I don’t know whether to be overjoyed or annoyed at the recent Publisher’s Weeklyarticle reporting that editors in the young adult genre are paying more attention to the interests of black teen readers. I’m happy that young black readers are finally getting some love from the publishing industry, but as a longtime bibliophile I am dismayed that it took so long.

Although black teens read plenty of books that feature no prominent black characters—Stephenie Meyer’s titles, for example—the emergence of more young adult publishing programs geared toward African-Americans is in many ways a response to demand. Most editors contacted by PW agree that the publishing industry is starting to understand that black teens not only want to read about themselves but are also an economically viable readership. “The aha! moment is unfolding slowly,” says Andrea Pinkney, v-p and executive editor at Scholastic, “but it is happening.” Read more…

Limited Options

The dearth of books written for African-American teens is glaring

by Denene Millner — Publishers Weekly, 9/8/2008


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