Outspoken: Books For LGBTQ Youth updated spring 2013
Outspoken: Books for LGBTQ YouthOut of The Closet: Groundbreaking FictionAnnie on My Mind - Nancy GardenFrom the moment she meets Annie Kenyon at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Liza Winthrop knowsthere’s something special between them. While the two girls come from completely different worlds,their close friendship quickly deepens into love. But can their relationship survive the tensions of senioryear, familial demands, and discrimination?This novel was first published in 1982 and is now considered a classic of young adult literature.Weetzie Bat – Francesca Lia BlockIn this post-modern fairy tale set in a dreamlike version of Los Angeles, quirky Weetzie and her bestfriend Dirk search for true love. While life isn’t always magical, Weetzie and Dirk discover that livinghappily is better than waiting for a perfect happily ever after.This book is the first in the Dangerous Angels series that tells the stories of Weetzie, Dirk, and their created family.Geography Club – Brett HartingerFor Russel, the boys’ locker room is a minefield; he feels like a spy in enemy territory, absolutely surethat at any moment his disguise of average straight guy will fail. Min and Terese have convincedeveryone they’re just really close friends. Popular jock Kevin would rather die than have his teammatesfigure out he likes guys. Together, they decide to form a secret safe space: “Geography Club”—the onlyclub so boring that no one else would ever try to join.After 10 years, this now famous novel is being adapted for the big screen.Boy Meets Boy – David LevithanPaul loves life in his town, where the straight scene and the gay scene got all mixed up a while back and thehigh school quarterback is also homecoming queen. Then Paul meets Noah and the world changes. Evenin a town like no other, love isn’t easy.Friends, Lovers, and Allies: Humorous & Heartfelt Realistic FictionNaomi and Ely’s No Kiss List- Rachel Cohn & David LevithanFamily feuds and boy drama may come and go, but absolutely nothing can get between best friends andneighbors Naomi and Ely. Then Ely kisses Naomi’s boyfriend, breaking the long understood rules of theirNo-Kiss List, and suddenly their friendship is on the verge of collapse. Now, Naomi and Ely mustnavigate sudden opportunities for romance without each other.Will Grayson, Will Grayson- John Green and David LevithanIn two separate Chicago suburbs, there are two high school boys who share both a certain sense ofdissatisfaction with their lives and a name. Will Grayson and will grayson are going about their separatelives, unaware that each is spiraling towards an unexpected but somehow fated encounter with the other.That one significant meeting in the famous Chicago adult bookstore Frenchy’s causes the boys’ lives tointersect in exciting and disruptive ways.
My Most Excellent Year: A Novel of Love, Mary Poppins, & Fenway Park- Steven KlugerBaseball fiend T.C. falls in love with Alejandra at first sight. But Ale’s preoccupied with her mission toexchange her role as diplomats daughter for a life on the stage. Meanwhile, T.C.s best friend and aspiringtheatrical superstar Augie is falling in love with Andy Wexler (who, incidentally, is falling in love with Augie)and everyone knows it—except Augie and Andy. So, T.C., Ale, and Augie rely on each other to survive ayear of romantic mishaps, sign language, Mary Poppins, baseball, and musical madness.Transformative Texts: Transgender TeensLuna – Julie Anne PetersRegan has always known that her adored older brother Liam is special. The fact that Liam is really Luna—that her sibling is girl stuck in a boy’s body—has never been a problem for Regan. But now Luna doesn’twant to come out only at night—she wants to live her whole life as her true self and she wants Regan to help.But Regan is terrified: is the world ready for Luna? Will Regan be able to keep protecting her?Almost Perfect – Brian KatcherStill recovering from his ugly break-up with his first and only girlfriend, Logan is not feeling positive aboutlove, romance, or life in general. Then Sage breezes into his small Missouri town. Logan can’t help feelingdrawn to Sage’s gorgeous red hair and unapologetic individuality. However, Sage has secrets—secrets thatmight end their romance before it truly gets started.I Am J –Cris BeamSince elementary school, J has avoided wearing dresses and preferred playing with the boys at recess. Now,as a teenager, J’s body is starting to betray him and when he tries to start living openly as the boy he really is,his parents and best friend can’t understand. Starting classes at a high school for LGBT teens, J finally startsto envision a real future for himself.For more exciting and multifaceted fiction about transgender teens, check out these titles:Beautiful Music For Ugly Children – Kristin Cronn-Mills Jumpstart The World- Catherine Ryan HydeParrotfish – Ellen WittlingerOut of This World: Fantasy, Science Fiction, and Speculative FictionAsh by Malinda LoOrphaned and left at the mercy of her bitter stepmother, Ash dreams of fleeing her unhappy life. When sheencounters the strange and frightening fairy Sidhean, Ash thinks she might have finally found her escaperoute. But then she meets the Kings huntress Kaisa and their growing friendship reawakens her desire tolive—and love. Now, Ash must choose between fairy magic and the powerfully human magic of love andconnection.Huntress by Malinda LoThe natural world is deeply out of balance. Taisin, a young sage in training, has visions that both she and herclassmate Kaede must travel out of the human world to seek answers. Meanwhile, Kaede simply wants achance to avoid her parents expectations and an unwanted marriage. Together, the two young womenembark on a dangerous journey, unsure what to expect from their quest--or from each other.
Adaptation- Malinda LoIn the skies over North America, birds suddenly hurl themselves into planes, causing dozens of deadlycrashes and airport closures. Reese Holloway, her debate partner, and their teacher manage to escapetheir airport and during their harrowing drive home, the car flips. When Reese wakes up in a strangemilitary hospital a month later, she finds her body mysteriously healed and her mind full of questions.What exactly happened in that hospital? What is the government hiding about the thousands of deadbirds? Who—or what—has Reese become since the accident?Hero – Perry MooreSince his mother’s disappearance and his ex-superhero dad’s public disgrace, Thom Creed has been livinga double life, doing everything possible to keep his two biggest secrets hidden from his father. To protecthis dad, Thom tries to escape the reality that he is developing super abilities of his own—and that he isdefinitely gay. But when superheroes of the world begin dying of a mysterious illness, Thom will have toface his fears and embrace his own heroic destiny.Beauty Queens- Libba BrayWhen their plane crashes on an apparently deserted island, the surviving contestants in Miss. Teen Dreampageant suddenly have much bigger things to worry about than their lipstick supply and talent routines.But instead of resorting to violent conflict, the girls bond together and channel their wills to win into thequest for survival. Free from the pressures of their society, each begins to shed her beauty queen maskand explore her real interests and feelings.Wide Awake – David LevithanIn the near future, the first gay Jewish president is elected and no one is happier that Duncan and hisboyfriend Jimmy. But suddenly the election is challenged and Duncan must decide how much he will riskfor his beliefs—and for the people he loves.Girls Who Like Girls: Lesbian Coming of Age StoriesThe Difference Between You and Me – Madeleine GeorgeJesse is a proud lesbian and a self-proclaimed weirdo. Emily is the popular vice president of studentcouncil. The two girls don’t have anything in common—except their secret make-out sessions in the librarybathroom. But while neither girl is totally comfortable with their non-relationship, neither is willing to endit. However, when they end up on opposite sides of a contentious issue in local politics, both Jesse andEmily will have to face the hard fact that being true to yourself might mean giving up someone you love.Sister Mischief – Laura GoodeEsme Rockett (alter ego MC Ferocious) is tired of trying to lie low at her Christian high school in Holyhill,Minnesota. So Esme and her best friends Marcy, Tess, and Rowie, form Sister Michief, a band bringing theirown unique brand of activist, girl-powered hip-hop into suburbia. But between school resistance to theirhip-hop and queer culture discussion group and Esme’s clandestine new romance with Rowie, the groupmight fall apart before they can finish their first big performance.
Ask The Passengers – A.S. KingIn picture perfect Unity Valley, everyone knows everything about everyone. So high school senior AstridJones has learned that it’s safer to keep her secrets locked up tight. Instead of confiding in her pushymother, her stoner father, or her equally secretive best friend Kristina, Astrid lies on the picnic table in herbackyard, watching planes pass overhead and sending her love up to the unknown passengers. But as hercovert relationship with her coworker Dee grows more serious and her friends start demanding answers, amistake pushes all of Astrid’s secrets into the blinding light of public opinion.You might also like to check out these titles:Deliver Us From Evie – M.E. Kerr The House You Pass On The Way - Jacqueline WoodsonKeeping You a Secret – Julie Anne Peters Down To The Bone –Mayra Lazara DoleIn The Middle: Bisexual IdentityThe Bermudez Triangle – Maureen JohnsonNina, Avery, and Melanie have been an inseparable trio for years. Now, the summer before their senioryear Nina is going off to Stanford for a ten-week summer program while Avery and Mel begin jobswaitressing. Nina falls for a sweet eco-activist but must also face the fact that she likely won’t see him againunless they hopefully both end up at Stanford. Meanwhile, Mel has finally had a real kiss—with Avery.When the trio is reunited, it’s not clear if their friendship can survive the changes.Pink – Lili WilliamsonBoth her current penchant for black clothes and her intellectual girlfriend Chloe thrill Ava’s uber-liberalparents. But Avas not so sure. She loves Chloe but sometimes she thinks about wearing pink and kissingboys. So she transfers to an elite private school to try out a new version of herself. Now, Ava is trying to beall things to all people and her multiple personas threaten to explode the delicate balance of her life.Look out for these other titles featuring characters exploring bisexual identity:Hello. I Lied– M.E. Kerr Empress of the World – Sarah RyanIn Another Time: Historical FictionThe Miseducation of Cameron Post- Emily M. DanforthThe moment twelve year old Cameron Post learns that her parents have been killed in a car accident, herinitial reaction is relief: relief that now they will never find out that only a few hours ago she was kissingher best friend Irene. And while Cameron & Irenes friendship falls apart, Cameron cant forget how rightit felt to be kissing a girl. A few years later and Cam just starts to figure out the girl shes becoming whenthe arrival of beautiful cowgirl Coley Taylor throws her tenuously balanced world off kilter.Wildthorn- Jane EaglandLouisa Cosgrove longs for a life beyond the limited world usually allowed women in 19th centuryEngland. After her father’s sudden death, Louisa loses her only ally in her pursuit to become a doctorand her older brother sends Louisa away to be a lady’s companion. But the carriage takes her toWildthorn Hall, an insane asylum where the doctors insist that she is Lucy Childs, their newest resident.Amid the horrors of the asylum, Louisa finds hope and comfort in her developing relationship with thekind attendant Eliza.
For more stories about LGBT young adults in an earlier time, try one of these titles:Silhouette of a Sparrow – Molly Beth Griffin Fingersmith & Tipping The Velvet - Sarah WatersA Rainbow of Possibilities: Short Stories CollectionsAm I Blue?: Coming Out From the Silence–edited by Marion Dane Bauer & Beck UnderwoodThis now classic selection of stories by a range of well-known and well-loved young adult and children’sauthors was one of the first anthologies collecting stories about gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, andquestioning youth.How Beautiful The Ordinary: Twelve Stories of Identity edited by Michael CartThis rich collection brings together a variety of unique fiction from some of today’s best writers. Usingrange of genres, styles, and unusual formats, these stories explore the multifaceted and complex world ofgay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer young adults.How They Met and Other Stories — David LevithanSince high school, David Levithan has been writing “Valentine’s Day stories,” and giving them to his friendsas gifts. Many of the stories in this book started out this way and all of them are love stories. There aremany different kinds of love and many different kinds of love stories. This collection explores a whole rangeof love stories, from unexpected meetings between soul mates to the heartbreak of romance gone sour.grl2grl: Short Fictions – Julie Anne PetersBeloved author of a range of LGBTQ books for children and young adults, Julie Anne Peters pulls togethera gorgeous collection of raw and emotional honest stories about a range of characters navigating thecomplexities of sexual orientation and gender identity in modern America.Queer Voices: Non Fiction AnthologiesThe Full Spectrum: A New Generation of Writing About Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, and OtherIdentities edited by David Levithan & Billy MerrellThis unique anthology is composed entirely of submissions to a website set up by well-known writers DavidLevithan and Billy Merrell. All the submissions had to be nonfiction and all the authors had to be undertwenty-three years old. The result is a richly diverse collection of short essays, mini-autobiographies, poems,and photographs exploring the experience of queer youth in the 21st century.The Letter Q: Queer Writers’ Notes To Their Younger Selves edited by Sarah MoonThis recent anthology contains exactly what the title describes: a collection of 64 award-winning queerauthors and illustrators’ letters to their younger selves.It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying, and Creating a Life Worth Living edited by Dan Savage & Terry MillerHorrified and deeply saddened by a recent spike in tragic suicides by LGBT youth, columnist and author DanSavage made a Youtube video with his partner Terry Miller, offering hope and encouragement to LGBTteens facing harassment and bullying. The single video exploded into a massive collaborative project andworldwide phenomenon.
LGBTQ F.A.QThese two awesome nonfiction titles are pretty self-explanatory. They are two of the most recent, up to date,and comprehensive handbooks created for queer youth. Both cover a huge variety of topics includingterminology, physical, mental, and emotional health, friendships, dating, school life (high school & college),safety, and advocacy.Queer: The Ultimate LGBT Handbook for Teens – Kathy Beige, Marke Bieschke, & Christian RobinsonGLBTQ: The Survival Guide for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning Teens – KellyHuegelYou could also check out these online resources for more information:Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN): http://www.glsen.orgLambda Legal: http://www.lambdalegal.org/SMYAL (LGBTQ youth support organization and center serving DC Metro area): http://www.smyal.org/check out these websites For more book recommendations,:Rainbow Books List (GLBT Round Table of American Library Association)http://glbtrt.ala.org/rainbowbooks/Over The Rainbow Books List (GLBT Round Table of A.L.A.)http://www.glbtrt.ala.org/overtherainbow/Stonewall Book Awards (GLBT Round Table of A.L.A.)http://www.ala.org/glbtrt/award/honoredLambda Literary Foundationhttp://www.lambdaliterary.orgI’m Here. I’m Queer. What The Hell Do I Read? : LGBTQ Youth News & Book Review Bloghttp://www.leewind.orgQueer YA: Fiction for LGBTQ Teens: LGBTQ YA Fiction Review Bloghttp://daisyporter.org/queerya/Titles selected & annotated by K. Dickinson based on a variety of professional reviews, March 2013