LGBTQ, Young Adult

George by Alex Gino

Melissa (known to everyone as George) hates her name, and that everyone else thinks that she is a boy. She wants to play Charlotte in the school play they’re doing of Charlotte’s Web. Luckily Melissa’s best friend is willing to help her with that. Even after the teacher proves to be kind of a jerk.
This is an amazing book. I read it because I saw it in the Reading Revels, and I really like it. It’s a great book about a trans girl, and it isn’t all doom and gloom. When she tells her best friend and when she tells her brother both interactions go quite well. Melissa’s mother has some trouble with it, but luckily the principal of the school is not stuck in the past, even though her classes teacher is. And the best thing is that it’s a really enjoyable read! I love it!

~Naomi

Fantasy, Historical, LGBTQ, Short Stories, Young Adult

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black…and more from Naomi!

Tana wakes up the morning after a big party in the bathtub hungover. But when she leaves the bathroom she discovers she is the best off, because everyone else at the party is dead, drained by vampires. Trying to leave Tana finds her ex-boyfriend and a vampire chained up in the spare bedroom. She makes a plan to get them all out. But Aiden, her ex, is infected and she might be as well. They head toward Coldtown, the place where vampires and the living infected are quarantined. The vampire Gavriel is not entirely sane but he helps as he can and Tana finds herself liking him more and more. He wants to go to Coldtown to kill a vampire he once knew. As Tana gets caught up in one mess after another she learns a lot about her own strength and never lets go of the will to stay human, no matter what it takes.

Prometheus Bound by Aeschylus, translated by Rex Warner

In this Greek play Prometheus has just given all of his gifts to mortals, the most well-known of which being fire. He is chained to a rock and talks about what happened and what will happen (since his name means foresight) to his friend, the old god of the sea Okeanos and Okeanos’ flock of daughters (the chorus.) Then Io comes through. Zeus forced himself on her and then he turned her into a cow and sent a gadfly to sting her and keep her moving from place to place. Prometheus tells her about her future before she is driven off. Then Hermes arrives with a message from Zeus demanding to know how he knows this stuff or they will increase his torment. Prometheus refuses. And the play ends in thunder.
It was a great translation. I enjoyed it a lot, I actually had the chance to read a large part of it out loud which helped. Great historical play.

Fool Moon by Jim Butcher

This is the second book in the Dresden Files. Harry Dresden has to deal with werewolves, multiple different kinds of Werewolves in fact. There’s some fallout from the first book as well with Internal Investigations looking into Murphy. When the evidence piles up against Harry he has to flee police custody, because even though it makes him look more guilty, he may be the only one who can keep the murders from escalating.
I read the first one about a year ago. They are good, a little formulaic but one that works. When I was looking for Horror books in the online library and the Dresden Files was one of the top entries I picked it up gladly.

Grave Peril by Jim Butcher

Dresden has to deal with ghosts. Something is stirring up a lot of them. On top of this there’s a girl who can see the future who comes to him for help and his friend Michael, who is a paladin, is on Harry to tell Susan that he loves her. When Harry manages to lose Michael’s super powerful sword to his Fae Godmother (Who wants to turn Harry into one of her hellhounds) they have to get it back. Also an old vampire enemy of his has invited him to a party, and he decides to go since that’s where he thinks he can find all his answers.
These are like the wafer cookies of books. I enjoy them, they’re the same every time, there isn’t a huge amount of substance to them, and yet you can’t stop with one.

Montmorency by Eleanor Updale

Once a thief, Montmorency was badly injured. A doctor goes to great lengths to save him as a medical experiment. Finding himself in posh company, to be ogled at and shown off, Montmorency begins to learn. When he gets out he doesn’t plan to stay in the gutters long. Although the sewers are a different matter. Posing as both a rich gentleman and his own servant he uses the new sewer system to steal from the rich and get away unseen. But the more time he spends pretending to be a gentleman the less it feels like an act…
I enjoy books where the main character is actually clever. And the character growth is great!

 

~~Naomi

LGBTQ, Young Adult

All Out by Edited by Saundra Mitchell

This is a collection of short stories about queer teens throughout history. For example there’s one about two teenage girls who run away on their wedding days and find each other and become Pirates. There’s one about an ace girl who loves roller skating. There’s one about two gay Renaissance painting students who have no problem with the female models get but get really flustered at the male model. There’s one about a girl who rescues her love, a trans boy, who joined the French Legion for the chance to be himself. There’s an awesome one about a trans Robin Hood and gay Will Scarlet that ends on a cliff hanger. I really hope the author makes that one a full story!
All the authors are really good and the characters are believable and likable. This is a good collection.

~Naomi

Autobiography/Biography, LGBTQ

Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin

Six young transgender teens of varying backgrounds tell their own stories about what it is like to recognize their identity, come out, try to explain, and deal with ignorant adults. Portraits accompany several of the stories, and the book includes a glossary and resources, including further reading.
This book is an excellent resource for people exploring their gender identity, and a great way for the rest of us to get ourselves clued in.

~Alison

LGBTQ, Young Adult

We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson

Henry lives with his mom, a single parent struggling to make the ends meet, his older brother and his grandmother. His older brother is a college dropout, which only adds to his mother’s frustrations. Add to the mix his brother’s pregnant girlfriend, both of whom move back home with Henry’s family. At the same time Henry is slowly losing his grandmother to Alzheimer’s. Henry is also having a rough time working through the suicide of his boyfriend, partially blaming himself, and is trying to figure out where he fits into…everything. On top of all of this Henry is periodically abducted by aliens. The aliens inform him that the world is going to end and all Henry needs to do to save it is to press a big red button. Whacky, and certainly a unique story. Given Henry’s circumstances, he wonders if the world is really worth saving. Though there were many parts of the story that did not resonate with me, I kept on reading and was drawn in to Henry’s dilemma and the support offered by various friends. This book has several starred reviews, but knowing little about it I decided to jump in and give it a try. I am glad I kept on reading as the ending was worth it. Does the world end? Good question!

~Lisa

LGBTQ, Short Stories, Young Adult

It Gets Better: Coming out, overcoming bullying, and creating a life worth living Edited by Dan Savage and Terry Miller

In 2010, the suicides of teens who were gay and perceived to be gay drove the editors to start the ItGetsBetterProject, a series of videos on UTube aimed at teens who were suffering from bullying. The central message in the more than 100 short chapters is: “Stick it out- don’t hurt yourself, if you can make it through high school, it gets a LOT better.” The project was wildly successful, and includes messages from then-president Obama, Hillary Clinton, and numerous survivors, all giving the same message.
If it saves lives, that message bears repeating a hundred times and more, but it does seem to be time to stop the bullying in the first place. The back of the book lists resources that aim to do just that for LGBT kids.

~Alison

Historical, LGBTQ, Young Adult

The 57 Bus by Dashka Slater

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A true story of two teens from Oakland, CA and the events of November 4, 2013 that changed both of their lives. Sasha, a teen from a small private school lived in the middle-class foothills. Richard, a teen from a large public school, lived in a crime filled neighborhood. Their lives crossed daily as they rode the 57 bus home from school. In this diverse city, these two teens lived very different lives. One day on the bus ride home Sasha is severely burned and Richard is charged and potentially faces life in prison. An intense story of the impact this event had on the lives of these two teens. This story definitely sheds light on the judicial system, as it applies to juvenile offenders, and will perhaps have you rethinking how it is that these young offenders are handled. A multiple award winning title.

~Lisa