In the YA Diversity Book Club, we chat about the latest YA books that celebrate diversity. Our book club includes Sandie @ Teen Lit Rocks, Kristan @ We Heart YA and Kristina @ Gone Pecan. Each month we focus on one book with a book review (our discussion chat) and bonus features, and aim to bring attention to diverse books.
Our book club will be back in a few weeks to share our latest book discussion, but in the meantime some of us are highlighting the diverse books we are looking forward to reading this year! With the attention of the #WNDB campaign I hope we see a great variety of diverse books this year.
My Top 15 Most Anticipated Diverse Titles of 2015:
1. The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson – This debut features a transgender protagonist. David identifies as a girl, and is bullied at school until new kid Leo steps in. I hope this gets a US release! Jan. 1 (UK), David Fickling Books.
2. The Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds – Matt works at a funeral home and wears a suit to work everyday. He’s trying to hold it together after losing his mother, and meanwhile his father has turned to drink. He’s drawn to a tough girl, and hopes she can help take some of his pain away. Jan. 6, Atheneum Books.
3. This Side of Home by Renée Watson – Identical twins Nikki and Maya have always been in sync, even attending the same college. Gentrification in their neighborhood brings some cultural and ethnic identity issues to the surface. Feb. 3, Bloomsbury.
4. Not Otherwise Specified by Hannah Moskowitz – A black bisexual ballerina tries to find her place in the world. This will be my first HM book for sure! March 3, Simon Pulse.
5. Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee – In this adventure, two girls (Samantha is Chinese, Annamae is a runaway slave) leave 1849 Missouri and pose as boys named Sammy and Andy headed for the California Gold Rush. March 17, Putnam Juvenile.
6. Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed – A Pakistani-American girl is forced into an arranged marriage though she falls in love with someone else. March 24, Nancy Paulsen Books.
7. None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio – A girl discovers she’s intersex, and her secret is leaked to the entire school. This debut deals with issues of gender identity. April 7, Balzer & Bray.
8. Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli – A not-openly gay boy struggles with coming out and accepting himself. Everyone says this one is adorable. I have a copy but I think it’s hiding in my teenager’s room. April 7, Balzer & Bray.
9. The Last Leaves Falling by Sarah Benwell – A Japanese teenager deals with his ALS diagnosis, finding support online, but also considering drastic measures when his condition worsens. May 5, Simon & Schuster.
10. Conviction by Kelly Loy Gilbert – This male POV book deals with issues of family and faith. May 19, Disney-Hyperion.
11. Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra, Dhonielle Clayton – This is one of the lighter books on the list, and Tiny Pretty Things as Black Swan meets Pretty Little Liars. It features diverse characters attending an exclusive Manhattan ballet school. May 26, HarperTeen.
12. P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han – (cover art not available yet) I can’t wait to read the sequel to To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. June 2, Simon & Schuster.
13. More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera – Described as part “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” and “Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe” – that’s enough to sell me right there. This debut deals with race, love, loss and sexuality. June 16, Soho Teen.
14. Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon – This debut (gorgeous cover!) is about a girl who is allergic to the outside world. She hasn’t left her house in 17 years, but when a boy moves in next door it has her questioning everything. Sept. 1, Delacorte.
15. The One Thing by Marci Lyn Curtis – (cover art not available yet) Aspiring professional soccer player Maggie lost her sight six months ago, but suddenly she has partial sight, as long as a younger boy named Ben is around. How is this happening? I really want to know. Sept. Disney-Hyperion.
Did any of these books catch your eye? If one of your reading resolutions is to read more diverse books, you may want to join a diverse reading challenge or two. Check out: Dive Into Diversity and/or We Read Diverse Books.
Make sure to visit Teen Lit Rocks to see what diverse titles they can’t wait to read.
Check back later this month for our book club discussion of The Way We Bared Our Souls by Willa Strayhorn. I didn’t include any of the books we have booked for book club on my list, though they are much anticipated as well!