Ahhhhh, DIVERSITY. It’s quite the hot topic in the bookish world, particularly with the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaigns. I’m more partially to the #WeNeedDiverseCake campaigns, but I hear it’s not a “real issue”. So ridiculous. BUT REGARDLESS. I totally think we need to celebrate minorities and diversity. And, pfft, I won’t deny how nosey I am, but I love the sneak peeks into diverse lives. I want to know what it’s like to be a second-generation Chinese. I want to understand how it’s like to be blind, or have schizophrenia, or PTSD. I WANT TO KNOW ALL THE THINGS.
I did have a small flailing moment of confusion as to what exactly can be considered diversity. So I ducked to the WNDB website and stole their description:
“We recognise all diverse experiences, including (but not limited to) LGBTQIA, people of colour, gender diversity, people with disabilities, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities.”
So that’s what I’ve decided to go with for my collection of diverse books! Particularly ethnicities and disabilities, and also atypical neurology. ‘Cause I’m awesome with funky words like that.
And you know what? I don’t think my Diverse Book diet is too shabby. Which is marvellously pleasing. Although I will beg for recommendations at the end of this post.
This Week’s Prompt: Ten Books That Celebrate Diversity/Diverse Characters
While I think contemporary is really getting its act together and churning out deliciously diverseiful (totally a word, don’t argue now) books…fantasy mostly fails. EXCEPT FOR THE LUNAR CHRONICLES. They have French, Asian, African-American characters…oh, and even wolves! Super diverse wolves!
This book is partly about 9/11 and partly about 9-year-old Oskar, who has Aspergers, who goes on a pretty wild and random journey to find a lock to fit his key. I love the stream-of-consciousness style of writing and all the delicious facts and the raw emotion. IT’S JUST A GOOD BOOK, OKAY? Don’t doubt me.
Fun Fact: The book mentions Tom Hanks randomly, and then, in the movie, Tom Hanks plays the father. I JUST THINK THAT’S KIND OF COOL.
Oh! Oh! There are so many reasons this book is completely fabulous. Because a) it’s Australian, b) the narrator is from Lebanon, c) there’s tons of Lebanon culture in there, d) which means LOTS OF LEBANESE FOOD.
Funish Fact: This was my very VERY FIRST physical review-copy. Such fond memories. Awk!
I know it’s flavors instead of flavours but I can’t bring myself to fall to the American spelling. I CAN’T. I have my loyalties you know, firstly to England and secondly to the tea the Americans threw in the sea. BUT I DIGRESS.
This is one of those hidden pineapples — it was totally addictive and amazing and like no one has read it, HOW DO I COPE?! Ahem. It features a deaf protagonist who also manages a music band. Yes. Isn’t it intriguing?!
This is a horribly good yet extraordinarily good. 86% of me is shouting, “SAVE YOURSELF THE PAIN AND DON’T READ IT.” But, bah, you need to cry. So read it.
It’s dual narrated and one of the narrators has undiagnosed bipolar disorder. Not to mention it’s incredibly beautifully written. I possibly choked up, too, by the way. This Vulcan cried?! C’MON. WHAT MORE CAN I SAY TO CONVINCE YOU?
Despite being by my two favourite authors of ever (Cassandra Clare and Holly Back), this book…meh. The ending was awesome, but if I’m napping through the beginning, no amount of epic master wizardry at the end is going to wake me up. EXCEPT MAYBE AN EXPLOSION OR SOMETHING.
Regardless. This is about Cal, who has a disability that leaves him crippled in one leg and mostly without sense of humour and zero happiness. Devastating way to live. Without humour, I mean.
This book is specifically about mixed-race kids! YAY. It’s also about said kids falling off cliffs, so I see no reason why you should skip it. Emotional pain is the bookworm’s life plan. BUT REGARDLESS. The protagonist, Jewel, is partially Jamaican and also Mexican.
This is actually a sequel, but you could read it as a standalone. It’s dual narrated and has a double explosion of epic diversity with Flynn being Irish and Jubilee is partially Chinese. The cover is also downright beautiful, and that’s a good enough reason to read it also.
9. ALL THE THINGS BY MICHAEL GRANT
Basically just read Michael Grant books. He’s my favourite because he mixes horror with speculative fantasy and then adds in the most AMAZING and adorable and broken characters of ever. And the diversity? I can’t even list it all. He’s so incredible with adding in minorities. There’s sociopathy and autism and depression. Then he has characters from Ecuador and Asia and also freaky flesh eating aliens. That’s totally diverse.
I secretly think this is about bipolar, but it’s never said, sooo…I SHALL KEEP MY THEORIES TO MYSELF. It’s definitely about mental illness, PTSD, delusions, and trees. There are many trees. Although trees aren’t exactly diverse, they are often under-appreciated.
TREES GIVE US BOOKS. I APPRECIATE THE TREES.
Well, I’m just sayin’.