Diversity Spotlight Thursday is a weekly post hosted by Bookshelves and Paperbacks. Each week, you feature a diverse book you have read and enjoyed, a diverse book on your TBR and a diverse book that has not yet been released.
Because ‘diverse’ covers many different topics, we’ve decided to focus on one aspect each week and this week we are featuring books with a black main character.
Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.
Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr. But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.
I feel like this book should be on book recommendations everywhere. If you haven’t read it yet, you need to read it. If you haven’t recommended it yet, you need to and if you haven’t boosted it yet, you need to. No other book is as relevant right now. This book explores the Black Lives Matter movement and despite it being a work of fiction, this book is terribly real and something that happens in day to day life. Not only that but this book has one of the best family dynamics I’ve read in any book, ever. The love between the Carter family just jumps from the page and despite this novel being heartbreaking, there are moments of humour and hope all the way through. Just read it and read it again.
Jade believes she must get out of her neighborhood if she’s ever going to succeed. Her mother says she has to take every opportunity. She has. She accepted a scholarship to a mostly-white private school and even Saturday morning test prep opportunities. But some opportunities feel more demeaning than helpful. Like an invitation to join Women to Women, a mentorship program for “at-risk” girls. Except really, it’s for black girls. From “bad” neighborhoods.
But Jade doesn’t need support. And just because her mentor is black doesn’t mean she understands Jade. And maybe there are some things Jade could show these successful women about the real world and finding ways to make a real difference.
Friendships, race, privilege, identity—this compelling and thoughtful story explores the issues young women face.
If I’m honest, I don’t know too much about this book other than it has a black main character and it’s a young adult contemporary. The cover is what drew me to this book initially, that and the raving reviews I see it getting. I haven’t read anything by this author before but I am told that her writing is amazing and this book is packed full of important discussions such as race, privilege and identity. I’m excited to get into this one and to finally get this cover on my shelves!
Emmett Atwater isn’t just leaving Detroit; he’s leaving Earth. Why the Babel Corporation recruited him is a mystery, but the number of zeroes on their contract has him boarding their lightship and hoping to return to Earth with enough money to take care of his family.
Before long, Emmett discovers that he is one of ten recruits, all of whom have troubled pasts and are a long way from home. Now each recruit must earn the right to travel down to the planet of Eden–a planet that Babel has kept hidden–where they will mine a substance called Nyxia that has quietly become the most valuable material in the universe.
But Babel’s ship is full of secrets. And Emmett will face the ultimate choice: win the fortune at any cost, or find a way to fight that won’t forever compromise what it means to be human.
I’m actually currently reading this one after being accepted for it on Netgalley and despite being only a few chapters in, I’m already loving it! It reminds me a lot of The Hunger Games and Divergent, especially where the story is at the moment with the kids competing against each other but the difference? This book is insanely diverse. Not just kids of different ethnicities from America, they come from all over the world! Japan, Palestine, etc. It’s fun and tense and I’m so excited to see where this is going. Plus, space is my jam.
Lots of Love,