Marley Dias collected 1000 books to donate.
Okay, it's more complex than that. Her reading list at school wasn't diverse. While books like Where the Red Fern Grows are classics, it's just as important to expose kids to more, as Marley put it "white boys and their dogs". Although, who couldn't relate to Old Yeller's ending outside of people who hate animals?
But I digress.
One interesting thing Marley discovered was the kids people would assume those white boys with dogs books would relate to: white boys were just as happy for Marley's books. They craved different stories and characters too!
I think it's important for book characters to be diverse. It exposes us to different things and viewpoints. It's a learning experience. I may never get to go to Africa, but I can read about someone lives there and my life is more enriched as a result (even if there are vampires in it because I am a vampire junkee.) It's also, as again Marley said, about being able to relate. Everyone wants to see themselves as the hero and having a character who has the same traits you do can boost your self esteem. It makes you want to go out and better yourself. And while I would love to live in a world where we don't just relate to a person based on looks but instead relate because we are all human, I understand that importance so that's why I want to celebrate this story.
I'm happy Marley found all those books and that she wants to share them. She did an amazing thing and we should encourage that. Maybe other kids (or even adults) will follow suit. Maybe we'll see a hashtag like #1000IndianBooks and #1000LatinoBooks. We can even do a #1000WhiteBoysAndTheirDogsBooks. Some might joke that that list will be easy to make!