Diverse Books by POC and LGBTQ Authors

As much as I love the representation presented in Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, Lunar Chronicles, and Six of Crows, I have learned while reading these books that they are written by white, heterosexual women. There is nothing wrong with this and should be a common occurrence among white writers but sometimes, these authors tend to overshadow queer authors and authors of color. Their stories are less likely to be heard, though these stories relate to their personal struggles and identities. So here are some that I would like to recommend some books by authors in the POC and LGBTQ communities.

  1. Casey McQuiston: This author has been known for writing Red, White, and Royal Blue and One Last Stop, two stories with both LGBTQ and POC representation. In Red, White, and Royal Blue, the main character is biracial and bisexual while his love interest is gay. In One Last Stop, the main character is a lesbian as well as her Chinese American love interest. Casey McQuiston themself is bisexual and nonbinary, using all pronouns. They are publishing a book in 2022 called I kissed Shara Wheeler, another book you could check out!
  2. Adiba Jaigirdar: This author has written 2 books called The Henna Wars and Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating. These books are sapphic and show representation in the Muslim, Afro-Brazilian, Bengali, and Korean community. The author herself is Bangladeshi and lives in Ireland. She identifies as queer. Go check her books out!
  3. Hafsah Faizal: This author is known for writing We Hunt the Flame and We Free the Stars. Hafsah Faizal grew up in a household where Islam was an important practice in their life. She is of Arabian and Sri Lankan descent. The books stated above portray Arabian terminology that is normal in Arabia. We love to see it!
  4. Angie Thomas: This author has written many books but the ones people mostly recognize her for is The Hate U Give and On the Come Up. These two books are about how racism hinders and traumatizes young black people and how they live in a society that is constantly against them. But, nonetheless, they fight against them with all of the strength they have. Angie Thomas is also one of six authors who wrote Blackout, a collection of love stories between black people during a power outage in their city. Definitely check it out!
  5. Tomi Adeyemi: This author has written the Legacy of Orïsha trilogy: Children of Blood and Bone, Children of Virtue and Vengeance, and another untitled book she is working on. These books are inspired West African elements with Yoruba mythology. Though it is a fantasy book, it show many ideologies in our world (like racism) discreetly.

If you would like to expand the types of authors you read, please check these ones out!

-Saanvi V.

We Need Diverse Books

When you’re looking for your next read, do you like to read about someone just like you, who’s going through the same things you’re experiencing? Or do you like to read about someone totally different, in a part of the world you’ve never seen? Either way is valid. It’s important to have a variety of books on the shelves so all readers can see themselves represented, or learn about something new.

But did you know that out of 3,200 books for young people published last year, only 93 of them were about black people? 69 books were written about Asians or Asian-Americans, 57 about Latinos, and only 34 about Native Americans. Does that seem right to you? (See the full study at the Cooperative Children’s Book Center.)

There’s a grassroots campaign happening to bring awareness of the lack of diversity in youth literature, and we here at the Mission Viejo Library Teen Voice are throwing in our support. We need diverse books!  

Please click to enlarge the following photos and read what our teen bloggers have to say.

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Wenqing Z., 11th grade

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Nicole G., 10th grade

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Allison Tran, Teen Services Librarian

And sometimes, we need the simple wisdom of Success Kid…

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