#BlackVoices in Young Adult Literature

These past few days, I have been thinking long and hard about what I, a white woman from Canada, have to offer to the Black Lives Matter Movement. I desperately wanted to offer my support, but was unsure how I could do so in a meaningful way. Then one night, I realized that I already had a platform – this blog, my Bookstagram, and my other social media accounts – that I could use to support and promote books written by black authors.

This post, focused on #BlackVoices in Young Adult Literature, is the third in a series of posts highlighting literature created by black authors and illustrators. It is by no means a comprehensive list of books, but I hope that it inspire readers of all ages to bring more diverse books into their own lives. This list, in comparison to my previous lists about Black Voices in Kids Literature and Middle Grade Literature, is longer, if only because this is the demographic I read most often, and I wanted to include as many of my favourite reads by black authors as possible.

I look at books as being a form of activism. Sometimes they’ll show us a side of the world that we might not have known about.

– Angie Thomas, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author of The Hate U Give and On The Come Up
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#BlackVoices in Middle Grade Literature

These past few days, I have been thinking long and hard about what I, a white woman from Canada, have to offer to the Black Lives Matter Movement. I desperately wanted to offer my support, but was unsure how I could do so in a meaningful way. Then one night, I realized that I already had a platform – this blog, my Bookstagram, and my other social media accounts – that I could use to support and promote books written by black authors.

This post, focused on #BlackVoices in Middle Grade Literature, is the second in a series of posts highlighting literature created by black authors and illustrators. It is by no means a comprehensive list of books, but I hope that it will give readers a place to start, and inspire readers of all ages to bring more diverse books into their own lives.

“It’s important to have diverse characters in books because books give kids mirrors and windows. Books create empathy. If we don’t have diversity, if we’re only showing things from one perspective, how are we creating empathy? It’s important beyond just children’s books — it’s important period. I think that the more diversity we have in books the better. Give kids options. Who wants the same thing over and over? Let’s show other lives. Let’s show other perspectives and other marginalizations. It goes a long way in creating empathy.”

– Angie Thomas, author of The Hate U Give and On The Come Up
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#BlackVoices in Kids Literature

These past few days, I have been thinking long and hard about what I, a white woman from Canada, have to offer to the Black Lives Matter Movement. I desperately wanted to offer my support, but was unsure how I could do so in a meaningful way. Then one night, I realized that I already had a platform – this blog, my Bookstagram, and my other social media accounts – that I could use to support and promote books written by black authors.

This post, focused on #BlackVoices in Kids Literature, is the first in a series of posts highlighting literature created by black authors and illustrators. It is by no means a comprehensive list of books, but I hope that it will give readers a place to start, and inspire readers of all ages to bring more diverse books into their own lives.

“Research from Harvard University suggests that children as young as three years old, when exposed to racism and prejudice, tend to embrace and accept it, even though they might not understand the feelings. By age 5, white children are strongly biased towards whiteness. To counter this bias, experts recommend acknowledging and naming race and racism with children as early and as often as possible. Children’s books are one of the most effective and practical tools for initiating these critical conversations; and they can also be used to model what it means to resist and dismantle oppression.​”

Embrace Race (2020)
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June 2020 Reading List

Hello Bookworms! Despite the unrelenting insanity going on in the world around us, I hope that you are all well, and finding some solace in the fictional worlds of your favourite books, whether they be Fantasy, Science Fiction, Contemporary, or something else entirely. With much of our daily lives changed for the foreseeable future, I have found myself struggling to commit to reading – or to anything really. Instead I have been spending time exploring some of my other hobbies, including photography and painting!

Another big change to my life was the launch of Distance Learning for public schools here in Ontario, which was both a welcome challenge, and a huge learning curve. Teaching Kindergarten online is not something that I ever imagined I would be doing – and yet here I am! Initially, I managed to balance my time between work and “play” (so to speak) relatively well, but as the weeks wear on, I find Distance Learning engulfing more and more of my time – so much so that I have almost completely ceased doing much beyond teaching and preparing to teach. It has been exhausting, to say the least, yet rewarding – as teaching always is.

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May 2020 Reading List

Well Bookworms, this month has certainly been a month to remember. With much of our daily lives changed for the foreseeable future, I have found myself struggling to commit to reading – or to anything really. Instead I have been spending time exploring some of my other hobbies, including gardening and painting! Another big change in April was the launch of Distance Learning for public schools here in Ontario, which was both a welcome challenge, and a huge learning curve. Teaching Kindergarten online is not something that I ever imagined I would be doing – and yet here I am!

While I didn’t get as much reading done as I had hoped to this month, I did finish The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon! This is hugely exciting, because The Priory of the Orange Tree had been sitting in my to be read box since June 2019. Some other books that I read include The Gilded Wolves by Roshani ChokshiThe Silvered Serpents (ARC) by Roshani Chokshi, The Hating Game by Sally Thorne, and Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston. That being said, I really do have to catch up on my book reviews as well!

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April 2020 Reading List

Well Bookworms, I write to you from a much different position than I did a month ago, upon the creation of my March 2020 Reading List. To say that the events of the past month were unexpected would be, in my humble opinion, a tad bit of an understatement. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine widespread school closures, emergency measures, and the kinds of heartbreak and catastrophe that are even now shaping our world. And yet, here we are, and I find myself looking towards the little joys and victories in life, rather than focusing on the uncertainties around me.

One little joy I am happy to celebrate is the amount of books that I read in March. While I had hoped to read a lot over March Break, an extra two weeks of ample reading time allowed me to really get through a significant amount of the books in my To Be Read Box, including: House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City) by Sarah J Maas (Release Date: March 3, 2020), Havenfall by Sara Holland (Release Date: March 3, 2020), A Song Below Water by Bethany C Morrow (Release Date: June 2, 2020), The Dark Tide by Alicia Jasinka (Release Date: June 2, 2020), and more! Honestly, this is a major victory for me, and I am considering celebrating it with a Reading Wrap-Up post.

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March 2020 Reading List

The beginning of a new month means a new reading list, and what an exciting reading list (and month) it is! With only a couple of books left on my To Be Read list (I still haven’t read Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon, but… one day, right?), I am definitely excited to get my hands on some of these exciting new releases, and maybe – just maybe – finally have the time to finish all the unread books still languishing in my To Be Read Box!

So, for the first time in forever, this list will be mostly new releases – and, of course, Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon, which I may just finally find the time to read over March Break (assuming I don’t have too much school work to tackle)! This list will also, admittedly, be shorter than most, as I have a couple of longer reads on here, and only so much time to read them!

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January 2020 Reading List

This list (hopefully) brings an end to four consecutive days of posting lists of books. Seriously, if you need some ideas for books to read, check out my latest posts! For my part, I am certainly glad to be moving on, and returning to blogging about other bookish related things – such as reviews and the like – for the time being.

Regardless, I am excited to be sharing my reading list for January 2020, which features a whole host of books I simply cannot wait to dive into. This January 2020 Reading List is a jumble of a little bit of everything – while I am excited to pick up some new releases, I can’t neglect the unread novels languishing on my shelves completed (seriously, it stresses me out), and I am also trying to be financially responsible by limiting my spending (I believe this is called “adulting”?).

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Most Anticipated Novels of 2020

With the New Year – and the New Decade – having finally arrived, it is time to turn my attention to the year ahead. And by that, I obviously mean which books I plan on reading this year. As usual, this list is predominantly YA Fantasy and/or Science Fiction, but since I am attempting to branch out (and as some of my favourite authors migrate to the Adult demographic), some other books have made it onto this list! That being said – this list is by no means inclusive, as it lists the novels I am most excited to read this year, not those which are (overall) most anticipated by the reading community at large.

*Please note that the following dates are based upon information provided by Indigo Books & Music Inc, and/or Goodreads, and that the below dates reflect the expected release date of a given book in Canada, as it is listed on January 1, 2020. Release dates are subject to change. 

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