The Importance of Diversity

Jess Henderson

The Importance of Diversity

Diversity in the young adult fiction world has become increasingly important in recent years. Reading has always been more than just a pastime, it’s a passport to other cultures and experiences. A chance to see the world through someone else's eyes. And in our ever-globalized world, where we are more connected than ever before, it’s vital that we seek to empathize and educate ourselves about the world around us.

So to have stories that represent a variety of cultures, races, genders and abilities ensures that not only each reader finds themselves represented in the fictional characters but also that we discover characters that we may not have encountered before. This is paramount! This is why the core theme of The Color of Music is EMPATHY. Throughout the book, Esme learns to respect others that have been raised in a place and culture different from our own. Empathy is a superpower to help us navigate this life. So, with that in mind, we wanted to celebrate some other books that highlight diverse experiences and expand our world perspective.

  1. "Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe" by Benjamin Alire Sáenz - This novel follows two Mexican-American boys as they navigate their friendship and sexuality in the 1980s. It's a beautifully written coming-of-age story.
  2. "Children of Blood and Bone" by Tomi Adeyemi - This fantasy novel is set in a West African-inspired world and features a cast of diverse characters. It's a thrilling ride with themes of magic, oppression, and rebellion. 
  3. “A List of Cages” by Robin Roe - This story is about the friendship between two boys, Julian and Adam. The story deals with themes of trauma, abuse, and the power of human connection. Its central characters have ADHD and Dyslexia. 
  4. “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before” by Jenny Han - is a young adult novel about a Korean American high school girl named Lara Jean who writes secret love letters to all her crushes but never intends to send them. However, when the letters accidentally get sent out, Lara Jean's life takes an unexpected turn.

Got any more recommendations? Let us know!