Played, by Liz Fichera, with a Native American main character, Sam. Then I discovered Liz Fichera regularly promotes YA books with diverse characters on her website, and encourages others to do this same on a regular basis. Other websites promoting diverse YA books are Diversity in YA, DiversifYA, Mitali Perkin's blog, and YA Highway has occasional posts on diversity in YA. I'm sure there are more... also, I haven't run across similar blogs for middle grade books (please comment if you know of any).
I join many others in saying that I appreciate the growing number of secondary characters who are of different colors and races, but we need more MAIN characters. And we feel that white-washing the covers is sneaky and wrong (showing the main character as being decidedly more white than he/she is in the book). We also need more non-white writers and authors. We know you're out there (speaking to you, A.K.!)
My plan is to highlight a book with a non-white main character every month, starting with Played this month. This is a companion book to Hooked (which I plan to read soon), and highlights some of the secondary characters from Hooked.
The main characters are Riley (suburban white girl) and Sam (from the Gila River Indian reservation); this is one of those great "you're the last person I'd ever fall in love with" stories that I never get tired of.
Highlights of this book, for me:
~A main character that's Native American... I loved Sam!
~Sam's friends on the Rez (Gila River Indian Reservation near Phoenix)
~His grandmother and her baskets
~The road trip to California (on a motorcycle!) and its unexpected consequences
~just a touch of a reverse love triangle going on between Sam, Riley and Fred
~the secret about Sam's father
~My first impression of Riley wasn't too great but she had some lessons to learn about peer pressure (haven't we all?)
Do you have any book recommendations that showcase diversity?
GUEST POST: "Objects with Secrets, Settings that Excite, Cultures that Expand" by Donald Willerton - I was in an antique store and found an old camel-backed trunk. It was a well-made trunk and in good condition, but it was locked. I could not get it open....
14 hours ago