Hello, and welcome to another round of Saturday Reads! Here I share some of the interesting articles and interviews I’ve happened across during the week. Read them over your coffee, at your leisure, share with friends, and, ideally, enjoy!
Hashtags abound this week and month on Twitter as Hispanic Heritage Month begins. I’ve so far found and retweeted a number of amazing Latinx creators using the #LatinxsCreate hashtag, and am looking forward to finding more diverse, thoughtful, and creative books to read from the #DiverseAThon hashtag! This graphic from Picture This: Reflecting Diversity in Children’s Book Publishing illustrates the lack of diversity in the protagonists of children’s books and emphasizes the importance of showing other races, cultures, and abilities in all media, especially those that youth are exposed to.
Thank you Melanie for your beautiful and heartfelt article “Being Brown Enough – And Every Brown Girl’s Anthem #AsiSoyYo”. Just that hashtag on its own is moving and brought up memories of Gina Rodriguez’s moving words on Latinx identity that made a deep impact on me. I am half Mexican but new to experiencing, identifying with, and promoting Latinx Pride. Having mixed heritages can make a person experience long-lasting feelings of otherness and a lack of belonging, so I was thrilled when my room mate introduced me to the book I Am Mixed by Garcelle Beauvais this week. I wrote a little bit on my own (pretty mild) experiences if that interests you. I have so much to learn and have made missteps in the past, but hope to do better and help others and myself feel accepted and proud of their identity in the future.
After a loooong reading siesta, I’m getting back into reading again, though largely by serving as a beta reader and content editor for the novels and short stories my friends are writing. Here are some great lists of book suggestions:
- Books with Asexual Main Characters by Julie
- YA Books with Neurodiverse Main Characters by Julie
- Books with Fat Main Characters by Julie
- YA Novels with Muslim Characters by Zaheerah
This article on Appropriate Cultural Appropriation by Nisi Shawl evokes helpful metaphors to help clarify appropriation and how to approach and describe cultures and races different from our own. For more on this, also check out her article Transracial Writing for the Sincere.
This is a tough love tweet thread about “writing while white,” or otherwise writing diverse characters with different life circumstances than your own. Thank you Nic Stone for your input, wise words, and advice! Instead of fearing backlash – expect it. Hire sensitivity readers. Do research. Be empathetic. Try to understand the perspectives of others. Trust yourself and your confidants. Do your best.
This “Sit With Us” app is pretty touching. Incredibly proud of 16 year old Natalie Hampton, who created the app. Users who identify themselves as “ambassadors” can label their lunch table or area as a safe place for students to sit and eat their lunch without fear of bullying or loneliness. I hope this is widely adopted in schools and extends its capabilities into other locales (maybe through different apps – focus is a good thing). I’m just very impressed and excited about the implications of this app and its potential! 🙂
In “nerdier” news…
Utada Hikaru, my absolute favorite musician, is releasing her new album Fantôme in just over a week and the video for her song “Ni Jikan Dake no Vacance” has been released. I’m just very excited and need to tell the world, and that includes you!
The Yuri Game Jam, a month-long worldwide gathering of groups starting and completing a yuri-themed game, runs through the month of October. Find, chat with, and collaborate with other game developers on the forums here.
Thanks to the generosity of readers and twitter followers, I was able to update the site to a premium WordPress account! You may have noticed that you can now type papercatpress.com into your browser and have this blog pop up! Which is so, so cool. Thank you so much!
If you like, you can “buy me a coffee” through ko-fi to help me out. My current goals are listed on the page. This is just if you feel like it and there is absolutely no pressure!
I hope you enjoy these insightful reads! Let me know if you have any suggestions for the week ahead.