Bookshare promotes diversity in teen reading through books that feature people of color
By Amreen Ahmed, Bookshare Operations Associate
Diversity in Young Adult (YA) literature has become increasingly important to today’s teens. Bookshare members are a diverse group, so it’s important that the books in the collection reflect that diversity. Bookshare’s Special Collections have seen several new additions the past few months, making it easier than ever to find Reading Lists that match everyone’s interests. One particular list – Latest YA Reads with POC Leads — focuses on Young Adult novels that feature people of color (POC) as the main characters.
This list was inspired by a literacy app called We Read Too created by Kaya Thomas, a software engineer and computer science graduate from Dartmouth College. “I wanted diverse literature to be easier to find and more accessible. Growing up, I saw an immense lack of representation in literature for kids of color,” says Kaya on her website.
We Read Too showcases over 600 children’s and Young Adult fiction books written by authors of color for people of color and allows educators, parents, librarians and community members to expose youth of color to books that have characters who look like them. The Bookshare Special Collection — Latest YA Reads with POC Leads — has the same goal and contains 34 books with characters of color. See some of our favorite picks below.
On the Digital Bookshelf
Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson – a powerful story about a girl striving for success in a world that too often seems like it’s trying to break her.
The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco – Twelve-year-old Tea accidentally raises her brother from the dead and learns that she is a bone witch. She must learn to control her magic so it does not destroy her.
The Harlem Charade by Natasha Tarpley – Alex, Jin and Elvin solve a mystery set in Harlem involving missing paintings, an assault, crooked land deals, and the fate of Harlem’s legacy.
The Library of Fates by Aditi Khorana – a fantasy steeped in Indian folklore about a rogue princess, a freed oracle, and a library with the power to change their fate.
We encourage you to explore these diverse literary treasures and share them with a young reader today!
View entire collection: Latest YA Reads with POC Leads
Learn more about Bookshare’s Special Collections