Today I’m talking with Chaz Hayden, the author of The First Thing About You (Candlewick, 2022). Chaz’s debut young adult novel is a deeply personal novel about a high school student, Harris, who just wants to fit in, find love, and be a “normal” teenager despite having spinal muscular atrophy and being confined to a wheelchair.
Over the summer, the children’s-YA book community has continued discussing diversity, decolonization, authenticity and representation both throughout the body of literature and the industry. Here are highlights; look for more in quickly upcoming, additional update posts.
Mirrors? Windows? How about Prisms? from Uma Krishnaswami. Peek: “…cultural content in children’s books needs to be woven into the story so the authors intention is not stamped all over it.”
Marieke Nijkamp is a storyteller, dreamer, globe-trotter, and diversity advocate.
She holds degrees in philosophy, history, and medieval studies, and wants to grow up to be a queer time traveler.
In the midnight hours of the day, Marieke writes stories full of hope and heartbreak.