Diversity Spotlight Thursday is hosted by Aimal!
If you follow me on twitter, you know diverse books and authors are a subject close to my heart. I hope to always, always put diverse book and authors at the forefront of everything I do, but I also wanted to have a specific day to talk JUST about diverse books as I do sometimes read white/ciscentric books.
STELLA BY STARLIGHT by Sharon M. Draper. This is a middle grade book set in 1932 in Bumblebee, North Carolina. Stella and her brother witness the KKK burning cross near their house. This sets off a chain of events that shake the town, and Stella, down to its core. I read this one back in February for Black History Month with my oldest godson and we both loved it. We both really loved the scene where Stella’s father and several Black men in her community register to vote.
THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR by Nicola Yoon. I have actually owned this book for quite some time now and I am so afraid it’s going to break me that I haven’t picked it up yet. THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR follows Natasha, a girl 12 hours away from deportation, and Daniel and the few hours the universe has given them. I’ve heard rave reviews about this and I swear I’ll get to it… one day.
THAT THING WE CALL A HEART by Sheba Karim. Shabnam Qureshi is a funny, imaginative Pakistani-American teen attending a tony private school in suburban New Jersey. When her feisty best friend, Farah, starts wearing the headscarf without even consulting her, it begins to unravel their friendship. After hooking up with the most racist boy in school and telling a huge lie about a tragedy that happened to her family during the Partition of India in 1947, Shabnam is ready for high school to end. She faces a summer of boredom and regret, but she has a plan: Get through the summer. Get to college. Don’t look back. Begin anew. Everything changes when she meets Jamie, who scores her a job at his aunt’s pie shack, and meets her there every afternoon. Shabnam begins to see Jamie and herself like the rose and the nightingale of classic Urdu poetry, which, according to her father, is the ultimate language of desire. Jamie finds Shabnam fascinating—her curls, her culture, her awkwardness. Shabnam finds herself falling in love, but Farah finds Jamie worrying. With Farah’s help, Shabnam uncovers the truth about Jamie, about herself, and what really happened during Partition. As she rebuilds her friendship with Farah and grows closer to her parents, Shabnam learns powerful lessons about the importance of love, in all of its forms. Featuring complex, Muslim-American characters who defy conventional stereotypes and set against a backdrop of Radiohead’s music and the evocative metaphors of Urdu poetry, THAT THING WE CALL A HEART is a honest, moving story of a young woman’s explorations of first love, sexuality, desire, self-worth, her relationship with her parents, the value of friendship, and what it means to be true.
I will be reading the ARC of this in the next week or so and I am SO excited for it! I had the pleasure of meeting Sheba Karim at SEYA Fest in March and she is so sweet and kind.
Have you read any of these books? Post thoughts/opinions in the comments!