Thursday, 29 May 2014

Armchair BEA - Beyond the Borders

Today’s topic is about diversity.

As I mentioned in my post about graphic novels earlier this week: one of my first heroines was Yoko Tsuno, a young Japanese electro mechanic, who has exciting adventures both in space and on earth. I still reread the Yoko Tsuno series by Roger Leloup regularly.

What I’m trying to say is that from a very young age I was encouraged to read anything that I might find interesting. I grew up reading about different cultures, people leading different lives, and far away places.

So for me it’s hard to tell you what book, or character that was very different from me opened my eyes to diversity. In my mind it has always been a part of my reading life.

I do confess that I notice diversity is not common. I have grumbled about YA heroines always being either a feisty redhead or a perfect blonde. I have questioned why there are so few different heroines.

I recently counted how many books I’ve read this year that featured a PoC lead character (PoC = Person of Color). Out of 63 books, 4 had a PoC lead character. I will confess I didn’t dare count how many of those books had a redheaded or blonde lead character, because I’m afraid of the answer ;-)

So yes:
Diversity is something that deserves attention.
Here are some suggested reads:

Dark Oracle and Rogue Oracle by Alayna Williams
The hero is Asian.

The Last Herald Mage trilogy by Mercedes Lackey
The lead character is gay.
This trilogy deals a lot with how the lead character tries to come to terms with being gay, but other books by Lackey have gay characters that are secure in their sexuality.

Ride the Wind by Lucia St. Clair Robson
A romanticized, but powerful and interesting story about the Comanche.

The Mercy Thompson series, or the Alpha and Omega series by Patricia Briggs
Both series have lead characters that are part Native American

The Blood of Eden trilogy by Julie Kagawa
The lead character is Asian


Got any suggestions for me?
What books should I add to my wishlist?


Jessica Haluska said...

I love Patricia Briggs, and I'm a sucker for books with Native American MCs too. Have you ever checked out Faith Hunter's Jane Yellowrock series? That's another one of my favorite UF series (along with Mercy Thompson/Alpha and Omega ;) ). And I've been trying to fit The Blood of Eden trilogy in ever since it wrapped-up. Soon!

Jessica @ Rabid Reads

Sullivan McPig said...

I've read the first three books. I will have to try to continue sometime

Leonicka said...

I love that you did a count of the books you've read. It always helps puts things in perspective. Great post!

Anonymous said...

I love Patricia Briggs and Kawaga's Blood of Eden is on my list.

I suggest Thomas Perry's Jane Whitefield series. The MC is Native American and she is awesome.

Aurian said...

It has been decades since I read Lucia St. Clair Robson. Loved her books. The books by L.A. Banks have black lead characters, but I could not get over the gruwesome vampires and all the "hood slang.

miki said...

the jane yellowrock series by faith hunter the heroine is a native american

now i realise that i did read a lot of diverse books, morethan i imagined while growing up... like you i could read everything i thought interesting and with fantasy and sci-fi a lot of worlds where open to me.... i never took into consideration before the origin of teh heroine before picking a book if i was interested i took it simply