July 26, 2019

Speculative fiction featuring diverse characters

Youth services librarians serving bravely on the front lines may feel like the chaos will never end but take heart — you are more than halfway through the summer! 

Many libraries are following the theme Universe of Stories, bringing to mind images of outer space, astronauts, and creatures out of this world. And whether your library is following the theme or not, the speculative genres of science fiction and fantasy are perennially popular. 

While shelves are normally full of speculative fiction selections, it can be difficult to find ones that feature a diverse cast of leading characters. Your readers long to find books featuring heroes that look just like them (or maybe different — think windows and mirrors). NoveList makes it easy to solve this dilemma using our carefully applied metadata to help you find books that feature the genres and appeals that matter. 

We used this search to make a flyer for Science Fiction and Fantasy featuring African American characters:

African American AND (GN Science fiction OR GN Fantasy) AND (RL 2 OR RL 4)

Want to find other culturally diverse characters in speculative fiction? 
Try AP Culturally diverse AND (GN Science fiction OR GN Fantasy) AND (RL 2 OR RL 4)

Or get more specific: Asian American AND (GN Science fiction OR GN Fantasy) AND (RL 2 OR RL 4)

Learn some more search strategies on finding books with diverse characters here

Or try other identity appeals: AP Religiously diverse OR AP Ability diverse OR LGBTQIA diverse AND (GN Science fiction OR GN Fantasy) AND (RL 2 OR RL 4)

Want learn more about exploring books by culture? We’ve got you covered

Make sure that all of your readers can find science fiction and fantasy featuring kids and teens that look just like them. Again, summer reading is over halfway done. You are doing great!

Power search tip: RL stands for reading level. Use this field code when you limit search results by audience. RL 2 OR RL 4 finds books that are either written for Older Kids (ages 9-12) or Teen. 

More resources: 

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Lindsey Dunn is a Readers' Advisory Librarian at NoveList. She is currently reading Enclave by Thomas Locke. 


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