Thursday, May 01, 2014

We Need Diverse Books

Today is the official kickoff day of We Need Diverse Books campaign.  As long time readers know, I am the product a several generations of multicultural, multiracial marriage. Having stories that represent the breadth of experience, in my family and in others, well, it seems like a no brainer.  Not everyone has the time, access, or ability to travel the world, make sure they meet more people than just the ones they already know, but the easiest, cheapest way to travel the world, the past, the present, and many different futures is through books.  There are all sorts of studies about how reading makes you more empathetic, more aware of the nuances of the world, provides a safe space to ponder encountering people from other cultures, planets or species. The folks at We Need Diverse Books are putting together some great lists of diverse books, but I thought I'd share some of the ones I've read over the last few months. Just a note, the campaign grew out of the kidlit community, some of the books listed below are not kidlit.  But I enjoyed them all. 
Fake ID by Lamar Giles - Teen and his family are in Witness Protection, but he discovers the latest town they've moved to might be harboring more secrets than his family is.
Ask the Passengers by A.S. King - Teen girl ponders the nature of her sexual identity in small town PA. 
Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass by Meg Medina - Teen girl at a new school finds she is for some reason the target of a bully.
I'll Catch You by Farrah Rochon - A woman making a career switch to sports agent goes after a running back with a publicity problem.
Speak of the Devil by Allison Leotta - A DC prosecutor gets a case that starts as a brothel raid, but turns out to involve much more.
Secret by Brigid Kemmerer - Teen boy's elemental abilities aren't his only secret.  He has been pretending to date a girl.  But maybe both of them deserve more than that.