YouTube: https://youtube.com/watch?v=oBMYa-dJWm8
Previous: Hank Green, Vlogbrothers/VidCon - XOXO Festival (2014)
Next: Q&A With Hank Green! (Thought Café Today) | Montana

Categories

Statistics

View count:20,074
Likes:372
Dislikes:28
Comments:26
Duration:03:06
Uploaded:2014-10-27
Last sync:2019-06-14 06:30
The NYT-bestselling author of THE FAULT IN OUR STARS talks about why kids need diverse books, and his first impressions of the We Need Diverse Books campaign. He also addresses the pressing need to get these books in the hands of the young readers who will benefit from them the most, and discusses the diverse books that touched him as a youth.

TRANSCRIPT:

Hi, my name’s John Green and we need diverse books. I think we need diverse books because we need to reflect the reality of our communities and that reality is a very diverse one. But also, while it's important to see yourself in stories--and I think lots of people don't see themselves in enough stories--it's also really important to see the other, like one of the magical things about reading to me is that it helps me to imagine the life outside of myself, right, like it helps me to imagine other people complexly. And when you don't see the lives of others in stories it's difficult to imagine them complexly and I think that contributes to the essentializing of the Other. So, I really think it's vital that we have diversity in our literature.

I first heard about the We Need Diverse Books campaign on Tumblr, which is where I find out about a lot of cool stuff, and I was very excited about it becausewe have this huge problem in children's and young adult literature of not having enough diverse books, but also not getting those books to enough of an audience. Like, when we have great writers of color, or we have great writers who are writing about the experience of disability, or the experience of being an LGBT[QIA] person, we don't have enough marketing push to get those books to the audience they deserve. So, that's one of the most exciting things about the WNDB campaign to me.

When I was a teenager, two of the most important books to me--maybe the two most important books--were Zora Neal Hurston's THEIR EYES WERE WATCHING GOD, and Toni Morrison's book SONG OF SOLOMON. THEIR EYES WERE WATCHING GOD was really important to me because Zora Neal Hurston worked a lot in an area of central Florida that was very close to where I grew upand here was this sort of genius writer who was also from my townor at least had worked in my town, and that was very exciting to me. Also THEIR EYES WERE WATCHING GOD is just a wonderful,wonderful, magical, transformative reading experience, and SONG OF SOLOMONwas extremely important to me because it taught me--it was really the first time when I felt like great, great American literature, like of the level of THE SCARLET LETTER or GATSBY or whatever, was being written now.hat a writer like Toni Morrison could be aliveand writing, while I was also alive and reading was just incredibly exciting to me.

To me, diversity in children's and young adult literature would mean getting to read stories about all kinds of people and all of those stories having kind of an equal chance to find a broad audience. Failing to reflect the diversity in our communities, both in terms of the authors who find a broad audience, and in terms of the stories that find a broad audience, does a disservice to all readers. But especially to those readers who are marginalized. They need to see themselves. They need to know that they too can be the heroes of a story.
Hi, my name's John Green and we need diverse books. I think we need diverse books because we need to reflect the reality of our communities and that reality is a very diverse one. But also while it's important to see yourself in stories, and I think lots of people don't see themselves in enough stories, it's also really important to see the other. Like one of the magical things about reading to me is that it helps me to imagine the life outside of myself, right, like it helps me to imagine other people complexly. And when you don't see the lives of others in stories, it's difficult to imagine them complexly and I think that contributes to the essentializing of the other. So I really think it's vital that we have diversity in our literature. 

I first heard about the We Need Diverse Books campaign on Tumblr, which is where I find out about a lot of cool stuff. And I was very excited about it because we have this huge problem in children's and young adult literature, of not having enough diverse books, but also not getting those books to enough of an audience. When we have great writers of color, or we have great writers who are writing about the experience of disability or the experience of being an LGBT person. We don't have enough, like, marketing push to get those books to the audience they deserve. So that's one of the most exciting things about the We Need Diverse Books campaign to me. 

When I was a teenager, two of the most important books to me, maybe the two most important books were Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God and Toni Morrison's book Song of SolomonTheir Eyes Were Watching God was really important to me because Zora Neale Hurston worked a lot in an area of central Florida that was very close to where I grew up and here was this sort of genius writer who was also from my town, or at least had worked in my town, and that was very exciting to me. Also Their Eyes Were Watching God is just a wonderful wonderful magical transformative reading experience. And Song of Solomon was extremely important to me because it taught me, it was really the first time when I felt, like, great, great American literature, like, of the level of The Scarlet Letter or Gatsby or whatever was being written now. That a writer like Toni Morrison could be alive and writing while I was also alive and reading was just incredibly exciting to me.

To me, diversity in children's and young adult literature would mean getting to read stories about all kinds of people and all of those stories having kind of an equal chance to find a broad audience.

Failing to reflect the diversity in our communities, both in terms of the authors who find a broad audience and in terms of the stories that find a broad audience does a disservice to all readers but especially to those readers who are marginalized. They need to see themselves, they need to know that they too can be the heroes of the story.