Top Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish and this week’s topic are books that celebrate diversity. This is an important topic as YA books need more diversity from minority characters to LGBT as younger adults need to be exploring diversity in their youth. I on the other hand, haven’t encountered many diverse characters in YA books so that already tells you how badly we need them.
This list is a combination of books that I have read and books that were recommended by bloggers and booktubers that explored diversity or included diverse characters. I hope you enjoy this list and if you have any books that you like to recommend (YA or not) that celebrate diversity, please list them so that we can encourage other readers to read more diversity. Thank you!
1. Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
This is an obvious choice as I have read and reviewed it, and afterwards you heard me mentioning it a number of times already. A high school boy and his coming out story told in his POV, in the meantime he writes to his pen pal, Blue about his insecurities. The romance is really cute and what drove me to read to the end, is finding out the identity of Blue.
2. The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare
Some of you might think this is a strange pick but after meeting an Asian character playing a main role, it only felt right to add this series to the list. I’m referring to Jem one of the Shadowhunters at the London institute. To my memory he is the only diverse character that I met so far as I haven’t read book 3 and 4 yet.
3. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
I have never watched the film or read the book, and as the film stars Emma Watson I’m convinced on reading the book first and watching the DVD afterwards. This book is labeled as a cult-favorite and a coming-of-age story about a group of high schoolers and their journey from adolescence to adulthood.
4. I’ll Give you the Sun by Jandy Nelson
I really need to start reading from this author as her books have been praised and awarded that she has become a very popular contemporary author.
5. Fig by Sarah Elizabeth Schantz
Diversity can also include characters or storylines that focuses on mental illnesses which is why I’m adding this book on the list. This is a new book that came out this year about a girl struggling with her own mental illness and her mother’s schizophrenia.
6. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon
I remember reading this story years ago and was surprised of how it was written in simple language. That’s because it is written in the POV of 15-year-old Christopher Boone who is autistic but a mathematical genius and is obsessed with the character Sherlock Holmes.
I’m adding this book because the main character is an Indian boy and his family making a new home in France, as he studies French cuisine and becomes Europe’s Best Chefs. Both the movie and the book are charming.
Two teenage Mexican boys who meet one summer day and decide to discover the world together while learning more about themselves. It’s rare for me to find a connection towards a character that shared the same thoughts and feelings I had which is why this book has an important place in my heart.
9. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Either you read the book or watched the movie or both, the story explores a group of African American women working as maids during a time when racism and segregation were in place, and a writer who is determined to have their voices heard.
10. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
A story with a cast of Asian women while exploring the relationship between mother and daughter deserves a place on this list. I haven’t read the book yet but to my understanding this is one of the most classic contemporary books written by an Asian author. After finding this on Goodreads I have made it my personal mission to read it this year to explore more stories with Asian cultures and traditions.