But let's push the reference to a study never cited fully. The author of the NY Post article seems to question the need for diversity in books we share with our students. Instead of engaging in a more detailed examination of diversity and all of the scholarship surrounding it, the author goes for the low blows. The final paragraph of the article: "The idea that adolescents need to be “protected” from authors who don’t exactly mirror their own identity-group experience is a recipe for creating snowflake college students who’ll never want to touch a book that hasn’t been pre-approved by a committee. At this rate, the publishing world will purge itself out of existence."
The opposite is, fortunately, true. More and more readers are encountering diversity in books. Not only is this important for readers who have never seen themselves in a book or, worse, seen stereotypes of themselves in books, diversity ensures ALL readers see the diversity of the world in which they live. The use of the derogatory "snowflake" terminology seems to suggest that if we make readers more aware of the diversity and the stereotypes, we are somehow protecting them from reality when instead we are showing them the TRUTH. When someone suggests that diversity is somehow harmful, I wonder how often they have seen themselves in books, movies, and on TV.
Before DEAR MR. HENSHAW, I had never encountered a child of divorce in books. I was 32 when I read a book that finally reflected some of my childhood experience. My childish thoughts and feelings were finally "verified" through Leigh and his thoughts and feelings. To suggest that reading books about myself and my experiences makes me a snowflake is more than insulting. And to suggest that the diverse books are best written by someone within the culture/community is short-sighted. It is imperative for me to be sure I share diverse books as widely as possible. Not to create snowflakes but to create citizens of the real world.