stacylwhitman is starting up Tu Publishing in order to increase the diversity of characters in children’s and YA SF/fantasy. I think Mitali Perkins expresses well why children and teens need books that more fully reflect the world we live in (and not just certain corners of same) when she talks about why books need to be both windows and mirrors.
I still hear the argument, occasionally, that we shouldn’t be thinking about such things, that “good characters and good stories” are all that matter. And they do matter–but it isn’t an either/or. Readers have a right to both good stories and stories with a full range of characters, at the same time, and we ought not have to settle for one or the other. Or as stacylwhitman says, “… we want to acquire books that are about the adventure, the quest, the mystery, the magic, and most of all, the characters, and have the culture or ethnicities of the characters be the milieu in which the story is steeped, the history that might influence their decisions, the structure of a culture they must navigate.”
All of which is by way of saying there’s now a Kickstart Tu Publishing Auction going on to help Tu Publishing raise the startup funds to acquire its first two books. Stop by. Donate something. Bid on something. Support a venture that has so much to offer to children’s literature.
Alternately, if you want to support Tu Publishing but don’t want to bid, there’s also a kickstarter page where you can donate directly.
I think good things can come of this, and I’m hoping hard it gets off the ground.