Back in May, the #weneeddiversebooks campaign lit a fire to fulfill the desperate need for diverse books in children’s literature. Behind the Book has always championed efforts to find diverse authors and protagonists that will appeal to students since we serve communities of color. For your enjoyment (and enrichment), we’ve created an epic list of diverse books to reflect the diversity in our city; here’s our list for high school students.
The news just broke… Walter Dean Myers has passed. In his lifetime, he wrote over 100 books, served as the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, won too many awards and honors to list, advised and inspired kids and young writers everywhere, and impacted thousands of lives. He was a lifelong proponent of diversity in children’s literature, and just a few months ago wrote an article that once again sparked the discussion.
Last week, it was our Summer Fling picks for adult fiction. Today, our Young Adult Fiction Summer Fling with a Book Hive Booklist! (We know: It needs a better title. =) )
And as you can see, it took just a teensy bit longer because our readers overwhelmingly preferred YA - here’s everything we recommended for romance, science fiction, fantasy, and mystery/thriller, plus a few bonus beach reads to boot. Thank you to everyone who submitted a personality quiz - we had a fantastic summer with our summer fling readers!
And in case you missed it, we got you covered for fall books, too!
Yesterday we saw bookriot’s post of read-alikes for Robin LaFevers’s His Fair Assassin trilogy and were so, so excited: one, because that’s one of our favorite YA series, ever, and two, because the list features Jennifer McGowan’s Maids of Honor books - Jennifer will be here tomorrow for our next NaNoWriMo workshop, talking publishing and critiquing short pieces, and we can’t wait!
Naturally, that got us thinking about some of our other favorite YA novels in which thieves, spies, and assassins appear, so here’s a small compilation of historical, fantasy, and historical fantasy fiction for your weekend reading!
Maid of Secrets and Maid of Deception, Jennifer McGowan
Resource: Should You Swear in YA? (And Other Rules About Cursing)
Your mother probably taught you not to curse when you were a child; as a teenager, you learned the freedom in screaming FUCK at the top of your lungs. Now you’re an adult (or at least a focused, responsible writer), and the problem with swearing has snuck back up on you: what is too much, and where do you draw the line between authentic and vulgar? While there’s no single rule for when to swear and when not to in literature, here are some resources I hope will help you avoid that long debate with your editor in the future.
There’s no life lesson here, no “remember” this for me to wrap up this post with. Use your discretion, Folks. At the end of the day, authenticity is key, and if it’s really an unacceptable word, well, editors are trained to remove it for you (try to avoid it in the titles).
It’s a fact that ableism, homophobia, and racism influence countless aspects of people’s everyday lives. Micro-aggressions, stereotypes, internalized prejudice, flagrant bigotry, institutionalised discrimination… There are also other matters to consider: accessibility, hair or skin care, limited dating pools, communities, culture, etc.
When none of these elements are acknowledged in realistic fiction, I notice. When the absence of those elements is praised, I notice especially.
And I wonder — perhaps uncharitably — are diverse characters only OK as long as they’re not too diverse?
Great article by YA author Corinne Duyvis on “incidental diversity” in books and the decline of the issues book. Lots worth thinking about.
Recently we got an inquiry through our Book Drop recommendation service - which is open all year round for personalized reading suggestions, perfect if you’re stuck for a weekend read! Or, you know, anytime - for a fan of The Sky Is Everywhere and Fangirl. And the first thing we thought of (after replying, of course!) was, that would make such a good booklist - books about the bookworms, word nerds, enthusiasts, and all-around talented characters who make up some of our favorite books.