As you know, we here at Kobo Writing Life are huge fans of promoting our authors’ work and supporting the indie author community, which is why we’re so excited to announce a new list that will be appearing both on our free page and in other KWL promotions: #OwnVoices
#OwnVoices is a term coined by author Corinne Duyvis, and it refers to books written about diverse characters, specifically a diverse protagonist, written by an author in that same diverse group. For example, a story about a Deaf protagonist written by a Deaf author, or a book about a Black protagonist written by a Black author. For a more in depth look, check out Duyvis’ handy FAQ about the hashtag: https://www.corinneduyvis.net/ownvoices/
#OwnVoices was created within the YA community, with the intent of highlighting uplifting stories about marginalized protagonists written by authors in that same group, welcoming the nuance and experience these authors provide when telling stories related to their lived experiences. The hashtag has since expanded to include all genres, but the intent remains the same. We’re very excited to add more diverse stories to our promotions and hope to keep adding more in the future.
If you’re still unsure what #OwnVoices books look like, or you’re just looking for some recommendations to add to your TBR pile, here are some of the KWL Team’s favourite #OwnVoices books. Let us know if you have any favourite #OwnVoices books in the comments!
The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas
Starr Carter exists in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood she lives in and the rich, mostly white private school she attends. But when Starr witnesses her best friend getting shot by a police officer after a party one night, both of her worlds come crashing down in this must read award-winning novel.
Party of Two – Jasmine Guillory
Olivia Monroe moves to LA to start her own law firm when she meets a hotshot junior senator, Max Powell. She had zero plans to date a politician, but things rarely go according to plan, do they?
Children of Blood and Bone – Tomi Adeyemi
Tomi Adeyemi had a desire to write an epic tale with roots in West Africa as well as a desire to respond to police brutality in America. The result is this critically acclaimed, award winning fantasy filled with magic and danger, unlike anything you’ve ever read.
Cemetery Boys – Aiden Thomas
When Yadriel’s traditional Latinx family has a tough time accepting his true gender identity, he sets out to prove himself by summoning the ghost of his murdered cousin and setting him free. Unfortunately, the wrong ghost gets summoned, and Yadriel ends up helping this ghost tie up loose ends and maybe starts to develop some feelings along the way.
The Princess Trap – Talia Hibbert
When a rebellious prince and his latest obsession are caught in a *ahem* compromising position, they have to fake a serious relationship to avoid any serious consequences. And just like all fake relationships, this one goes precisely as planned…
On the Edge of Gone – Corinne Duyvis
Written by the creator of the #OwnVoices hashtag, On the Edge of Gone takes place in the not-so-distant future when a huge comet is set to hit earth. Denise and her family have an opportunity to secure a spot on a ship that’s setting out to colonize new worlds, but everyone on the ship has a purpose and Denise is worried her autism will prevent her from securing a spot.
Ash – Melinda Lo
When Ash’s father suddenly passes away, she is left at the mercy of her cruel stepmother and stepsisters. She dreams of being whisked away by the faeries she read about as a girl, but those dreams change when she meets the king’s huntress.
Hideous Beauty – William Hussey
Dylan is forced to come out before he’s ready when his secret relationship with Ellis is exposed on social media, and everyone is really supportive. But their happiness is short-lived after a tragic accident takes place, and Dylan realizes how little he knows about his boyfriend.
The Summer of Everything – Julian Winters
Wes Hudson, a comic book geek who’s secretly in love with his best friend, is having a tough summer. There’s a chance he might lose his job, he can’t decide on a college major, and did I mention being secretly in love with his best friend?
Having read with interest the examples of ‘diverse lifestyles’ listed above, somewhat paralleled, perhaps I could offer my novel, titled: 31, Three, 15 for your consideration? For a brief description, the main characters are west coast camp loggers institutionalized to a monoculture from years of isolation, who, emerge to a changed outside world. This novel is written without graphic content, profanity, or exaggeration, and being based between the years 1943 & 1965, it has been reviewed as having an historical attachment.
(During the covid 19 library closures, two copies were assigned to the ‘Book Mobile’, and were always checked out, or a ‘hold’ put on.)