Happy Monday guys! It’s Aila here, with my first post on Happy Indulgence. *cue clapping and confetti* This discussion post is something that I’ve been meaning to get off my back for a while, and you’ve probably heard me talking about it in bits and pieces throughout the blogging community.
Recently, the book community has been spreading the word about diverse books, which is great stuff! With the involvements of the We Need Diverse Books Campaign and numerous advocaters around the world, I believe that we are making a tremendous difference in the way Children’s Literature is written. The best part is the involvement of bloggers and readers, who can spread awareness in the littlest ways: reviewing different diverse books, checking them them out at the library, or even mentioning about it in conversations.
But let’s take a step back for a second, shall we? Some absolutely amazing books I’ve read featuring diverse characters this year include debut author Aisha Saeed’s Written in the Stars starring an endearing Pakistani main character, Benjamin Alire Sáenz’s Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe with its romantic story of two Hispanic boys finding love, and another debut by Nichola Yoon, Everything, Everything, where the main character is half Asian, half African-American, and has an immunodefiency disorder.
I totally recommend all three of these books to all kinds of readers, but do you see any common trends there? Whoa, whoa, whoa – they’re all contemporary!
This is probably not the first post you’ve seen about diverse books; it’s probably closer to the millionth. But this isn’t a post to ask about whether we should read diverse books, or how to spread awareness, or how cultures/sexualities can be identified incorrectly in such books. (although they’re all great discussions!) This is a request – no, a PLEA, an entreaty for diverse books to expand their wings and fly, fly, fly away to different genres.
Imagine it! What if we follow the adventures of a girl with bipolar disorder who tries to fulfill a prophecy meant for her to save the world? Or two girls trapped in a spaceship, trying to find a way out while the time is ticking and also discovering their love? Or a gender-fluid character trying to break down the caste system in historical India? The list goes on and on, and the ideas keep on flowing. It just goes to show how there are no limitations for diverse books. There will always be another genre, setting, culture to expand on, which provides for more stories and books, which also means appealing to a larger audience, which means more reading, which means the world is a happy place and Aila is satisfied.
This post basically stems from the fact that I’m not a huge contemporary reader. I have a couple of favorites from that genre, I’ll enjoy it, but I like to read to escape from the world I’m in. (Which fantasy and science fiction books can accomplish really well.) While the contemporary genre is getting numerous diverse books written under their wing, I feel as if there’s so much more opportunities to explore it in other genres.
With that, I’ll leave you with a couple of diverse books set nowhere near our modern, realistic world.
(Click on title to add to Goodreads!)
- Otherbound by Corinne Duyvis is one starring a bisexual character and a POC, that was recently reviewed on Happy Indulgence, which you can view here.
- The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh is beautifully written and features characters amidst an Arabian backdrop.
- This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner has a main character who is half-black and is trying to prevent war in the planet. Review.
- Carry On by Rainbow Rowell has two boys on opposite sides of destiny find their way to each other.
And also some sneak-peeks of upcoming diverse books!
- Soundless by Richelle Mead, coming out 10 Nov 2015, is a fantasy infused with Chinese folklore.
- Passenger by Alexandra Bracken, coming out 5 Jan 2016, includes a POC love interest who may be from another time period.
- The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig, coming out 16 Feb 2016, starrs a half-Asian main character traveling across space and time with her crew, including a cute Persian thief.
- Timekeeper by Tara Sim, coming out sometime in 2016, has a steampunk genre and two boys that fall in love despite all odds.
What are some diverse books that you’ve read and enjoyed? What about something you’d like to see happening with this campaign going on?