#WeNeedDiverseBooks – Middle Grade Reader Edition

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 perspectiveReaders 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!

azzAzzi 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

dogMountain 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

Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine

coatThe Unforgotten Coat by Frank Cottrell Boyce

What Katy Did by Susan Coolidge

Wonder by RJ Palacio