Home / Book Lists / 10 Books That Celebrate Diversity/Diverse Characters

10 Books That Celebrate Diversity/Diverse Characters

What a fab topic from The Broke and the Bookish! This is a great campaign, and I love that its gaining momentum!

10 Books That Celebrate Diversity/Diverse Characters

we need diverse books top ten tuesday

I’m counting diverse as characters who are from a variety of backgrounds, races, and mental/physical abilities.

1. The Wrath and the Dawn– by Renee Ahdieh. The whole book is set in the Middle East and all of the culture and characters reflect that. I loved seeing traditional names and all the yummy food listed.

2. Wonder– by R.J. Palacio. This book features a 10-year-old boy who has a facial deformity. He goes to school (5th grade) for the first time and it literally has all the feels. Best book EVER.

3. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before– by Jenny Han. This two-book series highlights Lara Jean, an Asian main character. She and her family are just the absolutely cutest.

4. I’ll Give You the Sun– by Jandy Neslon. OH MY GOSH this book! There are so many things dealt with here, but one big one is the brother in the story struggles with his sexuality.

5. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian– by Sherman Alexia. Junior is Native America and decides to leave his reservation to go to school. Another eye-opening story where some tough topics are tackled.

6. Eleanor and Park– by Rainbow Rowell. I LOVE that not only is there a diverse main character (Park is Asian), there is also an overweight main character. That never happens, and I love seeing characters of all shapes and sizes represented in YA.

7. The Perks of Being a Wallflower– by Stephen Chbosky. Characters who have experienced abuse seem marginalized to me in literature at times, and I love how this book handles this issue while staying relatable and funny.

8. Of Metal and Wishes– by Sarah Fine. The main character in this book is also of Asian descent (there are more YA books with this background than I thought!). I LOVE this story because it’s a Phantom of the Opera retelling. I KNOW, RIGHT?!

9. Court of Fives– by Kate Elliott. Jessamy is a mixed-race character, which is another rarity in YA. Her race was a huge part of the story, and really brought life to the social problems in the world of the book.

10. Song of Summer– by Laura Lee Anderson. A love interest in this book is deaf! I loved seeing sign language and controversy about cochlear implants discussed.

What are your top diverse books?

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.
  • I need to get back to I’ll Give You the Sun! I started it and got distracted. Must finish soon!

  • Love this list. I ALMOST put I’ll Give You The Sun on my list, but there were just so many great books. I really love that one. One of my favorites on my top ten was Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan. It was hands down, one of the most beautiful books I have ever read.

  • What a great list! Not sure how I forgot Court of Fives! I just read that one a few weeks ago.