Time for the next category in the RWC 2017 Reading Challenge.
Category #15: A book written by an author of another race or belief system
This challenge is about diversity. The idea is to read something that challenges your personal belief system or presents a view culturally/ethnically different from your own.
I’m going to include a few examples but I also have a few links to share that may be more valuable.
- We Need Diverse Books End of the Year Booklists (2016): This site is home to an entire movement. This particular page has suggestions for young readers in multiple categories.
- New Hanover County Library has curated some wonderful lists featuring authors and characters from many cultures.
- And Goodreads has a diversity tag with an entire collection of reading lists.
Here are some from my shelves:
|Sister of My Heart (Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni)
This story focuses on two cousins born on the same day and raised as sisters in Calcutta, India. The book deals with a lot of the traditions they faced growing up and as young adults. It’s full of tantalizing descriptions of foods and descriptions of places that make you feel you’re right there with them.
|The Kitchen House (Kathleen Grissom)
Lavinia, an Irish orphan, becomes a white servant on a Virginia tobacco plantation. Grissom details the differences in living conditions between the main house and servant quarters, including social events and food preparation.
|The Help (Kathryn Stockett)
Maybe you’ve seen the movie but it’s worth reading the book. Chapters alternate point of view between Skeeter (the privileged white girl writing about the house servants), Aibeleen (house maid who cares for a white child while mourning the death of her own son), and Minny (a cook with too much attitude to keep a steady job). This book offers insight into more than just how the house servants were treated – it also follows how the help treat each other and how the “white folk” deal with social divisions among their own.
|The Book of Unknown Americans (Cristina Henriquez)
It’s a love story between a Mexican girl and a Panamanian boy – but so much more. The lives of so many Latin American immigrants intertwine in this Baltimore apartment building where families deal with health problems, drinking, finances, and many other issues.
|The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
This book follows the lives of two young boys who are best friends but members of different caste systems in Kabul, Afghanistan. When Hassan finds himself in a horrible situation, Amir abandons his friend to save his own pride. Years later, he tries to right the situation.
|No Land’s Man (Aasif Mandvi)
I thought I should include one nonfiction entry. This is the humorous memoir of Aasif Mandvi, who many recognize from The Daily Show. He talks about trying to fit into his new life in America and how that conflicts with family and his heritage as an Indo-Muslim-British-American actor/comic.
What will you read to complete this category? Leave a comment below with your thoughts about these or any I may have missed.
If you have suggestions for books that fit in future categories, let me know. I’ll include your name (and a link, if you like) when I share those suggestions.