KidLitCon is a gathering of book bloggers who specialize in kid lit; YA, middle grade, and picture books. Sounds right up my alley, right?
You can imagine how thrilled I was when they agreed to let me speak at their conference! To be sure, I’ve met book bloggers at BEA in New York, but this was a conference for people who also read MG and picture books!!
Thanks to the #WeNeedDiverseBooks discussion this summer on Twitter, Diversity was on everyone’s minds at KidLitCon. Take a look at the program so you can see how focused they were.
Did you notice anything? Yep I spoke on day two. But not about diversity. They wanted me to speak about finding your readers! So I did. I talked about the main social media platforms I use when I’ve written a blog post.
The wonderful Mitali Perkins of Welcome to Mitali’s Fire Escape taught us some tips to use when evaluating books for diversity, which, as a reviewer who tries to focus on diversity (and the lack thereof) was near to my heart. The most important idea I took away from Mitali’s talk is that “Stories are windows and mirrors. It’s up to the reader to decide which story is going to be the window or which is the mirror. ” Which simply means that some readers are going to see the book as a window into another life and others will see the character reflecting back at them, like a mirror.
Deep, isn’t it? That’s why diversity in literature is so important!
Stay tuned for more reflections from my time at KidLitCon