“People very often talk about literacy with words, but there’s such a thing as visual and thematic literacy,” says Deborah Pope, the executive director of the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation, which encourages diversity in kids’ books. “I think some of these young people just didn’t really *read* the book.” (Mr. Keats’s groundbreaking classic, “The Snowy Day,” which is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary this year, revolutionized children’s literature by being the first mainstream picture book to feature a black male protagonist.) Pope tells me that data analyzed by the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Cooperative Children’s Book Center in 2010 found that only nine per cent of the three thousand four hundred children’s books published that year contained significant cultural or ethnic diversity. She points out that the white default—in books, as in other forms of mass media—is learned and internalized early, including by children of color. It takes vigilance—and self-awareness—to overcome. “I picked up on the [character and racial] descriptions in “The Hunger Games” immediately,” says Adam, who is of Caribbean descent. “But then again, whenever I read something, I wonder, ‘where can I find the character who represents ME?’ ”
Good paragraph. One thing I've learned about page turners is you don't really stop and smell the flowers. With HG, I'm guilty of skimming through the details because I'm ready to move to the next page (I've never read a trilogy as fast as I read this).
At the same time, I do the same thing as the second bold in that I look for deviations from what I'm used to reading - white people. Even Katniss' description is unique enough for me to question her race until they introduce and contrast the appearance of Rue & Thresh.
Hopefully, in terms of sci-fi & fantasy stuff, they keep it somewhat vague so that we can place our own perception of character into it and then not get bent out of shape when they choose a role that doesn't fit it.