Hour 18: We Need Diverse Books

We’re close to halfway on the official clock and I’ve been absolutely heart eyes emoji about the online #24in48 community today. Between Instagram, Litsy, Twitter, Facebook, and Booktube, you guys are really making this weekend a team sport. I love how inclusive and supportive everyone is and I am here for it. Keep going, guys, you’re doing great!

One of the best ways that the online readathon community works is by exposing your fellow 24in48-ers to books that they may not otherwise have heard of or thought they’d be interested in. Personally, I recommend using readathon to check out diverse titles and authors. We Need Diverse Books in particular is an organization that advocates for changes in the children’s publishing industry in order to promote and encourage greater diversity of authors, characters, and subject matter. Diverse books normalize, empower, and make visible people who otherwise feel invisible or forgotten. 

If you’re not familiar with it, #ownvoices describes books written by authors that identify with the same marginalized group as the protagonists that they’re writing. This could include authors that identify as and are writing characters that are POCs, disabled, LGBTQ+, non-cisgender, etc.

The intention is two-fold: 1) reading #ownvoices books sends a message to the publishing community (which is traditionally, white, able-bodied, straight, and cisgender) that these books have audiences and encourage them to publish more of them, and 2) reading about characters from marginalized groups expands your own awareness of diversity and empathy, something I think we can all benefit from.

So for this hour’s challenge, I want you to recommend books by diverse/#ownvoices authors. Either leave a comment with your recommendations or take a photo of some of your favorite diverse books and drop the link/image in the comments. Give your fellow readers some suggestions for diverse books, and think about adding #ownvoices books to your TBR stack for the rest of the ‘thon.

Here’s a stack of our favorite diverse titles that would be perfect for readathoning:

You have until Hour 24 to enter this diversity challenge. And now to announce prize winners for the Hour 12 roadtrip challenge.

Veronica Éles (@vveronica96 on Twitter)

Jess (b-ookaddict.tumblr.com)

Austin R. (@aerobins13 on Litsy)

Stephanie (@realbooks4ever on Litsy)

Karina (@karina.reads on Litsy)

Julie (@den_siste_heksa on Instagram)

Michelle Sorensen (@hikingnugg on Twitter)

Allison Ivy (@msallisonivy on Twitter)

Michelle B. (@coffeecatsbooks on Litsy)

Britain Callen (@callemarie @ Litsy)

Head over to the Prize page and pick your poison in the form. And don’t forget you have six hours left to enter the Intro Challenge from Hour Zero.

184 thoughts on “Hour 18: We Need Diverse Books

  1. I always have issue with realizing if a book is diverse or not. But the two books that come to mind also happen to be two of my all time favorite!

    1. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
    2. The Perks of Being a Wallflower
    3. Everything, everything

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Anything and everything by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
    This is more graphic novel, but the Lumberjane series by Noelle Stevenson, Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis, and Brooke Allen
    Someone mentioned Weike Wang’s Chemistry already (on my TBR list)
    Aziz Ansari’s Modern Romance is on my TBR list as well
    Behold the Dreamers – Imbolo Mbue
    The Association of Small Bombs – Karan Mahajan

    Liked by 1 person

  3. adele on Litsy as @AdeleReads says:


    We Should All Be Feminists – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

    Between the World and Me – Ta-Nehesi Coates (reading now!)

    Create Dangerously – Edwidge Danticat

    Deep River – Shusaku Endo

    Why Be Happy When You Can Be Normal? – Jeanette Winterston

    God Help the Child – Toni Morrison

    A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry

    A Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World – Haruki Murakami

    Obasan – Joy Kogawa

    The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven – Sherman Alexie

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Some of my favorite recent diverse reads:
    1. My Favorite Thing is Monsters by Emil Ferris
    2. My Brother;s Husband by Gengoroh Tagame
    3. The In-Between World of Vikram Lall by M.G. Vassanji
    4. Salt Houses by Hala Alywan
    5. Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

    Liked by 1 person

  5. cyrenitis says:

    The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by NK Jemisin is in my #24in48 stack! I love her Broken Earth series and would def recommend.

    Also: The Hate You Give, Homegoing, The Mothers, Every Body Yoga, Another Brooklyn, Behold the Dreamers


  6. Mackenzie Jones says:

    There are so many diverse books that I want to read!

    Struck by Lightning by: Chris Colfer
    The Pregnancy Project by: Gaby Rodriguez


  7. Some diverse books that I have read are:
    1. Six of Crows -Leigh Bardugo
    2. Heroes of Olympus/Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard/Trials of Apollo – Rick Riordan
    3. Song of Achilles – Madeline Miller
    4. Aristotel and Dante discover the secrets of the Univers – Benjamin Alire Saenz


  8. Jamie Guerrero says:

    Some of my favorite diverse books I’ve recently read:
    #ownvoices #diversebooks #weneeddiversebooks

    Binti by Nnedi Okorafor (Sci-fi)

    Stay with me by Ayobami Adebayo (Fiction)

    Revenge by Yoko Ogawa (Short stories-Horror)

    The Fith Season by N.K Jemisin (Fantasy)

    Every Heart a Doorway and Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire (Fantasy/YA)

    We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Nonfiction)

    Some of the books I would love to read this year:

    A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki (Fiction)

    Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Fiction)

    Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi (Historical)


  9. Morgan says:

    My choices for diverse must-reads. Love this readathon 100 times more than I thought possible! 🤓

    •Letters to my Daughter by Maya Angelou
    •Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
    •The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
    •Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
    •Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
    •Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay

    bookloo’s post on Litsy


  10. I’ve had some mahvelous diverse reads so far for this readathon! I’ve read The Education of Margot Sanchez and finally got around to one of Cassandra Khaw’s books (fantastic), AND I read a lovely collection of Caribbean SF stories. Next I am thinking of trying some more Cassandra Khaw — I’ve got Food for the Gods in my stack!


  11. Delmy says:

    I read a lot of thrillers, mostly horror so I don’t have that many diverse books. I tend to find one author who’s writing I’m comfortable with and stick with them, I need to spread out more though.

    My recommendations:
    1. Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
    2. You Can’t Touch My Hair by Phoebe Robinson
    3. Night by Eli Wiesel
    4. American Gods by Neil Gaiman
    5. Crazy Rich Asian by Kevin Kwan (haven’t read this one yet, I’ve been waiting to purchase a copy for a while)


  12. Dorothy says:

    My current readathon book is The Parable of the Talents by Octavia Butler–Highly recommend her work!! Other recent favorites by women of color include:

    Hunger — Roxane Gay
    You Can’t Touch My Hair — Phoebe Robinson
    LaRose — Louise Erdrich
    Behold the Dreamers — Imbolo Mbue
    We Love You, Charlie Freeman — Kaitlyn Greenidge
    The Vegetarian — Han Kang


  13. My recommendations:
    The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig
    Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
    An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
    Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova


  14. Some recent favorites are Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, When Dimple Met Rishi, and Queens of Geek! I’m also really looking forward to picking up an Adam Silvera book tomorrow for the Biannual Bibliothon!


  15. Heather says:

    charminggoats’s post on Litsy
    http://litsy.com/p/WDlMTDVYOG92 Here’s my rec!

    Lara Jean is dealing with her mother’s death, her sister going away to college… really just a complete change in her family and how things are done. She’s taken up the role of trying to keep family and cultural traditions alive while dealing with high school drama. As her family is cleaning out the house, some letters she wrote to boys she’s fallen in love with in the past have gone missing. Those letters were never meant to be seen, and some of them are from all the way back in middle school. Now they’ve been mailing to the guys and Lara Jean has to deal with the fallout. It’s incredibly awkward but makes for a good book. I highly recommend to the YA readers out there.


  16. Rebecca Haling says:

    My favorite #ownvoices books from this year are:
    -The Underground Railroad (black American)
    -Just Mercy (black American)
    -The Bluest Eye (black American)
    -Not My Father’s Son (bisexuality)
    -Born a Crime (biracial)
    -Born Both (intersex, nonbinary)
    -The Bonesetter’s Daughter (Chinese American)
    -Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl (anaphylactic allergy)
    -Their Eyes Were Watching God (black American)
    -Peter Darling (gay, transgender)
    -Summer is My Favorite Season (refugee)
    -Where Am I Now? (OCD)
    -Fingersmith (lesbian)
    -Reasons to Stay Alive (depression, anxiety, panic disorder)
    -Purple Hibiscus (Nigerian)


  17. Twitter: @MeggGriffin/@JBCPodcast

    Tis one was an easy pick for me — I grabbed my 2017 starter set of diversity picks. Thank you!


  18. ensconcedya says:

    I’ve recently read some great diverse books. All the boys I’ve loved before, if u was your girl by Russo, the love letters of abelard and Lily, miles away from you, and starfish! Christina at Ensconced in Lit @CAhnBooks


  19. I just read two wonderful diverse books:

    You’re Welcome, Universe by Whitney Gardner (deaf Indian teen with two deaf moms one of whom is also Indian – hello intersectionality!!)

    Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson (this ones a killer. In a good way. Also in a tough way.)

    Oh and Goldie Vance!
    @lizgotauco on Litsy!


  20. Alondra Minor says:

    aloslibrary’s post on Litsy

    #diverse #weneeddiversebooks #lgtbq+ #representationmatters @24in48 #24in48 George by Alex Gino is my recommendation for diverse book. It’s touching, funny, and accessible. We need more children’s books that represent us all in our lovely uniqueness 😁✌️🌈 5/5 ⭐️ from both my son (10) and I. #ownvoices


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