Diversity spotlight Thursday is a new meme created by Aimal @ Bookshelves and Paperbacks. Each week, you discuss three books: one that you’ve read, one that’s on your TBR and one that hasn’t been released yet.
It’s been a while since I’ve done a diversity spotlight post but I have read quite a few new diverse books thanks to the #DiversityDecBingo challenge (it’s still not too late to participate if you haven’t already) and I think it’s about time I start highlighting them on my blog again.
A Book I’ve Read
I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.
August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now. He’s about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and if you’ve ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie’s just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, despite appearances?
R. J. Palacio has written a spare, warm, uplifting story that will have readers laughing one minute and wiping away tears the next. With wonderfully realistic family interactions (flawed, but loving), lively school scenes, and short chapters, Wonder is accessible to readers of all levels
I do plan to do a full review of this book very soon so I’ll keep this brief. I’ve seen a lot of people complaining about how this book is either too happy or very juvenile in its messages and those are things I want to address quickly. Firstly, we have to remember that this book is aimed at children so I do agree that the message may seem juvenile but even as adults/teens I think sometimes we’ve got to be reminded. So even if you are an older reader, I would recommend you read this. Secondly, I think it’s frankly wrong to expect someone’s story to be sad just because they have a disability, and I was very happy Palacio didn’t go down that route. Personally, I think this would be a great story for a child suffering from severe facial deformity, as Auggie does, to read as it really reinforces that they can have a great/happy life.
A Book On My TBR
If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
Amanda Hardy is the new girl in school in Lambertville, Tennessee. Like any other girl, all she wants is to make friends and fit in. But Amanda is keeping a secret. There’s a reason why she transferred schools for her senior year, and why she’s determined not to get too close to anyone.
And then she meets Grant Everett. Grant is unlike anyone she’s ever met—open, honest, kind—and Amanda can’t help but start to let him into her life. As they spend more time together, she finds herself yearning to share with Grant everything about herself…including her past. But she’s terrified that once she tells Grant the truth, he won’t be able to see past it.
Because the secret that Amanda’s been keeping? It’s that she used to be Andrew.
I believe when looking for diverse books to read/recommend it’s vital that you first look at #ownvoice books, especially if you want to read something with good representation. If you don’t know what #ownvoice books are it’s a book written by an author who shares the same identity as their character. So, in this context the main character is a trans woman and Russo is also a trans woman, therefore this is an own voice. I’ve been seeing this around a lot when looking for diverse books and have been meaning to read it but alas, I have yet to. I’m hoping including this in this post will motivate me to get to it sooner rather than later, since I’ve actually had a fairly good track record with reading the books I mention in the TBR section of this post.
A Book Releasing Soon
An evocative novel about a teen aroma expert who uses her extrasensitive sense of smell to mix perfumes that help others fall in love while protecting her own heart at all costs
Sometimes love is right under your nose. As one of only two aromateurs left on the planet, sixteen-year-old Mimosa knows what her future holds: a lifetime of weeding, mixing love elixirs, and matchmaking—all while remaining incurably alone. For Mim, the rules are clear: falling in love would render her nose useless, taking away her one great talent. Still, Mimosa doesn’t want to spend her life elbow-deep in soil and begonias. She dreams of a normal high school experience with friends, sports practices, debate club, and even a boyfriend. But when she accidentally gives an elixir to the wrong woman and has to rely on the lovesick woman’s son, the school soccer star, to help fix the situation, Mim quickly begins to realize that falling in love isn’t always a choice you can make.
At once hopeful, funny, and romantic, Stacey Lee’s The Secret of a Heart Note is a richly evocative coming-of-age story that gives a fresh perspective on falling in love and finding one’s place in the world.
I only just recently mentioned this book in my Most Anticipated December Releases post so since I’ve already mentioned it twice you guys can probably tell I’m excited for this, right? I do plan to read Lee’s previous book, Under a Painted Sky before I get tot this one but either way I’m excited to get myself a copy.
This book is released on December 27th 2016
What’s a diverse book you’ve read and would recommend? Have you read any of the books I’ve mentioned above? What did you think of them? Tell me in the comments!
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