Young Adult literature, or YA, has been a genre dominated by white authors and characters, but this is changing. In the past couple years, two debut novels by African-American women have taken the YA world and bestseller lists by storm: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (2017) and The Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi (2018). If you haven’t read them yet, you should.
For most of my life, the majority of books I’ve read have been written by white men, from the picture books I grew up with to most of my favorite childhood series, and then almost everything I read as an English student throughout high school and college. It’s not that books by white men are all the same, or that they’re all bad. It’s that these books share a similar perspective. I had become so used to the white male viewpoint that I subconsciously recognized it as the standard.