July 21: Ten Books That Celebrate Diversity/Diverse Characters (example: features minority/religious minority, socioeconomic diversity, disabled MC, neurotypical character, LGBTQ etc etc.)
I’m answering this one because I want to see whether I can actually name 10!
1. The Flavia de Luce series – the de Luce family are Catholic (definitely a minority in the UK, particularly in the 1950s) and the narrator refers to this frequently.
2. Alan Marshall’s I Can Jump Puddles – I remember this book so clearly because the idea (to me, as a 9?-year-old) of being so disabled by a common childhood illness was so strange to me. A beautiful, wonderful book – well, it is in my mind anyway!
3. Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird. All over the news at the moment because of Go Set A Watchman being released, but I think that this, and other books featuring unjust accusation of African Americans in a predominately white society (at least one, if not two or three, of the John Grisham books are in this mold?) definitely deserve a mention here.
4. Melina Marchetta’s Looking for Alibrandi – being an Italian Australian is almost as big a theme in this as being a child born out of wedlock.
5. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley) is entirely about diversity (or lack of it).
6. Narnia! How did I get to item 6 on the list before I thought of the Narnia books?
7. Several of Amy Tan’s books touch on being Chinese in the USA and assorted cultural conflicts.
8. Ann Patchett’s Bel Canto is full of cross-cultural conflict and romance – particularly the romance between Gen (Japanese translator) and Carmen (illiterate rebel native to the unnamed Central/South American country)
9. Anne of Green Gables? Orphan, red hair, often picked on for one or the other…
10. William Golding’s Lord of the Flies – is it a stretch to list Piggy as a diverse character?
This was a real challenge – and several of mine are a stretch!
Books I should have read and which The Physicist says it is embarrassing that I have not read:
Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited
J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings (“It’s even got 4 different species of characters, how much more diverse can you get?”)
All sci-fi/fantasy, ever.
The Bible (OK, I’ve read most of this in small pieces)