani's bibliography contains a number of titles across the age range with South Asian themes. They are by a range of writers, some of South Asian origin and some not. Perhaps, this being 2009, it's time for another look.

4 comments:

  1. I know that on my own blog, I don't do a good job of reviewing South Asian literature. I could use the excuse that the books are hard to find, but that's a pretty lame excuse which is used too ofter with regards to books about people of color. I can't speak for the NEA, but I can say that I know I have to do a better job. We, as a community of bloggers have to make sure the titles are promoted, then NEA will have absolutely no excuse for such a bland list!

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  2. The CCBC book list actually hasn't been updated since 2006.

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  3. Yes, and they're aware of it, and intend to update it and perhaps expand it soon. Neesha sent a letter to CCBC, signed by several of us. We received a swift and gracious reply, and I look forward to a new, updated list.

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  4. Amazing, the oversight. I applaud you for taking action and writing to CCBC. I look forward to seeing the updates, too.

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