In the past few years, much attention has been paid to representation in children's literature. And for good reason: traditionally, in the United States, the default race in literature has been white. Very white. This is especially true in fantasy and science fiction books written for children. In these genres, characters of color are often pushed to the margins and their stories are largely ignored or erased.
In her groundbreaking book The Dark Fantastic, literacy and education scholar Ebony Elizabeth Thomas dissects the marginal characters in three popular literature-cum-film/television enterprises. Her work was the inspiration for this LibGuide: a thoughtful gathering of contemporary literature that pushes back on the idea that only white children can be the stars of fantasy and science fiction.
This guide is divided into two grade bands: middle and young adult. The middle grade category roughly covers books appropriate for children in grades 4-7, the young adult category roughly covers grades 8-12.
Though this is by no means a comprehensive list, our hope is that this LibGuide serves as an entry into BIPOC fantasy and science fiction and provides the user with a checklist of novels that will expand their worldview, challenge misconceptions and open new literary horizons.