i really don’t know how i haven’t done this post already.
biracial representation, specifically half-korean/half-asian representation in the books i read is so important to me. diversity in general is important to me, but there’s something so cool about seeing myself represented in a book. if you didn’t already know, i am half-korean on my dad’s side, half-white on my mom’s.
a little discussion
i think what prompted me to write this post is my move to a new school this year. the boarding school i’m attending right now is so diverse compared to what i’ve been used to for the past ten years of my life. previously, i went to a school that was a strong majority white. there are so many different types of people here, and it’s so cool to be part of such a diverse community of people from all over the world. in the past few weeks, i’ve noticed that so many people in my class are biracial– so many people that i can relate to. it’s been pretty awesome.
even with all the diverse ya books coming out recently, i haven’t seen that many with biracial representation, which is unfortunate. i’m pretty sure that the number of multiracial people in the US is at about 10% these days, up from about 1% in the 1970s. so yep. it’s safe to say that we are a significant fraction of the population.
and i think it’s also safe to say that biracial people have a much different experience than people who have both parents belonging to one ethnic group. we have a different story to tell, and i think it’s important that people hear this story. i appreciate it when books talk about the experience of mixed race characters and what struggles they have gone through.
currently, young adult is one of the most progressive genres, and it’s the genre where i would most expect to find biracial representation. while there are SOME books with multiracial characters that have been coming out recently, i don’t think there are nearly enough books with this rep, proportionate to the numbers other diverse books. and though i’m passionate about half-asian representation, there needs to be an increase in the diversity of type of biracial characters. i want to see half-black, half-hispanic, half-indian characters. ALL THE BIRACIAL CHARACTERS.
the story of the biracial protagonist has not been explored enough in literature as a whole– the ya community needs to be the one to change this.
besides the fact that this an awesome book for its sister relationships, this is the book i cite most often as being an awesome half-korean rep. as i remember, this is the first book i ever read with a biracial protagonist, and it was so relatable to me. i remember being so happy that there was a character just like me in a book.
i’m slightly upset they’re not using a half-korean or half-asian actress for the movie adaptation but it’s ok IT’S FINE.
specifically, i’m talking about the character June in this book who is half-korean. she struggles in both books with the question of what the dominant part of herself is: the asian part, or the white part. she is also ridiculed for the fact that she is half-white.
although i would mostly consider this book to be a fun read for when you need to get out of a reading slump, June’s perspective covers a lot of tough topics including being mixed race and feeling like you don’t exactly fit anywhere in terms of cultural group.
i totally forgot that this was a thing, but i’m pretty sure that Day is half-asian?? i think i’m right about this? the book doesn’t talk about the experience of being biracial, but the rep is there (i’m pretty sure) at least. PLEASE CONFIRM WHETHER THIS IS TRUE PEOPLE.
i also just remembered that Carter was half-black! i haven’t reread this series in a while, but i’m fairly sure it talks a little bit about the biracial experience and the feeling of not fitting with any particular group of people.
i feel like there should be more books i’ve read with biracial protagonists, but i can’t remember any more?? i’m pretty sure this is all the books i’ve read with that rep, which is very disappointing. I AM DISAPPOINT.
WOW I’VE HEARD AMAZING THINGS ABOUT THIS. pretty sure there’s half-Japanese rep for the main character in this (is this right?). usually contemporary explores more about the experience of being multi racial than fantasy, sci fi, etc, so i’m hopeful that there will be some discussion of that in this book!!
half-chinese rep!! and time travel!! SO AWESOME I CAN’T BELIEVE I HAVEN’T READ THIS YET OMG. actually, i’m fairly sure that i checked this out from the library earlier this year and forgot to read it if i’m being honest…
TECHNICALLY, i’m reading this right now, but i’ve taken about a five week from it lol. so it might be better for me to come back to it another day.
i didn’t even realize that both the main character and her sister were half-Japanese when i picked it up! i’m not sure that it will even explore
a story about running AND a protagonist who is half-Chinese, half-Ghanan?? SIGN ME RIGHT THE HECK ON UP. as you might know, i run about twenty five miles a week for cross country, and running is something i’m extremely passionate about, so it isn’t just the biracial rep i’m looking forward to here.