More on Why We Need Diverse Books
a blog written by fictionbefourblood
If you’re tired of reading stories that feature straight, white, able-bodied protagonists then chances are you’re suffering from ‘lack of diversity in YA literature’ syndrome. Luckily for you, there are actually plenty of books out there right now that display diversity, and more and more authors are choosing to include it in their books, regardless of whether they themselves are from diverse backgrounds.
We Need Diverse Books is a grassroots organization of children’s book lovers that advocates essential changes in the publishing industry to produce and promote literature that reflects and honours the lives of ALL young people. That means they recognize all diverse experiences, including (but not limited to) LGBTQIA, people of colour, gender diversity, people with disabilities, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities.
Whilst there are an increasing number of ‘diverse’ books in the YA world, it’s not always so easy to find them. www.weneeddiversebooks.org is a good place to start. Below is a list of my own recommendations of novels that are categorised as diverse in some kind of way;
- To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before [trilogy] by Jenny Han – Asian protagonist
- Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz – Mexican protagonist and LGBTQIA aspects
- The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson – LGBTQIA (transgender)
- Because You’ll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas – disability/illness and LGBTQIA aspects
- Carry On by Rainbow Rowell – LGBTQIA
- Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon – biracial protagonist and mental illness
- Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella – mental health (anxiety)
- It’s Kind Of A Funny Story by Ned Vizzini – mental illness
- The Lunar Chronicles [series] by Marissa Meyer – multiracial protagonists
- Made You Up by Francesca Zappia – mental health (schizophrenia)
- None Of The Above by I. W. Gregorio – LGBTQIA (intersex)
- One by Sarah Crossan – disability/illness
- Radio Silence by Alice Oseman – biracial protagonist and sexual diversity
- Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli – LGBTQIA
- Six Of Crows [duology] by Leigh Bardugo – disability/illness, people of colour and LGBTQIA aspects
- The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer [trilogy] by Michelle Hodkin – mental illness, people of colour and LGBTQIA aspects
- We Were Liars by E. Lockhart – mental illness
- Wonder by R. J. Palacio – disability/illness
- The Wrath and the Dawn [duology] by Renee Ahdieh – people of colour
Despite the fact that the above books (and many more) characterise people of colour, the LGBTQIA community, disability and mental illness, there is still a lack of representation in YA literature. I have yet to see myself written in a novel. Maybe I just haven’t found the book yet, or maybe I’m right and it hasn’t been written. But, there is a simple solution to that… I’ll just have to write it myself.
Have you read any of these books? What other books would you recommend? Let me know in the comments!
Thank you to fictionbefourblood for writing this blog and designing the banner