Tomi Adeyemi's Diverse Must-Reads to Rock Your World

Posted by Marie on February 20, 2018
Black History Month coverage is sponsored by One World Books.

Tomi Adeyemi's upcoming debut Children of Blood and Bone is one of 2018's most anticipated young adult novels. This West African-inspired fantasy introduces readers to the world of Orïsha, where magic once thrived but is now persecuted. The title has already been optioned for a film. In celebration of Black History Month, Adeyemi recommends diverse books that inspire empathy and change.

I remember the exact moment it happened.

I was lying in bed, cuddled up with my copy of Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older. After a long day of work at a job I wasn't crazy about, I was ready to get lost in Sierra Santiago's world and forget everything about my own.

But instead of losing myself in someone else's life, I stumbled across two paragraphs so intimate to my world that I felt like I was reading a diary entry.

In two paragraphs, Daniel gave me a mirror of my existence that I'd never had, and that mirror changed my life.

In that mirror Sierra discussed the self-esteem issues you have as a woman of color. She talked about how hard it was to grow up in a society that always tells you that your skin needs to be lighter, your hair needs to be straighter, and your existence needs to be whiter.

This was the story of my life in so many ways, but never did I expect to see that reflected in an awesome urban fantasy because I never got to be in awesome fantasies. Seeing myself intimately represented on the page was a feeling so incredible, I couldn't contain it, but after the excitement passed, I realized Daniel hadn't only created a mirror.

He'd created a window.

With this window, he made it possible for any person of any background to understand what it's like to be me. Something I had struggled to explain for so long was now something I could easily reference and discuss.

The mirror he created made me feel seen and heard. But the window he created changed me and my writing forever.

The ability to create windows and mirrors is the true power of literature. It allows us to walk in another person's shoes, see the world through their eyes, and be changed for the better because of it.

In a time where it constantly feels like the world is on fire, we need literature more than ever. I truly believe that books can bridge whatever's broken that causes us to see people who are different as less than human.

For this Black History Month, relive the greats. Celebrate all the awesome things George Washington Carver did with the peanut. Snap at how Madam C.J. Walker was the first black Bill Gates in the making.

But also celebrate the history that is being made right now by the incredible individuals of all colors working in publishing today. Whatever it is you like to read, gather around because I have some awesome recommendations for you to dive into or preorder!

Happy Black History Month!

Do you want to have your entire world rocked and learn more about what it's like to live in another person's shoes? Check out...

Do you want to have your entire world rocked and have your ears rocked by language so beautiful, you could cry? Check out...

Do you want to have your entire world rocked and fall in love? Check out...

Do you want to have your entire world rocked and live through some heart-wrenching experiences? Check out...

Do you want to have your entire world rocked and go on a kick-ass magical adventure for teens and adults? Check out...

Do you want to have your entire world rocked and go on a wonderful magical adventure for younger kids? Check out...

Do you want to have your entire world rocked and go into space or play with really awesome technology? Check out...

Comments Showing 1-15 of 15 (15 new)

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message 1: by Teresa (new)

Teresa Dawn, by Octavia Butler

message 2: by Elyse (last edited Feb 20, 2018 11:17AM) (new)

Elyse I've read Nyxia, An Ember in the Ashes, and Beasts Made of Night. The rest have all been in my TBR for awhile! Great list!

laura (bookies & cookies) Tomi and I have the same reading tastes because out of this list of 33, there are only 5 I haven't read or don't have on my TBR

This Kooky Wildflower Loves a Little Tea and Books I've read and planned to read some of these books. Great list all together.

Marie -The Reading Otter I got an eARC of Children of Blood and Bone from NetGalley a few months ago. It's phenomenal!

message 6: by Vickie (new)

Vickie Just added 10 to the Want to Read here and will add to my Wanton Wantin' Book List [WWBL] to take the store. I love reading and have three books going at any given time. Because of my daughter, my lists have become more diverse.

message 7: by Juliana (new)

Juliana Daughter of Smoke and Bone - Laini Taylor

message 8: by Stella (new)

Stella ☆Paper Wings☆ I have many favorites, but one I've been fangirling about a lot lately is Echo After Echo by Amy Rose Capetta. <3

message 9: by Kate (new)

Kate Willis Great post! I just read Slug Days.

message 10: by Chase (new)

Chase Wow. So many books that looks good to read. Not sure it's genre.

message 11: by Robin (new)

Robin The Binti trilogy & Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor.

message 12: by David (new)

David Nagy Thank you for your information.
God Bless You!

message 13: by Leah (new)

Leah Orleans by Sherri L. Smith is an incredible YA read.

message 14: by Claudia (new)

Claudia We should add Noughts and Crosses (by Malorie Blackman) to that list? Certainly opened my eyes. Also phenomenal!

message 15: by ❄Elsa Frost❄ (new)

❄Elsa Frost❄ This is a fantastic list, and I hope to peruse these books soon! I love the wide variety from authors of different backgrounds.

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