I’ve seen these tags all over my Twitter since the beginning of the year and finally, after about 3 weeks of “can I do this? Does this sound possible? Is it my place to do this?” and other self-critical questions, I decided I want to make this year a year of diverse books. Naturally this started about 20 days ago so I’m a slight bit behind, but I have a huge stack of books that I am looking forward to diving into and reviewing so you all can experience some incredible, diverse works of literature with me.
Starting today, I’ll be participating in Naz @ Read Diverse Books‘s reading challenge #ReadDiverseBooks2017 which is a project that highlights and promotes diverse literature, especially #ownvoices books (including but not limited to main characters (MCs) who are POC, Native/Indigenous, LGBTQ, people with disabilities, non-Christian, and/or any intersection of these groups of marginalized identities). Every review that you post of these books that qualifies earns you 1 point, and you can earn blog badges designed by Aentee from Read At Midnight after earning 5, 10, 20, and 30 points. I have already read & reviewed a really incredible diverse book for Standalone Sunday, Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed, and I can’t wait to pick up more books like this in the future for this challenge!
This Sunday marks the return of #DiverseAThon for the second time! This is my first time participating, and the first year I actually knew this was going on, so I’m really looking forward to giving it a go. This readathon is running from the 22nd through the 29th and is being hosted by Joce, Christina, Simon, Monica, Naz and Mara, who created this team reading goal after a terrible anti-diversity video by another booktuber. Everyone who is joining us has the same mission: support more diverse books!
From Naz’s blog post about the event:
“The goal of Diverse-A-Thon is simply to celebrate diversity in literature by reading diverse books all week and engage in thoughtful discussions on Twitter under the #DiverseAthon hashtag. The readathon will largely remain the same. It is low-stress and there no challenges – just read as many diverse books as you are comfortable reading in 7 days. There will be daily chats on Twitter this time around as well, so be sure to follow the @Diverseathon Twitter account to stay updated on all future news regarding the chats. The chats are honestly the best thing about Diverse-A-Thon, so I will try to make it to as many as possible!”
Signing up with your TBR also counts for the #ReadDiverseBooks2017 challenge, so if you are thinking of doing this, remember to link your post to the original page for a point towards your goal!
I requested quite a few diverse books from NetGalley that I desperately need to read & review this week, so I am super pumped to include them in my Diverse-A-Thon TBR!
Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera
This contemporary YA is about a young Puerto Rican woman who, after coming out as a lesbian to her parents and family, leaves the Bronx for an internship in Portland, Oregon with her favorite author and the “ultimate authority on feminism, women’s bodies, and other gay-sounding stuff.” It’s relatively short at only 193 pages, but is full of powerful and important discussions about feminism, intersectionality, and being true to yourself.
Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson
Jade is a young black woman growing up in a poor neighborhood who believes the only way she’ll find success is if she gets out of there and moves up in the world. Her mother encourages her to take every opportunity she can get, including a scholarship at an affluent (and majority white) private school away from her home. The book brings a timeless narrative into one girl’s mission to prove herself, with compelling discussions about race, privilege, and identity that echoes the feelings of countless young women across the country today.
You’re Welcome, Universe by Whitney Gardner
Julia is a Deaf Indian girl who finds herself on a one-way train ride out to a mainstream high school after using (gorgeous, but illegal) graffiti to cover up a slur written about her best friend on the back of Kingston School for the Deaf. Out in the suburbs, she and her graffiti art take over the town, but soon she discovers she’s not the only artist out there looking to put their mark on the world. Not only does this realistic fiction discuss the common theme of adjusting to life at a new school, but doing so when you’re an outcast at the intersection of disability and race, and does it without shoving it down your throat that she’s “special.” A raw and poignant debut novel, You’re Welcome, Universe is a diverse book that is sure to stand out.
3 is my goal for this week, but if somehow I manage to finish all 3 before the end of the week, I’m also adding Dreadnought by April Daniels (#ownvoices trans MC) and Noteworthy by Riley Redgate (#ownvoices Chinese MC). I can’t wait to jump into all these incredible books!
Are you participating in this reading challenge? Link your TBR in the comments below! Happy blogging!