I really didn't plan it this way, but I was delighted when I realized that 5 out of the 6 books I've read so far in 2015 all featured diverse main characters! (Pointe, Illusions of Fate, Among Others, Rain Reign, When Reason Breaks).
I started off the year 2015 with my nose in a book. Yup, that's what I was doing at 12:01 January 1st, and most of the rest of January 1st, too, gobbling up Among Others, by Jo Walton. It's been a couple months now, and this book is still rattling around in the back of my head, making me smile. I even already wrote a post on it, since it made me relate back to my 15 year old self, but this post is focus on the aspect of the story I couldn't relate to personally, how Mori had a disability (#weNeedDiverseBooks) and can't walk (much) without a cane. Her disability separates her from almost all the girls at her very sports-oriented English boarding school.
Mori basically spends all her time reading, when she's not in class or doing schoolwork. She can't participate in anything else her school has to offer, which is pretty much just sports. But you don't really feel sorry for her. She loves her books, and she's not a bit ashamed to spend all her time reading. She doesn't worry about become a hopeless introvert. She does long for some like-minded friends, but she's not what you'd call a needy or insecure girl, not by a long shot. Her books make her strong.
Though I don't have a physical disability, this story brought me close to understanding the complications it brings, but also the strengths.
As a writer, this book reminded me that our best and truest writing comes from the place that's closest to our hearts, and perhaps all the harder to share, because of that closeness. It's challenged me to dig deeper and share things that I've been too shy to share in my writing.