Great Titles for National GLBT Book Month

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Here at SLC we are always proud to feature titles that promote tolerance and diversity in all library collections. In honor of National GLBT Book Month check out this list of titles recommended by our reviewers.

076367382XThrash, Maggie
Honor Girl
2015. 272pp. $19.99 hc. Candlewick Press. 978-0-7636-7382-6. Grades 9-12

Thrash’s graphic memoir presents a love story with which every reader will be able to identify. Told primarily through flashback, Maggie recalls one particular summer she spent at Camp Bellflower, Kentucky when she was 15. After a brief encounter with a counselor, Maggie’s emotions and thoughts become confused; she contemplates her feelings, sexuality, and actions in a way with which most teenagers will empathize. Thrash’s plot and dialogue flow easily, keeping the reader intrigued. Her rough outlines, especially for people’s faces, will hopefully prove more interesting in the final full color illustrations. Honor Girl will be a page-turner leaving readers with many unresolved questions, a scenario familiar to LGBT and straight teens alike. Carrie Randall, Maine-Endwell Central School District, New York
Recommended

 

SimonAlbertalli, Becky
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
2015. 320pp. $17.99 hc. Balzer + Bray (HarperCollins). 978-0-06-234867-8. Grades 9-12

Simon hasn’t told anyone he’s gay except for Blue, someone he knows only through emails. When Simon forgets to logout of his secret email account on a school computer, Martin Addison, the class goofball, happens upon the account. Martin blackmails Simon into getting Abby, one of Simon’s best friends, to hang out with him. When Abby doesn’t return Martin’s affections, Simon’s coming out happens more publicly than he wished. The story is told in alternating chapters of Simon’s first-person narrative and his emails with Blue. It is a charming story of coming out, falling in love, and the many changes that happen within families and between friends. Personable, funny, and insightful, Simon is a character that readers can connect with and root for. The novel is utterly delightful and a valuable addition for any high school or public library. Stacy Holbrook, School Librarian, Middlebury (Vermont) Union High School [Editor’s Note: Available in e-book format.]
Highly Recommended

 

NinaAchterbergh, Marlise
Princess Nina
Illustrated by Iris Compiet. 2015. 32pp. $16.95 hc. Clavis Publishing. 978-1-605372-22-8. Grades K-5

Princess Nina and her parents search for a husband for her. Princess Nina does not like any of the potential suitors, until one day when Princess Melowo comes to visit, and Princess Nina falls in love. Both sets of parents agree to the potential marriage, leading to a happily-ever-after ending. This book is an excellent way to introduce young children to the concept of same-sex love through the familiarity of fairytale settings. This translation of the original Dutch tale offers humorous illustrations that will engage the reader, and an easy-to-follow format for both reading aloud and independent reading. Sara Rofofsky Marcus, Contributing Methodologist, Walden University, Bayside, New York
Recommended

 

QMoon, Sarah
The Letter Q: Queer Writers’ Notes to Their Younger Selves
2012. 288pp. $17.99 hc. Arthur A. Levine (Scholastic, Inc.). 978-0-545-39932-6. Grades 8-12

If you could write a letter to your younger self, what would it say? In this book, the message is clear: it gets better. In this inspiring collection of letters, queer writers look back on how far they have come and share the advice they wish someone had given them. The letters are in various styles and formats, including verse, cartoons, and illustrations, and come from authors like David Levithan, Jacqueline Woodson, and Brian Selznick. This collection should be in every high school library and public library teen collection to be found by those who need it most. Mallorie Colvin, Youth Programming & Web Librarian, Harris County Public Library, Houston, Texas
Recommended

 

OpenKonigsberg, Bill
Openly Straight
2013. 336pp. $17.99 hc. Arthur A. Levine (Scholastic, Inc.). 978-0-545-50989-3. Grades 9-12

The concept of identity is explored with remarkable perception in this novel. Rafe, who is “openly gay” and is supported by his parents and his progressive community, is tired of being labeled. Hoping for a fresh start, Rafe enrolls in an all-boys boarding school in New England. Far from home, Rafe takes the opportunity to explore his masculinity and create new friendships. He becomes part of the jock crowd and forms a special friendship with Ben, a classmate who is questioning his own sexuality. As Ben and Rafe become closer, Rafe finds it harder to conceal who he truly is. His past relationships are explored in writings between Rafe and his English teacher. This is a fascinating take on the LGBTQ genre in that it explores the desire to express multiple identities. The main and supporting characters are multi-dimensional and fascinating, the plot riveting, and the dialogue witty. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll think. Candi Pierce Garry, Teacher Librarian, Hamilton (Ohio) High School
Highly Recommended

 

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