Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2025) Featured Review: This Terrible True Thing by Jenny Laden

Danielle is living in 1990’s Philadelphia, going to private school, and hoping to be accepted at the Rhode Island School of Design’s art program. But, this is the age of AIDS/HIV and Danielle’s father is gay at a time when very little is known about the disease or mentioned aloud. Her father falls victim to AIDS in a heart-wrenching manner and this propels Danielle to action and to speak out.

Gail Shalon had an age-appropriate voice which was perfect in voicing the pain Danielle felt when her father died. This is the author’s debut novel and takes parts from her own life.  In the print version are many drawings, poems, and journal entries, but the audio version stands on its own without these. In fact, the audio version won the Audie Award for YA 2024. The characters are multi-layered.

This audiobook can be enjoyed by fans of John Green, Jennifer Niven, and Bill Konigsberg. This historical fiction title depicts a time when so little was known about AIDS/HIV and being gay was a hidden topic.  

-Ellen Spring

Other Nominated Titles

The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination.

Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten.

OUTspoken: Teen Graphic Novels for Pride Month

Though Pride month recently wrapped up, the need for these titles lasts all year. These positive, inclusive graphic novels span many genres (contemporary, fantasy, mystery, memoir) and include LGBTQia* characters just going about their business, whether that be going to school, finding love, solving crimes, rescuing princesses, or reaping souls. Of course, this is not an exhaustive list – add your favorites in the comments below!

*lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersexual, asexual

Continue reading OUTspoken: Teen Graphic Novels for Pride Month

A Series of Fortunate Events: Library Collaborations that Help LGBTQ Young Adults Transition to College Life

Co-presented by university librarian Amanda Melilli, head of the Curriculum Materials Library at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, and Las Vegas (Clark County) high school English teacher and department chair for English in Clark County Ashley Nebe, this session focused on their collaborative relationship, designed to support and encourage LGBTQIA teens both in their high school years and during the transition to college. We also heard from authors Ann Bausum, Susan Kuklin, David Levithan, and Mariko Tamaki on their thoughts for supporting LGBTQIA youth during the transition from high school to university.

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Nebe spoke (inspirationally!) about the incredible growth of the GSA chapter at her high school, and the work that they have done to partner with other LGBTQIA-serving organizations and allies in the community, including Melilli’s library. The high school group now runs a student Talent Showcase in an open-air setting at the high school that has become a large event with strong participation numbers from students (with the larger community invited). They participate in the community-wide Pride Parade each year, which gives them a chance to make personal connections with college-age LGBTQIA students and faculty before arriving on the university campus themselves. Some key take-aways: Continue reading A Series of Fortunate Events: Library Collaborations that Help LGBTQ Young Adults Transition to College Life