Tuesday 20 June 2017

Diversity In Books: What You Need To Read & What I Want To Read

When I was doing my research for this post, I realised that I barely, if ever, read any novels with diversity. I'm actually so embarrassed by that. Diversity is important, we talk about being unique and to celebrate our individuality. Yet, there is little reflection of this in our literature, and that's not acceptable. Only recently have I started to notice that YA authors are writing from POC/Non-Caucasian point of views, or including them and LGBQT characters in their story. It should be a norm to have stories that involve people from different races, sexuality, genders etc. because that's life realistically. 

I want to share with you guys 5 books to read if you want to look for something with diversity, but also 5 books I want to read myself this year. 

5 Books You Should Read

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini 
-- POC lead --
Alongside themes about family, loyalty, guilt and redemption, The Kite Runner is a huge eye opener on the turmoil occurring in the Middle East that has and is still affecting the people living there.

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan 
-- LGBQT --
I'll admit it, I rarely read LGBQT books, but this one is in my top five reads and for good reason. Besides being such a great coming of age story, Green and Levithan explore sexuality and how confusing, scary and exciting it can be at such a young age.

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
-- Race/Female Leads/Mental Health --
This was one of the first novels I read in high school that explored racial discrimination and the impact it had on people's daily lives. It also had such empowering female characters, hands down one of those reads that have left an impression on me, even to this day.

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
-- Race --
Lee's novel is one of those that I implore people to read. TKAM speaks volumes on racial discrimination, humanity and respect. Even if you don't read any of the other novels on this list, please read this one!

Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman
-- Race --
For younger readers, Noughts and Crosses, is the perfect read. It's an alternative universe where the blacks are superior to the whites. It's such a powerful love story that depicts the harm when we treat people differently.

5 Books I Want To Read

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alice Saenz
-- LGBQT --
I've told myself to read more LGBQT novels this year, and up first is this story about Aristotle and Dante who are drawn to each other as friends, before discovering much more about themselves and their relationship.

The Colour Purple by Alice Walker
-- Race/Feminism --
Published in 1982, this was a controversial novel addressing coloured women and their life in rural Georgia. It's been censored due to its content, but I can just tell that this will be a profound read.

Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham
-- Race --
Technically this is more of a crime/mystery novel, but the murder centers around a "racial firestorm", so I'm intrigued to see how the depiction of segregation and discrimination is conveyed.

Dear Martin by Nic Stone
Justyce starts a journal to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, recounting his daily life. One day, his friend and himself are confronted by the police and soon Justyce finds himself under attack by the public for the truth about what happened. I'm not surprised to see that this soon to be released YA novel is addressing coloured people and their encounter with law enforcement, after the rise in deaths that have occurred in the US, so I'm holding out to see how this one will go down.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
This has been a super popular read in the YA community now, and much like Dear Martin, it explores police shootings of coloured people and the effects it has on the community.

What Diverse Novels Would You Recommend?

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