Ashley Hope Pérez has a great guest post on Diversity in YA Fiction. The whole thing is worth a read, but I loved this:
I’ve heard from a few readers frustrated that they didn’t “get” the Spanish the characters in What Can’t Wait sometimes use. They wondered why the book didn’t have a glossary. The answer is that most of my students wouldn’t need a glossary. To include a glossary would have been to say, “Actually, this book is meant as a barrio tour for gringos. See? It comes with a travel guide…”
No. What Can’t Wait has lots to offer to readers of all backgrounds, but I wrote it for my students. My contribution to diversity in YA hinges on the fact that I know my audience, and I care about what they find when they go to the bookshelf.