Top Ten Tuesday (9): Ten Books That Celebrate Diversity

July 21, 2015 2015 28

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Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. This week, the theme is “Ten Books That Celebrate Diversity” and we’re happy to be participating!


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The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

I am so fond of this dystopian vampire trilogy. I’m especially fond of the second book which is just a thing of gory, action packed, ass kicking POC heroine, romantic glory. You know, it’s basically all of the things I love best. Alison + katana + vampiric badassery=everything you need.

Eon by Alison Goodman

Eon is a fantasy duology of magic, mysticism, and dragons in a blend of Japanese and Chinese astrology. Plus, there’s also the cross dressing element as Eon is really Eona, a girl hiding in plain sight as a boy since everyone just knows that a girl could never be a Dragoneye. Obviously.

Runaways by Brian K. Vaughn

I love this graphic novel series about a group of teenagers who find out their parents are all part of a league of super villains. The teens react to the news in different ways and they, of course, have inherited some powers of their own. To use them for good or ill? The group is racially diverse and one of their member, Karolina (my favorite!) is a lesbian. Also, one of the kids has a pet velociraptor and did you really need to know any more?

The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough

This lyrically written historical novel follows Love and Death personified as they bring their ancient game to 1930’s Seattle. Racial tension, class privilege, and queer identities are all explored in this beautiful and heart wrenching story.

Partials by Dan Wells

Partials is one of my favorite YA dystopian series and happens to feature two super badass (though in different ways) POC heroines. I love a good dystopian so much and add in an army of genetically engineered super soldiers struggling to reconcile their humanity and I’m hooked. Plus Kira, the main character, is also a scientist. STEM ladies ftw!






Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie

One of the most unique books I’ve ever read. All sense of gender is completely flipped as all characters are referred to as “she” no matter what their actual gender. Gender is such a non thing in this distant future society that pronouns literally don’t matter. This book is about the consciousness of an artificially intelligent ship that gets stuck into a puny human body. It’s space opera at its greatest. Also, basically none of the characters are white as would make sense of a humanity thousands and thousands of years into the future. Finally this is accurately portrayed in sci-fi!

A Matter of Souls by Denise Lewis Patrick

This book is criminally underrated and unknown. A 2014 release, the book is a compendium of short stories all relating the Black experience in America from the days of slavery through to the 20th century. It is as heart achingly sad as you’d expect but with moments of joy and of hope. It deserves to have much more attention that it’s received.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

This beautiful and quiet and soaringly lyrical book tells the story of Ari and Dante, two Mexican-American teens growing up and growing together in the 1980’s. It’s such a tender portrayal of friendship and of how friendship can develop into more so naturally and quietly. A beautiful story of love and acceptance and one of my very favorite pieces of queer fiction.

The Animorphs series by K.A. Applegate

Did you think I was never going to find a way to sneak Animorphs into a TTT? You thought wrong! Two of the five original gang are POC and maybe I shouldn’t be as impressed as I am, but this was the 90’s and such things were much less common. Please don’t make me beg you to read this amazing MG series about kids who transform into animals to save the Earth against a race of parasitic aliens. Come on.

Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman

Shadow Scale expanded upon the world and already strong cast of characters, taking us on a cross-continental journey in search of half-dragons and gods.  Layla said this is one of the most queer-friendly fantasy books she’s ready in years and I agree! It’s a little bit spoiler-y to go into why exactly, but the reveal is done so well and it is such a delight (and a great resolution to a sort of love triangle).


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And there are my top ten diverse books! There are so many others on my TBR and many that I’m sure just slipped my mind for this exercise. I basically rely on my Goodreads shelving capabilities when looking up reads by diversity factor. So tell me–what’s missing from my list? Agree? Disagree with my choices? I’d love to hear your thoughts!


kim teal










28 Responses to “Top Ten Tuesday (9): Ten Books That Celebrate Diversity”

  1. Sanjana

    Immortal rules seems very cool especially because it is a dystopia. I have read other Julie Kagawa books and I liked them all so I can’t wait to read this one.

  2. Keertana @ Ivy Book Bindings

    I absolutely agree that Eon, Aristotle, and Shadow Scale are all prime examples of diversity. I also want to add Courtney Milan’s Trade Me, which features an immigrant protagonist, as well as Sarah Ockler’s The Summer of Chasing Mermaids which features another PoC protagonist, this time with a disability as she cannot speak. I’ll be checking out the other titles on this list soon, though, especially since I recently wrote a post about the lack of diversity in YA and want to try to find more diverse reads in the genre (and all genres)! :)
    Keertana @ Ivy Book Bindings recently posted…Discussion: On YA’s Tropeyness

  3. Carina Olsen

    Gorgeous list Kim :D I must admit that I don’t notice diversity and such in books when reading, sigh :\ But your list is amazing :) And yay for The Immortal Rules. <3 I adore that series too. It's oh so amazing :D Thank you for sharing about these stunning books sweetie :)
    Carina Olsen recently posted…In My Mailbox #195

  4. Meghana

    I didn’t enjoy the iron fey series much but it sounds like immortal rules will be better. I will probably give it a try. Nice post.

  5. Pili @ In Love With Handmade

    Fantastic list Kim!!

    I need to continue reading more Animorph books, I think I’m on book 5 now!
    And I have The Game of Love and Death and hope to get to it soonish, once I’ve made more of a dent on my pending ARC pile!

    I adooored the way the sort of love triangle was solved in Shadow Scale and even more the way genders and pronouns were used in Porphyry!
    Pili @ In Love With Handmade recently posted…Tell Me Tuesdays #28!!

  6. Alexa S.

    It makes my heart so happy to see Eon, the Animorphs and Shadow Scale on this list! Those are some great selections for a list including diverse books, particularly because it’s also fun to experience diversity in genres other than contemporary sometimes :)
    Alexa S. recently posted…Racing the Sun – Karina Halle (+ Giveaway)

  7. Erin @ The Book Archive

    I haven’t read Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe yet! I don’t even know why. I mean, EVERYONE loves it to pieces and the characters names are spot on. I love your list, although I must admit I haven’t read one of them…yikes.

    • Kim

      Thanks for stopping by and so glad you liked those two! I can’t wait to check out your list, Sue! I definitely need some new perspectives out of the same old North American/European ones!
      Kim recently posted…Lies We Tell Ourselves: Review

  8. Jess @ Curiouser and Curiouser

    Brilliant list! I remember Animorphs! I can’t remember if I read the books, though I think I must have read one or two, but I can remember the show that used to be on TV in the ’90s. :D So many of these books are on my TBR; The Immortal Rules, Eon, The Game of Love and Death, Ancillary Justice, Seraphina… One day I’ll get to them all!
    Jess @ Curiouser and Curiouser recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday | Books That Celebrate Diversity

    • Kim

      Thanks, Jess! If you’ve only seen the TV series you absolutely owe it to yourself to track down the books. They are amazing stories of war, courage, friendship, sacrifice, and love. And so, so powerful. I think they’re classics and should never have gone out of print! Check em outtttt or I might end up nagging you endlessly. *solemn nod*

      I think you will especially love ANCILLARY JUSTICE and SERAPHINA so I hope you can get to them soonish!!
      Kim recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday (9): Ten Books That Celebrate Diversity