June is Pride Month and ALA’s GLBT Book Month both of which celebrate the lives and experiences of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual (LGBTQIA) people. You can join the Pride movement yourself with this reading list to keep you busy for the rest of June and into the summer.
- Under the Lights by Dahlia Adler: Vanessa Park is passionate about acting and loves being on set–even with her flirty co-star Josh Chester. Van’s happy to have her new career handler, Brianna, but unsure what to do when her friendly feelings for Bri become something else.
- The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow (2016 Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers): Greta Gustafson Stuart, Duchess of Halifax and Crown Princess of the Pan Polar Confederation, is a seventh generation hostage. She knows to follow the rules even with her country on the brink of war. Elián Palnik is a new hostage who refuses to accept any of the tenets of the Children of Peace, forcing Greta to question everything she believes and all of the rules as she struggles to save Elián and herself.
- Alex as Well by Alyssa Brugman: Alex feels like her life is finally coming together when she stops hormone treatments and chooses to live life as a girl.
- Look Both Ways by Alison Cherry: Brooklyn expects to find her people and her niche at a summer apprenticeship at the Allerdale Playhouse. She and her roommate Zoe hit it off immediately. But as their friendship turns into something more, Brooklyn realizes that love isn’t nearly as simple as she thought.
- Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova (2017 Best Fiction for Young Adults): When Alex’s spell to get rid of her magic backfires and her family disappears from their Brooklyn home, she’ll have to travel to the world of Los Lagos to get them back with help from her best friend Rishi and a strange brujo boy with his own agenda.
- George by Alex Gino: Charlotte wants everyone to see her for who she really is and to play Charlotte in her class play of Charlotte’s Web. But for any of that to happen she has to come up with a plan to help everyone know the real her instead of the boy they see when they look at her.
- Girl Mans Up by M-E Girard (2017 Best Fiction for Young Adults, 2017 William C. Morris Debut Award): Caught between her traditional Portuguese parents and her friend Colby who wants loyalty for things Pen isn’t sure she should support will force Pen to find her own way through.
- None of the Above by I. W. Gregorio: Kristen had her life figured out until her decision to have sex with her boyfriend changes everything Kristen thought she knew about herself.
- Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg (2014 Best Fiction for Young Adults): When Rafe moves to a new all boys’ boarding school he decides to start with a clean slate where he isn’t “the gay kid.” Except keeping a secret like that isn’t easy. Especially when he might also be falling in love.
- Pantomime by Laura Lam: Gene runs away from nobility where being intersex could have Gene shunned forever. Hoping to escape her stifling life, Gene reinvents herself as Micah Grey–a performer quick to dazzle with his aerialist skills.
- Gena/Finn by Hannah Moskowitz and Kat Helgeson: Can fan fiction turn to true love for two superfans of a popular TV show?
- Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire (2017 Alex Award): Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children takes in used-up miracle children who have outgrown their knack for finding hidden lands. When a new girl, Nancy, arrives it becomes clear that a darkness lurks at the home and it will be up to Nancy and her schoolmates to unravel the secrets of the Home and their own pasts.
- When The Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore (2017 Best Fiction for Young Adults): Can best friends Miel and Sam protect Miel and the roses that grow out of her wrists from the Bonner sisters, rumored witches, who seem intent to stealing them at any cost?
- Cut Both Ways by Carrie Mesrobian: Will doesn’t know why he hooks up with his best friend Angus. He doesn’t think he’s gay–especially not when he’s so into Brandy, a new girl at his school. But how can he love and want them both so badly?
- Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy: Ramona is six feet tall. She knows she likes girls, she loves her family, and she knows her future is going to be amazing. Her growing feelings for her childhood best friend Freddie make Ramona question everything she knows and show her that life, and love, are much more fluid than she thought.
- The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness (2016 Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults, 2016 Best Fiction for Young Adults, 2017 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults): When it feels like every week there’s a new impending doom, sometimes the most extraordinary thing to do is live your regular not-chosen-one life. Even if your best friend is worshiped by cats.
- Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee: Tash doesn’t know what to think when her obscure web series skyrockets to fame and popularity. The sudden fame can take her online flirtation to IRL but first Tash has to figure out how to explain that she’s romantic asexual. Oh and there’s the whole delivering the best web series ever to her forty thousand new subscribers.
- If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo (2017 Best Fiction for Young Adults, 2017 Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers): Amanda’s plans to keep a low profile during her senior year are tested when she meets Grant and feels understood for maybe the first time. But she isn’t sure how to get closer to Grant and her new friends with her newly public transgender identity.
- What We Left Behind by Robin Talley: Dream couple Toni and Gretchen fully expect to stay together as they start college. Then Toni, who identifies as genderqueer, finds belong for the first time with a group of transgender classmates while Gretchen tries to remember who she is without Toni at her side. Can love keep them together as they start to grow apart?
- Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld (2015 Best Fiction for Young Adults): Interspersed with Darcy Patel’s story of trying to find herself and become a professional author is the story that brought her to New York in the first place: Lizzie’s adventures in Afterworlds. Darcy and Lizzie’s worlds blend together in this story about facing your fears and finding yourself.
If you want even more recommendations be sure to check out the Rainbow List and Stonewall Award honorees from American Library Association’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table.
— Emma Carbone, currently reading In a Perfect World by Trish Doller