It’s funny because before the diversity in book discussion arose, I never really thought about it much. On my shelves are a whole heap of paranormal books that feature vampires, werewolves, angels/demons, shadow hunters, aliens and the like but how many of them actually explore other cultures, subgroups and sexual orientations at a deeper level?
I think reading widely and diversely is important for shaping and opening our mind to different thoughts, opinions, cultures and practices and that’s what book diversity is about. That’s why I support this movement and find it so important that people are taking notice.
Being asian myself, there is a huge lack of books that feature asian characters and even main characters at their core. I have read books that center on cultural fiction that obviously do it well, but in YA literature there is a massive lack of exploring even other cultures. Even ones that do touch on other cultures or even LGBT fiction, tend to stereotype them often come off as half-baked to the reader.
Here are some of the diverse books that I recommend (and do it well):
The Blood of Eden series by Julie Kagawa is a great vampire series, with Allison Sekemoto, an asian katana wielding vampire as it’s main character, and What Kills Me by Wynne Channing is a great indie book about a sassy asian vampire Zee who has some great humour.
The Bronze Horseman series by Paullina Simmons is one of my favourite historical romances that is set in wartime Russia and A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini is one of my favourite books set in Afghanistan who gut-wrenchingly shows us two women who are oppressed.
Holocaust books such as The Boy in Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak and recently the YA release The Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman are also diverse, being set in Nazi Germany.
Have you read any of these books? What diverse books do you recommend?