Friday, May 8, 2009

C.O.R.A Diversity Roll Call: Week #6- YA You Don't Know

This is week #6 and this week we'll focus on genre- YA fiction. Last week I shared at length my observations regarding cover art featuring black characters. Some responded that readers have been conditioned to make narrow assumptions about African American fiction. Another reader said librarians and teachers need to expose students to a greater variety of authors. Your assignment this week is to inform readers what they are missing. With your help, maybe we can begin dismantling misconceptions and introduce readers to a more diverse pool of writers. Please address one or a few of the following:

1) Provide a list of YA writers of color that you think deserve more exposure.

2) Showcase cover art that does not reveal the race/ethnicity of the characters. Do you think these covers accurately represent the storyline?

3) Spotlight sub-genre YA fiction with teens of color i.e. graphic novels, romance, mystery, fantasy and science fiction.

4) Briefly discuss YA novels with teens of color but race is not a dominant factor in the story.

5) If you don't read YA fiction, do a little research and report back on a YA novel/comic you intend to read in the future.

Please don't attempt all. The aim is to give you choices. Come back here and leave a link to your blog. Happy reading.


D Alexandra said...

what's YA stand for? I want to participate but I'm confused.

Summer said...

Every week the roll call gets more challenging. Well, give me a few days and I'll report back!

susan said...

Hi D, YA is young adult fiction. The target audience is 12-19. The genre has rapidly growing and its widening its net to adults. In fact, there is a growing trend of adults reading YA fiction. Check our Around The Globe post for suggestions or I can list some here for you.

Summer, the assignments should always be fun and challenging. Remember, we don't want this to be work but discovery. Holla, if it's hard.

Doret said...

I agree with Summer these Roll Call are getting more challenging. This should be easy for me, but it will take time to put it together. I probably won't think about this again until Monday, and I will procastinate til Wednesday. I think everyone who links to Roll Call enjoys it, but more is going into each RC. Have you and Ali ever considered making it biweekly. BTW great Roll Call, Susan.

Ali said...

Last week was super challenging, I agree--I had no idea how hard it would be until I sat down to do it! This one seems easier to me, but then again I read a lot of Young Adult fiction. Do keep in mind that Susan's only asking us to pick one of the 5 questions.

Are there other thoughts on Doret's idea of switching to every 2 weeks? I can see the advantage in having more time in between. The danger is if it loses momentum because people forget to come back to it. I could see doing it either way.

Also, I'm wide open to suggestions for topics, (chances are Susan is, too)!!! Got an easy one in mind? I'm up next, so feel free to email me at worducopia at gmail dot com with any and all ideas or suggestions! I'm definitely up for an easy one after this!

Color Online said...

Like Ali, the danger with bi-weekly is we forget when a new challenge is posted. I do agree that we need to be mindful how labor intensive the challenges are. I think we both post multiple tasks to provide choice. No one should ever feel compelled to address every question. And do send us suggestions.

I can be reached at or

rhapsodyinbooks said...

What day are we supposed to post?

Ali said...

Hi Rhapsody, you can post any time, but the next question will be posted on Friday (at Worducopia) so most of us try to get it done before then. :-)

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I am so sorry to be asking stupid questions, especially in public :--) but is there a common way to title one's write-up so that it is identified as part of this meme? And then we come back here and tell you the link is up at Color Online or Diversity Rocks?

Ali said...

They are not stupid questions at all. I'm really glad you're willing to ask, rather than just deciding it's too complicated and not doing it.

It is really up to you how to title your post, but somewhere within the post you should give your readers the link back to this post (or whichever post where the question was asked). For this post it's Then you come back to the post and find the famous and delightful Mr. Linky, and enter the url for your post there. (If you right-click on the title of your post, there should be an option to copy the link location, that's the web address you want). Mr. Linky is really quite nice, but if anyone is intimidated you can just post your link as a comment and we'll add it for you.

You're welcome to email Susan or I with other questions (or post them here). I can be reached at, and susan is at

Ali said...

Hey everyone, be sure to check out this giveaway that I just posted on my Diversity reading challenge. You can win 5 free books just by posting your C.O.R.A. Diversity Roll Call responses!

susan said...

Hi Rhapsody, most participants also include the icon at the top of their post so readers know you're participating in the Roll Call meme. You can post for this assignment up to Friday when Ali will post next week's assignment.

All your questions are good. I wonder if others have wondered the same and had not asked.

Looking forward to reading your contribution.

susan said...

Click on this Diversity link to see what it looks like when you link to Mr. Linky.

Claudia said...

I think Doret makes a good suggestion about going bi-weekly, especially since my own participation has been inconsistent and I'm not posting as much on my blog these days! But I can also understand the concerns about maintaining interest. (I sometimes forget which day the new prompt is posted and the due date.)

In terms of suggestions, what about a prompt where participants share memorable scenes of cross-cultural connection, conflict, or friendship? They could be thoughtful exchanges (i.e. Sethe and Amy Denver in Beloved) or more problematic ones (i.e. Huck and Jim). Just a thought!

I'll work hard on getting something up for this week's challenge. It's a good prompt. Sorry for this long comment!

Color Online said...

Hey Claudia, my only worry with bi-weekly is remembering which weeks we post. We post prompts on Friday. I think we could do better to remind folks to look for new prompts on that day. Despite my reservation, I do hear you so let me chat offline with Ali. Love your suggestion.

What are best weeks 1/3rd or 2/4th?