Trans flag

“Queer Joy Is Revolution:” LGBT+ Authors Talk Diverse YA at BookCon

This past weekend, we attended NYC’s BookCon 2019 to snag you all the bonus content with none of the shoulder cramps that accompany wielding 20 paperback novels in a comparably small tote bag. (And none of the $19 convention center lunches.) Looking for queer YA releases? We were too, and we headed to the “Read With Pride” panel, hosted by prolific author and editor David Levithan. There, we heard from three incredible LGBT+ novelists and got a preview of some new and upcoming releases that are turning a new page in YA literature.


'This is Kind of An Epic Love Story,' 'I Wish You All the Best,' & 'The Music of What Happens'



If you’re searching for your perfect pride read, search no further! (Unless, that is, you’ve finished a few perfect LGBT+ titles already, and you’re looking to supplement your list with just a few more.)


Kacen Callender 


Kacen Callender

Images Via Twitter & Wikipedia


Kacen Callender spent this years’ Lambda Awards competing against himself.

Up for two separate Lambda Awards, Callender (who uses pronouns they / them or he / him) writes about the queer experience from a PoC perspective, illustrating how cultural homophobia influences the lives of his characters. Growing up on St. Thomas, Callender experienced a “cultural homophobia” that influenced his story and his storytelling. His upcoming release is a powerful depiction of prejudice and of love, which too often exist in the same story. At this year’s BookCon, Callender gave audiences a preview of the new novel:

My next book is called King of the Dragonflies, coming February 2020. Twelve-year-old King believes his brother became a dragonfly after he passed away. But before he passed away, King’s brother told him he could no longer be friends with another boy because that boy, Sandy, had come out as gay.

“Black people aren’t gay,” Callender said, recalling the internalized narratives of his childhood in the Virgin Islands, “and if black people are gay, it’s because they know a white person. In the black community, we’re told we’re not allowed to be gay.” His middle grade novel, Hurricane Child, recounts the story of being queer and from the Caribbean, two identities that aren’t mutual exclusive and should hardly demand that clarification. But black people can be gay—and queer stories can be happy.

“Our stories,” Callender said, referring to queer people of color, “have historically been tragedies. We don’t have our own happy endings. My entire life isn’t about how I’m treated by racists and homophobes. My life has joy.”



Mason deaver


Mason Deaver & 'I Wish You All the Best'

Image Via Allevents.in


I Wish You All the Best is at the forefront of trans YA fiction in its depiction of a non-binary protagonist, an underrepresented demographic in fiction and a seriously misunderstood demographic in society at large. After non-binary teen Ben is kicked out of his house, surviving high school becomes an uncomfortably literal task. In order to protect themself, Ben returns to the closet—and, while it’s the safest place for them, it’s also NOT the place for Nathan Allan, the one reason Ben’s life might just be turning around.

Mason Deaver is a non-binary southern librarian with a penchant for gardening and dropping ‘y’all’ into casual conversation. Their debut novel, according to Simon Versus the Homo Sapiens Agenda author Becky Albertalli, “will save lives.”

No one is asking that we scale back the LGBT+ YA renaissance (okay, maybe just a naissance). At least, no one who’s not a relative homophobe or a mustache-twirling censorship supervillain who loves plucking books from the hands of curious children. But some of us are asking for fewer coming out stories and more coming-out-of-my-cage-and-I’ve-been-doing-just-fine-stories: the sweet love story, the heartfelt coming of age. Deaver has combined the two. This isn’t a coming out of the closet story; it’s a “going back into the closet to stay safe, to keep themself alive for however long they can story.” Fortunately, the sweetness and love finds its way. Although we’ve seen some such stories play out with the G in LGBT+, non-binary protagonists are far rarer. “I was very confused as a teenager,” Deaver said of their own nonbinary identity. “There’s no way for me to go back in time and give this book to myself,” they said, “but if I can do that for teenagers today, I will have done my job.”

And does the book have a happy ending? Yes, Deaver would tell you, “queer joy is revolution.”




Bill Konigsberg 'The Music of What Happens'

Images Via Amazon


Bill Konigsberg is an openly gay man working in sports, a proud owner of some extremely adorable dogs, and the author of five novels. Some believe that gay men and sports ARE mutually exclusive. These usually tend to be the people who think gay men and existence in general are mutually exclusive, making these the sorts of people we try not to take too seriously. That said, they’re out there—and the cultural of toxic masculinity is right there with them.

Toxic masculinity isn’t misandry or man-hating. Instead, it’s the way in which society’s rigid conception of masculinity is harmful to men: believe it or not, asking men to emotionally stunt themselves leaves them emotionally stunted. Konigsberg is working to deconstruct this ideology through art, which is in and of itself basically an emotional fist in the face of the toxically masculine. “I’ve written a coming out story, and it’s completely absent from this novel. What’s special about it is that this is a book about masculinity,” Konigsberg clarified. The Music of What Happens tackles heavy topics as it delves into the memory of its protagonists’ sexual assault. As he reflects on the experience, he realizes what happened wasn’t consensual—and, therefore, wasn’t okay.

The novel is about “the messages about masculinity that we all take in in this very toxic society,” Konigsberg said, “and especially how these messages land on gay boys.” Men aren’t invulnerable—and no one should expect them to be. It’s a good thing that vulnerability has never been the opposite of strength.


It’s June 2019, and these books are groundbreaking. Chances are, they’ll stay that way. But imagine how many other books will be joining them on the shelves in the next few years.




Featured Image Via Out.

A cute little rainbow for all our LGBT+ readers!

10 New LGBTQ+ Releases to Wow You!

This month’s releases are about to give Reading Rainbow a whole new meaning. We’re fortunate enough to live in an era in which LGBT+ releases don’t just hit the shelves; they sucker-punch them, particularly in the overarching YA genre. It’s not such a surprise that this change has taken place: nearly half of those in Gen-Z do not identify as exclusively heterosexual. Millennials aren’t statistically far behind. What does this mean? Well, hopefully, that we’ll finally have some better representation. It’s no longer enough to simply hint that a character is gay—especially because said hint usually involves two tortured white guys staring meaningfully at each other, possibly while being rivals, enemies, or something else suitably sexy. (Of course, it was never enough to begin with.)

Done with subtext and need more text? These ten releases across genres and age levels should make you pretty happy* about the ongoing state of representation on our bookshelves.

*Disclaimer: some of these may actually make you cry, and you’ll have to read them to figure out which.


1. The Devouring Gray


'The Devouring Gray' by Christine Lynne Herman


Release Date: April 2nd

Stranger Things meets The Raven Boys? More like bisexual representation, meet my bookshelf immediately. Set in a secluded town in upstate New York, the novel is an intimate, chilling exploration of the supernatural—an exploration of the terror involved when it’s not the whole world that’s in danger but your whole world. Readers will appreciate a YA genre release that’s high stakes but small blast radius. Give this book a try for mysterious deaths in a remote wilderness; intrigue going back generations; and an evil beast who lurks within the Gray, a hollow dimension meant to hold the beast captive. But it isn’t captive anymore—and you’re certain to be captivated by every word.


2. The Red Scrolls of Magic


'The Red Scrolls of Magic' by Cassandra Clare


Release Date: April 9th

These scrolls may be magical, but there’s a 0% chance they’re anywhere near as magical as this book. Shadowhunters fans will recognize this release as the latest instalment in Cassandra Clare’s ever-expanding fantasy universe. Fans can join stubborn yet compassionate Alec and the freewheeling warlock Magnus Bane as they cause mayhem across Europe in their pursuit of an ever-elusive romantic trip. It was hard enough for the couple to come out to the repressive Clave and to get over the age difference (immortality isn’t always easy), but it may be harder to stop the cult that is, apparently, dead set on making this couple’s getaway more of a get-away-from-me. Of course, the cult also wants to cause chaos around the world. But that’s less annoying, if more important.


3. The Meaning of Birds


'The Meaning of Birds' by Jaye Robin Brown


Release Date: April 16th

Hot-tempered Jess’ love for Vivi changes everything. It cools down her anger issues, which rage constantly beneath the surface. It makes her want to let go of her own pain and embrace her artistic talents, to strive for a future that might actually be within reach. It heals her. Fixes her. That’s what love is, right?


When Vivi passes away, Jess feels as though everything she’s lost everything. But the truth is that she’s only lost Vivi—as if that could ever be said with an only. This beautiful, heart-wrenching tale of first love and first loss serves as reminder that progress is not inextricably tied to another person, no matter how supportive that person is or was. Healing is a place you can only reach yourself, even if someone who loves you helps to guide you there.

4. Starworld


'Starworld' Audrey Coulthurst


Release Date: April 16th

Sam and Zoe are teenage girls with a lot on their minds (a redundant statement when being a teenage girl inherently means having way, WAY too much on your mind). But these are some serious distractions: Sam is trying to help her mother cope with debilitating OCD; Zoe is coping with her adoptive mother’s cancer. In the midst of these hardships, they’re both in need of a less serious distraction—each other. Coulthurst and Garner blend contemporary and genre writing as they portray Sam and Zoe’s text exchanges as a fantasy world, complete with impossible things: a dragon, for starters, and a feeling that this all might work out in the end.

5. A Quick & Easy Guide to Queer & Trans Identities


'A Quick & Easy Guide to Trans & Queer Identities' Mady G


Release Date: April 23th

This new release from Mady G & J.R. Zuckerberg is an insightful follow-up to A Quick & Easy Guide to They / Them Pronouns. (I have my own guide for you: respect them. But something tells me that statement not quite as informative.) Many allies and even LGBT+ people are confused by misconceptions surrounding different queer identities. Some have never heard of any identities beyond the L, G, B & T; some unknowingly believe stereotypes due to their own misunderstandings*.

(*For instance, bisexuals are not indecisive. You may have previously met an indecisive bisexual, but that had nothing to do with their sexuality and everything to do with their inability to choose a place to eat for dinner. Pansexuality is not the same thing as bisexuality, and ‘asexual’ is not a euphemism for ‘has never worn a crop top.’ Now you’re getting it.)

Not only is this book extremely helpful, but it’s clearly also adorable. Keep things light with this fun, non-judgmental, and informative look into the diverse spectrum of LGBT+ identities.


The book explains the difference between bisexuality, asexuality, and pansexuality, three LGBT+ identities which may be confusing to some.


6. Lie With Me: A Novel


'Lie With Me: A Novel' Philippe Besson


Release Date: April 30th

Hailed as ‘the French Brokeback Mountain,’ Lie With Me: a Novel depicts one man’s recollection of his first love, the passionate same-sex affair he fell headlong into as a teenager in the 1980s. And the “a novel” addendum is deeply necessary—without it, readers may be left unclear whether or not this is a memoir. The novel leaks emotional truth, rife with intimacy and honesty that informs rather than suggests that the story may not be entirely fictional.  Hauntingly translated by Sixteen Candles actress Molly Ringwald, Lie With Me gives readers so many more than sixteen reasons to read it cover to cover.


7. Yay! You’re Gay! Now What?: A Gay Boy’s Guide to Life


'Yay! You're Gay! Now What?' Riyadh Khalaf


Release Date: April 30th

Are you there, God? It’s the millions of baby gays with no self-help book that can offer the help they need. While coming-of-age is a shared experience across people of all sexualities (yes, you’re likely to wear ugly clothes and make an ass of yourself in front of your crush regardless), most self-help books skip topics crucial to the LGBT+ community. YouTuber Riyadh Khalef offers thoughtful, earnest advice on how to be your best gay self. Of course, the advice isn’t this book doesn’t only apply to gay boys—the book itself addresses the fluid nature of sexualities: “Yay! You’re gay! Or maybe you’re bi. Or maybe you just feel different… in time, that difference will become the greatest gift you could ask for.” Whether you’re gay, bi, pan, or on the spectrum of asexuality, this heartfelt and often hilarious advice for young queer boys is sure to set the record straight—okay, maybe not so straight after all.


8. Belly Up


'Belly Up' Eva Darrows


Release Date: April 30th

Sara Rodriguez definitely didn’t expect to get pregnant one night at a house party after an ill-conceived revenge hookup—but she definitely didn’t expect the father to turn back up. But if you’re looking for angst, look elsewhere. Sara’s support network is exactly that—deeply supportive and utterly endearing. This story is less about any devastating consequences of Sara’s pregnancy and more about her experience of pregnancy with the help of the important people in her life: demisexual love interest Leaf, who has feelings for her despite her circumstances and her grey-asexual best friend, Devi, who makes sure she’s taken care of. Sara questions her own sexuality and what the hell she did to deserve so much affection.


9. Mama’s Boy: A Story from Our Americas


'Mama's Boy' Dustin Lance Black


Release Date: April 30th

Dustin Lance Black was born into a Mormon, military household. This fact isn’t surprising in and of itself, but it becomes a lot more unusual when paired with its broader context: Black is gay, wrote the screenplay Milk, and is a prominent LGBT+ rights activist who brought the case for marriage equality to the supreme court. This unlikely tale of a memoir studies how Black reached this point—but it’s also a tale of his conservative mother’s journey to understanding and accepting the LGBT+ community without forsaking her religious beliefs in a perhaps even less likely conclusion. Powerful and inspiring, this memoir documents LGBT+ history and moves its readers to the point of tears.


10. The Stonewall Reader


'The Stonewall Reader' Edited by the New York Public Library


Release Date: April 30th

Fifty years after Stonewall, the uprising known best as the most significant event of the LGBT+ liberation movement, the New York Public Library is honoring its impact by releasing this in-depth compilation of primary sources. The Stonewall Reader combines the contributions of activists with periodic literature and news coverage of the events to explore the compelling history of an under-reported event. The NYPL curators offer insight into the courage of the Stonewall activists: predominantly African-American, these LGBT+ heroes were at a precarious intersection of two marginalized communities and, still, their strength was unwavering.



In-text Images Via Amazon.
Featured Image Via Springpod Blog.

Spag: Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar

Grammar Rules Are Arbitrary. Here Are the New Ones.

Recently, a horde of raving copy editors swarmed Providence, RI for the conference of the American Copy Editors’ Society (Twitter handle #ACES2019). ‘Ace’ (as in very good) might seem a little zesty for a bunch of grammar enthusiasts, a group of people generally not known for their love of fun. (Of course, anyone who thinks grammar is not fun has clearly never gotten drunk and argued with me about em-dashes.) Before we get into the new rules, let’s talk about what they mean—or don’t.

Grammar is often intrinsically linked to a variety of social issues—in particular, gender, race, and class. There has been increasing debate about the use of the singular ‘they,’ and, while many argue passionately in favor of making the official change, many are not as enthusiastic. (Note: this frequently has more to do with bigotry than a passion for grammar.) Still, the use of ‘he or she,’ as opposed to ‘they,’ remains on the most menacing test of grammar: the SAT*. Of course, the haters ignore that Shakespeare himself, pinnacle of high culture and known maker of dick jokes, used the singular they.


"Should they be a generic singular pronoun?"

Image Via Quick & Dirty tips


*The SAT also has a number of questions devoted to concision (the most efficient possible use of language). For instance, it would be grammatically incorrect to say, “I walked onto the hot and sweltering beach.” Since ‘sweltering’ conveys more information than ‘hot’ and yet means nearly the same thing, using both is redundant. It seems confusing (also somewhat infuriating) that ‘he and she’ is less concise than ‘they’ and is somehow more correct.

Gender is hardly the only issue at play. English teachers have frequently approached rage bordering on a medical incident at words they perceive to be ‘improper English.’ But AAVE (African American Vernacular English) isn’t slang, isn’t unintelligent. Think of it this way: Americans from the East Coast might say ‘soda’ to mean a carbonated beverage; Americans from the Midwest might say ‘pop.’ Neither of those people are wrong—as much as it pains me to admit. (Pop people, you may not be wrong, but you are weird. Sorry.) Those among us who use AAVE are far less weird than these unhinged pop-drinkers. They are using an established dialect with grammar rules as rigorously structured as any other.


AAVE Grammar Verb Tense Chart

Image Via Her caMPUS


In AAVE, negative concord—what your angriest English teacher would call a double negative—is a common phenomenon (think ‘he ain’t never’). Your angriest English teacher might become even angrier if you dropped this truth bomb: double negatives are extremely common in languages throughout the world. Ever taken a French class? Je n’ai jamais any idea that people thought ‘proper’ language use correlates directly with intelligence. It does not. ‘Proper’ language use correlates with a certain sort of education—and that education, unfortunately, correlates with money.

Grammar is useful when it helps us to clarify our points, to add nuanced tone and meaning to our communication. That’s all it is: a tool intended for use when applicable. You wouldn’t use a hammer to fix a broken lamp. And you wouldn’t use glue to fix a lamp that wasn’t broken at all.

Does it seem odd for someone so passionate about grammar to insist on its arbitrariness? I sure bet it does. But perhaps it’s far more strange to consider language so sacred when all the time we maketh new jokes; we createth new terms; and, if thou don’t like it, thou can shove it up thine ass. Language evolves. Let’s be evolved enough to understand that.


Outdated rules of hyphens, all of which have been altered at the recent conference.

Image Via PR DAILY


Pictured above is a tweet concerning a grammar rule that no longer exists. Two years ago, it was correct. Let’s just establish that human beings are the ones making these decisions—human beings who, in being human, probably do ludicrously stupid things like pull repeatedly on push doors and pound Fireball whiskey. Do we have any obligation to listen to people like that? Like us? Maybe. Listening is one thing, but, besides grades and workplace requirements, there’s nothing compelling us to obey.

Here are the new rules: split infinitives are now acceptable, which means you can ‘boldly go’ instead of ‘go boldly,’ which is way less dramatic. You’re all good to write the percent symbol instead of the actual word ‘percent,’ which makes us 100% happy. The hyphen is going away in all cases where the meaning of the word is readily apparent. (Billion-dollar industry one such case in which the hyphenated word, ‘dollar,’ clearly refers to the word ‘billion.’ No one would mistake this term for dollarindustry—although, arguably, all industries are dollar industries).

Being a grammar nerd doesn’t always mean adhering to every grammar rule. Nerdiness is just the sort of passion that people like to yell at you for, and an intense love for grammar is truly a geekier-sounding passion for language. There’s a difference between following the rules and understanding what they mean—and don’t. If you do the former, you should do the latter, too.


Featured Image Via Twinkl.

LGBT Pride & Queer Reads

Hit Americana Mystery ‘Alice Isn’t Dead’ Nominated for Lambda Award

If you’ve been sleeping on Alice Isn’t Dead, we hope you’ve caught up on your rest. Once you dive into this clever, creepy lesbian road trip mystery, you may not be sleeping again for awhile.

This poignant, witty, and deeply unsettling podcast written by Welcome to Nightvale co-creator Joseph Fink—and its novelization has been nominated in the 31st annual Lambda Awards under the Lesbian Mystery category. An homage to the classic American road-trip, this eerie and contemplative podcast follows Keisha, a brave yet anxiety-ridden woman whose wife mysteriously disappears. The obvious assumption is as awful as it is incorrect: Alice died mysteriously while working for her job, a fast-paced corporate position that led to her frequent domestic travel. She wrote lovingly throughout her travels, sending emails from small-town bed-and-breakfasts, describing sunny summer afternoons.

But what if the weather reports say there was no sun that afternoon in the town Alice described? What if there was no bed-and-breakfast in the town she wrote about, a lie Keisha never thought to question? What if Alice isn’t dead?

What if it gets worse than that?


Alice Isn't Dead logo

Image via a suivre


Our story opens with the distinct tone of nightmare—something familiar left out to rot. Keisha is in a diner, and a man is eating an omelette. Only he’s not really eating the omelette so much as he is devouring it with a violent, mindless need. There’s something wrong with his fingernails. There’s something wrong with his eyes.

Keisha has left her job and life behind to journey into the liminal space of the American highway, a vast and threatening emptiness in which anything could be lurking—whether it’s a sinister truth or something even more frightening than knowledge. Joining trucking company Bay & Creek Shipping, Keisha talks to Alice on her CB radio.

But Alice might not be the only one listening.

The story unfolds with all the logic of a dream: the same town appears endlessly along the same stretch of road, an image repeated into meaninglessness. A factory looms on the edge of an ocean, populated by a single worker who is moving sideways through time. Keisha hears footsteps in the bed of her truck, but no one is there when she stops to check. Things are and then aren’t. Things aren’t and then very much are.



Creepy 'Alice Isn't Dead' art

Image Via Lady Geek Girl


Alice Isn’t Dead is a wonderful example of LGBT+ media entering the mainstream; although its popularity arose in part because of Joseph Fink’s reputation, the podcast and novel earned attention for their expert storytelling and striking fixation with the uncanny as the story journeys deeper and deeper into America’s messy innards. It’s no mistake that the podcast ran from 2016 – 2018, a time in which America’s political climate was another strange and inhospitable landscape. Fink boldly places a queer love story in the wildest reaches of the United States: where police won’t help, where the threat of violence doesn’t seem entirely supernatural. Although Alice Isn’t Dead will compete against some incredible titles, its wide reach into the mainstream represents a serious accomplishment.

The Lambda Literary Awards, established in 1988, honor works exploring LGBT+ themes across an exciting range of genres. Though the award was initially for gay and lesbian works, its scope expanded to include bisexual and transgender categories as the community became more inclusive. The 31st annual Lambda awards judges have chosen from over 1,000 nominations—so you’d better get to reading! Tickets for the award ceremony, held in NYC, are now available for purchase.


Other Lambda Literary Award Nominees

A Selection of 2019 Lambda Award Finalists
Image Via Them


Other high-profile nominees include Elizabeth Acevedo’s National Book Award-winning The Poet X, renowned lesbian poet Eileen Myles’ Evolution, and acclaimed author and reviewer Alexander Chee’s How To Write an Autobiographical Novel. The categories cover an inclusive spectrum of genres and identities: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Mystery, Memoir/Biography, Romance, Anthology, Children’s/Young Adult, Drama, Erotica, Graphic Novels, SF/F/Horror, and LGBTQ Studies.

As of 2019, only the first three categories exist in subcategories Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender; the remainder are generally divided into Lesbian and Gay. Perhaps, with the modern increase in queer content, the award will recognize an even broader selection of sexual and romantic identities.

Check out the full list of Lambda Award nominees in Lesbian Mystery and all other categories!



Featured Image Via Medium.

Diverse books for diverse readers

It’s Zero Discrimination Day! Check Out These 10 Diverse New Releases

March 1 is Zero Discrimination Day, and we imagine you have a lot of questions.

What is Zero Discrimination Day? It’s a recurring UNAIDS campaign addressing human rights violations throughout the world. The event calls on countries to address discriminatory laws, particularly those that prevent access to healthcare.

Isn’t every day Zero Discrimination Day if you’re not a total asshole? Yes.


"Committing to make our world free of stigma and discrimination is not an option, it's a duty."
Image Via United Nations


In honor of Zero Discrimination Day, let’s celebrate these 10 new and upcoming diverse reads across a delightful multitude of genres. Whether they’re non-fiction or fiction, YA or adult, these books delve into the feelings and experiences of people across identifiers of race, sexuality, gender, class, religion, and ability. These are more than just books—they’re stories. And they’re more than just stories—they’re your stories. (Well, hopefully not the one about being a genderqueer werewolf. That werewolf part in particular could come with some serious complications.)




'The Fever King' Victoria Lee


In the former United States, sixteen-year-old Noam Álvaro wakes up in a hospital bed, the sole survivor of the viral magic that killed his family and made him a technopath. His ability to control technology attracts the attention of the minister of defense and thrusts him into the magical elite of the nation of Carolinia.

The son of undocumented immigrants, Noam has spent his life fighting for the rights of refugees fleeing magical outbreaks—refugees Carolinia routinely deports with vicious efficiency. Sensing a way to make change, Noam accepts the minister’s offer to teach him the science behind his magic, secretly planning to use it against the government. But then he meets the minister’s son—cruel, dangerous, and achingly beautiful—and the way forward becomes less clear.

Caught between his purpose and his heart, Noam must decide who he can trust and how far he’s willing to go in pursuit of the greater good.




Samira Ahmed's 'Internment'


Rebellions are built on hope.

Set in a horrifying near-future United States, seventeen-year-old Layla Amin and her parents are forced into an internment camp for Muslim American citizens.

With the help of newly made friends also trapped within the internment camp, her boyfriend on the outside, and an unexpected alliance, Layla begins a journey to fight for freedom, leading a revolution against the internment camp’s Director and his guards.

Heart-racing and emotional, Internment challenges readers to fight complicit silence that exists in our society today.




'When Brooklyn Was Queer' Hugh Ryan


The groundbreaking, never-before-told story of Brooklyn’s vibrant and forgotten queer history, from the mid-1850s up to the present day.

When Brooklyn Was Queer is a groundbreaking exploration of the LGBT history of Brooklyn, from the early days of Walt Whitman in the 1850s up through the women who worked at the Brooklyn Navy Yard during World War II, and beyond. No other book, movie, or exhibition has ever told this sweeping story. Not only has Brooklyn always lived in the shadow of queer Manhattan neighborhoods like Greenwich Village and Harlem, but there has also been a systematic erasure of its queer history—a great forgetting.

Ryan is here to unearth that history for the first time, and show how the formation of Brooklyn is inextricably linked to the stories of the incredible people who created the Brooklyn we know today.




'Unbecoming' by Anuradha Bagwati


A raw, unflinching memoir by a former US Marine Captain chronicling her journey from dutiful daughter of immigrants to radical activist effecting historic policy reform.

After a lifetime of buckling to the demands of her strict Indian parents, Anuradha Bhagwati abandons grad school in the Ivy League to join the Marines—the fiercest, most violent, most masculine branch of the military—determined to prove herself there in ways she couldn’t before.

Yet once training begins, Anuradha’s G.I. Jane fantasy is punctured. As a bisexual woman of color in the military, she faces underestimation at every stage, confronting misogyny, racism, sexual violence, and astonishing injustice perpetrated by those in power. Pushing herself beyond her limits, she also wrestles with what drove her to pursue such punishment in the first place.

Once her service concludes in 2004, Anuradha courageously vows to take to task the very leaders and traditions that cast such a dark cloud over her time in the Marines. Her efforts result in historic change, including the lifting of the ban on women from pursuing combat roles in the military.




'Speak No Evil' by Uzodinma Iweala


On the surface, Niru leads a charmed life. Raised by two attentive parents in Washington, D.C., he’s a top student and a track star at his prestigious private high school. Bound for Harvard in the fall, his prospects are bright. But Niru has a painful secret: he is queer—an abominable sin to his conservative Nigerian parents. No one knows except Meredith, his best friend, the daughter of prominent Washington insiders—and the one person who seems not to judge him.

When his father accidentally discovers Niru is gay, the fallout is brutal and swift. Coping with troubles of her own, however, Meredith finds that she has little left emotionally to offer him. As the two friends struggle to reconcile their desires against the expectations and institutions that seek to define them, they find themselves speeding toward a future more violent and senseless than they can imagine. Neither will escape unscathed.




Lubna & Pebble by Wendy Meddour


In an unforgettable story that subtly addresses the refugee crisis, a young girl must decide if friendship means giving up the one item that gives her comfort during a time of utter uncertainty.

Lubna’s best friend is a pebble. Pebble always listens to her stories. Pebble always smiles when she feels scared. But when a lost little boy arrives in the World of Tents, Lubna realizes that he needs Pebble even more than she does.

This emotionally stirring and stunningly illustrated picture book explores one girl’s powerful act of friendship in the midst of an unknown situation.




'Out of Salem' by Hal Schrieve


When genderqueer fourteen-year-old Z Chilworth wakes from death after a car crash that killed their parents and sisters, they have to adjust quickly to their new status as a zombie. Always a talented witch, Z can now barely perform magic and is rapidly decaying. Faced with rejection from their remaining family members and old friends, Z moves in with Mrs. Dunnigan, an elderly witch, and befriends Aysel, a loud would-be-goth classmate who is, like Z, a loner. As Z struggles to find a way to repair the broken magical seal holding their body together, Aysel fears that her classmates will discover her status as an unregistered werewolf.

When a local psychiatrist is murdered in an apparent werewolf attack, the town of Salem, Oregon, becomes even more hostile to monsters, and Z and Aysel are driven together in an attempt to survive a place where most people wish that neither of them existed.




'From Disability to Diversity' by Lynne C. Shea

Colleges and universities are seeing increasing numbers of students with a range of disabilities enrolling in postsecondary education. Many of these disabilities are invisible and, despite their potential for negative impact on students’ academic and social adjustment, some students will choose not to identify as having a disability or request support.

Approaching disability from the perspective of difference, the authors of this new volume offer guidance on creating more inclusive learning environments on campus so that all students–whether or not they have a recognized disability–have the opportunity to succeed. Strategies for supporting students with specific learning disabilities, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, autism spectrum disorder or who display learning and behavioral characteristics associated with these profiles are described. A valuable resource for instructors, advisors, academic support personnel, and others who work directly with college students.

A Love Story for Bewildered Girls


'A Love Story for Bewildered Girls' by Emma Morgan


Grace loves a woman. Annie loves a man. Violet isn’t quite sure. But you’ll love them all…

Grace has what one might call a ‘full and interesting life’ which is code for not married and has no kids. Her life is the envy of her friends, who assume she doesn’t want that kind of commitment. But all this time she has been waiting in secret for a love that will take her breath away, like the way a wave in a rough sea knocks you over…

When Grace meets a beautiful woman at a party, she falls suddenly and desperately in love. At the same party, lawyer Annie finds the man of her dreams – the only man she’s ever met whose table manners are up to her mother’s standards. And across the city, Violet, who is mostly afraid of everything, is making another discovery of her own: that for the first time in her life she has fallen for another girl.





'Queenie' by Candice Carty-Williams


Bridget Jones’s Diary meets Americanah in this disarmingly honest, boldly political, and truly inclusive novel that will speak to anyone who has gone looking for love and found something very different in its place.

Queenie Jenkins is a 25-year-old Jamaican British woman living in London, straddling two cultures and slotting neatly into neither. She works at a national newspaper, where she’s constantly forced to compare herself to her white middle class peers. After a messy break up from her long-term white boyfriend, Queenie seeks comfort in all the wrong places…including several hazardous men who do a good job of occupying brain space and a bad job of affirming self-worth.

As Queenie careens from one questionable decision to another, she finds herself wondering, “What are you doing? Why are you doing it? Who do you want to be?”—all of the questions today’s woman must face in a world trying to answer them for her.

LOT: Stories


'Lot' by Bryan Washington


In the city of Houston – a sprawling, diverse microcosm of America – the son of a black mother and a Latino father is coming of age. He’s working at his family’s restaurant, weathering his brother’s blows, resenting his older sister’s absence. And discovering he likes boys.

Around him, others live and thrive and die in Houston’s myriad neighborhoods: a young woman whose affair detonates across an apartment complex, a ragtag baseball team, a group of young hustlers, hurricane survivors, a local drug dealer who takes a Guatemalan teen under his wing, a reluctant chupacabra.


All In-Text Images Via Amazon.
Featured Image Via School Library Journal.