My goal in reading novels/memoirs is DIVERSITY of authors, characters, and settings. I believe that our community, school, classroom, and home libraries should also offer the opportunity to READ DIVERSELY. I share recently-published diverse novels and memoirs with educators in the hopes that classroom, school, and community libraries will become more diverse and reflect their communities of readers while also introducong characters and authors their readers may and should meet to become more empathetic global citizens.
By "DIVERSITY," I refer to diverse cultures nationalities, ethnicities, races, geographies, religions, ages/generations, socioeconomic status, neurodiversities, physical differences, gender identifications, sexual orientations, etc. I also hope libraries will offer diverse genres and a variety of writing formats, such as prose, graphic, verse, and multi-formatted narratives.
Below I share my reading this year as I attempt to read as diversely as possible. [I do notice that I have read more Upper-Elementary/Middle Grades than YA novels so far this year, basing my determination on the age of the main characters]. My hope is that this example gives librarians, teachers, and parents ideas for creating more diverse reading opportunities.
As an example, these are the most recent novels I have read. This group of novels feature Asian, South Asian, Latinx, Black, Native American, Muslim, Jewish, LGBTQIA, Deaf, and neurodivergent authors and characters; prose, verse, text, epistolary, and multi-formatted writing formats; and sports, historical, realistic, fantasy, and environmental fiction, as well as a variety of topics. My review can be accessed through #TalkingTexts on my Facebook. Also see many of my reviews by topics or genres in the growing BOOK REVIEWS section of this website in the drop-down menu.
COMING UP SHORT by Laurie Morrison; sports fiction THIS IS NOT A DRILL by K.A.Holt; text-message format; LGBTQIA author; heroism WEI TO GO! by Lee Y. Miao: Chinese-American main character; Chinese minor characters; Asian-American author; Hong Kong setting CONSIDER THE OCTOPUS by Gae Polisner and Nora Raleigh Baskin; environmental justice OPERATION DO-OVER by Gordon Korman; time-travel ANYBODY HERE SEEN FRENCHIE? by Leslie Connor; character with autism HAVEN JACOBS SAVES THE PLANET by Barbara Dee; environmental justice WE WERE THE FIRE: BIRMINGHAM 1963 by Sheila Moses; historical fiction; Black author and characters; civil rights LINES OF COURAGE by Jennifer Nielsen: historical fiction, WWI, variety of narrators/characters (French, British, Austrian-Hungarian, German, Russian) male and female adolescents TORNADO BRAIN by Cat Patrick: realistic fiction; neurodivergent main character HEAR ME by Kerry O’Malley Cerra: Deaf character and author GOLDEN GIRL by Reem Faruqi; verse novel; Muslim author; Pakistani-American character; kleptomania; hearing loss RIMA'S REBELLION by Margarita Engle, Poetry Foundation's 2017-2019 Young People's Poet Laureate; YA; verse novel; Cuban-American author and character; historical fiction THE VISITORS by Greg Howard; YA; LGBTQIA author and character; mental health HOW TO FIND WHAT YOU'RE NOT LOOKING FOR by Veera Hiranandani; Jewish main character; Indian-American characters; prejudice TWINS by Varian Johnson; graphic novel; African-American author and characters ATTACK OF THE BLACK RECTANGLES by Amy Sarig King: realistic fiction; censorship THE SEA IN WINTER by Christine Day; Upper Skagit author and Makah-Piscataway character; anxiety/depression LIA PARK AND THE MISSING JEWEL by Jenna Yoon: Korean-American author ad characters; Korea setting; fantasy adventure SWIM TEAM by Johnnie Christmas; graphic novel; Black author; Black characters; sports lit; contains some history WORSER by Jennifer Ziegler: realistic fiction; wordplay SINGING WITH ELEPHANTS by Margarita Engle; verse novel; Latina (Cuban-American) main character and author, Chilean poet character; historical fiction; eco justice A ROVER'S STORY by Jasmine Warga; fantasy IN THE SHADOW OF THE FALLEN TOWERS by Don Brown; YA; graphic novel; 9/11 IT DOESN’T TAKE A GENIUS by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich: Black author; Black characters; Black culture HANDS by Torrey Maldonado;Black character; Black-Latino author; sports fiction; community YUSUF AZEEM IS NOT A HERO by Saadia Faruqi; Pakistani-American author; Muslim-American character; 9/11 PLAY LIKE A GIRL by Misty Williams: graphic novel; memoir; sports lit THE UNTEACHABLES by Gordon Korman. (not a recently-published book, but one I just discovered) JORDAN J AND THE TRUTH ABOUT JORDAN J by K.A. Holt; Book #3 in The Kids Under the Stairs series; multiformatted. THE WOLVES ARE WAITING by Natasha Friend; YA; sexual assault THIRST by Varsha Bajaj: 2022 Global Read-Aloud; Middle Grades Choice; Indian characters; Indian author; Mumbai setting; social justice MERCI SUAREZ PLAYS IT COOL by Meg Medina: Latina author and main character; mental illness (Alzheimer’s) THE ABSOLUTE VALUE OF MIKE by Kathryn Erskine; YA; poverty; identity; Hero's journey GARVEY IN THE DARK by Nikki Grimes; Black character and author; tanka verse RED, WHITE and WHOLE by Rajani LaRocco; verse novel; Indian author; Indian-American character; parental illness; loss • Next To Be Read: MOONWALKING by Zetta Elliott and Lyn Miller-Lachmann ; verse novel EFREN DIVIDED by Ernesto Cisneros; Latino author; Latinx characters; immigration/deportation WINGS IN THE WILD by Margarita Engle; verse novel JUMPER by Carolee Dean; YA ----------------------------- See TALKING TEXTS: A Teacher's Guide to Book Clubs across the Curriculum for creative ways to group books such as these in Book Clubs (Verse Novel Clubs; Graphic Novel Clubs; Historical Fiction Genre Clubs; Character Clubs, Cultural Book Clubs, and thematic Book Clubs) and also see my blog "Choosing Books for Book Club Reading."