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Spotlight on YALSA’s Nonfiction Award Finalists: Fiction Readalikes for Courage Has No Color by Tanya Lee Stone

CourageHasNoColorCourage Has No Color: The True Story of the Triple Nickles, America’s First Black Paratroopers by Tanya Lee Stone is one of the finalists for the 2014 YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults. Great nonfiction can encourage readers to find out more about its subject matter, which often leads them to seek out great fiction based on the same topic.

Racism and discrimination of all kinds on the home front and in the military didn’t stop when the US entered the war in 1941.  Just like in Tanya Lee Stone’s Courage Has No Color, the following novels examine the wartime experiences of young African Americans at home and in the armed forces during World War II.

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Showing Our True Colors: YA Covers That Got it Right in 2012

Publishing companies aren’t putting out enough YA titles that feature protagonists of color. And when they do, some book covers try to hide or obscure the characters’ race by showing them in silhouette or in shadow, or at times whitewashing them completely. Even the most diverse library collections sometimes look homogenous when you just see the covers. Don’t believe me? Check out my post from last week: “It Matters If You’re Black or White: The Racism of YA Book Covers.”

The problem is insidious, but it’s not completely pervasive, as many of you pointed out in the post comments last week. There are a lot of publishers, authors, and books that have no problem putting people of color on the covers of their books. So I just wanted to take a moment to recognize and celebrate those folks who understand how important it is for everyone to be able to see their own identity validated on the cover of a book. Here are some books covers that got race right in 2012.

Ichiro by Ryan InzanaA.D.D.: Adolescent Demo Division by Douglas RushoffNever Fall Down by Patricia McCormickBoy21 by Matthew Quick

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