22 Of Our Favorite Submissions From The #WeNeedDiverseBooks Campaign

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 Bookscampaign, 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!

I’m Sick Of Reading YA Books About Hot White Kids

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  • Naomi

    We need more diverse books because the majority of characters in YA books are Caucasian. When people of colour are represented they are either 1. the sidekick, 2. some terrible stereotype (a Hispanic gang member, a “sassy” black girl, etc.) or 3. a target of discrimination, racism, or war. It’s time we represent people of colour in a modern setting. I want to read about a kick-ass Hawaiian girl who saves the day, or a young Nigerian man who has the most exciting summer of his life. I mean, it’s only 2014.

  • Meredith

    We need diverse books because disability is not life-ending, an aberration, or a side story. Because disabled people are not here to serve as inspiration. Because my niece and nephew shouldn’t need a disabled aunt in order to feel comfortable around disability.

    We need diverse books because the bookish internet is obsessed with calling paper books “real books,” disregarding the fact that e-books and audiobooks have hugely increased book access for so many people, disregarding the fact that many people do not have a choice about which book format to use, and reacting with hostility when you tell them this is ableist (no matter how polite you are).

  • Catherine

    I am glad you included my friend Gwendoline (the girl with pink hair and glasses; “there’s life after coming out”). I wish you had included her girlfriend’s one as well, as it is a very important statement as well. http://weneeddiversebooks.tumblr.com/post/84439973677/weneeddiversebooks-because-the-only-book-i-ever

    Anyway, off to tell Gwendoline about this!

    • That’s great to hear! Let her know that a random writer on the Internet thinks her hair is awesome.

  • Hailey

    We need more diverse books, because when my friend read the book I wrote with an asexual biromantic Asian girl as the protagonist, she told me to never try and get it published because no one wants to read about that.

    • airenlove

      Your book already sounds interesting to me !

    • The publishing industry is a mess.