Top Ten Tuesday: Diverse Books


Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Each week there’s a different Top Ten list. It’s a great way to find and connect with other awesome bloggers.

A quick note! I’m going to be giving you more than ten books. Just putting that out there. It’s impossible to stick to so few!

I mean, I’m sure you guys have NOTHING to read. I’m sure your TBR piles are TINY and not reaching the roof. (is it even possible to have a small TBR? Or is that an urban legend?)

So let’s begin!

Oh, and I almost forgot. I made a group on Goodreads called YA Bloggers Celebrating Diverse Books. If you want to give some more recommendations, or have some awesome discussions, you can join the group here.



The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

There’s debate about whether Cinder herself is Asian or white, but a lot of the series is set in Beijing, which is a lovely change!


this star won't go outmao's last dancer

This Star Won’t Go Out by Esther Earl, and Mao’s Last Dancer by Li Cunxin

This Star Won’t Go Out is filled with letters, photos, writings and diary entries from both Esther Earl and her friends and family. It explores the life of Esther Earl, who died of cancer, and the idea that her life was still fulfilling and beautiful.

Mao’s Last Dancer is a fantastic book – I absolutely love it. It’s written almost in a fictional way, but it’s a true story of a boy who went from a life of poverty to one of dance. Just…read it.


bird crystal chan the mimosa tree the first third

part time indian aristotle and dante looking for alibrandi

Bird by Crystal Chan – if you haven’t already read this book, you need to. It is incredible.

The Mimosa Tree by Antonella Preto – more an NA, but I liked the Italian culture in this

The First Third by Will Kostakis – Greek culture and influences, as well as a disabled best friend

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian – one of the most banned books of all time (if that’s not a reason to read it, I don’t know what is!)

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe – this could also fit into the LGBT/GENDER category, but I decided to put it here. I finished it recently and…oh my goodness, guys. It is beautiful.

Looking for Alibrandi – Italian culture again! An Aussie classic.


every daywill grayson, will graysoni am j

Every Day by David Levithan – the protagonist doesn’t have a gender, and that was a really interesting concept to explore

Will Grayson, Will Grayson – one of the protagonists in this book is gay, and while it’s not one of my favourite books out there, I still like it 🙂

I Am J by Cris Beam – again, not one of my favourites, but there are VERY few YA books about transgendered people, and this is one, so I thought I’d include it


perksit's kind of a funny storythis song will save your life

the impossible knife of memoryperfect

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky – one of my absolute favourite YA books

It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini – ditto

This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales – this book is so sad but also hopeful

The Impossible Knife of Memory – a father with PTSD.

Perfect by Ellen Hopkins – revolving around a number of different teens who try to be, you guessed it, perfect


eleanor and park 2dead ends

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell – we have a main character who is Asian, and our second main character who is weird, and an outsider. It’s also quite dark in some parts, but the romance aspect is adorable.

Dead Ends by Erin Lange – a bully, a boy with Down syndrome, a girl with two dads – there’s diversity bursting out of this book

It’s weird how most of these books are contemporary YA. I mean, yeah, that’s the genre I read most of, but it’s definitely a trend.

And it’s a trend I’m going to talk about tomorrow. 

Do you have any other recommendations for me? Thoughts? Have you read any of these books? Let me know in comments (and link me to your TTTs!)

12 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Diverse Books

  1. I’m pretty extra sure Cinder is Asian…I was on Marissa Meyer’s pinterest boards and she’d pinned all Asian woman as inspiration for Cinder. So. There you go! x) But I wasn’t 100% sure at first either. OH. So many awesome books here!!! I’m really on the look out for diverse books atm, buuuut, I struggle to find ones that are awesomely written AS WELL as include diverse characters/events. I lovelovelove This Song and Dead Ends and Looking for Alibrandi and The Impossible Knife and Perks and E&P. GOSH I AM SO PROUD OF ME. I’ve read so many on your list!! Will Grayson is one of the next John Greens Imma going to try.

    • Oh, okay. Someone said that she’s originally European…? Anyway. You make a good point about books that are actually well-written – because we can’t just hold up any diverse book as an amazing book – that just trivialises it, whereas we want to normalise diversity (my thoughts are going all over the place). WELL DONE YOU for reading all those books 😀

  2. Such a good topic! Why didn’t I think of this, dang it! I’m in the middle of the Lunar Chronicles and oh god, soooooo good! I tried Perks once and just, couldn’t carry on after half way, I just felt nothing, but I do want to try again soon, especially this year, maybe in the Summer, who knows? Great list and I swear, it’s a brilliant topic! 🙂

  3. Awesome post, Emily! I loved Cinder for the setting–I’ve never been to China, but I’m Chinese so I really appreciated this unique setting. Will Grayson, Will Grayson was a book I didn’t enjoy, but I still thought it was a book that supported the LGBT community well. I DNFed Perks, but I did love the movie and how everything was portrayed so well. Eleanor & Park just screams diversity. It wasn’t a favorite book, but I did respect the characters so much. Most of the other books here are on my TBR! Thanks for sharing! ^_^

    • Thanks! I’m sad you didn’t like Perks 😦 but considering I pretty much hated it the first time I read it, I can understand that. I also love Eleanor and Park, but again, it’s not for everyone (no book is. That’s why we have so MANY books, so everyone can find something they like).

  4. You’ve just made my TBR pile even bigger – some of the books you mentioned are great! I loved ‘Bird’ as well and after reading ‘Every Day’ by David Levithan I really want to read more of his work. Great post and it’s good to see these different/diverse books being promoted out there.

  5. This blog post is not good for my rapidly growing TBR list.

    I regret nothing.

    (Great post, by the way. And I agree with you when you say most diverse books are contemporary. The only non-contemporary book with a diverse mc that I can think of it The Immortal Rules, which has a Filipino protagonist.)

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