At last, 6 Things I’m Thinking About is back! This week, I’ve been ruminating about how individuals and publishing companies are preparing to make this new year better than the last, two exciting diverse book releases, and celebrating little-known artists and pioneers of color. I’d say 2017 is off to a bright start.
- Few articles could have inspired resolve and resilience in 2017 better than this one, written by Jason Low at Lee & Low Books: Yes, it Matters What Children Read: Diversity in Publishing is the Solution. I’m so grateful to have gotten my start in publishing working with the determined change-makers at Lee & Low.
- List Tyrus Wong among amazing undersung artists of color in history! This Chinese American artist, who pioneered the animation in Disney’s Bambi, created art in a time of rampant Asian American discrimination. The New York Times reports on his extraordinary life and passing at 106 years old. (Any #ownvoices authors or illustrators working on a picture book biography of this man’s story and legacy?)
- My most anticipated read for 2017 is When Dimple Met Rishi (May 2017, Simon Pulse) by Sandhya Menon! Indian American teen Dimple is so not into her parents’ ideals of a traditional arranged marriage. Rishi’s a hopeless romantic. What neither of them know is that their parents have paired them in a “suggested arrangement” and sent them to the same summer camp. Read the first three chapters of this lighthearted, #ownvoices YA love story here! And isn’t this a gorgeous cover?
- The post-election swell of immigrant rights advocacy was the silver lining of the latter end of 2016, and I only foresee the momentum growing. NPR’s Code Switch reports on the individuals and institutions being spurred to action. The only thing I could hope for is that the momentum doesn’t fizzle out, ever.
- This Tuesday marked the release for one of my most anticipated anthologies (finally!): Flying Lessons & Other Stories, a collection of diverse short stories edited by Ellen Oh, a woman I will look up to forever, was released on Tuesday! It includes stories by Kwame Alexander, Meg Medina, Grace Lin, Matt de la Peña, and more. Tide over your excitement a bit and read Ellen Oh’s foreword and some excerpts here.
- Lastly, a personal one: Have you seen Hidden Figures yet? If you can, see it with a woman who inspires you. I saw it last night with my mom, who was in the first graduating class of Computer Science majors at the University of the Philippines. After watching the movie, about the Black female mathematicians crucial to NASA’s aerospace launches, she reminisced about being a young female programmer in a male-dominated industry. I’ve never been so empowered to do my part to make sure stories of marginalized people are told and honored.
Now go forth and dance, laugh, and celebrate a woman of color (or three) this weekend 🙂