This year, I accepted The Unconventional Librarian’s Diversity Reading Challenge, and I’ve been… okay. Let’s take a look:
(The center Diversity Reading Challenge 2017 graphic is from An Unconventional Librarian’s website.)
Book featuring a Hispanic character – Wild Beauty, by Anna Marie McLemore
Book featuring an LGBTQ character – Spinning, by Tillie Walden
Graphic Novel – Pashmina, by Nidhi Chanani
Book featuring a character with mental illness – Lighter Than My Shadow, by Katie Green
Book featuring an Asian character – Warcross, by Marie Lu
Book by an illustrator of color – Nina: Jazz Legend and Civil Rights Activist Nina Simone, illustrated by Bruno Liance
Book with an African-American young male character – Goodnight, Boy, by Nikki Sheehan
Book with an African-American female character – An Unkindness of Ghosts, by Rivers Solomon
Book with a Muslim character – Lost Boys, by Darcey Rosenblatt
Book with a character on the Autism spectrum – Mighty Jack and the Goblin King, by Ben Hatke
Book featuring a character with a physical disability – Super Max and the Mystery of Thornwood’s Revenge, by Susan Vaught
Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy with my reading, but it could be better. I see little spots where I need to read more deeply. Goodnight, Boy is amazing; brilliantly written, but I should also be reading African-American characters written by African-American characters. I need to finally get Ghost, by Jason Reynolds, off the TBR and on my nightstand, you know? Ditto for my Muslim character choice. I love Lost Boys; it’s a heart-wrenching novel that darn near brings me to tears, but I need to stop saying I want to read Amina’s Voice and just read it. (If you’re struggling to find Muslim authors, by the way, I found a list on GoodReads that may help.)
I am happy that there’s some crossover on the list. I have several graphic novels on the list; while reading graphic novels is never an issue for me, I’m happy to see that the medium is a great place to explore different cultures and identities. Spinning, Lighter Than My Shadow, Pashmina, and Mighty Jack and the Goblin King are all graphic novels; each is its own journey of exploration. Wild Beauty and An Unkindness of Ghosts have female, main characters of color that explore their sexuality.
In sum, I need to read one more book (a Holocaust victim) to complete my challenge. Pragmatic Mom has a list that I think I’ll use as my guide here. Milkweed, by Jerry Spinelli, sounds compelling; it may also be time to to finally pick up Jane Yolen’s Devil’s Arithmetic. I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, thanks to Pam at Unconventional Librarian for keeping me honest.
6 thoughts on “Diversity Reading Challenge 2017 – Checking In”
What a fantastic reading challenge. Thanks for sharing!
It really is! Pam at Unconventional Librarian is such a great motivator!
Love this reading challenge. Thank you for these great titles.
Thank you! It’s been a great way to make sure I’m reading deeper and helping my collection development skills.
Oh! I’d just posted my response to her challenge on her blog (though it probably deserves its own post on mine as well.) I’d thought I didn’t have anything for the spectrum, but I also read the new Mighty Jack book, so hooray! I need to read a mental illness title and a Holocaust title to finish the challenge myself.
Yay! I love the Mighty Jack books, and the end of this one made me squeal! Read A Boy Called Bat when you get a chance; I loved it.