Diversity Spotlight Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Aimal and its aim is to shed light on diverse literature. Every week, you come up with one book in each of three different categories: A diverse book you have read and enjoyed, a diverse book on your TBR, and one that has not yet been released. You can check out theannouncement post for more information.
Title images below were stolen from Aimal’s blog because they are dope.
A Tale For The Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
In Tokyo, sixteen-year-old Nao has decided there’s only one escape from her aching loneliness and her classmates’ bullying, but before she ends it all, Nao plans to document the life of her great-grandmother, a Buddhist nun who’s lived more than a century. A diary is Nao’s only solace—and will touch lives in a ways she can scarcely imagine. Across the Pacific, we meet Ruth, a novelist living on a remote island who discovers a collection of artifacts washed ashore in a Hello Kitty lunchbox—possibly debris from the devastating 2011 tsunami. As the mystery of its contents unfolds, Ruth is pulled into the past, into Nao’s drama and her unknown fate, and forward into her own future.
This book was simultaneously humorous and heartbreaking. I really liked the interchanging of the character POV but I wish the ending had been a little longer so we could find out a bit more about what happened with Nao. Nao’s character development was stunning and I loved learning more about her life and her downfalls. Ruth’s compassion for Nao is brilliantly crafted and ultimately heart-wrenching – at times I felt like Ruth when reading about Nao’s journey. I hope everyone gives this book a chance as it is truly beautiful.
We Awaken by Calista Lynne
Victoria Dinham doesn’t have much left to look forward to. Since her father died in a car accident, she lives only to fulfill her dream of being accepted into the Manhattan Dance Conservatory. But soon she finds another reason to look forward to dreams when she encounters an otherworldly girl named Ashlinn, who bears a message from Victoria’s comatose brother. Ashlinn is tasked with conjuring pleasant dreams for humans, and through the course of their nightly meetings in Victoria’s mind, the two become close. Ashlinn also helps Victoria understand asexuality and realize that she, too, is asexual.
I can’t remember where I saw someone talk about this before but I was instantly drawn to the cover before I even knew what it was about. I don’t think I’ve read a book with an asexual character before so I’m really excited to dive into this one. There are some mixed reviews for this but I still want to explore these characters and this world.
Midnight Without A Moon by Lynda Williams Jackson
Rose Lee Carter, a 13-year-old African-American girl, dreams of life beyond the Mississippi cotton fields during the summer of 1955. Her world is rocked when a 14-year-old African-American boy, Emmett Till, is killed for allegedly whistling at a white woman. A powerful middle-grade debut perfect for readers who enjoyed The Watsons Go to Birmingham and Brown Girl Dreaming.
This looks like it is going to be all kinds of sad and all kinds of wonderful. I don’t read too many middle grade books anymore but this is one I will definitely be looking into.