2018 Diverse Voices Reading Challenge

Happy New Year book lovers!  When you make your New Year’s resolutions, try injecting more diversity into your reading life. 

Diversity is all around us, but we often fail to find it in books and other media.  Check out my 2018 Diverse Voices Reading Challenge and recommendations to kickstart your journey.  This challenge is for readers of all ages!   

If you want more information about reading about diversity, please leave a comment or check out my Own Voices Book Recs page.




When You Read About Diversity, Choose “Own Voices”

What Even Are “Own Voices”?

For the purpose of this blog, “Own Voices” refers to any narrative about a marginalised group written by a member of that group.

Why Should I Bother Reading Own Voices?

Reading Own Voices narratives are the best way to expand your awareness of diverse stories, because the author is writing from their own experience as a member of a marginalised group.

Celebrating Own Voices stories is also important because it raises up voices that have historically been silenced.

So Does That Mean Non-Own Voices Stories Are Bad?

Not necessarily.  But the onus is on you as a reader to question whether the representation being given is educated and sensitive, rather than reinforcing inaccurate stereotypes.




Recommendations to Get You Started…

A book with a ‘non-white’ gay, lesbian or trans main character

More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera | young adult contemporary fiction, gay Latino protagonist
My Review | Add on Goodreads

For Today I Am A Boy by Kim Fu | contemporary adult fiction, Chinese-American transgender protagonist
My Review |Add on Goodreads

A book told from the perspective of someone with a disability

El Deafo by Cece Bell | junior graphic novel based on author’s childhood, deaf protagonist
My Review | Add on Goodreads

A Time to Dance by Padma Venkatraman | junior fiction, Indian protagonist is an amputee
My Review Add on Goodreads

A book told from the perspective of a refugee

They Cannot Take the Sky edited by Michael Green | short memoir anthology from refugees in Australian detention centres
Add on Goodreads

The Bone Sparrow by Zana Fraillon | junior fiction, protagonist was born in an Australian detention centre
My Review | Add on Goodreads

A book with a main character who is experiencing poverty

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie | young adult fiction, Native American protagonist
My Review | Add on Goodreads

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas | young adult fiction, POC protagonist, deals with racism and police brutality
Add on Goodreads

A memoir by an author with a terminal illness

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi | memoir by American neurosurgeon diagnosed with terminal lung cancer
Add on Goodreads

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby | memoir by French author with locked-in-syndrome
My ReviewAdd on Goodreads

A book about feminism by a “non-white” author

Muslim Girl: A Coming of Age by Amani Al-Khatahtbeh | American Muslim writer, feminist activist
Add on Goodreads

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozie Adiche | essay exploring gender politics
My Review | Add on Goodreads

A book by an author who observes different religious and cultural traditions than you

Does My Head Look Big in This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah | young adult contemporary fiction, Australian Muslim protagonist
Add on Goodreads

Walking Towards Ourselves: Indian Women Tell Their Stories edited by Catriona Mitchell | short memoir anthology by Indian women
My Review | Add on Goodreads

A book by a transgender author

Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation edited by Kate Bernstein & S. Bear Bergman | essays, comic art and conversations from trans-spectrum creators
My Review | Add on Goodreads

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo | young adult, trans protagonist
My Review | Add on Goodreads

A book that sensitively explores domestic violence or emotional abuse

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover | contemporary fiction, domestic violence
My Review | Add on Goodreads

The Incest Diary by Anonymous | childhood memoir about incestual rape
Add on Goodreads

A graphic memoir about mental illness

Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me by Ellen Forney | graphic memoir about bipolar disorder
My Review | Add on Goodreads

Lighter Than My Shadow by Katie Green | graphic memoir about anorexia nervosa
Add on Goodreads



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