Growing up, most of the books I read were about straight white people doing everything from living their teen lives to saving the world. They were witches and wizards, class clowns and oddballs, queen bees and princesses. Sure, sometimes there was a non-white side character or a random queer character, but they were never really in the forefront of the story. I had to go out of my way to read books that were about black men or Middle Eastern girls wearing the hijab. These were quests that shouldn’t have been quests in the first place. It shouldn’t be a surprise to stumble upon a book that falls outside of the status quo! We should be exposed to books–new and old–that tell the stories of all kinds of people! Whether it’s in classrooms, at book fairs or while scrolling through Tumblr, we should all try to make sure that our reading options break away from tradition!
That’s why I’m loving the “We Need Diverse Books” campaign, which is a call to arms for writers and book lovers alike to embrace diverse literature. The campaign’s Tumblr, WeNeedDiverseBooks, is even asking for photo submissions about why having diverse book options are a necessity in this day and age. We’re encouraging our readers to participate in this amazing campaign in whatever way you can, too! Add to the #WeNeedDiverseBooks hashtag and submit your own photo submission! If you want a little inspiration, here are 22 of our favorite submissions thus far.
Why do you need diverse books? What’s your favorite book about a character who doesn’t fit the status quo? Tell us in the comments!