Today I’ll be giving you guys a couple YA and Middle Grade diverse book recommendations! This year is all about reading diversely and I wanted to share some of my favourite diverse books with y’all! Let’s get into it!
1 | We Were Liars by E.Lockhart
Not only was this book flippin’ amazing and really good at making you cry, it also is diverse! The main character’s love interest is Native American and the main character herself has severe mental illness. We Were Liars is a sort of creepy, mysterious contemporary that isn’t light and fluffy at all. The ending is super intense and sad, and I was crying like a baby. We Were Liars is diverse in characters and plot and is just a very emotional read. Definitely pick this book up if you like darker contemporary’s or mental illness books, or rather, if you just want a book with an awesome plot twist!
2 | Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
This book is so diverse and a lot different to most books I’ve read before, even though it was pretty cliche at times. It was different in terms of characters, setting and the magic system, and it was a really enjoyable read. The characters are of a middle-eastern race, or at least those are the vibes I’m getting, and the setting seems to be in a fantastical middle-eastern desert. It also had a bit of a western-y vibe to it, and it was great book. I’m so excited to read the sequel! For a more in depth review, click here!
3 | Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
Everything, Everything is diverse as well as cliche. It has an Japanese/Native American main character as well as a couple diverse side characters. Although the story has its typical YA troupes, it is also written beautifully, has an interesting ‘illness’ involved and has many illustrations throughout the novel. For a more in depth review, click here!
4 | The Roxy Ran Series by Tiffiny Hall
I remember reading the first book in this trilogy when I was in (I think!!) Year 5. This is considered a middle grade novel, so that’s why I read it so young. I know I love the first book, White Ninja, and bought all the rest of the books, even though I have yet to read them to this day. However, this book has an Asian main character and family (I don’t remember if they were Chinese or Japanese or something else!) and the background to the story was martial arts, ninjas etc, which is kind of uncommon in popular literature. I just remember loving the first book and would consider reading it again; if I had enough time!
5 | Trash by Andy Mulligan
I read Trash in Year 7 for school and I remember actually liking it. It was probably my favourite school book up until this year, and I think the story was so impactful and necessary. The YA “dystopian/true to life” novel is set in some Third World country like Manila, Phillipines, in the not-so-distant future. It follows three dumpsite boys on their journey to solve a mystery and survive poverty. It is very different to the usual YA books you read, and I think it will be a great diverse read to delve into this year.
I hope you got a few recommendations from that and continue reading diversely!