Diversity in Young Adult and Middle Grade

YA and MG books about diverse characters and/or written by diverse authors. Not limited to, but includes: Disability, Ethnicity, Race, GLBT.
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4.14 avg rating — 664,273 ratings
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3

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4.06 avg rating — 842,721 ratings
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4.34 avg rating — 247,770 ratings
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5

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4.20 avg rating — 1,230,706 ratings
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6

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4.33 avg rating — 6,276,819 ratings
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7

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4.44 avg rating — 705,195 ratings
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8

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3.77 avg rating — 328,625 ratings
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9

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4.30 avg rating — 276,814 ratings
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10

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3.88 avg rating — 70,703 ratings
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11

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4.17 avg rating — 403,430 ratings
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12

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4.28 avg rating — 303,171 ratings
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13

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4.29 avg rating — 2,461,723 ratings
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14

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3.98 avg rating — 70,378 ratings
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15

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4.46 avg rating — 185,807 ratings
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16

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4.02 avg rating — 780 ratings
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17

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3.84 avg rating — 285,106 ratings
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18

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3.88 avg rating — 1,174,121 ratings
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19

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4.10 avg rating — 1,591,270 ratings
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20

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4.52 avg rating — 475,747 ratings
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21

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4.44 avg rating — 266,703 ratings
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22

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4.25 avg rating — 1,945,943 ratings
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23

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3.93 avg rating — 761,354 ratings
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24

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4.16 avg rating — 468,050 ratings
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25

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4.06 avg rating — 364,063 ratings
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26

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4.02 avg rating — 10,286 ratings
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27

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4.09 avg rating — 307,667 ratings
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28

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4.09 avg rating — 40,013 ratings
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29

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3.79 avg rating — 10,819 ratings
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30

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4.15 avg rating — 13,852 ratings
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31

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4.14 avg rating — 248,293 ratings
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32

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4.18 avg rating — 188,626 ratings
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33

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4.25 avg rating — 141,573 ratings
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34

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3.62 avg rating — 31,136 ratings
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35

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4.34 avg rating — 605,383 ratings
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36

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4.06 avg rating — 20,900 ratings
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37

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4.13 avg rating — 470,220 ratings
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38

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4.45 avg rating — 290,757 ratings
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39

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4.02 avg rating — 302,422 ratings
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40

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3.96 avg rating — 47,692 ratings
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41

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3.77 avg rating — 111,134 ratings
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42

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4.22 avg rating — 50,173 ratings
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43

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4.20 avg rating — 436 ratings
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43

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4.03 avg rating — 708 ratings
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45

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4.09 avg rating — 11,472 ratings
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46

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4.02 avg rating — 11,378 ratings
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47

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4.26 avg rating — 839,004 ratings
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48

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3.92 avg rating — 1,329 ratings
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49

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4.15 avg rating — 437,913 ratings
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50

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3.93 avg rating — 52,525 ratings
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51

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3.83 avg rating — 64,511 ratings
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52

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4.03 avg rating — 37,210 ratings
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53

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3.97 avg rating — 149,053 ratings
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54

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4.23 avg rating — 193,770 ratings
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55

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4.27 avg rating — 198,407 ratings
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56

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3.63 avg rating — 16,695 ratings
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57

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4.45 avg rating — 431,066 ratings
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58

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4.02 avg rating — 1,029,953 ratings
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59

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3.93 avg rating — 103 ratings
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60

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4.03 avg rating — 37,761 ratings
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61

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4.09 avg rating — 63,653 ratings
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62

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3.84 avg rating — 20,816 ratings
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63

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4.10 avg rating — 77,187 ratings
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64

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4.38 avg rating — 106,772 ratings
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65

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3.56 avg rating — 3,357 ratings
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66

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4.04 avg rating — 2,304,409 ratings
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67

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4.03 avg rating — 1,147,525 ratings
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68

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4.23 avg rating — 49,252 ratings
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69

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4.21 avg rating — 156,345 ratings
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70

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4.18 avg rating — 196 ratings
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71

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3.73 avg rating — 2,396 ratings
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72

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3.75 avg rating — 7,497 ratings
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73

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4.20 avg rating — 438 ratings
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74

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3.98 avg rating — 46,326 ratings
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75

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3.95 avg rating — 282,824 ratings
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76

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3.84 avg rating — 47,591 ratings
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77

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3.74 avg rating — 14,433 ratings
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78

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4.06 avg rating — 601 ratings
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79

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4.29 avg rating — 118,530 ratings
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80

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3.87 avg rating — 17,254 ratings
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81

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3.61 avg rating — 4,627 ratings
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82

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3.99 avg rating — 233,545 ratings
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83

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4.15 avg rating — 2,683,703 ratings
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84

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3.87 avg rating — 9,706 ratings
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85

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3.60 avg rating — 3,715 ratings
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86

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4.12 avg rating — 74 ratings
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87

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3.96 avg rating — 54,914 ratings
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88

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3.88 avg rating — 10,198 ratings
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89

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3.72 avg rating — 8,019 ratings
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90

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3.74 avg rating — 3,588 ratings
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91

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4.20 avg rating — 29,732 ratings
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92

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4.13 avg rating — 2,080 ratings
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93

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3.71 avg rating — 5,707 ratings
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93

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3.29 avg rating — 8,502 ratings
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95

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4.13 avg rating — 42,010 ratings
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96

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 38,472 ratings
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97

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4.09 avg rating — 658 ratings
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98

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4.11 avg rating — 19 ratings
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99

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3.79 avg rating — 203,024 ratings
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100

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3.86 avg rating — 15,322 ratings
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1,636 books · 1,108 voters · list created January 17th, 2012 by Emilia (votes) .
235 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Emilia 3165 books
176 friends
Tamora 2724 books
4528 friends
Michael 456 books
194 friends
Kayleigh 1798 books
47 friends
Elisquared 3025 books
432 friends
Ronni 703 books
36 friends
Julia 5044 books
163 friends
Polenth 599 books
355 friends

More voters…


Comments Showing 1-20 of 20 (20 new)

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Lark of The Bookwyrm's Hoard I love The Horse and His Boy, but I don't know that it belongs on this list. None of the Calormene characters are portrayed positively, with the notable exception of Aravis. Given that Calormen and its religion are clearly intended to evoke historically Muslim nations such as Persia, the anti-Calormene bias is troubling (though perhaps understandable in historical context.)


message 2: by Emilia (new)

Emilia The Bookwyrm's Hoard wrote: "I love The Horse and His Boy, but I don't know that it belongs on this list. None of the Calormene characters are portrayed positively, with the notable exception of Aravis. Given that Calormen and..."


Hey! I created the list, but once I released it out into the wild, I no longer have control of who votes for what. But of course, I like a discussion in the comments!


Lark of The Bookwyrm's Hoard Oh, I wasn't directing my comment at any particular person! And I really appreciate the list -- #WeNeedDiverseBooks for a whole lot of reasons!


message 4: by Christine (new)

Christine Emilia, I also think this is an essential list and thank you for starting it. However, like you pointed out, I've heard other bibliophiles who started particular lists say that people put books on the list that have nothing to do with the heading info. Yet they not only have no control over erroneous books added to the list, but they have no recourse to get those erroneous books removed. I would hope people would be smart enough to know which books are and which are not representative of diversity on this list. btw, there is another list titled "POC main characters" someone started before Debby's #weneeddiversebooks campaign that narrows down the criteria considerably. Maybe someone could do that where they have one GLBT list and one (fill in the blank) list, etc., separating them more distinctly.


message 5: by Byron (new)

Byron Gann Great list! Huge resource on what to read next. :)
Thank you so much for putting this together and starting it.

I wish GR would give list creators more control over removing books that shouldn't be on the list though, because while I love the Harry Potter books, the major complaint about the series is the lack of diverse characters...like that's the biggest complaint in the fan base.


message 6: by Kate (last edited Oct 22, 2014 07:16AM) (new)

Kate I'm a Goodreads librarian - I removed some books that I know for sure do not meet the criteria of this list:

- Harry Potter series
- Chronicles of Narnia series
- Percy Jackson series
- Books that are not YA or middle-grade, like The Kite Runner and To Kill a Mockingbird

There are some I'm not sure fit, but I haven't read them - the top-rated book, for example. The only diverse content I can see from the description is that the main character cross-dresses, but that's more in a "need to pretend to be a boy for practical reasons" than "my gender identity is male," from what I can gather. But I've left it in case I'm wrong.


message 7: by Mrs. Bernet (last edited Jan 14, 2015 09:27AM) (new)

Mrs. Bernet How is the Hunger Games series a part of this list? It has three minor (emphasis on minor) characters of color. BTW, those characters all die before book 3! Please remove the Hunger Games series from this list.


message 8: by Deborah (new)

Deborah Starling The Doomsday Kids series by Karyn Folan deserves a high place in any list such as this. The books in this amazing YA series are the richest in diversity that I have ever read.
Not only in terms of ethnic background but there are strong characters with disability, homosexual characters and overweight characters that are all great examples of how to write an excellent cast outside of the expected, boring cliches. I highly recommend this series.
http://thedoomsdaykids.com/wp/


message 9: by Caitlin (new)

Caitlin Kate wrote: "I'm a Goodreads librarian - I removed some books that I know for sure do not meet the criteria of this list:

- Harry Potter series
- Chronicles of Narnia series
- Percy Jackson series
- Books that..."


Why wouldn't the Percy Jackson books fit? Many of the main characters in the series have ADHD and dyslexia.


message 10: by Patrick (new)

Patrick Hodges I would like to nominate my book Ethan's Secret for this list. It deals with sexual development, and also touches on teen homosexuality.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...


message 11: by n (last edited Jun 25, 2016 07:20PM) (new)

n I know there are a lot of girls in Rick Yancey's The 5th Wave, but I don't feel like it's a diverse book at all? That feels like a straw-grasping. And even the one who isn't coded as white (through stereotypes, mind you) isn't explicitly shown as being anything but white until the next book.

And even in regards to disabilities (all of which are sustained from someone else, since we're seeing a lot of messages about 'getting rid of the weak'), I'm not really sure it'd fit there, either.


message 12: by Karen (new)

Karen Mrs. Bernet wrote: "How is the Hunger Games series a part of this list? It has three minor (emphasis on minor) characters of color. BTW, those characters all die before book 3! Please remove the Hunger Games series fr..."

Katniss ethnicity isn't white. It doesn't matter if the sister is blond, the father was POC and so is katniss.


message 13: by Shadowjac (new)

Shadowjac Karen wrote: "Mrs. Bernet wrote: "How is the Hunger Games series a part of this list? It has three minor (emphasis on minor) characters of color. BTW, those characters all die before book 3! Please remove the Hu..."

What race was Katniss's father, and where do we learn this in the books?


message 14: by Lois (last edited Jan 28, 2017 03:00PM) (new)

Lois Shadowjac wrote: "Karen wrote: "Mrs. Bernet wrote: "How is the Hunger Games series a part of this list? It has three minor (emphasis on minor) characters of color. BTW, those characters all die before book 3! Please..."

The book doesn't mention race but mentions that most people of district 12 including Katniss Gale and Katniss father had dark skin or olive therefore POC. They aren't tanned. Question for you: Does the book mention Katniss being white? The sister is blond but Katniss resembles her dad.


message 15: by Cheldel (new)

Cheldel Katniss' race is a futuristic race. She isn't white.


message 16: by Emotonal (new)

Emotonal Reads I wonder why they made Katniss white in the movies, is that how the author saw her? Right now she doesn't seem to fit to me.
Does the future sees women of color looking more white than any other race?

I just have a problem seeing has anything but white. the author should have stood up to movie exec. about casting the characters the way they truly are.

no offense meant, just my humble opinion.


Reading Everywhere Emotonal wrote: "I wonder why they made Katniss white in the movies, is that how the author saw her? Right now she doesn't seem to fit to me.
Does the future sees women of color looking more white than any other r..."


Whitewashing is common in movies. Also, not exactly whitewashing, but Anabeth from Percy Jackson isn't blonde or 12 years old in the movie. Movies never get it right.


message 18: by Soccermom174 (new)

Soccermom174 Emotonal wrote: "I wonder why they made Katniss white in the movies, is that how the author saw her? Right now she doesn't seem to fit to me.
Does the future sees women of color looking more white than any other r..."


It's called white-washing.


message 19: by Connie (new)

Connie Island of the Blue Dolphins (Island of the Blue Dolphins, #1)

While it's technically true that there is a Native American main character, this book is pretty inaccurate and problematic. Should it really be on this list?


message 20: by rachel ☾ (new)

rachel ☾ @connie: unfortunately, this list is simply for listing diverse YA/MG books. it is not a list of 'good' diverse stories (etc) so I cannot take it off the list (it'd be against policy since it technically fits the criteria). But that sort of commentary is perfect for your personal review space. thanks for bringing it to our attention.


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