I have to admit: whilst I have a lot of diverse books on my shelf, I haven’t read them all, so I’m going to go for ones I have read and love. Some of them might push the “limit” of diversity, which, according to WNDB’s definition is:
[Diversity is] including (but not limited to) LGBTQIA, people of color, gender diversity, people with disabilities, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities.
…but all of them, in my mind, are diverse.
- Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson
This demands a re-read from me, but this novel (probably one of my favourites, if not the favourite of mine) is set in the Amazon, and features many native Indian people (oh my gosh Finn is just the best and my first bookish boy crush no joke).
- The Coroner’s Lunch by Colin Cotterill
In my society, which is southern England, this book is diverse, but I don’t know what it’s like in its original culture: Laos. And also the MC is witty and hilarious and old and he’s great. This book also reflects the Laos culture really well.
- Stig of the Dump by Clive King
The diversity in this book is actually with cave men/young boys. This is a 1960s book, so don’t expect any more “modern” diversity, but I think it’s beginning to show the change in society’s thoughts; the friendship between two very different individuals is the centre of this novel, and their friendship pushes the limits of what is considered “possible” in society; perhaps a reflection by King of real life?
- The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
The main character of this book, Christopher, has Aspberger’s Syndrome, and it was the first book I read which featured a character with this syndrome. You can read my review on my other blog here.
- A Brighter Fear by Kerry Drewery
Lina is from Baghdad; and in 2003, the bombs began to fall. I loved this book; brilliantly diverse, and it made me cry. Read my review here!
- Close Range: Brokeback Mountain and Other Stories by Annie Proulx
Cowboys: doesn’t seem particularly diverse, does it? The stories in this book are brilliantly diverse, especially Brokeback Mountain (obviously, if you’ve heard anything about it). It’s great. I loved it, and the film, and sobbed my eyes out twice.
- Once by Morris Gleitzman
Like Journey to the River Sea, this also demands a re-read, but it’s brilliantly diverse; showing a young Jewish boy in Nazi Germany.
- Between Shades of Grey by Ruta Sepetys
Oh. My. Gosh. This book is also set during WWII (I read a lot of books from these times, and historical fiction), and Lina (yes, there really are two books on the same list whose MCs are awesome females called Lina) is being shipped around Europe and Russia. It shows so many different ethnic and cultural groups and will also metaphorically rip your heart from your chest.
- Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Obviously this one is diverse, and I studied it in secondary school. Although it’s not specifically mentioned, Lennie has a serious mental disability, and the story is mainly about the other characters reacting to it. Really pushing the limits at the time, too.
- Reaching for the Stars by Lola Jaye
Although I don’t remember much of this (I might’ve read it fairly recently, but I read it quickly and didn’t absorb much!) it’s a novella’d autobiography of a young, black, female author living in America trying to get a book deal. I should probably re-read this one, too.
Y’know, I actually found this one pretty hard, looking down my “read” list on GoodReads. Perhaps that’s because I read a lot of older books and not many newly published; I also don’t read too much of diverse authors such as Malorie Blackman (although I did love her Cloud Busting, which I definitely recommend. I had a conversation with my mother as to whether it could be classified as diverse, but we didn’t think so in the end). I think, though, that diversity is definitely making its way into our bookish world.