When I return from Senegal I’ll have a few days to prepare for this fantastic panel at the 2014 Harlem Book Fair. The research I’m doing here in Dakar is for The Return, Book 3 in my “freaks & geeks” trilogy. But many of us (including Walter Dean Myers) have been writing about black geeks, blerds, black weirdos, and outsiders for years because we know that their particular perspective matters. I hope you’ll join us if you’re in the NYC area; all panelists will be selling and signing books afterward.
The Next Chapter: Black Geeks, Heroes, Heroines & Bullies in Middle Grade & Young Adult Books
2:10pm – 3:15pm
Countee Cullen Library/Conference Room B
Moderator: Nina Angela Mercer
Panelists: Zetta Elliott, Jerry Craft, DuEwa Frazier
Today’s young adult and middle grade market is saturated with stories of vampires, girl cliques, coming of age stories, and teenage redemption. But how do these stories include diverse characters written by authors of color who present themes for “alternate” groups of young readers, ie. Geeks, punks, nerds, sci-fi fans and the like? These diverse, award-winning authors write on a variety of themes which speak to the interests and backgrounds of today’s young readers. The authors will discuss issues in diversity within the children’s book market, how to reach struggling readers, including boy readers, and ways in which librarians and educators can develop programs of high interests for teen readers.