Conversations on diversity are happening all over the bookternet, but they all come down to one thing; we need more diverse books. The numbers in YA and kidlit are especially embarrassing, check out the numbers in this editorial from Walter Dean Meyers in the New York Times.Media does not exist in a vacuum and representation matters. And not just so readers can see themselves in books, but so readers can have experiences outside of their world view.
Which is why I’m glad YA author,Ellen Oh, has started the we need diverse books campaign. The campaign rolls out in three phases which are listed here, but essential from May 1 -3 we want to make #weneeddiveresebooks trend worldwide. I hope everyone who comes across the blog does something to participate, even if it’s just using the hashtag #WeNeedDiverseBooks or reblogging a post on Tumblr.
Growing up as an avid reader I’ve always been aware of the lack of representation in novels. Yes, I love and relate to Sarah Dessen’s books, but I also want to see books where black, Hispanic and Asian girls get to have romance or go on adventures. We deserve to be so much more than sardonic sidekicks, faint love interests, faithful best friends or tragic inner city youth.
We need diverse books because our heroes and heroines come in all shades.
At Books and Sensibility we are also challenging ourselves, last year 20 percent of our reviewsfeatured books with POC as side or main characters, this year we want to get closer to 50 percent.
To help open up the door and showcase some books you may not know feature diversity, I’ve compiled a short list of books we’ve either read or want to read.
Books with Protagonist of Color / LGBTQ Protagonist
The Paranormal Romance: Living Violet by Jaime Reed
The Steamy New Adult Romance: The Space Between by Victoria H. Smith
The Epistolary Novel: Tears of a Tiger by Sharon M. Draper
The Literary YA Novel: If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan
The Contemporary / Tough Stuff YA: Love is The Higher Law by David Levithan
The Vintage YA: Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher
Books Writtn by Authors of Color / LGBTQ Authors
What are some of your favorite books by authors of color or with protagonist of color ? Please share !