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Now, what is a diverse book, exactly? I’m going to take a leaf out of Cait’s book here and steal the definition from the We Need Diverse Books website. They say this: “We recognise all diverse experiences, including (but not limited to) LGBTQIA, people of colour, gender diversity, people with disabilities, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities.” Okay then.
The whole book is centered around the idea that Craig, our MC, has depression, and he ends up in a mental hospital after he calls a suicide hotline. And, for being a book about depression, it’s not depressing.
The Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan.
We have, off the top of my head, a native American (Piper), a Chinese-Canadian (Frank), a African-American (Hazel), someone who’s gay and Italian (Nico), a Puerto Rican (Reyna), and a Latin American (Leo). Plus everyone but Frank has ADHD and dyslexia.
Scarlett Undercover by Jennifer Latham
The whole cast of main characters are Muslim, and a lot of the side characters are, too.
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
So, like half of these characters are from the Moon (how more diverse can you get?), but other than that, we’ve got characters who are Asian, French, African, and I’m pretty sure more that I just can’t think of right now.
The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare
Really, the whole series was pretty diverse, but the reason I chose this one was because, well, it’s Magnus (also, I had the picture readily available and didn’t have to hunt for it). Magnus Bane is…well, Magnus Bane, which means he flirts with anyone and everyone. He’s the Captain Jack Harkness of the Shadowhunter series.
Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper
Melody has cerebral palsy, and there are other characters, too. There’s a girl with Down Syndrome and another girl with Autism, stuff like that. This book is really just all-around fantastic.
The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B
This book is about OCD and growing up. It really is. And also superheroes, but that doesn’t really have anything to do with this topic, but hey.
The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
How can a book about vampires be diverse, you ask. Aren’t they all like white and red-eyed? In this world, no. They only go pale if they don’t have blood. Allie, the MC, is Asian. And she could also quite easily kick your butt even when she wasn’t a vampire. Basically, she’s awesome.
Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell
This book is about an Indian girl stranded alone on an island. This book gave twelve-year-old me many daydreams about living by your wits all alone. Funnily enough, my daydreams involved a treehouse in the forest with no threats.
Ms. Marvel by Wilson and Alphona
I’m sorry, I know this is a comic book and all, but I couldn’t not mention it because I love and adore Kamala Khan. She is a teenage nerd who writes fanfiction and reads comics and just so happens to be a superhero.
So, that’s my list. Coming up with this list has shown me how few diverse, really diverse, books I’ve read. I need to get better about that, and start reading more. It’s not like I say “oh, I don’t want to read this because the MC is something other that white American”, it’s just that there are too few.