Hey everyone! A while back the books for the 2019 World Book Night were announced, so I thought that I would talk about them a little bit!
About World Book Night:
World Book Night is a national celebration of reading and books that takes place on 23 April every year. Events up and down the country run by individuals and organisations celebrate the difference that reading makes to people’s lives, and everyone from publishers to librarians, and local businesses to the general public can get involved.
Books are given out across the UK with a focus on reaching those who don’t regularly read, and are gifted through organisations including prisons, libraries, colleges, hospitals, care homes and homeless shelters, as well as by passionate individuals who give out their own books within their communities.
World Book Night is run by The Reading Agency, a national charity that tackles life’s big challenges through the proven power of reading.
I’ve previously criticised World Book Night because of the lack of diverse books. However, this year I was pleasantly surprised! I’m going to quickly go through the list.
- Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi (Black main characters/cast)
- The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (Feminist)
- The Forgiveness Project by Marina Cantacuzino (real life stories from survivors and perpetrators of crime and violence)
- Rosie Loves Jack by Mel Darbon (Main character with Down’s syndrome)
- Shadows in Heaven by Nadine Dorries
- Me Mam. Me Dad. Me. by Malcolm Duffy (book about domestic violence)
- Thinking Out Loud by Rio Ferdinand (memoir concerning grief, biracial author)
- Mad Girl by Bryony Gordon (OCD representation)
- Turtles All The Way Down by John Green (OCD representation)
- The Chalk Pit by Elly Griffiths (woman in STEM)
- Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby (alcoholic main character)
- Himself by Jess Kidd
- Orphan Monster Spy by Matt Killeen (Jewish main character)
- The Ice Cream Girls by Dorothy Koomson
- The Children by Ann Leary (main character who is implied to be agoraphobic)
- Close Enough to Touch by Colleen Oakley (main character with a chronic illness/allergies, side character dealing with grief)
- Die Last by Tony Parsons (book dealing with human trafficking)
- The Seven Sisters by Lucinda Riley (Pan Macmillan)
- The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion (autistic main character)
- The Things We Thought We Knew by Mahsuda Snaith (British-Asian main character with chronic pain)
- The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (black main character, themes of police and gun violence)
- Artemis by Andy Weir (Saudi Arabian main character)
- The War of the Worlds by H G Wells
Now, I’m not saying that all of these books are brilliant depictions of diversity. Artemis, for example, has a female Saudi Arabian main character, and is written by a white guy. Similarly, in The Things We Thought We Knew, the main character miraculously recovers from her chronic pain. However, in comparison to previous years, this is a brilliant step up.
They just need to get rid of H G Wells, and add some queer stories. Then I’d be happy.