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Fairies Are for White Girls and Other Lies My Sister Told Me
Fantasy fiction has always been about more than cool abilities and alternate universes. Whether the heroes are seemingly regular kids, mermaids, cyborgs, witches or what-have-you, the stories are often propelled by issues of power and justice, and they often empower readers to expect and imagine possibilities that upend conventions. But why then does a genre known for upending conventions still insist on making the vast majority of its heroes and main characters white? Whether we’re talking Harry Potter or Frozen, the lack of inclusion (and not just racial) in a form often structured as a challenge to a fictionalized status quo is striking.

Join us for a conversation with Marti Dumas and Zetta Elliott, two fantastic children’s book authors, about how inclusive fantasy fiction empowers all young readers. They argue that magic is ultimately about power, that ALL children need to know that they can make--and unmake--worlds, both real and imagined. Marti and Zetta will also read from their books, suggest inclusive fantasy fiction titles for the kids in your life, and take your questions.

Oct 22, 2019 08:30 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Marti Dumas
Creator, Author, Educator
Marti Dumas is a mom, teacher, writer, and creative entrepreneur from New Orleans. An expert in childhood literacy, Marti has worked with children and teachers across the country for the last 15 years to promote an early love of reading both in and out of the classroom. Her best-selling Jaden Toussaint, the Greatest series combines literacy with STEM skills, and humor, and adds much-needed diversity to the children’s chapter book landscape. Her latest books, Jupiter Storm and The Little Human are middle-grade fantasies being heralded for their skillful combination of science, family, and magic.
Zetta Elliott
Author, Poet, Advocate
Zetta Elliott is an author, poet, playwright and PhD. She is the author of over thirty books for young readers, including the award-winning picture books Bird and Melena’s Jubilee. Her urban fantasy novel, Ship of Souls, was named a Booklist Top Ten Sci-fi/Fantasy Title for Youth; her YA time-travel novel, The Door at the Crossroads, was a finalist in the Speculative Fiction category of the 2017 Cybils Awards. Dragons in a Bag, a middle grade fantasy novel, was published by Random House in 2018; it was named an American Library Association Notable Children’s Book. The sequel, The Dragon Thief, will be published in October 2019. Elliott is also an advocate for greater diversity and equity in children's literature; her essays have appeared in The Huffington Post, School Library Journal, and Publishers Weekly.