Charlotte author aims to increase diversity in children’s literature


“Dear Little Brown Girl” shares a mother’s life lessons and wisdom and reminds little girls that they are beautiful, smart and dignified.

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina — A Charlotte woman is on a mission to become a children’s book author and add more diversity to children’s literature.

Jenelle Dunn has written a book called “Dear Little Brown Girl”, aimed at developing the self-esteem, imagination and spirit of little girls.

Dunn said that as a child she loved to read and describes the library as her second home, but she soon noticed a lack of diversity among the selection of books.

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“When I was growing up, I didn’t really see a lot of children’s books with characters that looked like me,” Dunn said.

According to a study published by the Youth Book Cooperative Center in 2020, only 12% of children’s books in the United States had a main character who was black, let alone for other minority populations.

“We definitely need books that reflect the different world we live in,” Dunn said. “We have these different races. We have these different types of people, so we should have books that reflect that.”

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This experience is part of the reason Dunn decided to write “Dear Little Brown Girl.” Dunn said the book shares life lessons and wisdom from a mother and reminds little girls that they are beautiful, smart and dignified.

“I wanted to use this book to encourage other little girls to, you know, believe in themselves and, you know, think they can do anything,” Dunn said, “and just to be a positive role model for the other little girls.”

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Dunn is self-publishing and uses a Kickstarter campaign to fund pre-orders of the book. She is within $2,000 of her goal of $6,000 to launch the book’s first print run. The Kickstarter campaign is “all or nothing”, meaning it will only be funded if it reaches its goal by March 17.

Dunn said she would like to see her main character Nellie and the book come to life so other little girls who look like her can find books in the library that tell them they can be anything and do anything. whatever.

“You want them to be able to take inspiration from the books they see,” Dunn said.

Contact Kendall Morris at [email protected] and follow her on Facebook, Twitter and instagram.

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