Which is something that I didn’t really know.
But a few tweets from Cindy Pon led me to this University of Wisconsin website which has pretty detailed statistics on this. Although for some reason it doesn’t provide percentages, so let me give them below:
Percentage of the 3,200 children’s books that were published in 2013 and were part of their study…
…that were by African or African American authors: 2.09%
…that were by American Indian authors: 0.56%
…that were by Asian-American or Pacific Islander authors: 2.81%
…that were by Hispanic authors: 1.5%
Actually, this was a bit surprising to me, since normally I assume that Asian-Americans will, at the very least, be represented at a rate that is commensurate with our tiny share of the U.S.’s overall population. But, actually, AAPI’s are 4.8% of the US population, so even there the representation is pretty bad. For Hispanics (16.4% of the US Population) and African-Americans (12.6%), it’s actually pretty abysmal.
So…those are some numbers that exist.
I think this is where I am supposed to come out with an angst-filled story about not feeling like I was represented by the books that I read as a child. But…I never really felt that way? I mean, if someone did feel that way, then that’s fine. That’s a totally valid way to feel. But it just was not my experience.