By: Tasslyn Magnusson
I just finished reading, Ash, by Malinda Lo. As I acquaint myself with people in the kidlit world, I know I've seen her on Twitter. I know we've probably talked about Ash at different points in lectures. Ash is a re-telling of the Cinderella story – with a healthy dose of stories of the conflict between old and new beliefs and the hidden connections between the fairy world and Ash’s own “real” world.
You need to read this story. I found Ash's romantic journey truly beautiful with lyrical writing and conflict over who to love and why we love expressed tenderly in a way I haven't really seen before.
But stepping beyond the story and into my newly chosen role as "WRITER" I began to consider this book in light of discussions on diverse books. When we talk about diverse books, we talk about mirrors and windows. This is neither of those. This is a complex story that makes no assumptions about who is supposed to love who and why things should be that way. Maybe we should consider a different angle we need to explore as writers on diverse books. Writing the world as we hope it to be – with heroes and villains that fit that dream – not writing the world that is. I think this path is creates aspirational story-telling that is exciting and, at least for me, hopeful.