diVERSEity month: Racially Diverse Characters

So, as I have been researching for these posts, I have learned a lot about verse novelling! This category has possibly the most novels in verse of any of them – even psychiatric disorders! There are even more than the ones I have included, but some of them had to be saved for later posts. Regrettably, I am unable to tell you about the characters in these novels, as I have not read most of these novels (I’m getting to it, I’m getting to it!) and even I don’t really have the time for that. So, without further ado, Racially Diverse Characters, Day One of diVERSEity month!

First of all, let’s start off with our great collection of Afro-American literature.



These four novels written in verse show the lives of young men and women from Afro-American decent during heir struggles with growing up and fitting in. MAKE LEMONADE by Virginia Euwer Wolff never divulges the race of her characters, but trickily, we are able to tell how we were intended to see them.

Next up, we have characters of Asian, or American-Asian decent. I grew up having mostly Asian-Canadian friends, so I’m sort of partial to these novels.

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ORCHARDS by Holly Thompson focuses on a mixed race Japanese/Jewish-American girl who spends a summer in Japan, and SEEING EMILY by Joyce Lee Wong talks about a Chinese American young woman. Patricia McCormick’s SOLD takes place in the brothels of Nepal, which is a very different world from that inhabited by the other two heroines – I somehow don’t even feel like this belongs here…

Next, we have two novels about Native American culture, though both are from very different tribes.

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SWEETGRASS BASKET by Marlene Carvell tells the story of two sisters from the Mohawk tribe, and Karen Hesse’s ALEUTIAN SPARROW is about a young girl from the Alaskan Inuit tribe known as the Aleut.

Our final category of the night is books that feature POVs from characters of multiple races. Of course the afore-mentioned novels also talk about us white folk, as well as intersperse the various races, but these are particularly special due to the changes in point of view.

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KEESHA’S HOUSE by Helen Frost features a medley of diverse characters living in a safe place, away from their dire situations, whereas AFTER THE DEATH OF ANNA GONZALES by Terri Fields expresses the suicide of a high school freshman through the poetry of many of the school’s students.

That’s all for Racially Diverse Characters. Hope you have some new reading from this list! See you Saturday for Immigration/Displacement in Verse!



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