Teen Thursday: Reading with Pride pt. 2

Reading with Pride! Here are 8 amazing books that celebrate the diversity of the LGBTQ+ community, recommended by our booksellers and the Teen Press Corps! Stay tuned for new releases, most anticipated, and more…

Check, Please! Book 1: Hockey & Check, Please! Book 2: Sticks & Scones by Ngozi Ukazu

“I like fiction that makes me feel happy, and this goofy duology does it. Set at Samwell, a fictional college in Massachusetts, it follows the antics of the shortest player on the Samwell Mens Hockey team. Eric Bittle, or “Bitty,” as the strange hockey culture of nicknames dictates he be called, is a former figure skater from Georgia. He’s come to Samwell for the ability to be himself, a gay kid whose best friends before this were his mother and his rolling pin. The books chronicle all four years of college, through crushes and cellys, crushing defeat, and glorious victory.” – Ming

9780525647072Pet by Akwaeke Emezi

“In post-revolution Lucille, all the monsters are gone. At least they think so. Then Jam meets Pet, a monster-hunter who comes out of one of her mother’s paintings. This book asks us incredible questions about how monsters hide in normalcy, about what communal repair can look like, and how we can expand our senses/capacity for trust. Emezi’s language is stunning and they create such an incredible world wherein the ways of being are so new, yet so familiar.” – Ona

Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera

9780593108178“I adored this book. So many stories about queer kids are about discovering sexualities and learning how to be proud and open about them, but Juliet Takes a Breath instead focuses on another hugely crucial experience for queer teens. Much like elements of my own experiences, Juliet struggles with finding queer mentors, adults that understand what she’s going through and that she can learn how to be healthily queer and healthily a woman of color. So much of queer history has been erased, either deliberately or due to the AIDS crisis, and so learning about your queer history isn’t necessarily easy, double so when you’re also a brown woman. I loved watching Juliet learn more about the cultures she knows she’s a part of and figuring out exactly where she fits in.” – Rachel R

The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta

9780062990297_2db2a“I’ve never read a novel in verse, at least not one written this century. It immediately threw me back into the rhythm and ease of when I used to write poems nearly every day, the way the words stick in your mind with the careful emphasis of each syllable. The freedom of poetry. How no one can tell you you’re wrong for how you phrase things. It’s the perfect medium for this story. The freedom and expression of each thought, the honesty of each worry. This book will stick with me, the rhythms of the words on repeat in my mind.” – Gina

I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver

“I expected I Wish You All the Best to be good. I had no idea how good. Mason Deaver, 9781338306125though only a debut author, has written a powerful first novel that hits every right note. Honest without being a bummer, this book proves the obvious fact that queer people are more than just their struggles. We see Ben open and flourish in art and love as well as go through trials and tribulations, both important to the story.” – Ivy

Odd One Out by Nic Stone

9781101939567“In her author’s note for Odd One Out, Nic Stone talks about writing the novel she wishes she had when she was a young girl, confused by her attraction to both boys and girls. Stone has succeeded in writing a personal and intimate exploration of those feelings, with characters that are realistic, funny, and smart as hell. I wish I’d met these characters when I was younger– especially Coop, a proud and confident feminist who isn’t afraid to be vulnerable with his friends. I loved how openly this book discusses not only sexuality and pleasure, but misogyny, prejudice, embracing and refusing labels, and the importance of belonging…” – Eugenia

The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar

“I had so much fun reading this!!! I love, love, love reading books where the author’s 9781624149689pride for their culture shines so brightly. Nishat’s excitement about her henna business and her banter with her sister were so comforting to read. Jaigirdar captured so many complexities of being a queer teenager of color and all the beauty and pain that comes with it, the support and the struggle. Nishat and Flávia debating cultural appropriation over their warring henna shops and combating discrimination is the perfect rival to lovers dream come true.” – Gina


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