I was super excited when Zaheerah @ Reading and Review tagged me to do this tag created by Nazahet @ Read Diverse Books! I’m always up for diverse books and actively try to read more widely, and judging from this tag, I think I generally succeeded!
Anyway! There was only one prompt I had trouble finding a book for, but it sent me on this fun scavenger hunt on Goodreads, so I didn’t mind at all. The more diverse books we have, the better, right? Here we go. 🙂
A Book Starring a Lesbian Character
Seventeen-year-old Sahar has been in love with her best friend, Nasrin, since they were six. They’ve shared stolen kisses and romantic promises. But Iran is a dangerous place for two girls in love—Sahar and Nasrin could be beaten, imprisoned, even executed if their relationship came to light.
So they carry on in secret—until Nasrin’s parents announce that they’ve arranged for her marriage. Nasrin tries to persuade Sahar that they can go on as they have been, only now with new comforts provided by the decent, well-to-do doctor Nasrin will marry.
If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan. It touches upon transgender themes but doesn’t delve into these issues that much, because at the heart of it, this book is about a girl coming to terms with her sexuality while living in a very oppressive community.
A Book with a Muslim Protagonist
Naila’s conservative immigrant parents have always said the same thing: She may choose what to study, how to wear her hair, and what to be when she grows up—but they will choose her husband. Following their cultural tradition, they will plan an arranged marriage for her. And until then, dating—even friendship with a boy—is forbidden.
When Naila breaks their rule by falling in love with Saif, her parents are livid. Convinced she has forgotten who she truly is, they travel to Pakistan to visit relatives and explore their roots. But Naila’s vacation turns into a nightmare when she learns that plans have changed—her parents have found her a husband and they want her to marry him, now!
Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed. It must be said though that this book is more about culture than about religion — I don’t remember religion being mentioned that much (although feel free to correct me if I’m wrong!).
A Book Set in Latin America
When Kino, an Indian pearl-diver, finds ‘the Pearl of the world’ he believes that his life will be magically transformed. He will marry Juana in church and their little boy, Coyotito, will be able to attend school. Obsessed by his dreams, Kino is blind to the greed, fear and even violence the pearl arouses in him and his neighbours. Written with haunting simplicity and lyrical simplicity, The Pearl sets the values of the civilized world against those of the primitive and finds them tragically inadequate.
Going with a classic for this one with The Pearl by John Steinbeck! I read this quite early in school, though I don’t remember exactly when. I’ll be honest — I also can’t remember anything except that the ending shocked me. Sorry. 😛
A Book About a Person With a Disability
Parker Grant doesn’t need 20/20 vision to see right through you. That’s why she created the Rules: Don’t treat her any differently just because she’s blind, and never take advantage. There will be no second chances. Just ask Scott Kilpatrick, the boy who broke her heart.
When Scott suddenly reappears in her life after being gone for years, Parker knows there’s only one way to react—shun him so hard it hurts. She has enough on her mind already, like trying out for the track team (that’s right, her eyes don’t work but her legs still do), doling out tough-love advice to her painfully naive classmates, and giving herself gold stars for every day she hasn’t cried since her dad’s death three months ago. But avoiding her past quickly proves impossible, and the more Parker learns about what really happened—both with Scott, and her dad—the more she starts to question if things are always as they seem. Maybe, just maybe, some Rules are meant to be broken.
Not If I See You First by Eric Lindstrom. It actually deals with disability in quite a sensitive way, too — Parker is quite the tough badass but we get to see her perspective about her own disability change with growth.
A Science-Fiction or Fantasy Book With a POC Protagonist
Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of death and destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire…
But Akaran has its own secrets—thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger.
The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Choksi. The whole world is based on Indian mythology, so the characters are all technically POC, though issues of race aren’t really a thing in this book.
A Book Written by an Indigenous or Native Author
“There will come a day when a thousand Illegals descend on your detention centres. Boomers will breach the walls. Skychangers will send lightning to strike you all down from above, and Rumblers will open the earth to swallow you up from below… And when that day comes, Justin Connor, think of me.”
Ashala Wolf has been captured by Chief Administrator Neville Rose. A man who is intent on destroying Ashala’s Tribe — the runaway Illegals hiding in the Firstwood. Injured and vulnerable and with her Sleepwalker ability blocked, Ashala is forced to succumb to the machine that will pull secrets from her mind. And right beside her is Justin Connor, her betrayer, watching her every move.
Will the Tribe survive the interrogation of Ashala Wolf?
The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf by Ambelin Kwaymullina. This is the only book on this tag that I haven’t read yet and I’m actually super proud of myself for finding it! It sounds right up my alley — it’s apparently a dystopian novel set 300 years into the future — and still answers the prompt quite nicely. ❤
A Book Set in South Asia
Noor has lived all of her fourteen years in the fifteen lanes of Mumbai’s red light district. Born into a brothel, she is destined for the same fate as her mother: a desperate life trapped in the city’s sex trade. She must act soon to have any chance of escaping this grim future.
Across the sprawling city, fifteen-year-old Grace enjoys a life of privilege. Her father, the CEO of one of India’s largest international banks, has brought his family to Mumbai where they live in unparalleled luxury. But Grace’s seemingly perfect life is shattered when she becomes a victim of a cruel online attack.
When their paths intersect, Noor and Grace will be changed forever. Can two girls living in vastly different worlds find a common path?
Fifteen Lanes by S. J. Laidlaw. This book delves into the nitty-gritty of what it’s like to live in the slums of India through the eyes of a prostitute’s daughter, and compares and contrasts it with the experiences of a white girl who comes from a rich family.
A Book with a Biracial Protagonist
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed.
But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister’s ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.
To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. Lara Jean is half-Korean and half-white, though to be honest I do feel like this book would read exactly the same if she was fully white, haha. Culture or race didn’t take centre stage at all in this book (or its sequel).
A Book Starring a Transgender Character or Transgender Issues
When people look at George, they think they see a boy. But she knows she’s not a boy. She knows she’s a girl.
George thinks she’ll have to keep this a secret forever. Then her teacher announces that their class play is going to be Charlotte’s Web. George really, really, REALLY wants to play Charlotte. But the teacher says she can’t even try out for the part… because she’s a boy.
With the help of her best friend, Kelly, George comes up with a plan. Not just so she can be Charlotte — but so everyone can know who she is, once and for all.
George by Alex Gino. It’s more a middle grade book but I love how sincere the voice of the protagonist is. It’s also written by a genderqueer author.
- Ari @ The Daydreaming Bookworm
- Joyce @ The Book Harpy
- Gabrielle @ ReadFromReality
- Becca @ Becca and Books
- Sushmita @ Fervently Curious
- Lois @ My Midnight Musing
- Sara @ Freadom Library
- Katherine @ Fabled Haven
- Jenna @ Fictional Neverland
- Louise @ Genie Reads
- Liam @ Hey Ashers!
- Beth @ Reading Every Night
- Marie @ Drizzle and Hurricane Books
- Lauren @ Wonderless Reviews
… and you! If you think you’ve read enough books to answer this tag, or if you want to do a TBR version of it, please do so. Doing this tag made me realise that I could put a bit more effort into reading more books in these categories, and I would love to see what else is out there. 🙂