books with diversity!

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This week’s TTT is all about books that celebrate diversity–whether by including different nationalities, disabilities, religions, sexual orientation, gender, etc. There’s a noticeable lack of diversity in mainstream books, although it’s starting to grow more. But apparently I haven’t read a lot of diverse books! I need to work on that.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
This book is about two teenagers who fall in love. They also have cancer. But they’re not portrayed as some poor, sickly kids who are defined by their illnesses.

Luna by Julie Anne Peters
I read this book my Freshman year of high school and absolutely loved it. It’s about a transgender teenager. I’ve never read another book like it and I think it really helped define my views on the subject.

Life of Pi by Yann Martel
The main character is Indian! And he studies Islam, Hinduism, and Christianity! He’s also stuck on a boat with a tiger, but that’s less important.

Second Star to the Right by Deborah Hautzig
I haven’t read too many books about eating disorders, but this one felt real. It helped me really understand the mentality of someone who suffers from bulimia.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
This book has a narrator who is depressed and has undergone some other problems (that I’m not going to talk about because of spoilers) and he also has a friend that is gay. It’s emotionally intense and well-written and was adapted into a pretty great movie.

Crank (and pretty much all of Ellen Hopkins)
I know a lot of people are put off by Ellen Hopkins’ books because they’re written in verse, but I love it. The pages fly by and the verse really helps set the mood. You don’t see a lot of YA books about drug addiction. You really only see drugs celebrated–you rarely see the consequences.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
A book about the Holocaust–but it focuses on Germans. I was forced to read a lot of books about the Holocaust in middle school, and they were all about concentration camps. This is a nice change of pace. It shows a different part of the same story.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer
This book is set in the future, but not in America. Cinder is from New Beijing. Scarlet, the main character from the sequel, is French. I love that these characters are from different parts of the world.

Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan
This is the only Levithan I’ve ever read. I read it around the time of Luna and I remember hiding the cover from my parents because I didn’t want them to know I was reading about a gay couple. The world in this book is different, though–everyone is accepting of everyone else. It’s wonderful and inspiring.

An Abundance of Katherines & Paper Towns by John Green
Both of these books feature side characters of various ethnic backgrounds that aren’t shied away from, but I wish that it had been one of the main characters.



  1. Jimmy Morey
    July 23, 2015

    Half these books are on my to-read list but I did read Luna earlier this year. I love how maturely it handles the subject, even if it was a slow read at times. If you want another book about trans teens you should read Parrotfish by Ellen Wittlinger. It's written from the perspective of a transgender boy having a hard time transitioning at his high school. It's not as mature as Luna but it's much more upbeat.

  2. Sue Holmes
    July 26, 2015

    Ellen Hopkins books are amazing. The verse actually makes the book stand out. Crank is still my favourite, but oh so emotionally hard to read, especially knowing it's a true story. Great list. My TTT


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