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Monday, January 19, 2015

Monday Discussion: MLK Jr Day Diverse Books Edition

Over the last year, there has been a huge movement to to address the lack of diversity in children's literature.  The have organized into a campaign known as We Need Diverse Books.

From their official campaign mission statement:
We Need Diverse Books is a grassroots organization created to address the lack of diverse, non-majority narratives in children’s literature. We Need Diverse Books is committed to the ideal that embracing diversity will lead to acceptance, empathy, and ultimately equality. 
We recognize all diverse experiences, including (but not limited to) LGBTQIA, people of color, gender diversity, people with disabilities, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities. Our mission is to promote or amplify diversification efforts and increase visibility for diverse books and authors, with a goal of empowering a wide range of readers in the process. 
In order to accomplish our mission, we reach out to individuals and groups involved in many levels of children’s publishing—including (but not limited to) agents, publishers, authors, distributors, booksellers, librarians, educators, parents, and students.
 I have been following this campaign and been using some of their resources to educate myself, but since I do not work with children (not counting my own), I have not brought it up here on the blog.

But, today seems like a good excuse to start the conversation here, for an adult audience.

So, in honor of the federal Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr holiday, I would like to ask you, readers of this blog, to suggest some of your favorite "diverse" books here on the blog.  Notice diverse is in quotes. As the mission statement above claims, diverse can be anything that is simply not the dominant culture.

Also, please do not feel the need to list books from a million different diversity categories. Rather, let's crowdsource this question and pool together some good adult diverse books titles as a team.

I'll go first.  Here are some of my all time favorite diverse titles and/or authors, with links to my reviews where possible:

Now help me by suggesting some of your favorite "diverse" titles for an adult audience.

For past Monday Discussions click here.


John BPL RA said...

I think the best way for libraries to celebrate MLK is to actually acknowledge and honor the holiday.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing all these links. I was looking for diverse links a few months ago.

Tara BPLteen said...

The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker. It follows the stories of turn-of-last-century Jewish and Syrian immigrants and brings up questions about how much immigration has changed over the last 115 years and how much it hasn't.

Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan. This book also follows several interwoven story lines, all overseen by the voice of "We." Seven LGBTQ teenagers explore their world and search for a place within it as "We" look on. "We" are the gay men and women who have struggled to live our lives on our own terms, who gave our lives to police raids, queer-bashing, and the AIDS epidemic. It is the bodiless voice of "We" that reaches me the most in this book.

Abby said...

I read and really enjoyed Americanah by Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. It focuses on a Nigerian immigrant to America and her experience with American culture and the differences between being black in America and being black in Africa.

I also love anything by Indian-American author Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni.

cdealba said...

I just read Ruth Ozeki's My Year of Meats. The book is set both in America and Japan. Acknowledging and accepting different cultures is a major theme of the book.

Betty said...

Geek Love by Katherine Dunn would definitely qualify as a "diverse" book, I think. The Berwyn Library does not own it.