If you missed the earlier post on diverse picture books, start there for the full background on the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign. The short(er) version is this: the majority of books published, reviewed, and talked about are books about the majority view: that is, Caucasian, able-bodied, heterosexual, average weight, of a two-parent family, and with no discernable religion or with a Christian perspective. Readers who want to read diversely have to make a conscious effort to do so, and with advertising money and the publicity going to the majority viewpoint, it can be difficult to find titles that reflect diversity! I’ve personally found it to be even harder to find titles where diversity isn’t the Main Point (all serious, upper-case letters intended) and which instead feature diverse characters who are just experiencing life.
As a parent, it’s equally important to me that my children see themselves reflected in the books they read, and also that they see people who are different from them reflected in the books they read. That’s what got me started down this path, and now I can’t stop! Today’s post supplements the previous picture book list with some middle grade titles that reflect diversity within the characters, without that being their main characteristic.
Again, this is by no means an exhaustive list, but just titles I’ve come across in my own search for diversity. All the titles are, of course, available from your library. If you have any suggestions of books to add to this list please comment below!
Azzi in Between by Sarah Garland
Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu
Bud, not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis
Dad and Me in the Morning by Patricia Lakin
El Deafo by Cece Bell
Deenie by Judy Blume
How Tia Lola Came to Visit Stay by Julia Alvarez
Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
Mountain Dog by Margarita Engle
Nikki and Deja by Karen English
Return to Sender by Julia Alvarez
King of the Wind by Marguerite Henry
Mirror by Jeannie Baker
The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher by Dana Alison Levy
The Unforgotten Coat by Frank Cottrell Boyce
What Katy Did by Susan Coolidge
Wonder by RJ Palacio