May 29, 2014

Armchair BEA Day 4: Beyond the Borders

Design by Amber of Shelf Notes

Welcome back my fellow Armchair BEA participants! On a side note, I am not enjoying the event like I would have liked to, because I've been having time issues these days. I really really wanted to visit all the blogs involved, to read all the guest posts, etc. - but I barely have the time to peek in. ABEA caught me at a bad moment :(. Anyway...here goes my post for today.
In a sense, my reading always transports me beyond the borders. As an international YA blogger, I read books that - beside being written in a different language than mine - explore realities or places I've never experimented/seen firsthand. Not to mention, realities or places that never were, and probably never will be. Also, I'm a straight female who likes to read GLBTQ+ books (see my post here)...and I'm glad they've got well past the stage of a casual, almost shy presence in the YA book market. Lately, though, I've been made aware of a problem with a lot of YA novels, something I'd never really noticed before...the vast majority of them feature white individuals, and very often the diverse shades of skin, reality and experience - so to speak - are represented by secondary characters...if at all. This trend is slightly changing right while I'm writing this, though. There's an increasing awareness of this issue on the readers' part, and an increasing demand of diverse reads. Maybe because of this very reason, more and more non-white writers are making a breaktrough. And we all are going to benefit from this change :).
I'll leave you with a few links to blogs or sites that can help you expand your bookish horizons...including a link to a site dedicated to disability in YA books (another taboo theme...). In strictly alphabetical order...


Happy diverse reading! :)

Footnote: I've been noticing an increasing number of blogs that only allow comments from Google+ users. I don't have a Google+ profile, so please keep in mind that I won't be able to comment back on your page in that case. Sorry!

8 comments:

  1. Wow...what a great list of books. Thanks for sharing. I love to read anything different. Love to experience different lives.

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    1. We often use books as a refuge (or a mirror), but they should definitely be able to transport us elsewhere too!

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  2. I'm going to have to check out that link of Kids Lit. I'm trying to be intentional about my son reading books that feature all different kinds of characters.

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    1. I hope the list helps! Thanks for visiting :).

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  3. Thanks for the links! I've never been to Twinja Book Reviews.

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    1. They're two girls with a mission: promoting diversity in all its forms :). Hope you enjoy!

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  4. I think it's amazing that you read in more than one language, despite years of taking Spanish in school as a teen and young adult, I can only comprehend a bit of my Harry Potter book in Spanish (although because I know the book so well, I do know what is going on even if I don't know all the words. :).

    Diverse characters in books do tend to be secondary characters (the gay best friend, the Asian best friend, etc). Part of the reason we read is to put ourselves into another's shoes, so I'm glad that publishers are getting the message that it's entirely possible to sell a book that doesn't feature a white girl in a pretty dress.

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    1. I studied a bit of Spanish too...but only for a couple of years. It's quite similar to Italian though, while I can definitely see an English speaker having issues with it.
      I decided I wanted to learn English when I was a kid, because - don't laugh now - I was desperate to know the meaning of the UK and US songs I heard on the radio. The first word I looked up on a dictionary was probably "Feelings", from the Morris Albert song. Yeah, a cheesy one, but I liked it back then ;). Anyway, what I mean is, at the end of the day, one only learns what one really likes. I can barely remember my Latin and Greek by now...

      Yes, more and more diverse books are coming - finally! Though the covers are still a bit behind the content. POC are still a bit glossed over on covers - you know, like put in the shadows, or not represented at all. Asian characters are a bit more present - or so it seems to me. But at least the path is now open...

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