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Latinos make up 25% of U.S. school population, only 3% of Latino characters in youth fiction


POSTED: Thursday, February 14, 2013 - 6:00am

UPDATED: Thursday, February 14, 2013 - 6:04am

Christina Cuevas and Emma Peterson are two eighth-grade students who love to read.

"I like imagining the stuff that happens in the books, it's fun to go to a new world," Cuevas says.

But it's a world they've noticed, that is sometimes hard to relate to. "There aren't any specific Latino characters in any of the books I read," Peterson says.

According to the Pew Hispanic Center, Latino students now make up nearly a quarter of public school students across the country.

Yet, Kathy Short of the University of Arizona's "Worlds of Words", says less than three-percent of books published in 2011 featured a Latino as its main character. "The kids are right," Short says.

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