This is a challenge which nine bloggers have come up with (names in the image above), to try to focus on reading more diversely in 2017. There’s a particular emphasis on own voices, and inclusion of race, disability and queerness, among other ‘categories’. This is a really varied challenge, and with it lasting for a year, there’s a chance to read some really interesting books which may not be my first choices.
I’ve built a 250-strong book recommendation list for this challenge, plus links and other resources, which you can view here. Use #DiversityBingo2017 to join in the conversation on Twitter. Here are my reading choices below, which I will add to the image above when I’ve read them and also link up to any reviews I write in the summaries of each book:
1. Romance with a trans MC: Finding Your Feet by Cass Lennox – asexual MC, trans biracial MC, queer dance studio, Toronto, past emotionally abusive relationship. Published 16th January 2017
2. Non-binary MC (#ownvoices): Lizard Radio by Pat Schmatz – fantasy, non-binary MC?, dystopia. Published 8th September 2015
3. SFF with disabled MC: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (#ownvoices) – romance, PTSD, physical disability, bisexuality, racial diversity. Published 29th September 2015
5. Indian MC (#ownvoices): Soulmated by Shaila Patel (#ownvoices) – Indian American, Irish royal, m/f romance, discussion of arranged marriage. Published 24th January 2017
6. Displaced MC: The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen (#ownvoices) – short stories, multiple MCs. Published 7th February 2017
7. MC with an under-represented body: Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy (#ownvoices) – unapologetically fat MC, beauty contest, high school romance. Published 15th September 2015
8. Neuro-diverse MC (#ownvoices): Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde – autism, anxiety, bisexual WOC, contemporary. Published 14th March 2017
10. Bisexual MC (#ownvoices): 27 Hours by Tristan Wright (#ownvoices) – sci-fi, deaf MC, lesbian mums?, lots of queer teens in space, pansexual rep, POC. Published 3rd October 2017
11. MC with an invisible disability: Two Girls Staring at the Ceiling by Lucy Frank (#ownvoices) – drugs, hospital, teen party, Chron’s disease (IBD). Published 5th August 2014. You can read my review here.
12. MC with an anaphylactic allergy: The Tidal Zone by Sarah Moss – allergies at fifteen, NHS, current UK-centered politics, stay-at-home Jewish father. Published 7th July 2016
13. MC of colour in SFF: Binti by Nnedi Okorafor (#ownvoices) – POC MC, university in space, cultural challenges, Namibian influences, MG. Published 22nd September 2015
14. (#ownvoices) Latinx MC: Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera (#ownvoices) – Puerto Rican lesbian MC, summer internship, interrogating feminism. Published 18th January 2016
15. Free choice: Fierce Family collection (some #ownvoices) – non-nuclear, adoptive, single parent, or childless families, South Asian diaspora woman, poly family, nonbinary characters, generally very queer families. Published 17th January 2014
16. Non-western (real world) setting: Purple Hibiscus by Chimimanda Ngozi Adiche (#ownvoices) – Catholic family (fanatical), good Christian rep, Nigerian military coup, university professor aunt. Published 2003.
17. (#ownvoices): Chameleon Moon by RoAnna Sylver (#ownvoices) – traumatised lizard spy with anxiety, a magic mechanic and her magic plant wife, a pyromaniac zombie, trans MC, three mums, fantasy, vaguely America, POC MCs, interracial queer poly family, disability rep. Published 11th October 2016. You can read my review here.
18. MC with chronic pain: Ascension by Jacqueline Koyanagi (#ownvoices) – chronic degenerative nerve disease (fibromyalgia?), everyone is a lesbian in space. Published 4th December 2013
19. West Asian setting: The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh (#ownvoices) – fantasy, 1001 Nights retelling, everyone’s a POC pretty sure. Published 12th May 2015. You can read my review here.
20. Arab MC (#ownvoices): The Bride of Amman by Fadi Zaghmout (#ownvoices) – Jordan’s capital, 5 MCs, gay MC, relationship struggles. Published 21st July 2015
21. MC with wheelchair: The Defectives by Burgandi Rakoska (#ownvoices)- MC with spine injury, superabilities, school for children with super abilities and disabilities, blind character, alternate 1950s, lots of disabled characters, none of them die. Published 25th May 2016. You can read my review here.
22. Book by author of colour: The Marauders’ Island by Tristan J. Tarwater – YA, pirate family, mages, trans character, LGBTQIA+ rep, POC MC
23. Biracial MC (#ownvoices): Everything Leads to You by Nina Lacour – film buff/set designer MC, f/f romance, lost letter mystery, biracial MC, black character(s?). Published 15th May 2014. You can read my review here.
24. Pansexual MC (#ownvoices): The Melody of You and Me by M. Hollis – f/f bookseller romance, pansexual MC, Filipino MC. Published 29th September 2016
25. Black MC (#ownvoices): The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon (#ownvoices) – Jamaican MC, Japanese MC, deportation threat, m/f romance, contemporary. Published 1st November 2016. You can read my review here.
26. MC on the ace spectrum (#ownvoices): Viral Airwaves by Claudine Arseneault – sci-fi plague, rebels, hot air balloon pilot, racial diversity, m/m romance, nb mentions, bisexual rebel leader MC, m/f romance, asexual MC. Published February 2015
27. LGBTQIA+ MC of colour: Not Your Sidekick by C. B. Lee – superhero internships, teen bisexual Asian MC. Published 8th September 2016
28. Visually impaired MC: Run by Kody Keplinger (#ownvoices) – legally blind MC, runaways, bisexual MC, contemporary. Published 28th June 2016
29. Book set in Central America: The Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste (#ownvoices) – Caribbean folklore, creatures, spooky MG, inspired by Haitian folktale ‘The Magic Orange Tree’. Published 28th April 2015
30. Contemporary world arranged marriage: Love in a Headscarf by Shelina Zahra Janmohamed (#ownvoices) – memoir, British Muslim MC wears a hijab, chooses arranged marriage, pilgrimage, faith. Published 1st October 2009
31. Indigenous MC (#ownvoices): Killer of Enemies by Joseph Bruchac (author is Abenaki/Slovak/English) – post apocalyptic, inspired by Apache legend, monster hunter, 17 yo Apache MC. Published 17th September 2013
32. Diverse non-fiction: Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina by Misty Copeland (#ownvoices) – memoir, only African American soloist w/American Ballet Theatre, story of ballet and life. Published 4th March 2014
33. POC on the cover: Shadowshaper by Daniel Jose Older (#ownvoices) – Caribbean magic, weeping graffiti, interracial lesbian couple, disabled grandfather, Afro-Latina MC, male Haitian love interest. Published 30th June 2015
34. D/deaf/Hard of Hearing MC: El Deafo by Cece Bell (#ownvoices) – MC with hearing aid, MC with accidentally super hearing aid, graphic novel, memoir, friendship. Published 2nd September 2014
35. Immigrant or refugee MC: The Bone Sparrow by Zana Fraillon – MC born in Australian permanent detention centre, family stories and folktales, Rohingya MC, magical realism. Published 1st November 2016.
36. Hijabi MC (#ownvoices): Ayesha Dean: The Istanbul Intrigue by Melati Lum – Australian teens, trip to Istanbul, hundred year old mystery, Muslim MC wears hijab, amateur detective. Published 5th April 2016