Apr 22, 2014
Diversity in 2013 New York Times YA Bestsellers
Yesterday at Diversity in YA, I posted my latest number crunching about diversity, this time taking a look at the New York Times Young Adult and Children’s Best Sellers lists for 2013. Here’s the pie chart breakdown:
I reread the post the morning it went live and realized that I sounded rather dour, but I guess that’s the result of repeated diversity counts that show diversity hovering around 15%. I suppose 15% isn’t as terrible as it could be, but it’s disheartening because some of the books in that 15% are really problematic when it comes to representation. And there are no black or Latino main characters, unless you count Every Day by David Levithan as all races.
The percentage of books with LGBT main characters is closer to what people believe is the percentage of LGBT people in the US, but it still depresses me because among the YA bestsellers (single title list), only one title (Battle Magic by Tamora Pierce) has a queer girl in it, and she’s one of three POV characters (from what I can tell from my research; I haven’t read the book). Among the series, there are no books with a lesbian main character, although Pretty Little Liars continues to represent with its bisexual character Emily, which may or may not be a positive thing depending on whether you think of her as Emily from the book series, or Emily from the TV series.
Anyway. I don’t think I’m going to be doing much of this counting anymore. It doesn’t show much beyond the fact that bestsellers are predominantly white and straight, which we all knew. I’m trying to see it as motivation to keep writing, as opposed to depressing statistics about how what I’m writing is hard to sell to the masses.
Read the whole post here: Diversity in 2013 New York Times Young Adult Bestsellers
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