Friday, 24 July 2015

GUEST POST: Why We Need Diverse Books

Over the last year or so, there have been numerous campaigns to get more diversity into the books we're reading. But why do we need more diversity? Chloe from Writer-on-Wheels explains in her amazing guest post below, and I'm in full agreement with her.


We all have that one book in which we found that one character that was us; that was so similar to ourselves that it made our hearts flutter. We all have a character that we connect to because we relate to them on so many levels - and they change your life, or at least have a place in your heart, because it means that you are no longer alone, and you get a whole book to read about someone like you.

But the thing is, I haven't found that character yet. Not really. I mean, I've found brunette girls who like reading and want to be writers, but I haven't found a character that has been so like me that it's touched my heart, that I truly relate to. I haven't found a character with my disability.

Okay, let me elaborate. I have Cerebral Palsy - a physical disability. Now, why would I want to read about someone with my disability? Good question. It's the same as why people who like reading like to read about a character who likes reading, and so on and so on. It's just really, really nice to find someone like you in a book, someone who you can relate to and who understands you. I know that sounds really deep, but a disabled character with Cerebral Palsy might understand my condition and what happens to me because of it, and the thought of that, the thought of people like me being represented in something I love, is the best thing in the world.

That's why we need diverse books - especially in YA. Because the people who most need to be represented and understood when growing up (the questions that've been asked that might've been avoided if disability had more representation, wow) would benefit in so many ways by having characters and themes in books that they could relate to. Everyone deserves a book that caters to them, that shows them that they are not alone, while raising awareness for them and their lives/conditions/struggles/normalness.

As F. Scott Fitzgerald says: "That is part of the beauty of all literature. You discover that your longings are universal longings, that you're not lonely and isolated from anyone. You belong."

So I think that there should be more books out there that makes sure that everyone has at least one instance in literature where they belong, and can relate to a character's longings, so eventually, they become accepted, and universal.

Or at least, that's my opinion. I know my reasons for wanting diverse books are very personal, so I'd love to hear yours! What is your favourite diverse book? Let's get recommending some, so authors and publishers know that we want more!

Do you think we need diverse books? 

Chloe is a book blogger over at Writer-on-Wheels. She is a huge fan of Amber's blog and is very grateful for the opportunity to have a post on her blog. (Thanks so much!)

She is 17 and lives in the UK. Some would say she is a nerd (and they would be right). She loves reading and talking about books (particularly YA) and would like to be a writer and poet when she grows up (although she isn't sure she ever will grow up).

8 comments:

  1. I want to see characters like me in books so that other people might get the chance to relate. So often I feel invisible.

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    1. I do too. Here's hoping we find those characters soon! I'm sorry you feel invisible, there's a lot of us out there who feel the same - there's a great hashtag on Twitter - #WeNeedDiverseBooks - that might make you feel less alone. I'm also there on Twitter if you'd like to chat or anything :)

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  2. I haven't found a character like me either xP BUT I have read a character with Cerebral Palsy before and she was pretty awesome (and a great character!) It was How I Fall by Anne Eliot which was a-mazin' (a book I really recommend) it gave me a new kind of hope and outlook on life ^-^ If you want a great character who has Cerebral Palsy then I totally recommend it :D

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    1. I'm sorry! Hopefully you'll find one soon. <3 Oh wow, thanks so much! I'll add 'How I Fall' to my to-read list :)

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  3. Oh gosh I totally agree. I still have yet to come across a female MC who just *happens* to be Indian/Pakistani or even muslim > as if we can't be 'kick-ass' just because we wear a headscarf? excuse ME. *does a double back-flip and karate chops someone*. And in contemporay it's even easier I'd think.

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    1. I know, it's as if just because you somehow differ from what's 'normal' (I hate that word) you can't be the kickass hero or main character. I agree that the contemporary genre has so much potential to allow these characters, too. Maybe we just need to cross our fingers and they'll turn up on bookshelves soon!

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  4. This is beyond true. I also have CP and I have only seen it in a book once- Say What You Will- you should check it out!

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    1. Thanks so much! I'll check it out :)

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Feel free to leave me a comment. I will get back to you as soon as I can! :)