Diverse Reads: Main Characters of Color

Check out one of these great books the next time you’re at the library, all of which feature main characters of color.

The Summer Prince

by Alaya Dawn Johnson
In the lush Brazilian city of Palmares Tres, June is a vibrant up-and-coming artist. When the new Summer King is crowned, June, like the rest of the city, falls in love with him. But he also falls in love with her. As fate would have it in the realm, the Summer King is destined to die.

Tiny Pretty Things

by Sona Charaipotra & Dhonielle Clayton
Welcome to the world of ballet dancers. With controlling mothers, debilitating diseases, and terrifying doses of perfectionism, three girls will manipulate, work and battle their way to the top spot at their academy.

See No Color

by Shannon Gibney
Alex always thought she would be a pro baseball player like her adoptive father. But when she discovers secrets about him, her adoptive parents, and her past, she questions her existence and fears that the one thing she’s always loved will be taken away from her.

Dear Martin

by Nic Stone
Justyce is a top student and captain of the debate team, but he’s had one too many run-ins with white cops. In the midst of his frustration, he dedicates himself to studying the teachings of Martin Luther King, Jr., writing a daily journal to the late MLK. He sets out to see if the lessons of the past hold up to the challenges of today.

All American Boys

by Jason Reynolds & Brendan Kiely
Two American boys. Two different lives. Rashad is violently arrested and classmate Quinn is a witness. The story of the incident consumes their lives in various ways. This is the story of two perspectives of the same racial incident, and whether these two young, all-American boys have more in common than they think.

The Sun Is Also a Star

by Nicola Yoon
Natasha is about to be deported. Daniel is about to disappoint his father. The two meet in New York City on the brink of the biggest changes in their lives. They debate whether it’s fate, love or something simpler. But the universe is rarely simple and it seems to want to complicate their young lives.

American Street

by Ibi Aanu Zoboi
Fabiola is moving to America from Haiti, but her mother is detained by U.S. immigration. She is left to navigate America with her loud cousins, learning a language and experiencing an unexpected romance. But Fabiola doesn’t know what she will sacrifice for this American dream.

The Hate U Give

by Angie Thomas
Starr is the only witness to her friend Khalil’s death. Her life is caught in a whirlwind, full of family drama and media pressure. She battles with herself, society, and her friends over the right thing to do. She wants to stand up for Khalil, but how much of her life will be disrupted in the process?

This Side of Home

by Renee Watson
Maya and Nikki have done everything together. It’s not a stretch, since they’re identical twins. But when the home around them starts to change, they start to change too. For the first time in their lives, they will have to decide whether to be together or be themselves.

Endangered

by Lamar Giles
Lauren is an anonymous photo-blogger, and the only thing that keeps her safe is the fact that no one knows her identity. She busts teachers and classmates alike, and has a secret admirer who sends her challenges. But when the challenges turn deadly, Lauren has to decide how far she’ll go to protect herself and her stories.
Share some of your recommendations with us in the comments below!

 

Diverse Reads: Differently Abled Diversity

Expand your reading horizons with these fantastic books that center around characters with disabilities.

Love and First Sight

by Josh Sundquist

Will starts his first day at a public high school, coming from a school for the blind. The adjustment isn’t easy, but when he meets some friends, including Cecily, things start to get better. As Will adjusts to his new life, he learns he qualifies for an experimental treatment that would return his eyesight. Will must decide between the life he has always known or the life he’s always wanted.

Differently Abled: Blindness

The Beginning of Everything

by Robyn Schneider

Ezra believes everyone has a tragedy waiting for them. His is the result of a drunk, reckless driver who shattered his knee, his athletic careers, and his social life. But when new-girl Cassidy comes to town, his life becomes reminiscent of his old one, full of adventures and fun. But if everyone has a tragedy, what’s Cassidy’s?

Differently Abled: Physical Injury, Chronic Pain

Because You’ll Never Meet Me

by Leah Thomas

Ollie is allergic to electricity; any contact causes seizures. Moritz has a weak heart that only pumps thanks to an electric pacemaker. They can never meet, so they send letters instead, helping each other get through the ups and downs of high school.

Differently Abled: Epilepsy, Heart Defect

Run

by Kody Keplinger

Bo is wild and Agnes is cautious; these friends couldn’t be more different. They discover their friendship might be something more, so when Bo needs to skip town, Agnes doesn’t hesitate to go with her. But a runaway road trip is more difficult than they thought when they must confront Agnes’s blindness, Bo’s past, and some deep secrets.

Differently Abled: Blindness

Deadline

by Chris Crutcher

Diagnosed with a deadly disease, high school senior Ben is told he only has one year to live. He decides to tell no one: not his brother, his parents, or his friends. He is determined to do something significant with his short life, but how can he do anything important in his small town? Enter Dallas, with secrets of her own, who is going to turn Ben’s life upside down.

Differently Abled: Cancer

Push Girl

by Chelsie Hill and Jessica Love

Kara thought she had it all — kind parents, a hot boyfriend, and popularity — until it all unravels in one night. Her parents get into a marriage-ending fight, her boyfriend cheats on her, and she gets rejected at a party. In a fit of anger, Kara drives away and gets into a car accident, which leaves her paralyzed. Kara must adjust to her new life and discover who she is in the face of adversity.

Differently Abled: Physical Injury

Six of Crows

by Leigh Bardugo

Kaz is given the chance to be rich beyond his wildest dreams if he can pull off the heist of his life, but he needs a crew to help him out. So he recruits the six biggest misfits in the court. However, these dangerous thieves, liars and murderers have to work together, and try not to kill each other before the job is done.

Differently Abled: Physical Injury, Chronic Pain

The Fault in Our Stars

by John Green

Hazel has had cancer for most of her life. She’s been going to a support group, which is never exciting until Augustus shows up. As fellow cancer survivors, the two develop a friendship and a relationship that spans their potentially short lives.

Differently Abled: Cancer, Chronic Pain, Blindness, Amputee

Reign of Shadows

by Sophie Jordan

Luna has been locked in a tower since her family was murdered by rebels on the night of the eclipse. She is drawn to a mysterious archer, Fowler, who offers her something more than the town and her past. Together, they must survive the world of darkness even though falling in love may be the most dangerous trial yet.

Differently Abled: Blindness

Hold Me Like a Breath

by Tiffany Schmidt

As the daughter of one of three top crime families, Penelope knows the world is a dangerous place. But it’s even more dangerous for her because of her own autoimmune disorder, or so her parents say. Penelope craves independence and freedom and to prove she’s not as fragile as everyone thinks she is.

Differently Abled: Autoimmune Disorder

 

Have you read any great books with differently abled characters? Tell us what we missed in the comments below.

 

 

What to Read Based on Your Favorite TV Show

If you’re a fan of these binge-worthy TV shows, you’ll love these books!

 

If you like Empire, then you’ll enjoy White Cat by Holly Black

 

 

If you like Leverage, then you’ll enjoy Heist Society by Ally Carter

 

 

If you like Downton Abbey, then you’ll enjoy A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller

 

 

If you like Elementary, then you’ll enjoy A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

 

 

If you like The Big Bang Theory, then you’ll enjoy An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

 

 

If you like Criminal Minds, then you’ll enjoy The Naturals by Jennifer Barnes

 

 

If you like The Walking Dead, then you’ll enjoy The End Games by T. Michael Martin

 

 

If you like Glee, then you’ll enjoy Noteworthy by Riley Redgate

 

 

If you like Once Upon a Time, then you’ll enjoy Queen of Hearts by Colleen Oakes

 

 

If you like Supergirl, then you’ll enjoy Princeless by Jeremy Whitley

 

 

New May Releases

Don’t want to break the bank? Check out these exciting new May releases — literally, check them out — from the library!

flame

 

Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh

Release Date: May 16

In need of another strong heroine? Meet Mariko, the daughter of a samurai who is betrothed for purely political reasons … until bandits attack her home, forcing her to masquerade as a boy to infiltrate the Black Clan and discover who wants her dead.

 

 

 

 

names

 

The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord

Release Date: May 16

A heartfelt, endearing novel with all the feels. Lucy is hit with a curve ball when her mother’s cancer returns, her boyfriend hits “pause” on their relationship, and she is sent to help at a camp for “troubled teens”instead of Bible camp. This is a diverse story filled with important characters and relevant issues to teens today.

 

 

 

dimple

 

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Release Date: May 30

This POV romantic comedy is the perfect read for summer, and it comes out just in time! Dimple and Rishi unexpectedly end up at the same computer coding camp and discover their parents have been arranging their marriage for years. Despite their “accidental” circumstances, Dimple and Rishi are in for more surprises as the summer continues and love grows.

 

ramona

 

 

 

 

Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy

Release Date: May 9

You’re going to fall in love with Ramona, a 6-foot-tall lesbian with a fierce devotion to her family. Nothing proves her devotion more than when her younger sister, Hattie, becomes pregnant. Ramona’s life and her hard-set rules quickly tumble and she must learn to become more fluid than she ever thought she could be. This story, from an author known for her unique voice, should not be missed.

 

 

girl

 

Girl Out of Water by Laura Silverman

Release Date: May 2

Laura Silverman’s debut is being compared to the likes of Anna and the French Kiss and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. So you know it’s got to be good, right? Ansie is headed to California for the summer when her aunt gets into a car accident. She decides to help watch her two younger cousins in glamorous Nebraska. Battling with her desires, Ansie spends the summer deciding between love and duty, for herself and her family.

 

 

one

 

One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

Release Date: May 30

Five kids go into detention, but only four come out. Basically, it’s The Breakfast Club turned mystery/thriller in modern-day society. With social media revealing secrets and the chances of someone going to jail or being the next victim, the stakes are high in this new YA novel.

 

 

 

 

 

junes

 

A Million Junes by Emily Henry

Release Date: May 16

This book has been pitched as Romeo and Juliet meets One Hundred Years of Solitude. Now, before you blow this off as required reading, you have to meet June and hear her family’s legendary storytelling. Ghosts, magic and wolves thrive in this magical realism book.

 

 

 

 

 

windfall

 

Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith

Release Date: May 2

What would you do if you had a million dollars? What about $140 million? Alice buys Teddy a lottery ticket for his 18th birthday. Together they decide just what they would do if they could do anything. Then Teddy wins the lottery! This story is cute and happy, even as these friends discover the corruption of money, friendship, and what the true value in life is.

 

 

 

Tell us in the comments which one you plan to read first!

New This Month: January 2017

Check out these brand-new titles!

 

Wayfarer by Alexandra Bracken (book two of the Passenger series)

wayfarer

All Etta Spencer wanted was to make her violin debut. Instead, she was thrust into a treacherous world where the struggle for power could alter history. Alone in an unknown place and time, Etta is exposed to threats from two groups that would like to see her dead. When help arrives, it comes from the last person Etta ever expected—a man who has long been presumed dead and whose dangerous alliance with someone from Etta’s past could put them both at risk. Will time run out for Etta and those seeking to help her?

 

 

 

 

 

The Secret of a Heart Note by Stacey Lee

heartnote

Sometimes love is right under your nose. As one of only two aromateurs left on the planet, 16-year-old Mimosa knows what her future holds: a lifetime of weeding, mixing love elixirs, and matchmaking — all while remaining incurably alone. For Mim, the rules are clear: Falling in love would render her nose useless, taking away her one great talent. But when she accidentally gives an elixir to the wrong woman and has to rely on the lovesick woman’s son, the school soccer star, to help fix the situation, Mim quickly realizes that falling in love isn’t always a choice you make.

 

 

 

 

 

The Runaway by Kate O’Hearn (book two of the Valkyrie series)

runaway

Fourteen-year-old Freya is a Valkyrie: a Norse goddess, a reaper of souls from human battlefields. She has the power to cause death with just one touch. But Freya has not followed in the footsteps of the legends before her. She has been to the World of Man to befriend humans, not to reap their souls. Now she must go to the World of Man again on a new quest to track down the runaway Valkyrie of legend. There she will discover a dark secret and new enemies. But this time she has friends to rely on and lots more to gain, like creating a new Valkyrie legend.

 

 

 

 

 

Continue reading “New This Month: January 2017”