I’ve had the opportunity to read many of the books that are currently in the DIVerse Families database; one that has stood out to me was Punkzilla by Adam Rapp. This book is about a 14-year-old boy named Jamie, but also known as Punkzilla who is fleeing away from military school to reach his brother who is dying from cancer. The plot was definitely a roller coaster with all kinds of twists and turns adding to the narrative. I enjoyed reading this book because it showed me a new perspective on diversity and gave me clarity on how important the DIVerse Families database was. I feel like representation is very important; seeing yourself represented feels really good and motivating. Growing up, I’ve always gravitated towards books that represented me in some kind of way because I wanted to relate to the storyline. But lately, these past few months I’ve realized that just because a character doesn’t look like me or didn’t grow up in the same background as me, doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy the book and learn something new. Diversity isn’t just about seeing yourself in media but seeing everyone else as well. Seeing and understanding that people come from all walks of life, and just because they are different from you doesn’t mean their story should go unheard. I enjoyed reading Punkzilla because it was a breath of fresh air from what I’ve always been used to reading in the past. This coming-of-age story touched on multiple topics of diversity from Family Relationships, to LGBT+ topics, to even Disability and Health, and much more. I learned about problems and issues I didn’t even know existed, and for that, I’m very grateful for getting the chance to read this book. I highly recommend for everyone to go check out the book, whether you identify with the character or not, come join Jamie on his adventure to reaching his brother.
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