Diversity, diversity, diversity! We are living in a time when there are more books about minority people than every before and it's glorious! I love reading about new cultures and perspectives, that's one of the greatest things about books. For a long time books with those perspectives were stifled. But things are changing for the better. These books are becoming more common, they're being marketed more, they're being read by a wider fan base. I want these books to be read, and read a lot.
So I'm putting my money where my mouth is and using my posts here at Middle Grade Minded to post about diverse books (something I've realized we haven't done enough of). This is a list of a bunch of the diverse MG books out or coming out this year. I'm sure I missed bunches, but this should be a pretty good starting point! And next month, I'm planning to start reviewing some of these books. Let's support diversity in a real way. Read them, talk about them!
Have you read any of these? Or plan to? Let me know in the comments!
This seems to have been the most anticipated diverse MG book this year. Lots of chatter all over the place and I can totally see why. 1) the pitch of this book sounds fantastic! It's compared to Jumungi! 2) Putting diversity into fantasy/sci-fi adventures is amazing. Diversity doesn't always have to be an issue or educational book. A cool book with a cool plot that also deals with lots of diversity? Amazing. I'm super pumped to read this book!
Then we have the other side of the coin, a book whose plot is built on issues of race and social class. " A timely and powerful story about a teen girl from a poor neighborhood striving for success, from acclaimed author Renée Watson."
This looks amazing too!
I've heard a lot of great things about this book too! This one is #OwnVoices as well. "A girl with Tourette syndrome starts a new school and tries to hide her quirks in this debut middle-grade novel in verse."
Another diverse book with fantasy elements, rooted in Caribbean folklore (how cool!) This book is a sequel to "Jumbies" which came out last year. If you want to check this one out you might want to start there! "Action-packed storytelling, diverse characters, and inventive twists on Caribbean and West African mythology and fairy tales"
"A Pakistani-American Muslim girl struggles to stay true to her family’s vibrant culture while simultaneously blending in at school after tragedy strikes her community in this sweet and moving middle grade novel"
"Harlem is home to all kinds of kids. Jin sees life passing her by from the window of her family's bodega. Alex wants to help the needy one shelter at a time, but can't tell anyone who she really is. Elvin's living on Harlem's cold, lonely streets, surviving on his own after his grandfather was mysteriously attacked...."
Another sequel. This looks to-die-for cute! "The most fabulous nine-year-old cowgirl in Texas is back in this heartwarming and hilarious sequel to The Magnificent Mya Tibbs: Spirit Week Showdown! Perfect for fans of Clementine and Ivy and Bean."
"A middle grade novel in verse that tells the story of a Cuban-American boy who visits his family’s village in Cuba for the first time—and meets a sister he didn’t know he had."
"The next person who compares Chloe Cho with famous violinist Abigail Yang is going to HEAR it. Chloe has just about had it with people not knowing the difference between someone who's Chinese, Japanese, or Korean. She's had it with people thinking that everything she does well -- getting good grades, winning first chair in the orchestra, etCETera -- are because she's ASIAN...."
Pssst, this one might be by one of our own MGM bloggers! It looks super cool about a deaf girl who befriends her 86-year-old hearing neighbor "Macy's mother... sends her next door to help eighty-six-year-old Iris Gillan, who is also getting ready to move―in her case, into an assisted living facility. Iris can't move a single box on her own and, worse, she doesn't know sign language. How is Macy supposed to understand her? But Iris has stories to tell, and she isn't going to let Macy's deafness stop her."
"An orphaned boy in contemporary Senegal must decide between doing what is right and what is easy as he struggles to keep a promise he made to his dying father."
"For ten-year-old Cadence Jolly, birthdays are a constant reminder of all that has changed since her mother skipped town with dreams of becoming a star. Cadence inherited that musical soul, she can't deny it, but otherwise she couldn't be more different - she's as shy as can be."
"The first contemporary novel about a disorder that bends the lives of ten percent of all teenagers: scoliosis."
"Equal parts madcap road trip, coming-of-age story for an unusual boy, and portrait of a family overcoming a crisis." This one has a main character with autism which would be a really cool perspective to hop into!
"Welcome to Oddity, New Mexico, where normal is odd and odd is normal."
"When two brothers decide to prove how brave they are, everything backfires—literally"
"From debut author and longtime zine-maker Celia C. Perez, The First Rule of Punk is a wry and heartfelt exploration of friendship, finding your place, and learning to rock out like no one's watching. "