The All-White World of Middle-School Genre Fiction: Surveying the Field for Multicultural Protagonists

Agosto, Denise E.; Hughes-Hassell, Sandra; Gilmore-Clough, Catherine
December 2003
Children's Literature in Education;Dec2003, Vol. 34 Issue 4, p257
Academic Journal
While there has been a notable increase in multicultural publishing over the past several years, this study indicates that the increase has not extended into genre fiction for middle-grade readers. The study entailed a content analysis of book reviews of fiction for the middle grades published between 1992 and 2001. A total of 4,255 reviews of genre fiction were analyzed. Although the 2000 U.S. Census indicated that about one third of the U.S. population of children is comprised of people of color, only 661, or less than one sixth, of the books were identified as containing at least one protagonist of color. In a more realistic representation of the world, about one third of the characters would be people of color.


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