Top Ten Diverse Reads

TTTTop Ten Tuesday is a Weekly Meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is top ten books which are outside the normal scope of what we read. I am pretty territorial about my reading time, so I pretty much stick to young adult and middle grade fiction with a few nonfiction books thrown in for sanity sake. This made the topic was a little tough for me. One of the things I’ve realized over the last year or so is that sometimes I need to be purposeful about choosing books with narrators who are different than me. Whether that means different in terms of race, gender, identity, or experience. Here are ten books that I really enjoyed in which the narrator and I, though we share many other qualities, have some obvious differences.

Top Ten Diverse ReadsTop Ten Diverse Reads

  1. Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson – This novel in poetry captured me immediately. I loved the lyrical feel of the lines and Lonnie gripped my heart right away. My full review here.
  2. Dream Things True by Marie Marquardt – I loved the way Marquardt made me see the life of an immigrant family from the inside. The story challenged some ideas I’d had and made me reevaluate them. Definitely the mark of a good book, in my opinion. My full review here.
  3. Because You’ll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas – Moritz, a blind boy with supernatural ability to hear his surroundings, pretty much had me at hello. I couldn’t help being drawn into his tragic story and hoping for him to find his way through it. My full review here.
  4. This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp – This one was a tough read for me. It’s about a school shooting and revolves through the point-of-view of several characters connected to the shooter. Nijkamp fills the pages with a large, diverse cast of characters and manages to make each seem real and authentic. This is a must-read for anyone looking for stories with that kind of diversity. Read my full review.
  5. On a Clear Day by Walter Dean Myers – This is another story with a diverse cast of characters. Myers is an author I’ve been really wanting to read more. I read several reviews claiming this isn’t his best work, but I enjoyed the story. My review.
  6. Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman – If you follow Children’s Literature at all, you don’t need me to tell you how amazing this book is. I was blown away by how cleverly the story is put together and how heartbreaking it is to watch it unfold. If you haven’t read it, seriously, grab a copy now. It’s incredible. Read my review.
  7. Sold by Patricia McCormick – This was another tough read. It’s about a young girl raised in an impoverished town in Nepal whose family sells her into prostitution. Though the horrors of her life are not much described in the story, it’s easy to imagine what it’s like for girls who truly do live this life.  My review here.
  8. Wonder by R. J. Palacio – If you’ve been around The Story Sanctuary long, you’ve probably heard me talk about how much I love this book. It was so good that when I finished, I immediately bought copies for other people. Every character leaped right into my heart, Auggie not least of all. So good. My review.
  9. Blue Gold by Elizabeth Stewart – This is a recent read. I loved the way Stewart humanized the plight of so many nameless refugees and factory workers overseas. I never felt preached at. Instead, it was like opening a window and looking into lives so different than my own. Read my review here.
  10. Li Jun and the Iron Road by Anne Tait – I suppose in more ways than one, this book was outside my usual go-to read. It’s a historical tale, which I’m not in any way opposed to, I’m just more often drawn to contemporary or fantasy stories. I liked that it gave me a window into history that I really didn’t know much about before picking up the book. It’s about the construction of the railroad in Canada. My husband and I visited Vancouver as part of our honeymoon trip, and I would love to go back to that area and learn more about it. This book only helped fuel that fire. My review.
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About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.

8 Responses to Top Ten Diverse Reads

  1. Wonder is an exceptional book. I read it when it was first released and immediately said to my kids’ school “You NEED class sets of this book!”

  2. Because You’ll Never Meet Me sounds very intriguing. It’s not often you have a blind protagonist and so I’d quite like to see how that is explored in the book. 😀

  3. Great list! I’ll have to pick up a few of these, especially This is Where It Ends and On A Clear Day, as I do typically enjoy Walter Dean Myers. Thanks for sharing!

  4. JJ says:

    This Is Where It Ends and Challenger Deep are both on my TBR list! I hope I enjoy them as much as you did.
    My TTT: