Books

10 LGBTQ+ YA/Childrens’ Picks For Pride Month 2021

Happy Pride Month to everyone, especially to my LGBTQIA+ readers! It’s great that we actually get a month to celebrate ourselves and our past. If only it was more of an everyday thing and not more of a commercial thing like Christmas. One day all the homophobes, transphobes and biphobes will get the idea and learn how to be decent human beings.

Until that day, June will always be our pride month! As I love themes when it comes to reading, I knew I had to pick out some of my favourite LGBTQIA+ books to share with you all! It’s my main genre when it comes to checking out what has been released!

Some of these are older choices, others are obvious ones and others are on my TBR (to-be-read) list for this month!

Pride Month

Rick by Alex Gino

Rick’s never questioned much. He’s gone along with his best friend Jeff even when Jeff’s acted like a bully and a jerk. He’s let his father joke with him about which hot girls he might want to date even though that kind of talk always makes him uncomfortable. And he hasn’t given his own identity much thought, because everyone else around him seemed to have figured it out. But now Rick’s gotten to middle school, and new doors are opening. One of them leads to the school’s Rainbow Spectrum club, where kids of many genders and identities congregate, including Melissa, the girl who sits in front of Rick in class and seems to have her life together. Rick wants his own life to be that . . . understood. Even if it means breaking some old friendships and making some new ones.

I love that primary-school/middle grade books are tackling LGBTQ+ topics! I hear from teacher friends that children are so much understanding and accepting. I can only imagine what some children have to go through when they realise they might be gay and have to deal with a homophobic family.

It makes me all warm inside that a school has a Rainbow Spectrum club. I wish more schools could have clubs like this! This is one of the books on my TBR list so I’ll let you know

Heartbreak Boys by Simon James Green

At the start of summer, Jack and Nate find themselves dumped as their respective exes, Dylan and Tariq, start up a new relationship together. Not only that, their exes start posting pics on social media, showing the whole world how fabulous their new life together is!

Jack and Nate are reeling. Not to be outdone, they decide to create their own ‘highlights reel’ and show their exes that they’re having an even better time.

But between the depressing motorway service station motels, damp campsites, and an ultimate showdown with the exes, something epic really is happening: Jack and Nate are learning to get over their heartache and open themselves up to new possibilities for love.

Who else has seen relationships all over social media? I know I have. I love seeing friends taking the next step in their relationships. Social media really has us seeing every stage of a relationship from start to middle and sometimes to bitter end. Whether it’s us or celebrities, we seem to see it all!

The types of relationships I love to see are the LGBTQIA+ ones! They’re just more loving in my eyes. I feel sorry for Jack and Nate since they have to see their exes showing the bitter side of social media. I’ve read a couple more of Simon James Green’s books Alex in Wonderland and Noah Can’t Even and really enjoyed them!

If you loved those books, then you’ll definitely love this!

The Paper and Hearts Society: Read with Pride by Lucy Powrie

Olivia Santos is excited for her last year at secondary school. But when a parent complains about LGBTQ+ content in one of the books, the library implements a new policy for withdrawing books. Olivia is distraught – she’s demisexual and knows how important it is for all readers to see themselves represented.

Luckily, she’s the mastermind behind The Paper & Hearts Society book club, and she knows exactly what to do: start a new club, find ways of evading the system, and change the policy for good!

With two book clubs to run, exams to prepare for, and a girlfriend, just how long will it be before Olivia burns out? After all, creating a book club and trying to get the #ReadWithPride hashtag to get noticed is going to take a lot of energy.

I’ve read the first two books in the Paper and Hearts Society series and just about to read the last book Bookishly Ever After! I’ll be popping up the review to that early next week (super excited to read it!) but thought the sequel was fitting share during Pride Month!

Check out my review right here!

Loveless by Alice Oseman

Georgia has never been in love, never kissed anyone, never even had a crush –  but as a fanfic-obsessed romantic she’s sure she’ll find her person one day.

As she starts university with her best friends, Pip and Jason, in a whole new town far from home, Georgia’s ready to find romance, and with her outgoing roommate on her side and a place in the Shakespeare Society, her ‘teenage dream’ is in sight.

But when her romance plan wreaks havoc amongst her friends, Georgia ends up in her own comedy of errors, and she starts to question why love seems so easy for other people but not for her. With new terms thrown at her – asexual, aromantic –  Georgia is more uncertain about her feelings than ever.

Is she destined to remain loveless? Or has she been looking for the wrong thing all along?

I could easily talk about how incredible Alice Oseman is at writing and I have in a bunch of posts. This book, however, is very close to my heart. As someone who is asexual and aromantic, Loveless really spoke to me. There aren’t as many books out there with an Ace character so it was amazing to see one written by my favourite author!

It also helps that Alice is also ace and aromantic!!

It recently won the YA Book Prize so, if that doesn’t tell you how great it, then you’ll just have to read it yourself!

The Times I Knew I Was Gay by Eleanor Crewes

Ellie always knew she was different. Contrary and creative, she wore black, obsessed over Willow in Buffy and somehow never really liked boys. As she grew, so did her fears and a deep sense of unbelonging. From her first communion to her first girlfriend via a swathe of self-denial, awkward encounters and everyday courage, Ellie’s journey is told through tender and funny illustrations – a self-portrait sketched out from the heart.

Ooo! One of the few graphic novels that I’ve chosen to recommend on this list!! I had the honour of actually chatting a teeny bit with Eleanor and she is so nice! I don’t read to mention memoirs because I’ll be honest with you…they tend to bore me a lot of the time. When the writing or drawing is done well, then I’ll love them! The Times I Knew I Was Gay is one of those I loved!

If you’re questioning your own sexuality or even work in a library, read this! It’s such an interesting way to show her life and all the thoughts she went through.

Coming Out Stories (edited by Emma Goswell and Sam Walker)

Based on the hugely popular Coming Out Stories podcast, this empowering, humorous and deeply honest book invites you to share one of the most important moments in many LGBTQ+ people’s lives.

From JP coming out to his reflection in the mirror, to Jacob coming out to their Mum over email, from Christine knowing she was trans as a young child, to Kerry coming out as a lesbian in her late thirties, all of the real life stories in this book show you there is no right or wrong way to come out, whatever your age and whatever your background.

Look at this! I’ve actually included some fiction books on my list! That’s different for me! You can’t not have a Pride Month without hearing some true stories from people who are LGBTQ+. There are so many kinds on the spectrum and this book really does hear from everyone.

It makes you feel normal when you see that someone else has gone through what you have.

Have Pride by Stella Cauldwell

This inspirational history of the international LGBTQ+ movement will teach readers to accept and have pride in themselves and others, whatever their sexuality. It details the struggles and successes of LGBTQ+ movements around the world, looking at decriminalisation, the Stonewall riots and their legacy, global Pride movements, the HIV/AIDS crisis and equal marriage. It also includes profiles of significant LGBTQ+ figures from history and messages from young, modern-day members of the LGBTQ+ community, explaining why they have pride in themselves – and why you should, too.

When you think of LGBTQ+, you obviously think about everything that has happened in recent years. Well, recent can include the 80s too!

However, you never realise just how far back the LGBTQ+ movement goes until you read a book like this! I love reading stories about lesbian couples in the early 1900s and did you know that the first transgender woman to undergo ressignment surgery was as far back in 1951?! Her name was Roberta Cowell!

This particular book should be used in any kind of social studies class. LGBTQ+ is a part of our history and deserves to be recognised!

Heartstopper by Alice Oseman

Charlie and Nick are at the same school, but they’ve never met … until one day when they’re made to sit together. They quickly become friends, and soon Charlie is falling hard for Nick, even though he doesn’t think he has a chance.

But love works in surprising ways, and Nick is more interested in Charlie than either of them realised.

Heartstopper is about love, friendship, loyalty and mental illness. It encompasses all the small stories of Nick and Charlie’s lives that together make up something larger, which speaks to all of us.

Another book that deserves to be used in schools is Heartstopper.

The fact that it’s based around teenagers discovering their sexualities and doesn’t just look at LGBTQ+ makes it very special. I’m actually proud that I’ve managed to review nearly all of the last four volumes with Volume 4 having been released last month! We even have a Netflix show coming out next year!

Wain by Rachel Plummer and Helene Boppert

Wain is a collection of LGBT themed poetry for teens based on retellings of Scottish myths. The collection contains stories about kelpies, selkies, and the Loch Ness Monster, alongside perhaps lesser-known mythical people and creatures, such as wulvers, Ghillie Dhu, and the Cat Sìth. These poems immerse readers in an enriching, diverse and enchanting vision of contemporary life.

I’d never heard of this book before until I was doing some research for this post. I don’t read too much poetry (something I’m trying to change) and loved the sound of this small collection. I do love folklores and there is something mystical about Scottish myths so hearing some LGBTQ+ themed poetry based on those stories sounds brilliant!

I’ve read a few of the poems and my favourites have to be Nessie and Selkie!

Love Frankie by Jacqueline Wilson

Frankie is nearly fourteen and teenage life certainly comes with its ups and downs. Her mum is seriously ill with MS and Frankie can feel herself growing up quickly, no thanks to Sally and her gang of bullies at school.

When Sally turns out to be not-so-mean after all, they strike up a friendship and are suddenly spending all of their time together. But soon Frankie starts to wonder about the feelings she has for Sally. She doesn’t want Sally to just be her friend. She wants her to be her girlfriend. But does Sally feel the same?

When Jacqueline came out last year as gay, I was so proud of her!! She has influenced so many young minds through her books and it was amazing that she was finally showing us her true self. I reckon there are some authors out there that should learn from her…*cough*.

Love Frankie is such a gorgeous book looking at Frankie and her friendship with Sally. Being a teenager is super complicated so adding on discovering that she likes girls and is a young carer makes Frankie brilliant on page. Being a carer is not an easy life to go through when you’re young (believe me, I know!) but I can only imagine what Frankie must go through with everything.

If you’ve ever loved any of Jacqueline’s books, give this a chance!

What books will you be reading during Pride Month?

Pride Month

 

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5 Comments

  • Reply
    Cora @ TeaPartyPrincess
    7th June 2021 at 11:10 am

    OK, yes to all of these!
    I love the rep in Paper & Hearts and Loveless, and Heartstopper is like a big hug in book form.
    Cora | https://www.teapartyprincess.co.uk/

    • Reply
      Daisy
      7th June 2021 at 5:14 pm

      YAY! Heartstopper seriously is a big hug in book form! Alice has an amazing word with words and her character design is spot-on!

  • Reply
    Kate Collins
    7th June 2021 at 7:11 pm

    This is such an important blog post! Thank you for sharing lovely x

    Kate | kindly.co.uk

  • Reply
    Jaya Avendel
    7th June 2021 at 9:37 pm

    I have not heard of so many of these colorful and deeply emotional reads! Loving the sounds of The Paper and Hearts Society, Heartbreak Boys, and Love Frankie.
    Thanks for sharing a collection of stories that celebrate the rainbow. 🙂

  • Reply
    Jenny in Neverland
    8th June 2021 at 10:07 am

    What a fantastic selection of books! I think it’s great that LQBTQ+ books are becoming more common for younger audiences too. I need to pick some of these up!

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