Thursday, May 3, 2018

4 types of diversity we need more of in books

I recently read The Pixie Chronicles' post 8 types of diversity books need more of and was so inspired by it. It's an excellent list and highlights the good and the bad of bookish diversity - and shows some pretty obvious holes in bookish inclusion. With that post in mind, I'd like to expand by adding my own thoughts on additional diversity we need in the bookish community - and offer a couple books in each category that do this well.



Mental illness besides anxiety and depression 

I have loved the good publicity mental health issues have been getting in recent years, but there's still a lot of work to be done. I've enjoyed reading book after book about depression and anxiety, but I think the bookish community (especially YA bookish people) could benefit a lot from seeing more mental illness and how it can affect people - and how people deal with it. 

Books that handle it well
Challenger Deep  Made You Up  Impulse (Impulse, #1)



Wheelchairs
This is one diverse category that I've only seen once or twice in books and I'd love to see more. I didn't realize how difficult being a wheelchair could be until I became friends with a few people in wheelchairs and realized how difficult just going to see a friend can be if their home isn't accessible enough. I want to see more of this in media in general - and especially in books.

Books that handle it well
Are You Alone on Purpose? Out of My Mind


Religion
I partly got thinking about this because The Pixie Chronicles mentioned this one, so I am including this to put an emphasis on this. In recent years, religion has become something that people don't really talk about - and especially in books, people often don't view religion as being an important piece of diversity. I personally really think that religion is part of diversity -people all over the world believe in different things and it colors their culture and traditions. I love reading about character for whom religion is important while they also deal with their other conflicts.

Books that handle it well
A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy, #1)  Does My Head Look Big in This?  Tennis Shoes Among the Nephites (Tennis Shoes, #1)


Polynesian characters
I've been so impressed with all the racial diversity that I've been seeing recently in media (especially books), but we very rarely see polynesian characters in books or movies. While Pacific Islanders are a somewhat smaller group of people, it's still important that they get included in literature, as they have a rich culture that's often overlooked.

Books that handle it well
The Whale Rider  Moloka'i  Call It Courage



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Want to help promote disabled diversity and help real-life people in addition to reading books with diversity? Creative Souls is a company that gives disabled people a chance to use artwork to stay employed. The company provides disabled individuals with the supplies to decorate shoes and then sells the shoes while giving the artist a profit. They're also currently working towards buying a printer so that they can print artists' designs on shoes instead of having to paint them by hand (and so they can sell multiple copies of the same shoes in different sizes). This will help artists make much more money off the same piece of artwork (aka making fair wages for their work). If you know someone who could benefit from this job (or who would love a hand-painted pair of shoes), spread the word!

Have you read any of these books? What kinds of diversity would you like to see more of in books? What books would you add to these lists? How do you help real-life diverse people?

8 comments:

  1. I would love to read more books with polynesion characters, seeing as I live in New Zealand which has many pacific people. Molokai'i is a good one; I just finished The Islands at the End of the World which is set in Hawai'i too. I really appreciate it when religion is part of books, too; I found that in Marcelo in the Real World recently as well.

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    1. Thanks for the awesome recommendation! I went to my library right after posting this and they had a whole display on books about Pacific Islanders and I was so excited!

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  2. I cannot agree more about wheelchairs. It's like the most neglected disability in books, it's so sad. And it's fairly common in life too! I would love to read some good rep, thank you for the recommendations.

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    1. I know! I'm glad there are some books out there, but it must be so difficult to be a young person in a wheelchair who can't read about people like you.

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  3. these are some wonderufl recommendations and i couldnt agree more with everything you had to say, great post!

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    1. Thanks for your kind words and for stopping by!

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  4. Great theme for a post which got me thinking back through the books I have read. I liked Whale Rider too and can add Perfect World by Rie Aruga for a wheelchair-using character: http://litflits.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Rie%20Aruga

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    1. Thanks for another wheelchair rec!

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