We Need Diverse Books!

Diversity is important: in books, movies, video games, and any other media that we consume. This diversity is validation: it shouts "we are here!" and shows that all experiences deserve to be explored and memorialized, especially in fiction. Unfortunately, the experiences of QUILTBAG individuals, people of color, disabled or differently-abled individuals, and other minorities are seriously lacking in a lot of this media.

This list is my collection of books that I have read and reviewed that, I personally believe, fit into this pro-diversity effort. I have read all of these books but have not reviewed them all. Some of them are comics. Of course, this list I've made here is far from complete and will be added to as time goes on. If you would like to learn more about the Diverse Books initiative, or to find even more books, please visit their website, tumblr, twitter, or instagram for more information.

In order for a book to be placed under a particular title, there needs to be a main or very prominent character that fits that criteria. Side characters do not count. Diversity in books should be there for people who previously have been excluded from good, non-hurtful or triggering media rather than as a chance to check off a box.

I have added some footnotes to certain books that I feel I need to describe regarding their placement. These are marked with roman numerals corresponding with the related book title and can be found at the end of this post.

POC Characters and/or Authors
The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson
Legend series by Marie Lu (Prodigy)
If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan
Does My Head Look Big In This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah
Orchards by Holly Thompson
Cleopatra's Moon by Vicky Alvear Shecter (I)
The Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer (II)
The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins (III)
Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie
Ms. Marvel (Kamala Khan)
The Midas Flesh Vol. 1

QUILTBAG Characters
The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson
Rage: A Love Story by Julie Anne Peters
The Difference Between You and Me by Madeline George
If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan
Gender/ Sex
Luna by Julie Anne Peters
None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio

Class differences/ classism
The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson
The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins
Winter's Bone by Daniel Woodrell

Does My Head Look Big In This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah
Ms. Marvel (Kamala Khan)
The Midas Flesh Vol. 1

Fat people/ differing body types/ body image
Starstruck by Cyn Balog

Mental illness, disabilities
Get Well Soon by Julie Halpern (mental hospital stay)
Cut by Patricia McCormick (cutting)
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder)

(I) As there is some debate regarding Cleopatra's race and appearance, I am adding this partially-fictitious account of her daughter's life to this list as she very well could have been a woman of color. Please keep this in mind if you choose to read this. I read the book a few years ago and cannot recall if Selena is described as a woman of color or not.
(II) In the first Artemis Fowl book Holly Short, the deuteragonist, is described as having "nut brown skin." Unfortunately, this description was not honored for the graphic novels nor for the back cover of the first book in the Disney Hyperion edition.
(III) Katniss Everdeen is described as having grey eyes, dark hair, and olive skin. I have seen many people interpret her as a woman of color despite the fact that Jennifer Lawrence, the actress who plays her in the film version, is a white woman, and so I have included the books on this list.

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