A Few Books to Get You Started Reading Diversely

A Few Books to Get You Started Reading Diversely

Reading diverse novels is such a rewarding way to get to know other people’s culture without opening a textbook. However, it can be a pretty daunting genre if you don’t know how to get into it.

Luckily, there’s a ton of Young Adult novels centered around diverse issues. In my opinion, I think these help with easing into the genre without being overwhelmed with heavier stories. If you’re thinking about diving into reading diversely, check out these wonderful YA novels. They’ll be easy to digest and spring you forward into more adult authors like Colson Whitehead or Yaa Gyasi.

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Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

I had the crazy opportunity to watch Love, Simon a few weeks ago on a plane trip across the country. The movie didn’t disappoint, but I hadn’t read the book. I felt like I should read the book as well and that’s exactly what I did. LOL.

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Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson

Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson

When the world seems like it’s falling apart everywhere we turn, it’s always good to know that younger generations of people are gaining the same knowledge and understanding of the world. We may not be able to protect our young people from the prejudice and stereotypes and hate that surrounds them, but if we open up the floor for them to speak their truth we might find that what they say actually matters.

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The Incendiaries by R.O. Kwon

The Incendiaries by R.O. Kwon

According to the Internet, an “incendiary” is either someone who starts fires (in a military context) or someone who stirs up conflict. Probably both of these definitions makes sense for this novel.

Before I get into anything, I’m about to tell you now that this post will have spoilers. I just can’t talk about this novel without actually spoiling it, so look away if you haven’t read the book yet!

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Everyone Knows You Go Home by Natalia Sylvester

Everyone Knows You Go Home by Natalia Sylvester

I love fantasy stories. I love when there’s someone risking everything they have and love for the better of a group or nation of people. I love people who fight against adversity and maybe they don’t always win, but they don’t quit. And while stories like this one aren’t fantasy, it’s the heroism and strength of its characters that make you wonder if fantasy is based on real life.

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My Thoughts and an Excerpt from Tahereh Mafi’s New Novel, A Very Large Expanse of Sea

My Thoughts and an Excerpt from Tahereh Mafi’s New Novel, A Very Large Expanse of Sea

This is a little bit different from what I normally do, but I was perusing Twitter when I saw this:

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In my head, I was hyperventilating. I had heard Tahereh Mafi was going to move away from her high fantasy books to write something that felt much more autobiographical.

I knew that it would be about being Muslim American and the months and years after 9/11.

However, I didn’t think I would get to read an excerpt from the book. I didn’t think I would read it today, a few days after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the travel ban from Muslim-oriented countries.

Here’s what the book is about

It’s 2002, a year after 9/11. It’s an extremely turbulent time politically, but especially so for someone like Shirin, a sixteen-year-old Muslim girl who’s tired of being stereotyped.

Shirin is never surprised by how horrible people can be. She’s tired of the rude stares, the degrading comments—even the physical violence—she endures as a result of her race, her religion, and the hijab she wears every day. So she’s built up protective walls and refuses to let anyone close enough to hurt her. Instead, she drowns her frustrations in music and spends her afternoons break-dancing with her brother.

But then she meets Ocean James. He’s the first person in forever who really seems to want to get to know Shirin. It terrifies her—they seem to come from two irreconcilable worlds—and Shirin has had her guard up for so long that she’s not sure she’ll ever be able to let it down.

You can pre-order this book now!


So I read the excerpt while slurping spicy noodles for lunch and right off the bat, I knew that this will be another amazing story about Muslim Americans that needs to be boosted on all social media platforms. Since this exclusive excerpt was shared on Entertainment Weekly, I’ll share the link to that article below:

Read an excerpt from Taharei Mafi’s newest book, A VERY LARGE EXPANSE OF SEA

Now, even though I’ve only read this excerpt and highly anticipating reading the rest of this novel, I do want to share some quotes and reflections that resonated with me. You can find these after the jump!

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