Pride Month: YA

The last couple years have seen an avalanche of excellent YA fiction featuring a broad range of LGBTQIA+ characters. This made it difficult to pick one to review for Pride Month, which is a very good problem to have. I ultimately chose We Contain Multitudes by Sarah Henstra, and absolutely loved it. The story is told entirely through the letters of two high school students randomly paired up for an English assignment. At first, dedicated Walt Whitman cosplayer Jonathan Hopkins and football star Adam Kurlansky seem totally incompatible. But as the weeks pass, their lives slowly intertwine. Jo and Kurl experience first love together and help each other through some pretty heavy family problems. The writing was beautiful and emotional, reminding me of one of my all-time favorite books, I’ll Give you the Sun by Jandy Nelson. I was totally absorbed in this book for the day and a half it took me to finish it, and then I wished to spend more time with these endearing characters–highly recommended.

We Contain Multitudes is available on OverDrive as an eBook.

Further YA titles to enjoy during Pride Month…

The Fascinators, by Andrew Eliopulos
Grades 7 and up
OverDrive: eBook
“High schooler Sam and his close friends, James and Delia, are the Fascinators—magickers capable of summoning storms, reading minds, and performing spells…. As an out, queer teen living in rural Georgia, Sam struggles with his identity and self-esteem in a landscape of judgmental side glances and unending microaggressions—especially when it comes to James.” —School Library Journal

All the Invisible Things, by Orlagh Collins
Grades 10 and up
OverDrive: eBook
“After her mother's death from lymphoma four years ago, Vetty has taken on more than her share of responsibilities in order to help her father and younger sister. Returning to London from the countryside, where the family moved after her Mum's death, Vetty is worried about her relationship with her best friend, Pez, her childhood neighbor. Then there's her sexuality: Vetty is pretty sure she's bisexual, but having only kissed boys and with experiencing so much societal biphobia, she doesn't feel ready to come out.” —Kirkus Reviews

Only Mostly Devastated, by Sophie Gonzalez
Grades 8 and up
OverDrive: eBook and digital audiobook
“Musically inclined Ollie spends his last year of high school in a new town, watching his beloved aunt die. Oh, and being madly in love with Will, the basketball player he met during the summer who, it turns out, is so deeply closeted that Ollie begins to hate him…. The power of this fun Grease retelling is that it normalizes the spectrum of sexual orientations.” —School Library Journal

Stay Gold, by Tobly McSmith
Grades 9 and up
OverDrive: eBook
“New kid Pony sees cheerleader Georgia and experiences an instant connection. Georgia feels the same spark, but they each have their secrets. Pony is transgender and hoping for a fresh start in a school where no one knows his past. Georgia hides behind fanciful stories to mask the pain of her mother leaving and the pressures of maintaining popularity.” —School Library Journal

Felix Ever After, by Kacen Callender
Grades 9 and up
OverDrive: eBook
“Black, queer, and trans Felix explores love, friendship, and possibly retribution in this powerful #OwnVoices story of identity and self-worth. Seventeen-year-old Felix Love hopes the summer art program he's attending will help raise his grades and increase his chances of getting a full scholarship to attend Brown. Surrounded by a diverse and mostly queer group of artist friends, Felix navigates complicated relationships, including transphobia and harassment from his own friends, from his loving but still learning father, and from an anonymous bully.” —School Library Journal

The Henna Wars, by Adiba Jaigirdar
Grades 7 and up
OverDrive: eBook
“By starting a henna business for a school assignment, Nishat is excited to highlight an aspect of her heritage that she thinks her peers will actually understand. But when her crush, Flávia, a Brazilian-Irish artist, opens a competing henna stand, Nishat feels deeply violated and channels her anger into bringing Flávia's business down.” —School Library Journal

Keep This to Yourself, by Tom Ryan
Grades 9 and up
OverDrive: eBook
Hoopla: eBook and digital audiobook
“A year after his friend's murder, a boy finds a clue that propels him to start his own investigation…. As Mac works out theories, he uncovers far more than he ever could have imagined, and he's forced to rewrite everything he thought he knew. When the truth finally reveals itself, it's breathtakingly chilling.” —Kirkus Reviews

Amelia Westlake Was Never Here, by Erin Gough
Grades 7 and up
OverDrive: eBook and digital audiobook
“Amelia Westlake is not a real person, but she is the most respected and popular student at the prestigious all-girls Rosemead School. Amelia is “born” when the unlikely duo of wealthy, rule-following Harriet Price and outspoken social justice activist Wilhelmina (Will) Everhart create a cartoon exposing their coach for sexual harassment. After the cartoon is pseudonymously published in the school paper, “Amelia Westlake” becomes a sensation.” —Horn Book

Once & Future by Cory McCarthy and Amy Rose Capetta
Grades 9 and up
OverDrive: eBook and digital audiobook
“An interstellar science fiction/fantasy adventure story that offers readers a futuristic plot-driven King Arthur retelling…. Ari teams up with a diverse cast of friends, including the backwards-aging teenage Merlin the Wizard and Queen Guinevere, as well as her stepbrother Kay and her adoptive mothers. Together they start a revolution to free the galaxy from the evil Mercer corporation's tyrannical rule.” —School Library Journal

Categories: Authors & Books, eNewsletter, Library News, and Teens.

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