Tuesday, 21 July 2015

top ten books that celebrate diversity

Hello, all! Top Ten Tuesday is hosted every week by The Broke and the Bookish, and this week, we're talking diversity. It's no secret that this particular topic has been huge in the bookish community recently, and for good reason. The #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign has been making waves lately, and it's great so see how many authors and publishers are embracing differences in colour, ability, religion, race, sexuality... The list goes on. Here are the ten books I picked that celebrate diversity in all forms. 

1. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling 
I feel like this series, especially for children who are reading it the first time, doesn't come across as particularly diverse right away. But it's not hard to see the commentary regarding race relations and cultural genocide in the issues between pure bloods, Muggle-borns, and Muggles. 

Here, we've got two separate strands of diversity - the two boys are Mexican American, making them racially diverse, as well as part of the gay community. What more could you ask for? 

3. April Raintree by Beatrice Culleton 
This is a book that I read for my YA Lit class last year (it's actually a revised edition of In Search of April Raintree). I think it's particularly important for Canadians, or anyone living in an area with a large Aboriginal population. It really captures the struggle of being othered in your own land in a beautiful and heartbreaking way. 

4. Eleanor & Park  by Rainbow Rowell
Both of the protagonists in this book are different in their own ways. Park comes from a Korean family and fills the role of a racially diverse character, while Eleanor reads as diverse to me because she's simply not the typical love interest in a YA novel. She's overweight and plain and doesn't really fit the teen girl stereotype, but we still see her as beautiful through Park's eyes, which is so important. 

5. What Night Brings by Carla Trujillo 
This book broke me, plain and simple. I read it for my Latina/o Lit class and I don't think any of the books I've read for school have ever hit me as hard as this one did. Marci is an eleven-year-old Latin American girl who wants God to turn her into a boy. Pretty much, we have a trifecta of diversity in here with the racial, religious, and gender-related contexts in this book. 

6. Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan 
Tiny Cooper. End of story. 

7. The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins
I mean, just think about all the diversity between districts! We've got race, class... Even Katniss and Peeta become physically disabled by the end of the series. 

8. I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
This is just a beautiful example of what it means to love someone who is othered. The dual perspective really works to give us a look at both sides, so we're not just learning what it's like for Noah (a gay character), we also see how it affects his twin, Jude, and how she deals. 

9. The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler
I'll admit right now - I'm not done this book yet, but already I'm loving it! The narrator is Elyse, a girl from Trinidad and Tobago, who lost her voice in a boating accident. She's one of the only POC's in the small town where the story takes place, and with her disability on top of that, she's definitely very different from those around her. 

10.  Everything, Everything  by Nicola Yoon
I don't want to give too much away because this book isn't out yet (thanks, Netgalley!) but I will tell you what you can find out from the synopsis: the narrator is an Afro-Asian teenager living with SCID, a disease that pretty much means she's allergic to the entire world. 

What diverse books are you loving?
1 comment on "top ten books that celebrate diversity"
  1. Harry Potter and Hunger Games aren't books I think of as diverse right away. I like that you added them!