On Friday I posted about Inclusiveness in YA and shared 5 books I feel are inclusive. Inclusiveness in Young Adult fiction has been a topic of conversation for a long time now and I have always been interesting in the topic. Here is part one of a two-part post series all about inclusiveness in YA. I have a long list of books I feel are inclusive and wanted to share another 5 with you! Here is part two of my inclusiveness in YA series all about inclusive YA novels that I feel need to be shared.
Inclusiveness in YA has been a topic of conversation for a long time, more so over the last few years.
Inclusivity is the fact or policy of not excluding members or participants on the grounds of gender, race, class, sexuality, disability, etc.
Inclusive is including a great deal or including everything concerned; comprehensive.
I love that inclusive is comprehensive representation of everyone. I feel like this what we need in YA. We are getting there though. Slowly but surely, we are getting more inclusive with YA novels.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
“Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.”
I finished this book in the past few dates and still cannot put my thoughts about such an excellent book into words. This book is certainly important for the social and political messages that it puts across, but this book doesn’t do it in an aggressive way. This book is beautifully-written, emotionally-charged and a book you don’t want to put down. All whilst tackling issues such as racism and black lives matter in a very powerful way.
My Heart Goes Bang by Keris Stainton
“Ella, Lou, Issey, Liane and Paige are determined to make the most of this second year at uni. They want to have fun, but they want to focus on work. There’s no time for relationships. Except with each other. And even that’s not guaranteed. Gemma and Lou have always been close, but there’s tension between Issey and Liane, and none of them even knows Paige all that well.”
Now, this book is excellent and needs more recognition for how excellent it is. This book has a cast of women supporting women and not only that but it is diverse! There is female friendships throughout the book. As well as multiple queer main characters with one character identifying as pansexual and other charcater who identify as bisexual. This book is full of females being excellent and supporting each other and this book needs the recognition it deserves!
The Sun is also a Star by Nicola Yoon
“Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.
Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.
The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?”
With this book being made into a film very soon and it also being on of my favourite books I knew this had to be part of this post! With a teenage undocumented immigrant from Jamaica who meets a Korean-American boy just 24 hours before she is deported from America, this book is a whirlwind! This book deals with racial and ethnic stereotypes, deportation, the thoughts about a person’s heritage and being a typical American teenager and much more! This book is excellent in incredibly inclusive.
Trouble by Non Pratt
“When the entire high school finds out that Hannah Shepard is pregnant via her ex-best friend, she has a full-on meltdown in her backyard. The one witness (besides the rest of the world): Aaron Tyler, a transfer student and the only boy who doesn’t seem to want to get into Hannah’s pants. Confused and scared, Hannah needs someone to be on her side. Wishing to make up for his own past mistakes, Aaron does the unthinkable and offers to pretend to be the father of Hannah’s unborn baby. Even more unbelievable, Hannah hears herself saying “yes.””
Now this one is a little different. I picked this one because it was one of the first ever YA books I read and I remember it really opening my eyes to the world. I feel that this book is inclusive because it is one of the only books I know that talks about teenage pregnancy honestly. Teenage pregnancy happens and this book shows just that and it is not only inclusive in that sense, but it also discusses life at high school, bullying and life in general. This book is inclusive in a slightly different way but I love it.
Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven
“Everyone thinks they know Libby Strout, the girl once dubbed “America’s Fattest Teen.” But no one’s taken the time to look past her weight to get to know who she really is. Following her mom’s death, she’s been picking up the pieces in the privacy of her home, dealing with her heartbroken father and her own grief. Now, Libby’s ready: for high school, for new friends, for love, and for every possibility life has to offer. In that moment, I know the part I want to play here at MVB High. I want to be the girl who can do anything.
Everyone thinks they know Jack Masselin, too. Yes, he’s got swagger, but he’s also mastered the impossible art of giving people what they want, of fitting in. What no one knows is that Jack has a newly acquired secret: he can’t recognize faces. Even his own brothers are strangers to him. He’s the guy who can re-engineer and rebuild anything, but he can’t understand what’s going on with the inner workings of his brain. So he tells himself to play it cool: Be charming. Be hilarious. Don’t get too close to anyone.”
I feel this book is inclusive for a couple of reasons. First of all one of the characters Libby used to be ” America’s fattest teen” but this book shows that this hasn’t stopped her at all. She faces troubles and bullying but she continues on to do what she wants to do! Then Jack who is the “cool kid” at school but people don’t know that he has a brain disorder. This brian disorder means that he cannot recognise faces, even those of his cloest friends and family. This book shows unexpected friendship and how people can triumph even in trying times. This novel has made a huge impact on me since reading and I feel it needs to fall into the hands of more people!
What books do you think need recognition due to their inclusiveness? Let me know in the comments below. Be sure to check out part one of this series here! I had so much fun writing these post, let me know if you would like to see more posts like this!
This post was inspired by the Inclusiveness in YA panel which will be happening at Northern YA Festival on the 16th March this year!
It will be hosted by Aimée Felone who will be discussing inclusiveness in YA and why it is important to see the world through different eyes with Non Pratt, Bali Rai, A.J Hartley and Mel Darbon.
There is even more authors attending the Northern YA Literary Festival this year including, Samantha Shannon, Lisa Williamson, Melinda Salisbury and many more. There is even a creative writing session available with Melvin Burgess. The whole programme for the even can be found here.
If you want to go to the NYA Lit Fest, it is on Saturday 16th of March 2019 and is free to attend and located at UCLan university! Here is the registration and tickets for each panel (you will have to get a ticket for each event during the day).
If you are attending this event, let me know. I would love to know who else is attending this wonderful event!
Until next time,