During ALA Annual in 2014, by sheer happenstance I got the wonderful opportunity to be seated at the Stonewall Brunch not only with e.E. Charlton-Trujillo, who was the co-winner that year, but also with the amazing Corinne Duyvis. I was completely envious of her hair and told her so, and we talked about her brand new novel Otherbound, which was just being released at that time.
It wasn’t until later that I connected the person I had talked with to the Corinne Duyvis I had been following on Twitter, co-founder of Disability in Kidlit.
If you aren’t following Disability in Kidlit on one of their social media channels, then you definitely need to ASAP. Edited by Kody Keplinger (The DUFF), Kayla Whayley, and Corinne, Disability in Kidlit focuses on pointing out the realistic portrayals of disabilities in middle grade and young adult literature. From their site:
To help readers, booksellers, librarians, and educators find good portrayals of disability in YA/MG, both by recommending books via reviews and by offering them the tools to judge these books for themselves.
To help writers create more authentic, accurate, and respectful disabled characters.
To help agents and editors recognize problematic portrayals of disability and steer their authors in the right direction.
To help publishers share their books with disabled characters to our passionate readership.
To give people from the disability community a place to discuss the books they loved, liked, and loathed.
What I love about Disability in Kidlit is that they make sure to get reviews and opinions from the disability community- they actively REFUSE to take contributions from those who are abled, even if they have a loved one who is disabled. They’re giving the disabled a voice, which is so often marginalized and trivialized within publishing. From taking a look at the original and updated versions of A Wizard Alone to discussing labels and the responsibilities therein, the discussions run the full gambit. I am always learning, and am always engaged.