Here it is, the sadly still needed conversation, focusing this time on a proposed survey of publishing houses and review journals. Kathy Ishizuka raises many questions, and the discussion carries on.
So the great majority of children’s books are by white authors about white characters, that much we know. But what can be done to address that trend in an industry that remains, itself, largely homogeneous? You have to assess the problem first, according to Jason Low, publisher of Lee & Low Books, which has launched a diversity survey to gather data on book publishing staff and reviewers.
Twelve publishers and four review journals have committed to participate in the “Diversity Baseline Survey.”The publishers are: Albert Whitman, Annick Press, Arte Público Press, Charlesbridge, Cinco Puntos Press, Groundwood, Holiday House, Just Us Books, Lee & Low Books, Peachtree Publishers, Second Story Press, and Tradewind Books.
The “Big Five”–Penguin Random House, Macmillan, HarperCollins, Hachette, and Simon & Schuster–haven’t as yet agreed to participate.