Hello wonderful people!
Today’s post is slightly different (don’t worry there are still books!) as today (Sunday 27th January) is Holocaust Memorial Day 2019! Also, let’s ignore that fact that I was supposed to post yesterday and pretend I purposely wanted to post on the day!
*Nervous laughter* I’m going to be attempting to explain what HMD is and my feelings in a understandable way but it is hard. I’ll also be giving some equality recs so stick around for that! If you want to find out more about the topic explained much better, visit the official website here.
Holocaust Memorial Day
Holocaust Memorial Day is an international day on 27 January which occurs yearly to remind people of the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust and the millions of other ‘imperfect’ people (Catholics, LGBQT communities, gypsy communities etc) killed under the Nazi reign. 27 January was when Auschwitz (the largest Nazi death camp) was liberated. Killing a group of people based solely on their race, religion, identity is called Genocide.
We remember those who died and their suffering and raise awareness so that nothing this horrific has to happen EVER again. However, nothing is that simple. After World War 2, despite everyone agreeing what had happened should never happen again, genocide has happened many times. In Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and in Darfur today.
However, genocide is far from the only issue, prejudice and hate exists all over the world even in daily life. For those of you who don’t know, I am an Asian. This means I am likely to be discriminated against in my lifetime. It is quite shameful to think that this is being accepted as a fact rather than challenged. Even though it is the 21st century and humans are thought to be extremely advanced, people are CRUEL and prejudiced. This is a simple fact of life and is yet to change even though it desperately needs to.
What can you do?
You may be wondering what you could do (I mean you might not but let’s pretend you are). As a reader and a simply AWESOME human being, there are plenty of ways you can raise awareness and help against suffering!
Amnesty International is a group that support equal rights! They run a fabulous campaign called Write for Rights where you write letters/tweets/emails for a certain cause in hopes that the government will eventually have to take notice and do something! It is a super quick and easy way to support causes such as stopping the killing of LGBT+ in Chechnya; freeing women who fought for the right to drive in Saudi Arabia and a whole bunch of issues going on in the world!
As a reader, you can also READ! Here are some awesome books supporting equality! I was overwhelmed by the amount I found and I wish I could have included them all but these are some I have read and loved or would love to read! All covers and titles take you to the Goodreads page.
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak is set in Nazi Germany, 1939. It is the story of Liesel who falls in love with reading after finding The Gravedigger’s Handbook. It is the story of her learning to read and stealing books from anywhere and everywhere including book-burnings. It is the story of Liesel’s foster family hideing a Jew in their basement. (Unread but been on TBR for YEARS.)
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne is set in Berlin, 1942. Bruno is the son of a soldier who one day has to move to a new house after his father receives a promotion. Thing is, there’s a tall, never-ending fence that cuts him off from all the other people in striped pajamas that he wants to play with. Deciding to go and explore, Bruno meets another boy whose life is very different and makes friends with those that will change his life. (I’ve read this one and it is HEARTBREAKING.)
Our Year of Maybe by Rachel Lynn Solomon is a story about Sophie who would do anything for Peter (including donating a kidney). She hopes he’ll feel the same way about her but instead of getting closer, they seem to drift leaving Sophie bitter and stopping her from other opportunities. Sophie is Jewish and Peter is half-Jewish. (Released this year! I really need to get to it!)
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas is a super important book talking about black shootings and equality. It focuses on Starr Carter and her two worlds- poor neighborhood and fancy prep school. Her life changes completely when her best friend Khalil is shot by a white policeman. Starr is the only one who knows what happened but speaking out and keeping quiet are both dangerous. (I loved reading this last year! The family relationships were one of my favourite parts!
Are We all Lemmings and Snowflakes by Holly Bourne talks about mental health and trying your best even when no one really understands you. Olive is a girl sent to Camp Reset (a camp for teens with mental illnesses). She wants to become ‘normal’ and tries to come up with ways to fix herself and others at the camp. (The friendships and snark in this are the best! One of my top books from last year!)
We are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson was one of the first LGBTQ books I’d ever read and remains one of my favourites! The topics were pretty well discussed and I loved the unique Sci-Fi with the alien abductions! Henry is such a sweet cinnamon roll and I love him! It made me feel so many things! (You definitely need to read this! It was AMAZING!)
A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi is set in 2002 just after 9/11. It’s about Shirin a teenage Muslim girl sick of stereotyped. She’s tired of the rudeness, mean comments and violence that she has to suffer because of her race and religion. Ocean James seems to be the first person who wants to know Shirin and it terrifies her. Tahereh Mafi is such a popular author and I love the sound of this book! (Not read…YET!)
The Tiger at Midnight by Swati Teerdhala is coming out in April and I am too excited for this one!! It has Indian history and Hindu mythology (which makes my Indian heart freak with excitement!!). It is about Esha, an awesome assassin and Kunal, a soldier who longs for the outside world. Both the rebel and soldier must make unforgivable choices. (Does that not sound amazing?! I can’t wait for it to be released!)
The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
you knew I would sneak something in This isn’t completely real but it is about equality between mortals and faeries so IT COUNTS. The Cruel Prince is too amazing and you genuinely need to read it! (IT IS ONE OF MY ALL TIME FAVOURITES!)
And last but definetley not least, you can be a KIND human being and accept and support everyone online and in real life! Even if you don’t think or act the same way they do, that’s no reason to hate.
CHAT WITH ME! Have you read any of these books? Any good recs for me? I’m in dire need of more books for my TBR. Thoughts on this post? How’s your day been? DIVULGE YOUR SECRETS!