The 2022 longlist of The Diverse Book Awards were announced today and there are a great selection of diverse reads for you to read! I had the privilege of being one of the judges (in the children’s category) to select the longlist and I am so excited to share this list with you.
Created by award-winning author Abiola Bello and award-winning publicist Helen Lewis and co-founders of The Author School, this award aims to highlight the best of the diverse voices published in the UK & Ireland, this year focusing on those published during 2021, both traditionally and self-published.
The shortlist will be announced on September 20 and the winners on October 20. And now without further ado, here is the longlist:
All links will lead to Bookshop.org UK. If you purchase through the links, this blog will receive a commission.
Danny Chung Sums It Up by Maisie Chan
UK Title: Danny Chung Does Not Do Maths
Eleven-year-old Danny’s life is turned upside down when his Chinese grandmother comes to live with his family in England. Things get worse when Danny finds out he’ll have to share his room with her, and she took the top bunk! At first, Danny is frustrated that he can’t communicate with her because she doesn’t speak English–and because he’s on the verge of failing math and Nai Nai was actually a math champion back in the day. It just feels like he and his grandmother have nothing in common. His parents insist that Danny help out, so when he’s left to look after Nai Nai, he leaves her at the bingo hall for the day to get her off his back. But he soon discovers that not everyone there is as welcoming as he expected . . . Through the universal languages of math and art, Danny realizes he has more in common with his Nai Nai than he first thought. (Credit: Harry N. Abrams)
Kiki Kallira Breaks a Kingdom by Sangu Mandanna
Kiki Kallira has always been a worrier. Did she lock the front door? Is there a terrible reason her mom is late? Recently her anxiety has been getting out of control, but one thing that has always soothed her is drawing. Kiki’s sketchbook is full of fanciful doodles of the rich Indian myths and legends her mother has told her over the years.
One day, her sketchbook’s calming effect is broken when her mythological characters begin springing to life right out of its pages. Kiki ends up falling into the mystical world she drew, which includes a lot of wonderful discoveries like the band of rebel kids who protect the kingdom, as well as not-so-great ones like the ancient deity bent on total destruction. As the one responsible for creating the evil god, Kiki must overcome her fear and anxiety to save both worlds–the real and the imagined–from his wrath. But how can a girl armed with only a pencil defeat something so powerful? (Credit: Viking Books for Young Readers)
- Hey You! by Dapo Adeola, Diane Ewan, Onyinye Iwu, Jade Orlando, Bec Glendining, Derick Brooks, Joelle Avelino, Dunni Mustapha, Kingsley Nebechi, Chanté Timothy, Nicole Miles, Camilla Sucre, Jobe Anderson, Alyissa Johnson, Chatlot Kristensen, Sharee Miller, Reggie Brown, Selom Sunu, Gladys Jose
- How I Saved the World In A Week by Polly Ho-Yen, illustrated by George Ermos
- Me, My Dad and the End of the Rainbow by Benjamin Dean, illustrated by Sandhya Prabhat
- Rumaysa: A Fairytale by Radiya Hafiza, illustrated by Rhaida El Touny
- The Best Diwali Ever by Sonali Shah, illustrator Chaaya Prabhat
- The Lightning Catcher by Claire Weze
- The Rapping Princess by Hannah Lee, illustrated by Allen Fatimaharan
- The Shark Caller by Zillah Bethell
- The Very Merry Murder Club by Abiola Bello, Annabelle Sami, Benjamin Dean, Dominique Valente, Elle McNicoll, E.L. Norry, Maisie Chan, Roopa Farooki, Nizrana Farook, Patrice Lawrence, Joanna Williams, Serena Patel, Sharna Jackson, illustrated by Harry Woodgate. Edited by Robin Stevens and Serena Patel
- Vi Spy: Licence to Chill by Maz Evans
Teen & Young Adult
The Crossing by Manjeet Mann
The sea carries our pain. The stars carry our future.
Natalie’s world is falling apart. She’s just lost her mum and her brother marches the streets of Dover full of hate and anger. Swimming is her only refuge.
Sammy has fled his home and family in Eritrea for the chance of a new life in Europe. Every step he takes on his journey is a step into an unknown and unwelcoming future.
A twist of fate brings them together and gives them both hope. But is hope enough to mend a broken world? (Credit: Penguin UK)
Hani and Ishu’s Guide To Fake Dating by Adiba Jaigirdar
Everyone likes Hani Khan – she’s easy going and one of the most popular girls at school. But when she comes out to her friends as bisexual, they don’t believe her, claiming she can’t be bi if she’s only dated guys. Panicked, Hani blurts out that she’s in a relationship… with a girl her friends can’t stand – Ishu Dey.
Ishu is the polar opposite of Hani. An academic overachiever, she hopes that becoming head girl will set her on the right track for university. Her only problem? Becoming head girl is a popularity contest and Ishu is hardly popular. Pretending to date Hani is the only way she’ll stand a chance of being elected.
Despite their mutually beneficial pact, they start developing real feelings for each other. But some people will do anything to stop two Bengali girls from achieving happily ever after. (Credit: Hachette Children’s Group)
- Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé
- Being Amani by Annabelle Steele
- I am Winter by Denise Brown
- Skin of The Sea by Natasha Bowen
- Splinters of Sunshine by Patrice Lawrence
- Stay Another Day by Juno Dawson
- The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar
- This Is My Truth by Yasmin Rahman
- What We’re Scared Of by Keren David
- You’re The One That I Want by Simon James Green
The Jigsaw Man by Nadine Matheson
There’s a serial killer on the loose.
When bodies start washing up along the banks of the River Thames, DI Henley fears it is the work of Peter Olivier, the notorious Jigsaw Killer. But it can’t be him; Olivier is already behind bars, and Henley was the one who put him there.The race is on before more bodies are found.
She’d hoped she’d never have to see his face again, but Henley knows Olivier might be the best chance they have at stopping the copycat killer. But when Olivier learns of the new murders, helping Henley is the last thing on his mind . . .Will it take a killer to catch the killer?
Now all bets are off, and the race is on to catch the killer before the body count rises. But who will get there first – Henley, or the Jigsaw Killer? (Credit: HarperCollins UK)
The Khan by Saima Mir
Successful London lawyer Jia Khan is a long way from the Northern streets she knew as a child, where her father, Akbar Khan, led the Pakistani community and ran the local organised crime syndicate.
Often his Jirga rule – the old way – was violent and bloody, but it was always justice of a kind.
Now, with her father murdered, Jia must return to take his place. Justice needs to be restored, and Jia is about to discover that justice always comes at a cost. (Credit: Oneworld Publications)
- Black Water Sister by Zen Cho
- His Only Wife by Peace Adzo Medie
- Next of Kin by Kia Abdullah
- Open Water by Caleb Azumah Nelson
- Ten Days by Austin Duffy
- The Bread The Devil Knead by Lisa Allen-Agostini
- The Day I Fell Off My Island by Yvonne Bailey-Smith
- The Island of Missing Trees by Elif Shafak
- This One Sky Day by Leone Ross
- The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams