DIVERSITY IN BOOKS ~ LET’S HAVE A CHAT

So diversity is a thing that is everywhere and  but not a common theme found in most book. Why is that?

Today I want to talk about what diversity is, why diversity in books is important, how it can be achieved (its super easy) and my favourite characters I’ve come across in books!

What is diversity?

Diversity is very easy to understand, if something is considered diverse it will will involve more than one type of person. It can include gender, race, heritage, religion, sexuality, skin colour, disabilities, culture, age, Lgbtq+, and many more!

Unfortunately when I was growing up and even now the main characters in books are  straight white males and  straight white females. Its predicable, boring, not inclusive at all and frankly if I have to hear how pale someones skin is one more time, I swear to god.

Why it is important?

Why do you think it is important? Often enough I will see myself in a book, female & white with brown hair. With that I can relate to a character to a certain degree but what about everyone else who isn’t white and female.

What about brown women or gay women, or transgender women, or muslim women, or pansexual women, or women who live in un-westernised cultures,  or disabled women or every other type of women out there.

And all these examples go for men too.

Now imagine not being represented in one of your favourite forms of entertainment, maybe you aren’t already.

How can I get diverse characters?

Write them.

Told you it was easy.

Now if you don’t write then it gets more difficult and its one of my many missions this year to find more diverse and interesting books about all types of women and men from around the world.

Favourite characters

This is the fun bit, I get to name some obvious and not so obvious ones!

 

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1. Katniss. Hunger Games By Suzanne Collins 

Some people are aware of this but Katniss is actually described as a native american, with brown skin and is not fully abled as she is deaf in one ear. As well as that Peeta has lost a whole leg and is classified as disabled. Too bad the movies took all those parts out!

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2. Delilah. Flywheel By Erin Gough 

Why is it easier for authors to write about male’s in the Lgbtq+ community rather than  the females? Delilah is dealing with some family struggles, her father has gone away and is running the cafe by herself and school is piling on top her, but not only that, she is gay and doesn’t know what to do. This book deals with a lot surrounding pressures from family, friends and romantically. It also deals with how families can react badly to this because of their strict culture.

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3. Darcy. Afterworlds By Scott Westerfeld. 

This book is so so great at being positive and accepting. Not only is the female character gay which I will touch on later, she is Indian. The whole gay thing doesn’t really play a huge part in this story, she just is and I think there is half a chapter dedicated to it and another where her family accepts her wholeheartedly for who she is and it makes my heart happy.

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4. Simon. Simon vs the homosapiens agenda By Becky Albertalli. 

Gay teenage boy about accepting himself for who he is, realising who his real friends are, finding his first love, dealing with bulling and blackmailing, and coping with his parents.
Its a good first step book to launch yourself in to diverse books! Full review here!

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5. Nudge. Maximum Ride By James Patterson.

So in this book I read when I was 13 there is a character called Nudge, who is brown which is great and progressive for the time it was published (2005). Even though that is great and she is such a positive and happy character, in the whole book with 7 main characters and a series of bad guys and people they meet, she is the only POC I remember reading about. So its love and hate.

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6. George. George by Alex Gino. 

George, also know as Melissa is a 10 year old transgender girl who is trying to figure herself in this cisgendered, herto-normative world that we live in. Even though it is middle grade, this is one of the most important books I have read it a while. It has so much heart and I want everyone to read this book!

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7. Audrey. Finding Audrey By Sophie Kinsella. 

This book is aimed at the younger viewer granted so take the writing with a grain of salt. Its a book about mental illness, and its the only book about mental illness that I think is done properly. Audrey suffers from anxiety attacks, really big anxiety and this book goes through the ways she is battling them. It shows how her family is responding and acting around her, how her school responded, how medication helps and can improve and speaking to a professional really can improve their mental suability. Full review here!

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8. Ava Lavender. The strange and beautiful sorrows of Ava Lavender By Leslye Walton. (Tigger warning)

So not really the most obvious book to chose as it is about a girl with wings, but there is a scene in the end of this book that is a metaphor for a girl who is a survivor of a rape sense. Having characters of such a twisted act is important for those who have survived and those who know and those who want to be informed.

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9. Every god-dammed character. Beauty Queens By Libba Bray. 

There are Gay and bisexual characters, where was characters of different race, there was a Transgender female. All of these people are proud of who they are and are spoken about in a positive light as well as education being involved. There such a thing as perfection in a book. I have a review if you want my full spiel. Full review here!

Thats all I can truely think of right now, which is kinda of depressing. I am in the middle of doing some research on more diverse book that i can buy and read. So if you have any suggestions at all whatsoever please tell me about them so I can read them!

I hope you have enjoyed this slightly different post, I like thinking outside the box for this blog, makes it more interesting and let me know your thoughts!

Until the next time I read a book

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Chelsie xxx

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12 thoughts on “DIVERSITY IN BOOKS ~ LET’S HAVE A CHAT

  1. Ive bookmarked the post so I can come back to it often and check off books as I read them. Diversity is such an issue even in India. South Indians are ignored and even characters that are South Indian speak Hindi and live in the north. It’s annoying. I love this post that you’ve done. It irks me that when I read books abroad I can’t connect with most of the characters because while Muslims are acknowledged Hindus are ignored. And South Indians are ignored. It’s heartbreaking. I’m quite curious about Kinsella’s book. I thought she only wrote commercial “chick lit”

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    • aw so sweet. That must be really hard not being represented in modern day media. I mean because it’s not just books, it’s Tv and film as well. I can understand from a sexuality standpoint but not seeing or reading about an entire race must be really discouraging? I can even began to imagine what that is like. You’re right though, I have read one books about an Indian women and it was in a western setting.
      Kinsella normally writes new adult contemporary so this is a change. It’s marketed at YA but I felt it was slightly middle grade as well. Thank you for your comment and insight.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a great post- with regard to what you were saying about writing diverse characters, I’ve been trying to do that. Well, not so much trying, for me characters have a will of their own and turn out however they want- if they end up being a different race then that’s just the way it is. Most recently, for example, I realised the reason why a character was acting a certain way around another guy was cos they were gay. It’ll sound weird, but it didn’t occur to me until I was writing it. Also, it’s a bit different cos I write fantasy, so when I’m creating the world, making someone a certain race or sexuality doesn’t necessarily have the same connotations as it would in our world. (Sorry bit rambly, I just thought it was an interesting point!)

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    • That’s a really good start. Just letting the characters flow and present themselves to you is a really interesting way of putting it. When I used to write more often I would make my character chart sheet and try and put something diverse into each character so they could be more relatable to a wider range of people. It did mean I had to do research on what that kind of person was like but I feel like it was worth it. Thank you for your reply 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What a great idea for a discussion! Diversity feels very rare in books these days. You wouldn’t believe how many straight white female characters I’ve read O_O I agree about the pale skin! Esp. when its described as milk. I like the books you’ve selected – need to reread Ava Lavender at some point! Simon Vs. Homosapiens Agenda was such a cute and funny read 🙂

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    • Thank you! Yeah it really doesn’t seem all the difficult to create diverse and interesting characters! Oh I think I could believe it, I have read far too many myself!
      Describing skin like milk is pretty horrible and gross! Ava was pretty intense in some parts I found and I do want to re-read it at some point this year!

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  4. Yes, diversity really adds more excitement to books. Too often main characters were not “straight, white males/females.” I was like, “I wanna read about other cultural representations, too!” You’ve put some good books here, maybe I’ll add these to my TBR list! Anyway, thanks for following my blog!

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  5. Pingback: Liebster Award! – betweenthebookshelves

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