5 Best Books Like The Help Update 05/2022

A lot of people are looking for more books like Kathryn Stockett’s 2009 novel The Help because it was a huge hit with critics and was adapted into an Academy Award-winning film in 2011.

Critics have panned the book, which tells the story of a group of black housemaids in 1960s Mississippi. However, while the novel does focus on the history of racial discrimination and the abhorrent treatment of black people, it heavily rely on the problematic “white savior” trope and implies that the black women would not have had an outlet to speak up without the privilege and knowledge of a privileged white woman.

In spite of this, many readers were enthralled by the story and Stockett’s writing style, and this does not mean that the book is bad. If you enjoyed The Help and want to learn more about racial tensions in the United States, take a look at these other works of fiction.

5 Books Like The Help

To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee

I would be remiss if I didn’t include Harper Lee’s classic 1960 novel To Kill a Mockingbird in a list of books like The Help.

Set in 1933-1935, the story is told from the viewpoint of Jean Louise “Scout” Finch, a six-year-old girl living in the small Alabama town where she was born. In spite of the book’s numerous subplots, it is best known for its honest depiction of racial inequality.

In To Kill a Mockingbird, the trial of Tom Robinson, a black man falsely accused of raping a white girl, is one of the most important storylines. He has the support of Scout’s father, Atticus Finch, in his legal battles. However, despite the fact that Atticus proves the accusers’ lies, Tom Robinson is still found guilty of the crime.

The 1962 film adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird, which starred Gregory Peck as Atticus, is well-known, as is the controversy it sparked along the way. The American Library Association lists it as one of the most frequently challenged books, and recently, a Mississippi school district decided to drop it from its curriculum.

To Kill a Mockingbird is without a doubt an excellent read for anyone interested in learning about the history of racial injustice in the United States and the current challenges that the country faces.

Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Because of its focus on race relations in the US, Americanah is an excellent choice for those who are looking for books like The Help. Because it is written by and told from the viewpoint of a black woman, the excellent novel Americanah sheds light on what it is like to be an American woman of color today while also crafting an incredibly compelling story for readers to get lost in.

Ifemelu, a Nigerian woman who ends up immigrating to the United States, is the main character of the book’s plot. There, Ifemelu discovers what it means to be black in America and how that race has evolved over the years.

An excellent depiction of what it is like to be black in the United States today, Americanah reminds the reader that racial tensions were not resolved in the 1960s, as depicted in The Help.

White Teeth, by Zadie Smith

White Teeth, Zadie Smith’s 2000 novel, is a good choice if you liked The Help because you were curious about the different lives that people of color in America lead in comparison to white people.

White Teeth is a British drama about a Bangladeshi family adjusting to life in a city known for its tolerance and diversity across the pond in London.

This novel, like the others on this list, deals with race relations in a white-dominated society while also highlighting the hardships of being an immigrant in the United Kingdom.

To learn more about racial relations in the United Kingdom and other countries, you should read Zadie Smith’s debut novel, White Teeth, which received high praise from critics.

Kindred, by Octavia E Butler

Kindred, by Octavia E Butler, is the next book on this list of novels that are similar to The Help, which was published in 1979.

In this novel, based on traditional slave narratives, a modern-day black woman named Dana is mysteriously transported back to a Maryland plantation in 1815, where she is forced to work as a slave.

Kindred, a book that has received high praise from critics, depicts slavery as it was in all its gruesome reality, rather than as it has been traditionally depicted in literature and film. In contrast to books like The Help, which feature a “white savior,” this one features a strong female character who is fighting to survive despite the odds being stacked against her.

It may be difficult to read Kindred, but Butler’s compelling story of a modern woman thrust into the antebellum South continues to explore the true nature of America’s most heinous period of history. If you’re interested in learning more about the history of systemic racism in the United States, this book is a must-read.

The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison

One of the best books like The Help to read is Toni Morrison’s 1970 debut, The Bluest Eye, which is widely considered one of the most important works of modern American literature by a black author.

As a young black girl growing up in an overwhelmingly white Anglo-Saxon Protestant neighborhood in Ohio, Pecola develops racial inferiority complexes.

As a result of its subject matter, The Bluest Eye has been removed from many school libraries and curriculums throughout the year and is on the American Library Association’s list of most frequently challenged books, which is frequently updated.

If you’re looking to learn more about what it’s like to be a black woman in the United States, you should read Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye. Regardless of the controversy, it’s an excellent read.

There are many books about what life was like for people of color in white-dominated societies, so finding books like The Help isn’t difficult.

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