Being a child of the Internet and following loads of bookish people on Twitter, the call for more diverse books (diverse in every which way possible) has certainly not gone unnoticed by me.
There is even an entire organisation dedicated to the finding and creating of diverse fiction for children and Young Adults: We Need Diverse Books. On their website they state the following as their mission:
We Need Diverse Books™ is a grassroots organization of children’s book lovers that advocates essential changes in the publishing industry to produce and promote literature that reflects and honors the lives of all young people.
How we define diversity:
We recognize all diverse experiences, including (but not limited to) LGBTQIA, people of color, gender diversity, people with disabilities*, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities.
Since noticing this movement (if that’s what you want to call it) I have been more aware of the texts I’m reading and whether they offer anything diversity-wise.
I must admit that I can be a bit apprehensive, or scared even, to talk about issues such as the need for diversity in fiction, out of fear of saying the wrong thing or not having thought what I’m saying through enough. However, I still want to recognise that I understand the need for diverse fiction and I want to aid in raising awareness for that need and books that fulfil that.
Therefore, I have decided to use the tag ‘diverse fiction’ on my blog. Any posts on this blog that discuss or review books that offer (major) characters that are different from the cis-gender heterosexual white people that for some reason seem to be the standard, will be tagged with ‘diverse fiction’. That way if you, the reader of this blog, are interested in seeking out diverse fiction, it will be easier for you. I will discuss the diverse aspects more in-depth if they are of importance to the course of the story (say, if discrimination is a big part of the storyline). If you would like me to add to book reviews what sort of elements of diversity the book in question entails, please tell me in the comments and I could do that.
Please let me know what you think of my decision down below, and if you have any tips for discussing matters as these in a thoughtful manner I’d appreciate whatever you have to offer.