#WeNeedDiverseBooks: Here are 5 great #canlit reads to get us started

#WeNeedDiverseBooks is a hashtag that's becoming hugely popular. Readers of all ages around the world are calling for more diversity in literature. The stats are staggering -- 93 per cent of the children's books published in the United States in 2012 featured Caucasian characters.



If you're inspired by the #WeNeedDiverseBooks hashtag and want to read more diverse books, CBC Books has five picks to get you started. Check them out. (Also check out the We Need Diverse Books website.) And feel free to share your suggestions for great reads in the comments.


(You) Set Me on Fire by Mariko Tamaki

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Set in the confusing post-high school world of freshman university, (You) Set Me on Fire is written from the first person perspective of 17-year-old Allison Lee. Her musings on sexuality and relationships are hilarious, heartbreaking and bitingly true.



For Today I Am a Boy by Kim Fu

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In this stunningly beautiful coming-of-age novel, Peter Huang struggles with reconciling his identity with the small town ideals that surround him as well as his immigrants parents' ideas about who he should be and how he should behave.



Bone and Bread by Saleema Nawaz

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Two sisters, raised in their early lives by their Sikh uncle, come of age in a clash of cultures, values and traditions and face intense personal struggles in Saleema Nawaz's debut novel. It's a heartfelt and heartbreaking tale.


The Amazing Absorbing Boy by Rabindranath Maharaj

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When Samuel is 17 years old, he loses his mother and moves in with his estranged father who happens to live in Toronto, not Trinidad, where Samuel grew up. With the aid of the superheroes he adores from his comic books, he learns to adapt to his new life in this sparkling novel that's as funny as it is moving.



Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson

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Brown Girl in the Ring was a Canada Reads finalist and we've been fans of Nalo Hopkinson ever since. In this novel, Ti-Jeanne survives in a post-apocalyptic urban wasteland, where survivors are left to fend for themselves until the rich need them. It's a mesmerizing tale filled with magic, mystery, lore and an unforgettable protagonist.



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