There are lots of (but not enough!) diverse (here including, but not limited to, books featuring PoC, minority ethnic groups and religions, QUILTBAG characters, disabled characters, non-neurotypical characters, characters from non-middle- or upper-classes, etc.) books out there, but they’re not always easy to find, for a number of reasons.
First is that the industry still frequently whitewashes and erases disability and sexuality on covers, which means that it’s often not obvious from the exterior of a book that said book is not about some cishet, neurotypical white kids.
Second is that a lot (but definitely not ALL) of these books are not super-commercial and mass-marketed the way something like The Hunger Games would be. When there are so many books getting shoved in your face every time you walk past bookstore windows, it can be hard to pick out anything that isn’t in a fancy pyramid,
Third is that, depending on where you live, the bookstores and/or libraries to which you have access may not carry any such books, which means you’re not seeing any physical copies of such books. That’s definitely the case for me.
Luckily, if you’re reading this, you obviously have access to the Internet, where live many diverse books. And luckily, a lot of well-read people have put a lot of time and effort into putting together lists of diverse books and places to find diverse books that are almost all updated constantly.
Here’s a round up of the ones I check regularly, in no particular order!
This one is great because it features not only a fantastic list of already-published recommendations, but also lists of links to blogs that review QUILTBAG books, authors and editors seeking QUILTBAG books, and upcoming QUILTBAG books.
This is a fairly comprehensive list of places where you can find lists and reviews of diverse books by type of diversity (e.g., disability, LGBTQIA, Latino, etc.), which is great if you’re looking for books that feature a specific type of diversity.
This is a list of YA, Middle Grade, and non-erotic NA featuring LGBTQIA+ characters. It’s divided up into subcategories, so if you’re looking for something specific (e.g., intersex characters, bisexual characters, asexual characters, etc.), this is a great place to start!
This can be kind of hit-or-miss, as some of the lists are better than others in terms of the types of representation they feature. While the other places to find diverse books on this list are all curated by people who are generally very good at recommending only books that feature good representation of diversity (i.e., not racist, ableist, homophobic, etc.), you’re not guaranteed that here. That said, a lot of the lists are very good, and it’s a great jumping off point!
Diversity in YA regularly posts lists of diverse YA fiction. Some of their more recent lists include the ‘Gay without the Gay Angst’ series, ‘Notable Novels for Teens about the Arab World’, ’10 Diverse YA Historical Books About Girls’, and ’10 YA Books About African American Teens by African American Writers’. Definitely worth a browse!
Where do you go to find diverse books? Share links in the comments!