While officially a bad idea, judging books by their covers has some value in practice. By looking at overall trends in book covers we can see the overall trends in how young people are represented in YA books. Kate Hart set out to do exactly this and has reported her findings in a series of truly awesome charts and infographics.
The verdict: Out of close to 1,000 there were only 1.4 % featuring a Hispanic character, 1.4% featuring an Asian character, and 1.2% that feature a black character.
That is astoundingly terrible. That is NO WHERE NEAR the actual representation of those groups in society. Why are publishers afraid of putting non-white models on covers (sometimes even when non-white characters are the protagonists!!!)?
What do you guys think?
Do books reflect you? Do we need more books with people of color?
The delightful series of inforgraphics also breaks down how incredinly repetitive some of the YA covers are getting. Check the info out for yourself here.