My friend Elena had a similar idea as me recently. She wanted to create a blog. And she did. She created her own blog about books—more specifically, books with diversity. I think it’s amazing that she’s able to turn the conversation to something that is often overlooked: kids from all different backgrounds being able to relate to books and the characters within them. I was wondering how she came upon the idea and how she executed it once she knew what she wanted to do. Here’s her story.
My name is Elena and I run a blog called Elena Reads & Reviews, where I review books with diversity and interview authors and illustrators.
Why I Started My Blog
I started my blog because I wanted to make diversity books more well-known throughout the world. When readers see themselves in books they know they are important and they matter. Also, readers need to read diverse books so that they know about other religions, races, genders, and abilities. Also, my dream goal is for people all over the world to read my writing, so doing my blog is just a step closer to achieving my dream. There are a lot of people who are trying to make diverse books more popular, especially those in the We Need Diverse Books movement. And I think that is great!
How I Started My Blog
A lot of people ask me, how did you start your blog? Well, here is the answer, in case anyone wants to start a blog. I had to get a WordPress account through their website. Then, we chose a design and name for my blog, and a nice lady created my logo and my signature roses I use to rate books. We also had to set up social media accounts so more people could read about what had to say about books.
A Big Idea Blooms
Knowing I love books, my friend’s mom, a local author, suggested I should start a reading blog. When my mom told me the idea, I burst at the thought of it. Right then and there I was reading as many diversity books as I could, typing up the reviews, and emailing them to my mom. Realizing how serious I was about this, she followed along.
This was about half a year ago, when I was in fourth grade, because I had my six month anniversary a few weeks ago. Ever since then, I’ve been an advocate for diverse books on library shelves and in the hands of eager readers. Already my blog has reached people across the United States and in countries such as India, England, China and the Philippines. One piece of advice I would give to kids who want to have blogs is: Is there a topic you feel strongly about? Well, you’re not going to get anywhere if you don’t do anything about it.
We were mostly focused on reviews at the beginning of my blog’s life, but we started doing interviews with authors and illustrators after I won a writing contest posted by author Kelly Starling Lyons. My mom and I thought we should interview authors and illustrators. That’s when we knew we weren’t just going to be reviewing books. We were about to do a lot more.
I also ask friends do guest blogs so they can share what they are reading. It helps because it gives me a break to catch up on some reviews. Oscar has done a review on my blog as well. Here is a link to it.
I’ve had to learn how to manage my blog with schoolwork, after-school activities, playing with my brother, and other things. As you can see, doing a blog isn’t the easiest thing in the world, but it is probably the most fun.