Kids these days apparently want to read books that reflect their lives. So following that whole supply-and-demand thing we all learned in Economics 101, Kirkus is giving the people what they want. They’ve just launched Kirkus Collections, which brings together Young Adult and children’s lit titles from all walks of life, making it easier for kids, teachers, and librarians to find diverse, inclusive, and downright good books.
Kirkus Collections are broken down into categories like disability, LGBTQ, multiracial, latinx, religion, and more. These aren’t pedantic tomes or Serious Literature. They just good, fun books like Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali, which looks at a young girl grappling with boy trouble—and an assault—in the Muslim community. There’s In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse by Joseph Marshall III, where a fair-haired kid lays claim to his Lakota heritage by going in search of another Lakota with fair hair and skin: Crazy Horse; and Rani Patel In Full Effect by Sonia Patel, which follows a Gujarati teen who feels isolated on the Hawaiian island of Molokai in 1991.
It’s not just educational reads: For instance, Valynn E. Maetani’s Ink and Ashes is a thriller that follows Japanese-American Claire, who realizes her family is in danger because of her father’s yakuza past; and the picture book Lucia the Luchadora by Cynthia Leonor Garza shows that girls can be mask-wearing Mexican wrestling superstars, too.
It’s all typical American kid stuff, now handily brought together into one great big melting pot of books that looks a lot like the great big melting pot of America.