If you asked me what my favorite YA book that I read in the last year or so was, I’d take my time answering. I’d think about Lucy and Linh, Sorcerer to the Crown, and The Inexplicable Logic of My Life. But eventually, I’d settle on Not Your Sidekick.
It’s not just that it’s a fun superhero YA read. It’s that it stars an Asian and queer main character and is written by an author of that particular intersection of identity, which is a pretty rare find on your average library shelf. Of course, I am definitely looking forward to the sequel, Not Your Villain. Look, I can’t recommend Not Your Sidekick enough.
For me, the book captures exactly what I hope to see more of in the future of YA lit —
1) Books that depict people with multiple identities. This isn’t Divergent, okay? You can be two things at once!
2) Books written by people from marginalized groups, doesn’t matter what kind of books those are, since marginalized authors shouldn’t be expected to write exactly their identity if they don’t want to.
That’s my dream for YA lit right now. The publishing industry still has a long, long way to go, but I’d like to dream big. What’s on your wishlist for diverse YA lit? What do you hope to see represented, and how?
One Reply to “Diversity and YA Dreams”
Here are my wishes for the publishing industry:
GLBT teens who are main characters and just are
Multicultural fiction that feature young adults from other continents beside North America and Europe.
Male protagonists that are featured in books other than sports, science fiction, or fantasy
Ethnic minority kids who don’t fall under their stereotypes and are the main characters
Strong female characters in realistic/contemporary fiction who aren’t boy crazed/desperately seeking to become popular or heroine doesn’t give up her own identity and interests for the sake of her love interest.
A paranormal romance without a love triangle and/or a creepy, stalker-like love interest.
Smart romance books that have depth and appeal to both male and female readers.
Dystopian novels that doesn’t regurgitate the same themes from Brave New World, 1984, Hunger Games.
Retellings of other popular classics that are not from Jane Austen’s works or Pride and Prejudice in particular. I think Jane would be with me on this one.
Retelling of other myths besides the Greek and Roman
High fantasy books that are YA appropriate so I can offer them to teens at my public library/high school
Interracial romances that don’t end up in tragedy and/or constantly trying to defend themselves to others in their community.
Same ethnic/race romances.
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