It's the most wonderful time of the year! That's right, #DiverseAThon is making it's 2017 debut during the week of January 22-29.
In September of 2016, after a video surfaced where some woman (apparently she's an author??) was talking about how problematic diversity is, a few youtubers (@monicakwatson, @lcmarie19, @squibblesreads, and @whittynovels) started a week long book challenge that was focused solely on diverse books and discussions about diversity. That was probably one of the best weeks I've ever had on book twitter and I LOVED reading so many other people's thoughts about diversity and just generally learning from their experiences. It was really cool to see how many of us have such shared experiences even though we come from vastly different walks of life.
I'm hella excited to be joining in again this year. I know I said I wasn't doing any book challenges this year but to me this isn't really a book challenge. There aren't any set TBRs or book counts. While there is an optional group book to read (THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD by Colson Whitehead), it's not something they actually push you to read if you don't want to. I already read diversely so this is just a really great time to connect with others who also read diversely or who want to start reading more diversely.
I picked 5 books that I want to read during #DIVERSEATHON this year.
THE ROUND HOUSE by Louise Erdrich.
Summary: One Sunday in the spring of 1988, a woman living on a reservation in North Dakota is attacked. The details of the crime are slow to surface as Geraldine Coutts is traumatized and reluctant to relive or reveal what happened, either to the police or to her husband, Bazil, and thirteen-year-old son, Joe. In one day, Joe's life is irrevocably transformed. He tries to heal his mother, but she will not leave her bed and slips into an abyss of solitude. Increasingly alone, Joe finds himself thrust prematurely into an adult world for which he is ill prepared.
While his father, who is a tribal judge, endeavors to wrest justice from a situation that defies his efforts, Joe becomes frustrated with the official investigation and sets out with his trusted friends, Cappy, Zack, and Angus, to get some answers of his own. Their quest takes them first to the Round House, a sacred space and place of worship for the Ojibwe. And this is only the beginning.
ALICE + FREDA FOREVER by Alexis Coe
Summary: In 1892, America was obsessed with a teenage murderess, but it wasn't her crime that shocked the nation—it was her motivation. Nineteen-year-old Alice Mitchell had planned to pass as a man in order to marry her seventeen-year-old fiancée Freda Ward, but when their love letters were discovered, they were forbidden from ever speaking again.
Freda adjusted to this fate with an ease that stunned a heartbroken Alice. Her desperation grew with each unanswered letter—and her father’s razor soon went missing. On January 25, Alice publicly slashed her ex-fiancée’s throat. Her same-sex love was deemed insane by her father that very night, and medical experts agreed: This was a dangerous and incurable perversion. As the courtroom was expanded to accommodate national interest, Alice spent months in jail—including the night that three of her fellow prisoners were lynched (an event which captured the attention of journalist and civil rights activist Ida B. Wells). After a jury of "the finest men in Memphis" declared Alice insane, she was remanded to an asylum, where she died under mysterious circumstances just a few years later.
PURPLE HIBISCUS by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Summary: Fifteen-year-old Kambili and her older brother Jaja lead a privileged life in Enugu, Nigeria. They live in a beautiful house, with a caring family, and attend an exclusive missionary school. They're completely shielded from the troubles of the world. Yet, as Kambili reveals in her tender-voiced account, things are less perfect than they appear. Although her Papa is generous and well respected, he is fanatically religious and tyrannical at home—a home that is silent and suffocating.
As the country begins to fall apart under a military coup, Kambili and Jaja are sent to their aunt, a university professor outside the city, where they discover a life beyond the confines of their father’s authority. Books cram the shelves, curry and nutmeg permeate the air, and their cousins’ laughter rings throughout the house. When they return home, tensions within the family escalate, and Kambili must find the strength to keep her loved ones together.
QUEEN SUGAR by Natalie Baszile
Summary: When Charley unexpectedly inherits eight hundred acres of sugarcane land, she and her eleven-year-old daughter say goodbye to smoggy Los Angeles and head to Louisiana. She soon learns, however, that cane farming is always going to be a white man’s business. As the sweltering summer unfolds, Charley struggles to balance the overwhelming challenges of a farm in decline with the demands of family and the startling desires of her own heart
FLYING LESSONS & OTHER STORIES by Ellen Oh
Summary: Whether it is basketball dreams, family fiascos, first crushes, or new neighborhoods, this bold anthology—written by the best children’s authors—celebrates the uniqueness and universality in all of us.
In a partnership with We Need Diverse Books, industry giants Kwame Alexander, Soman Chainani, Matt de la Peña, Tim Federle, Grace Lin, Meg Medina, Walter Dean Myers, Tim Tingle, and Jacqueline Woodson join newcomer Kelly J. Baptist in a story collection that is as humorous as it is heartfelt. This impressive group of authors has earned among them every major award in children’s publishing and popularity as New York Times bestsellers.
From these distinguished authors come ten distinct and vibrant stories
And that's my TBR! I'm hoping to get through these and at least one more during the #DIVERSEATHON week.
What is your TBR for #DIVERSEATHON?