Seven books bringing diversity to your 2018 bookshelves

stack of books on the shelf

Publishing has made great strides in recent years. One advancement I find particularly thrilling is the inclusion of increasingly diverse titles, particularly in the Young Adult category. Here are just a few of many exciting YA releases to look forward to in 2018:



Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

This first installment in a fantasy novel trilogy by a 23-year-old Harvard graduate is one of the biggest YA debut novel publishing deals ever, according to Deadline Hollywood. It’s unusual in that it incorporates African culture and characters.







A Girl Like That by Tanaz Bhathena

#1 New York Times bestselling author Jodi Picoult called this book “fascinating and disturbing.” It’s about two teens who end up dead in a car together on a highway in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Multiple perspectives attempt to explain why, and in doing so, reveal just how wrongly everyone misjudged the hijabi protagonist.






Love, Hate, and Other Filters by Samira Ahmed

This debut features an Indian- American Muslim teen grappling with issues like cultural divide and Islamophobia in the wake of a terrorist attack. Publishers Weekly called it “alternately entertaining and thoughtful,” and “eminently readable, intelligent and timely.”




On the Come Up by Angie Thomas

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard of Angie Thomas’ tremendous and topical debut The Hate U Give, a #1 NYT Bestseller for several weeks. Thomas’ sophomore novel is sure to be just as amazing.



Tyler Johnson Was Here by Jay Coles

Speaking of The Hate U Give, Coles’ debut has been described as “The Hate U Give meets All American Boys.” Booklist called it “unforgettable” in a review that also said, “Coles’ exploration of brotherhood, grief, friendship and familial ties is as moving and relevant as its exploration of racism.”






A Reaper At the Gates by Sabaa Tahir

This wildly anticipated end to the An Ember in the Ashes trilogy is sure to be amazing, and the newly redesigned covers are incredible. In an interview with Mashable, Tahir said that she wanted to see a brown girl in a position of power in the redesign. “How often have I seen book covers with a hero dead center?” Tahir said in the interview. “All the time. But how often is that hero a [person of color]? Not often enough. I wanted this beautiful brown girl to be in that classic hero’s pose— center stage, looking right at you, like a badass.”





My So-Called Bollywood Life by Nisha Sherma

This debut has been pitched as “the romance of Stephanie Perkins meets the quirk of Maureen Johnson, then gets a Bollywood twist.” Honestly, what more can you ask for?