Resident Youth Literacy Services Specialist, Anjela Martinez and Young Adult Services Librarian, Nikki Shaw from our Fairbanks Branch Library have put together a great list of books for anyone who is interested in exploring books by authors of color and read stories about people of different backgrounds.
All Kinds of Love-Stories- Love is Love
The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang which features a main character who has Asperger’s Syndrome and is not good with social situations. The main character loves math but wants to learn the equation of love.
Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston is an interesting and sweet romance between two characters that are representatives of their respective countries.
Looking for a second chance love story with plenty of football references? Try Fumbled by Alexa Martin
Escape to a new world-
We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia, gives a glimpse into today, but also with a very scary look at a future world. Anymore would reveal too much more so you'll have to check it out for yourself!
And for a mythological twist, literally anything from the Rick Riordan Presents line is an awesome choice. He brings in authors from different cultures to write their stories in their own way.
Insight into others- Expectations be damned.
All American Muslim Girl by Nadine Jolie Courtney opens the conversation about exploring one's religion and ethnicity. The main character’s dad is a non-practicing Muslim and her mother is a non-practicing convert. When Allie decides she wants to openly practice, she runs into several roadblocks, but quickly finds the community of people that will help her along her journey.
What's "taboo" to one may not be taboo to someone else. In Elizabeth Acevedo’s newest , With the Fire on High, a teen has new experiences and her story can help spark conversations about expected outcomes.
A different kind of thrill: Mysteries and thrillers from a different perspective.
Literally told through multiple narrators, Spin by Lamar Giles is a really great mystery about a DJ who suddenly dies.
My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite is a dark and twisty, not to mention weird...so be prepared.
White Rabbit by Caleb Roehrig is a fun book about a character who finds his sister sitting next to her dead ex with a knife in her hand. strange and thrilling story
Hometown Hero BONUS: Explore locally with LOT by Bryan Washington. Houston author Bryan Washington, gets it more than right in his collection of short stories Lot. The stories, each named after a different Houston neighborhood, alternate between an unnamed protagonist (a young, biracial, gay man) and his fellow Houstonians. Their stories tell of struggles with society, poverty, family, relationships, and sexuality; stories of finding their place, without losing themselves in the growing and diverse city of Houston. Raw, emotional, and entertaining, Lot is a Houston that is both familiar and new.
And if you're curious as to WHY we're recommending to try a diverse book...click play on the video below to listen to Nikki explain the importance of diverse stories and the positive effects to readers.