Your 80s Were Not My 80s: Author Sofia Quintero on Race, Class, Place & Hip-Hop in YA Historical Fiction

Latinxs in Kid Lit

23395349By Sofia Quintero

Almost immediately after finishing the last round of copyedits on Show and Provedid I find something that conjured my biggest fears about writing a novel set in the 1980s.

I discovered a blog post by a librarian expressing fatigue with the trend in young adult fiction about the 80s. She named a legitimate concern that haunted me throughout the writing of Show and Prove. Was setting the story in that decade integral to its telling or were the 80s just a hook driven by my personal nostalgia?

It’d be dishonest to deny that nostalgia had a role in my writing this novel. Maybe Show and Prove didn’t have to be set in the 80s to tell the stories of Smiles, Nike, Cookie and Sara.

But then I realized, so what?

With the overwhelming majority of young adult fiction set in the 80s centering on white, middle-class…

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