by Carmen Van Kerckhove
This is the first in what will be a regular column called Ask Anti-Racist Parent. We’ll post a question that we received via email, and invite all of you to weigh in with your advice. This will be a great way to tap into your collective knowledge and experience. If you’re interested in submitting a question, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and put “Ask Anti-Racist Parent” in the subject line.
Dear Anti-Racist Parent,
I work at the local library in the mornings, and usually end up helping out with cleanup after children’s story hour. I noticed something the other day.
While there are plenty of one-shot children’s books that feature non-white main characters, there don’t seem to be very many series books.
I guess you could include the The Baby-Sitters Club, since the cast is somewhat multi-ethnic; ditto for the Magic Attic, and the Saddle Club has Carole. American Girls has a couple of POC characters, but the majority of their books feature white girls and their focus seems to be on Samantha and Felicity, both white and wealthish.
Those are the only ones I could think of, though. All books for girls, no less, except for Chasing Vermeer and Gregor.
However, for Caucasian kids, there’s Judy Moody, Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys, the Three Investigators, Johnny Quest, Sweet Valley Twins/High/University/whatever the latest one is, Juniper O’Toole, Lizzie McGuire, Mary-Kate & Ashley, Scooby-doo, Deltora Quest, the vast majority of the Jedi books, Harry Potter, A Series of Unfortunate Events, Secrets of Droon (I think), Magic Tree House, Ramona the Pest, the Superfudge books, etc. I know I’m forgetting a ton, just because there are so many.
So are there book series featuring characters of color for children out there, and I’m just not hearing about them? If so, what are they?
Kyla in Lodi, CA