The Reading Culture Welcomes Zetta Elliott

Masthead Waves

Scholar and author Zetta Elliott knows the long-term damage of not having representative, relatable stories to read while growing up. Growing up Black in suburban Canada in the ’80s meant rarely seeing herself in the books she read. It wasn't until she was a young adult that she realized that erasure's impact on her own voice as a writer. In this episode, we learn all about Zetta’s journey, which includes understanding her history and ancestry as well as developing her futurist perspective on the world of children’s literature.


While she is best known for her “Dragons in a Bag” series, Zetta has a prolific writing career and spends a great deal of time advocating for fairness and representation in children's literature. She tells us about how she found and reclaimed her voice and her struggles with publishing as a Black author.


As a nod to Zetta’s favorite genre and her love for her current hometown of Chicago, she created a reading challenge entitled Chicago Fantasy Fiction. It includes a mix of stories, mostly geared toward middle grade readers. 


Listen to the full episode, “Voice Training: Zetta Elliott on Reckoning with Your Past and Disrupting the Future,” on Apple, Google, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. If you like what you hear, please leave a review, subscribe, and share with someone who will enjoy it.


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