After scrolling aimlessly through Twitter one day, I came across this article about a girl who had collated a list of around 600 books that were diverse. I’ve been looking for diverse books for a while now and even though I had heard about quite a few already, I was glad that I had finally found an app that told me about most of the diverse books out there in the bookish world
The app is called ‘We Read Too’ and college student, Kaya Thomas wanted to collate a list of book that had people of colour in them, and not just people of colour who were used as plot devices; the books that she wanted to include were books that had people of colour as the main protagonists or as big secondary characters. After reading the article, I downloaded the free app straight away and had a look.
What is so good about this app is that it gives you a list of children’s books with people of colour in them and also young adult books that have people of colour in them. Having an extensive list of children’s books is fantastic because it’s important for children of all ethnic origins to be represented in their books whilst growing up. If a black girl always sees white girls in her bedtime stories, there is a good chance that the black girl will start to feel like she doesn’t belong. And that is not right. So what Thomas is doing here with her app is mind-blowingly brilliant.
When you download the app, the beautifully designed app icon is shown on your screen:
Then, when you open up the app, you are met with three possible pages. These include the ‘Book Genres’ page, the ‘Suggestions’ page, and then the ‘Discover’ page.
The picture on the left shows the ‘Book Genres’ page. You are met with two sub-pages that are Children’s Fiction and Young Adult Fiction. The picture in the middle shows just a handful of the Children’s Fiction books that you can browse, and the then the picture on the right-hand side shows a handful of the young adult books that you can look at. When you click on a book title, you are met with a picture of the book cover and then a synopsis of the book. You can then choose to share this book through text, email or social media.
When you tap on the ‘Suggestions’ page, these little boxes come up. If you can’t see a diverse book on the lists that Thomas has already created, you can send your suggestions. By doing this, you are expanding the choice of literature and I think this is a brilliant idea. For example, whilst scrolling through the lists, I couldn’t see Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley. I thought this was an important book that portrays black people fighting segregation after the Civil Rights movement. So I typed the information into the three boxes and sent off my suggestion. It’s easy as that!
The last page – ‘Discover’ – lets you click on one of the links and it randomly selects a book for you out of the list. So I clicked on the ‘Young Adult Fiction’ link, and the app randomly selected Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan. Again, the page gives you a picture of the book cover and the book synopsis.
I think that this is a really important app to have on your phone as it encourages you to read as diversely as you can. I have seen loads of people say on Twitter that they would love to read a diverse book, but they can’t find any. Well, now you haven’t got an excuse! 🙂 Because this app has done all of the work for you.
Happy reading, guys!