Diverse Voices Reading Lists

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The Brockville Public Library is a safe space for everyone regardless of their race, gender, creed, or sexuality.

If you’re looking to understand perspectives other than your own, we have created a reading list of diverse voices. We encourage everyone to celebrate and learn more about all the people who live in our world and community.

Please note that this list is non-exhaustive.

For Adults

Africville by Jeffrey Colvin
Set in the small Nova Scotia town of Africville, settled by former slaves, Jeffrey Colvin depicts several generations of one family bound together and torn apart by blood, faith, time and fate.

Becoming by Michelle Obama
Obama embodies the American dream, overcoming barriers of race, class, and gender to become one of the most influential leaders of our times. Though we stood witness to her husband’s historic ascent to become the first black U.S. president, this memoir reveals surprising, intimate details that shaped news stories and public perception.

Between the Shades (DVD)
Fifty conversations exploring the many different ways of being ‘gay’ in America. This conversation focuses on the degrees and varying perceptions about how people define themselves, their lives, struggles, and triumphs.

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Coates shares with his son–and readers–the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences.

Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman
The story of a sudden and powerful romance that blossoms between an adolescent boy and a summer guest at his parents’ cliffside mansion on the Italian Riviera.

From the Ashes: my story of being Métis, homeless, and finding my way by Jesse Thistle
Finalist, CBC Canada Reads, a CBC Best Canadian Nonfiction Book of the Year. In this extraordinary and inspiring debut memoir, Jesse Thistle, once a high school dropout and now a rising Indigenous scholar, chronicles his life on the streets and how he overcame trauma and addiction to discover the truth about who he is.

GAYBCs: a queer alphabet
A cheeky, progressive adult alphabet book that celebrates and illuminates LGBTQ terminology.

Glass Beads by Dawn Dumont
These short stories interconnect the friendships of four First Nations people — Everett Kaiswatim, Nellie Gordon, Julie Papequash, and Nathan (Taz) Mosquito — as the collection evolves over two decades against the cultural, political, and historical backdrop of the 90s and early 2000s.

He Said, She Said: lessons, stories, and mistakes from my transgender journey by Gigi Gorgeous
Gigi Gorgeous is beloved for her over-the-top style, her outrageous sense of humor, her larger-than-life romances, and her glam Hollywood lifestyle. Ten years ago, she was a gawky Canadian emo teen named Gregory. Now she brings us on her journey from Gregory to Gigi, going deeper than ever before into her struggles and triumphs as she figured out her identity and learned how to be a woman in the world today.

Indigenous Relations: insights, tips & suggestions to make reconciliation a reality by Robert Joseph and Cynthia Joseph
A timely sequel to the bestselling 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act – and an invaluable guide for anyone seeking to work more effectively with Indigenous Peoples.

The Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish
From stand-up comedian, actress, and breakout star of Girls Trip, Tiffany Haddish, comes The Last Black Unicorn, a sidesplitting, hysterical, edgy, and unflinching collection of (extremely) personal essays, as fearless as the author herself.

Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell
A powerful examination of our interactions with strangers and why they often go wrong.

Starlight: and unfinished novel by Richard Wagamese
The final novel from Richard Wagamese, the bestselling and beloved author of Indian Horse and Medicine Walk, centres on an abused woman on the run who finds refuge on a farm owned by an Indigenous man with wounds of his own. A profoundly moving novel about the redemptive power of love, mercy, and compassion–and the land’s ability to heal us.

Unconditional: a guide to loving and supporting your LGBTQ child by Telaina Eriksen
Unconditional: A Guide to Loving and Supporting Your LGBTQ Child provides parents of a LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning) child with a framework for helping their LGBTQ child navigate through a world that isn’t always welcoming.

For Teens

Carry On: the rise and fall of Simon Snow by Rainbow Rowell
Simon Snow is the worst Chosen One who’s ever been chosen. That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls. But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope. Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Gender Queer: a memoir by Maia Kobabe
Started as a way to explain to eir family what it means to be nonbinary and asexual, Gender Queer is more than a personal story: it is a useful and touching guide on gender identity–what it means and how to think about it–for advocates, friends, and humans everywhere.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Honour Girl: a graphic memoir by Maggie Trash
All-girl camp. First love. First heartbreak. At once romantic and devastating, brutally honest and full of humor, this graphic-novel memoir is a debut of the rarest sort.

Internment by Samira Ahmed
Set in a horrifying near-future United States, seventeen-year-old Layla Amin and her parents are forced into an internment camp for Muslim American citizens. With the help of newly made friends also trapped within the internment camp, her boyfriend on the outside, and an unexpected alliance, Layla begins a journey to fight for freedom, leading a revolution against the camp’s Director and his guards.

The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline
Humanity has nearly destroyed its world through global warming, but now an even greater evil lurks. The indigenous people of North America are being hunted and harvested for their bone marrow, which carries the key to recovering something the rest of the population has lost: the ability to dream.

Pemmican Wars: a girl called Echo by Katherena Vermette
Echo Desjardins, a 13-year-old Métis girl adjusting to a new home and school, is struggling with loneliness while separated from her mother. Then an ordinary day in Mr. Bee’s history class turns extraordinary, and Echo’s life will never be the same.

Sadia by Colleen Nelson
Fifteen-year-old Sadia Ahmadi is passionate about one thing: basketball. Her best friend Mariam, on the other hand, wants to get noticed by the popular crowd and has started de-jabbing, removing her hijab, at school every morning. Sadia’s mom had warned her that navigating high school could be tricky. As much as she hates to admit it, her mom was right.

Secret Path by Gord Downie
Secret Path is a ten song digital download album by Gord Downie with a graphic novel by illustrator Jeff Lemire that tells the story of Chanie “Charlie” Wenjack, a twelve-year-old boy who died in flight from the Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School fifty years ago.

That Inevitable Victorian Things by E.K. Johnston
Set in a near-future world where the British Empire was preserved, not by the cost of blood and theft but by the effort of repatriation and promises kept, That Inevitable Victorian Thing is a surprising, romantic, and thought-provoking story of love, duty, and the small moments that can change people and the world.

This Book Betrays My Brother by Kasigo Lesego Molope
What does a teenage girl do when she sees her beloved older brother commit a horrific crime? Should she report to her parents, or should she keep quiet?

This Place: 150 years retold by Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm & Tara Audibert
Explore the past 150 years through the eyes of Indigenous creators in this groundbreaking graphic novel anthology.

When Everything Feels Like the Movies by Raziel Reid
Winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award and CBC Canada Reads 2015 Runner-up, When Everything Feels Like the Movies is an edgy and extravagant YA novel about a glamorous boy named Jude.

For Kids

The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis
Eleven-year-old Parvana lives with her family in one room of a bombed-out apartment building in Kabul, Afghanistan’s capital city. Parvana’s father — a history teacher until his school was bombed and his health destroyed — works from a blanket on the ground in the marketplace, reading letters for people who cannot read or write. One day, he is arrested for the crime of having a foreign education, and the family is left without someone who can earn money or even shop for food. As conditions for the family grow desperate, only one solution emerges. Forbidden to earn money as a girl, Parvana must transform herself into a boy, and become the breadwinner.

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child’s soul as she searches for her place in the world.

Children in Our World series by Louise Spilsbury – also available in French
Each book uses relatable comparisons, carefully researched text, and striking illustrations to help kids understand the many difficulties that children just like them face in the world today.

Country Food by Aija Aiofe Komangapik
Learn about the country foods people eat in the North. This book features different kinds of food people get from the land and sea in Nunavut, such as caribou and maktaaq.

Coyote Tales by Thomas King
Two tales, set in a time “when animals and human beings still talked to each other,” display Thomas King’s cheeky humor and master storytelling skills.

From the Stars in the Sky to the Fish in the Sea by Kai Cheng Thom
In the magical time between night and day, when both the sun and the moon are in the sky, a child is born in a little blue house on a hill. And Miu Lan is not just any child, but one who can change into any shape they can imagine. The only problem is they can’t decide what to be: a boy or a girl? A flower or a shooting star?

Inuit Games by Thomas Anguti Johnston
Inuit games have been played as long as anyone can remember!Learn all about Inuit games and why they are important for staying healthy and strong for life in the Arctic.

Islandborn by Junot Díaz
When Lola’s teacher asks the students to draw a picture of where their families immigrated from, all the kids are excited. Except Lola. She can’t remember The Island–she left when she was just a baby. But with the help of her family and friends, and their memories–joyous, fantastical, heartbreaking, and frightening–Lola’s imagination takes her on an extraordinary journey back to The Island.

Mia Mayhem series by Kara West
Mia Macarooney is a regular eight-year-old girl who finds out that she’s A SUPERHERO! Her life literally goes from totally ordinary to totally super when she’s invited to attend the afterschool Program for In-Training Superheroes a.k.a. THE PITS! And the crazy thing is, in a weird meant-to-be sort of way, all of this news somehow feels super right.

Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress by Christine Baldacchino
Morris is a little boy who loves using his imagination. He dreams about having space adventures, paints beautiful pictures and sings the loudest during circle time. But most of all, Morris loves his classroom’s dress-up center — he loves wearing the tangerine dress.

Pride: celebrating diversity & community by Robin Stevenson
There is a whole lot more to Pride than rainbow flags and amazing outfits. How did Pride come to be? And what does Pride mean to the people who celebrate it?

The Sharing Circle: stories about First Nations culture by Theresa Meuse-Dallien
Matthew loves to play games with his friends and share his toys with them. But most of all he loves to share the special treasures that remind him of his First Nations culture.

Sulwe by Lupita Nyong’o
Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Award winner. From Academy Award-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o comes a powerful, moving picture book about colorism, self-esteem, and learning that true beauty comes from within.

And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
And Tango Makes Three is the bestselling, heartwarming true story of two penguins who create a nontraditional family. At the penguin house at the Central Park Zoo, two penguins named Roy and Silo were a little bit different from the others. But their desire for a family was the same. And with the help of a kindly zookeeper, Roy and Silo get the chance to welcome a baby penguin of their very own.

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