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8 Books to Read if You’re Tired of Formulaic YA Fiction

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Attanya: #WeNeedDiverseBooks because I love science fiction and fantasy books, but I’m tired of authors treating dragons and robots and magic as more plausible than black and brown characters

Jennifer: #WeNeedDiverseBooks because… when I was 13 a white girl told me it was selfishthat all of the protagonists in my stories were Latina because she “just can’t relate to nonwhite characters.” She made me feel guilty for writing about people like me. 

Aiesha: #WeNeedDiverseBooks because…Black Girls are more than sidekicks or “sassy, ghetto friend”

Facts and Figures About Race/Ethnicity in YA and Children’s Lit:

#WENEEDDIVERSEBOOKS

Posting this a little late, but followers please take the time out to check out this post explaining the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign and more events to come over the next few days! 

John Green: *writes about women as though they are people*

John Green: *deliberately and vocally rejects the idea that teenage girls are vapid and beneath the rest of intelligent humanity*

John Green: *consistently advocates for imagining people complexly, and not simplifying people to your convenience*

Tumblr: Isn’t it kind of creepy how John Green caters to teenage girls? Clearly this white male cannot possibly have good intentions?? He’s a pedophile????

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character playlists [1/?] ; Andrew Minyard of The Foxhole Court

1. In time - FKA Twigs // 2. Sister - The Japanese House // 3. I Found - Amber Run // 4. Trouble [stripped] - Halsey // 5. idfc - Blackbear // 6. Bite - Troye Sivan // 7. Disasterology - Pierce The Veil // 8. Tag You’re It // 9. Sarah Minor - Keaton Henson // 10. Small Cuts - The Brobecks // 11. Colours - Halsey // 12. Novocaine- Fall Out Boy


[listen here]

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High School Reading List

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.

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Drown by Junot Diaz

Kindred by Octavia E. Butler

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

The Chaos by Nalo Hopkinson

Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor

The Living by Matt De La Peña, a Behind the Book author

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin

The Pearl that Broke Its Shell: a Novel by Nadia Hashimi

Mare’s War by Tanita S. Davis

A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea by Dina Nayeri

The Book of Unknown Americans: a Novel by Cristina Henríquez

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah

Silver People: Voices from the Panama Canal by Margarita Engle

Naughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman

The Icarus Girl by Helen Oyeyemi

For descriptions, click the read more!

(Click the following links to be directed to the Kindergarten, (early) Elementary and Middle Grade lists)

Keep reading

I’d totally like to see a YA story where the epilogue is like “oh, and they broke up three months later; once the we-saved-the-world-together high wore off, they released they literally had nothing in common, and also that shared life-altering trauma is a poor basis for a stable relationship”.

The female authors aren’t hiding...

Why is this still a thing? I just saw yet another article trying to recommend a few female authors as though they’re some rare species. The suggestions turned out to be just as boring as every other list: Rowling, Austen, Rowling, Bronte, Rowling.

I don’t know why people keep struggling to come up with 5 amazing female authors (or even making these lists. Like whyyy). So let me now walk over to my bookshelf and rattle off some names of my favorite modern female authors… (also, enjoy my attempt to break my endless “YA fantasy” books into groups). 

If you’re searching for that super elusive book written by a woman, try:

Dystopian

  • Veronica Roth
  • Lauren Oliver
  • Kristin Cashore
  • Veronica Rossi
  • Beth Revis
  • Marie Lu
  • Tahereh Mafi
  • Suzanne Collins
  • Susan Ee
  • Suzanne Young
  • Jennifer Wilson
  • Amy Engel

Fantasy

  • Samantha Shannon
  • Evelyn Skye
  • A.C. Gaughen
  • Jessica Khoury
  • Alwyn Hamilton
  • Marissa Meyer
  • Heidi Heilig
  • Libba Bray
  • Leslye Walton
  • Janet Lee Carey
  • Jennifer McGowan
  • Diana Peterfreund
  • JK Rowling
  • Janet B. Taylor
  • Laini Taylor
  • Robin LaFevers
  • Erin Morgenstern
  • Kendare Blake
  • Amie Kaufman
  • Kerstin Gier
  • Kiersten White
  • Melanie Dickerson
  • Melissa Landers
  • KM Shea
  • Alison Goodman
  • Elizabeth May
  • Kiera Cass
  • Renee Ahdieh
  • Marion Zimmer Bradley
  • Alexandra Bracken
  • Romina Russell
  • Deborah Harkness
  • Diana Gabaldon
  • Madeline Miller
  • Julie Eshbaugh

High Fantasy

  • Sarah J Maas
  • Maria V. Snyder
  • Mary E. Pearson
  • Sara B. Larson
  • Jennifer A. Nielsen
  • Shannon Hale
  • Stephanie Garber
  • Diana Wynne Jones
  • Stacey Jay
  • Erin Summerill
  • Leigh Barudgo
  • Hannah West
  • Sabaa Tahir
  • Victoria Aveyard
  • Rosamund Hodge
  • Melina Marchetta
  • Rae Carson
  • Naomi Novik
  • Susan Dennard
  • Wendy Higgins
  • V.E. Schwab
  • Gail Carson Levine
  • CJ Redwine
  • Katherine Roberts
  • Sara Raasch
  • Erika Johansen
  • Rachel Hartman
  • Juliet Marillier
  • Livia Blackburne
  • Sophie Jordan
  • Tamora Pierce
  • Sandra Waugh
  • Marie Rutkoski
  • Elise Kova
  • Angie Sage
  • Amy Tintera
  • Sarah Fine
  • Jodi Meadows
  • Cinda Williams Chima
  • Morgan Rhodes
  • Sherry Thomas
  • Danielle L. Jensen
  • Colleen Oakes
  • Melissa Grey
  • Sarah Ahiers
  • Lori M. Lee
  • Roshani Chokshi

Modern Fantasy

  • Cassandra Clare
  • Rachel Hawkins
  • Stephanie Meyer
  • Jennifer L. Armentrout
  • Kami Garcia
  • Claudia Gray
  • Julie Kagawa
  • Maggie Stiefvater
  • Kaitlin Bevis
  • Aimee Carter
  • Holly Black
  • Cynthia Hand
  • Richelle Mead
  • Temple West
  • Alex Flinn
  • Kresley Cole
  • Josephine Angelini
  • Lisa Maxwell
  • Zoraida Cordova

Contemporary

  • Rainbow Rowell
  • Jenny Han
  • Morgan Matson
  • Sarah Dessen
  • Kasie West
  • Jennifer Longo
  • Anna Breslaw
  • Sonya Mukherjee
  • Huntley Fitzpatrick
  • Melissa Keil
  • Brodi Ashton
  • Jennifer Niven
  • Katherine Catmull
  • Miranda Kenneally
  • Eileen Cook
  • Sandy Hall
  • Jenn Marie Thorne
  • Sarah Strohmeyer
  • Stephanie Perkins
  • Danika Stone
  • Elizabeth Eulberg
  • Jandy Nelson
  • Carolyn Mackler
  • Ali Novak
  • Ann Brashares
  • Tamara Ireland Stone
  • Gwenda Bond
  • Stacey Lee
  • Nina LaCour

(Sorry to Leigh Bird Dog and anyone else whose name autocorrect couldn’t deal with if I didn’t catch it).

These are just the books I happened to glance at, so feel free to add! And then maybe this can stop being a thing…

“Not everyone has to be the Chosen One. Not everyone has to be the guy who saves the world. Most people just have to live their lives the best they can, doing things that are great for them, having great friends, trying to make their lives better, loving people properly. All the while knowing that the world makes no sense but trying to find a way to be happy anyway.”

― Patrick Ness, The Rest of Us Just Live Here

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Harry Potter Aesthetics: (Hogwarts Houses) -> Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff, and Ravenclaw

YA Fairy Tale Retellings

I’ve had several people ask for some YA retelling book recommendations, so here are a few of each! I marked my favorites with an asterisk:

Cinderella

Snow White

Beauty & the Beast

Sleeping Beauty

Rapunzel

The Twelve Dancing Princesses

Peter Pan

Aladdin/1,001 Nights

Red Riding Hood

Hansel & Gretel: Sweetly by Jackson Pearce

The Little Mermaid: Mermaid by Carolyn Turgeon

The Frog Prince: 

Rumpelstiltskin: A Curse Dark as Gold by Elizabeth C. Bunce

The Snow Queen

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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.

Rest well, sir. You will be remembered always.

Beyond this, words fail me.

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Which YA book should you read next ?

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