Guest Blogger

Evaluating AAPI Youth Literature at #alsc22

Did you know there’s a rubric for evaluating Asian American and Pacific Islander Youth Literature? At this morning’s “More than a Checkbox” at #alsc22, Amy Kyung-Eun Breslin, Sarah Park Dahlen, Kristen Kwisnek, and Becky Leathersich shared key elements from the rubric and then led us through applying the rubric to different books.They emphasized the critical importance of visibility, problems of the Model Minority stereotype, that context and nuance are essential to evaluation. Other key factors are power and agency of characters – who are the heroes? can they solve problems? Take a look at author/illustrator agency – are they a cultural insider? What research have they done? Is there a co-author who is an insider? And they encouraged us to think about what impact the book might have on an AAPI child listening to a non-AAPI person read it aloud.

The rubric is a valuable tool for everyday practice, for choosing what books to use in storytime, to booktalk, to display, and for collection development. I’ve only covered a very brief part of it here, so check it out for yourself!

Robin Gibson (she/her/hers) is the Youth Services Manager at the Westerville Public Library in Westerville, Ohio. She is looking forward to reconnecting and making new connections with colleagues and gathering new ideas to share with her team. She loves to travel and is excited to be able to do so again!

Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.

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