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#ownvoices in YA

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Hello, readers!  There has been a big push in YA the last few years to encourage the publishing of #ownvoices books.  What does that mean?  It’s pretty simple, actually.  It means the author of the book is from an underrepresented group writing about their own experiences and perspectives.  Finding #ownvoices books is a great way to diversify your reading, and it spans across genres.  Get started with these awesome books because there’s something here for everyone! 

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi 

This fantasy read is based on West African mythology! Zélie remembers when her people could practice magic without fear.  A reaper like her mother, who was killed by the King’s forces, Zélie must no longer practice summoning souls.  Now she has the chance to bring magic back and take down the king who destroyed her world.  But to do it, she’ll have to work with his daughter, who also wants to bring her father down.  Available as an e-book and e-audiobook in Overdrive and as an e-audiobook in Hoopla. BONUS: Book 2 in the series, Children of Virtue and Vengeance, is also available in Overdrive! 


When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon 

This fun romance features two teens who couldn’t be more different.  Dimple is not a fan of her mother’s plan for her to marry a nice Indian boy.  And she thinks some time at a camp for web developers will help her mom see that marriage isn’t a priority.  Rishi is excited to go to the camp because his parents have told him his future wife will be there.  He is just fine with his parents setting up an arranged marriage for him.  But his first meeting with Dimple is anything but arranged…and it could lead to anything but marriage.  Available as an audiobook in Overdrive and Hoopla.  BONUS: The second book in the Dimpleverse, There’s Something About Sweetie, features Rishi’s older brother is available in Overdrive! 


Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo 

Family drama and loss knows no borders in this heart-wrenching novel in verse told in alternating points of view.  In the Dominican Republic, Camino is at the airport waiting for her father to arrive for his annual visit when she learns his plane has crashed.  In New York City, Yahaira is called to the principal’s office where her mother tells her that her father’s plane has crashed.  Through their grief and learning Papi’s secrets, these two girls will find strength they didn’t know they had…and family they didn’t know they needed.  Available as an e-book and e-audiobook in Overdrive. 


Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram 

For anyone who ever felt like they weren’t enough, this novel will show you that you are.  Having never fit in at home in America, Darius doesn’t have much hope of fitting in during the trip to his mom’s family home in Iran.  His depression doesn’t help his lack of a social life or bonding with his dad, either.  But shortly after arriving in Iran, he meets Sohrab.  And for the first time, Darius feels like he might belong, like he might have a real friend.  But he doesn’t know how to take that feeling home to America when he has to leave Iran…and Sohrab.  Available as an e-book in Overdrive. 


Happy reading! 


Sarah is a youth services librarian in Canfield. She pretty much only reads YA books, but she is easily distracted by a good picture book or anything Doctor Who related. Sarah loves to crochet and knit and can usually be found with a pile of yarn in her lap with one of her three dogs nearby. Originally from Texas, she still says “y’all” all the time and refuses to call carbonated beverages “pop.”