Wednesday, June 17, 2020 Charleston County Library

CHARLESTON, S.C. - No one knows books and gives better recommendations than librarians. That's one of our favorite things to do, and we spend a lot of time researching and reading new books and old ones to keep our recommendations fresh. 

With our branches closed to the public, having those conversations is a lot more difficult. But it's not impossible! And that's why CCPL's librarians have been digging through our digital resources to build list upon list of digital recommendations.

Today's list comes from Heather Jimmo, who works in circulation at our branch on Johns Island. She's put together a extensive list of books for Pride Month. And this month is particularly important as the Supreme Court this week defended the rights of LGBTQ+ workers from being fired due to their orientation. 

Heather says she had intended to make this list a book display inside the branch, but with patrons unable to visit our buildings, we decided to take the list to our patrons by publishing it online.

We've also pulled together a similar list of Pride Month titles available digitally, so fans of OverDrive and the Libby app can download titles on the go.

Let's jump into it! 

Family Pride: What LGBT families should know about navigating home, school, and safety in their neighborhoods by Michael Shelton

The overwhelming success of Dan Savage's "It Gets Better" YouTube project aimed at queer youth highlighted that despite the progress made in gay rights, LGBT people are still at high risk of being victimized. While the national focus remains on the mistreatment of gay people in schools, the reality is that LGBT families also face hostility in various settings-professional, recreational, and social. This is especially evident in rural communities, where the majority of LGBT families live, isolated from support networks more commonly found in urban spaces.

Family Pride is the first book for queer parents, families, and allies that emphasizes community safety. Drawing on his years as a dedicated community activist and on the experiences of LGBT parents, Michael Shelton offers concrete strategies that LGBT families can use to intervene in and resolve difficult community issues, teach their children resiliency skills, and find safe and respectful programs for their children.

Homintern: How gay culture liberated the modern world by Gregory Woods

In a hugely ambitious study which crosses continents, languages, and almost a century, Gregory Woods identifies the ways in which homosexuality has helped shape Western culture. Extending from the trials of Oscar Wilde to the gay liberation era, this book examines a period in which increased visibility made acceptance of homosexuality one of the measures of modernity. Woods shines a revealing light on the diverse, informal networks of gay people in the arts and other creative fields. Uneasily called "the Homintern" (an echo of Lenin's "Comintern") by those suspicious of an international homosexual conspiracy, such networks connected gay writers, actors, artists, musicians, dancers, filmmakers, politicians, and spies.

While providing some defense against dominant heterosexual exclusion, the grouping brought solidarity, celebrated talent, and, in doing so, invigorated the majority culture. Woods introduces an enormous cast of gifted and extraordinary characters, most of them operating with surprising openness; but also explores such issues as artistic influence, the coping strategies of minorities, the hypocrisies of conservatism, and the effects of positive and negative discrimination. Traveling from Harlem in the 1910s to 1920s Paris, 1930s Berlin, 1950s New York and beyond, this sharply observed, warm-spirited book presents a surpassing portrait of twentieth-century gay culture and the men and women who both redefined themselves and changed history

What if?: Answers to questions about what it means to be gay and lesbian by Eric Marcus

No question goes unanswered in this important book about being gay. All the basics--and not-so-basics--are covered in more than one hundred questions asked by real teens. Whether you're curious about your own sexual orientation or looking to understand and support someone close to you, this book contains an abundance of answers. Primarily targeted at young adults, this indispensible guide also includes a chapter especially for parents as well as an appendix packed with additional resources.

Expert Eric Marcus has fully updated and revised this essential guide for today's readers. He candidly and clearly pushes aside the myths and misinformation about being gay and lesbian, answering all the questions that are on your mind.

I was born this way: A gay preacher's journey through Gospel music, disco stardom, and a ministry in Christ by Carl Bean with David Ritz

In I Was Born This Way, Carl Bean, former Motown recording artist, noted AIDS activist, and founder of the Unity Fellowship of Christ Church in Los Angeles, shares his extraordinary personal journey from Baltimore foster homes to the stage of the Apollo Theater and beyond.

CARL BEAN has been crossing boundaries all his life and helping others do the same. He’s never been stopped by his race or orientation, never fit or stayed in the boxes people have wanted to put him in. He left his foster home in Baltimore at seventeen and took the bus to New York City, where he quickly found the rich culture of the Harlem churches. As a singer, first with the gospel Alex Bradford Singers and later as a Motown recording artist, Bean was a sensation. When Berry Gordy signed him to record "I Was Born This Way," it was a first: the biggest black-owned record company broadcasting a statement on gender identity. The #1 song, recorded with the Sweet Inspirations, was the first gay liberation dance club hit.

Whether making records, educating the black community about HIV and AIDS, or preaching to his growing congregation, Archbishop Bean has never wanted to minister to just one group. He’s worked on AIDS issues with C. Everett Koop and Elizabeth Taylor and on civil rights issues with Maxine Waters, Julian Bond, and Reverend Joseph Lowery. At the height of his recording career, he worked with Dionne Warwick, Burt Bacharach, Miles Davis, and Sammy Davis Jr. He’s brought South Central Los Angeles gang members into his church, which now has 25,000 members in twelve cities nationwide; those same Crips and Bloods have shown up at the Gay Pride parades Bean has organized with U.S. Congresswoman Maxine Waters. And he has courageously devoted his time and energy to spurring black civil rights leaders to address the AIDS health crisis within the African American community—an issue on which they had been silent.

Preaching an all-embracing progressive theology, he is an outspoken practitioner of brotherly love, a dynamic preacher, and a social activist. The Unity Fellowship message is grace: "God is love, and God is for everyone"; "God is gay, God is straight, God is black, God is white." I Was Born This Way is the rare personal history of one of black gospel’s biggest stars and a frank, powerful, and warmhearted testament to how one man found his calling.

The complete lesbian & gay parenting guide by Arlene Istar Lev

Gay parenting is a productive and positive decision, but author and lesbian mother Arlene Lev admits it isn't always an easy one. With practical wisdom and advice, and personal real-life stories, Lev prepares gay parents for this endeavor with everything they need to know and everything they can expect while making their own significant and challenging mark on family life in the 21st century.

Families like mine: Children of gay parents tell it like it is by Abigail Garner

Abigail Garner was five years old when her mother and father divorced and her dad came out as gay. Growing up immersed in gay culture, she now calls herself a "culturally queer" heterosexual woman. As a child, she often found herself in the middle of the political and moral debates surrounding lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) parenting. At the age of twenty-two, she began to speak publicly about her family and has since become a nationally recognized advocate for the estimated 10 million children growing up with LGBT parents. The creator of FamiliesLikeMine.com, Garner has written a deeply personal and much-needed book about gay parenting, from the seldom-heard perspective of grown children raised in these families.

Based on eight years of activism, combined with interviews with more than fifty sons and daughters, Families Like Mine debunks the anti-gay myth that these children grow up damaged and confused. At the same time, Garner's book refutes the popular pro-gay sentiment that these children turn out "just like everyone else." In addition to the typical stresses of growing up, the unique pressures these children face are not due to their parents' sexuality, but rather to homophobia and prejudice. Using a rich blend of journalism and memoir, Garner offers empathetic yet unapologetic opinions about the gifts and challenges of being raised in families that are often labeled "controversial."

As more LGBT people are pursuing parenthood and as the visibility of gay parenting is rapidly increasing, many of the questions about these families focus on the "best interests" of their children. Eloquent and sophisticated, Families LikeMine addresses these questions, providing an invaluable insider's perspective for LGBT parents, their families, and their allies.

Queer, there, and everywhere: 23 people who changed the world by Sarah Prager

This first-ever LGBTQ history book of its kind for young adults will appeal to fans of fun, empowering pop-culture books like Rad American Women A-Z and Notorious RBG. Three starred reviews!

World history has been made by countless lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer individuals--and you've never heard of many of them.

Queer author and activist Sarah Prager delves deep into the lives of 23 people who fought, created, and loved on their own terms. From high-profile figures like Abraham Lincoln and Eleanor Roosevelt to the trailblazing gender-ambiguous Queen of Sweden and a bisexual blues singer who didn't make it into your history books, these astonishing true stories uncover a rich queer heritage that encompasses every culture, in every era.

By turns hilarious and inspiring, the beautifully illustrated Queer, There, and Everywhere is for anyone who wants the real story of the queer rights movement.

Ask a queer chick: A guide to sex, love, and life for girls who dig girls by Lindsay King-Miller

Seasoned advice columnist and queer chick Lindsay King Miller cuts through all of the bizarre conditioning imparted by parents, romantic comedies, and The L Word to help queer readers live authentic, safe, happy, sexy lives. With advice on every aspect of life as a lesbian, gay, bisexual, or queer woman--from your first Pride to confronting discrimination in the workplace--there is guidance for some of the most major parts of living in a world that can vacillate between supportive and cruel.
 
"Lindsay King-Miller is the cool, queer aunt you never had but always wanted--she is unrelentingly kind, totally funny, and no subject is off limits. Ask a Queer Chick is essential reading."

What was stonewall? by Nico Medina

How did a spontaneous protest outside of a New York City bar fifty years ago spark a social movement across America? Find out about the history of LGBTQ rights in this Who HQ title.

In the early-morning hours of June 28, 1969, police arrived at the Stonewall Inn's doors and yelled, "Police! We're taking the place!" But the people in this New York City neighborhood bar, members of the LGBTQ community, were tired of being harassed. They rebelled in the streets, turning one moment into a civil rights movement and launching the fight for equality among LGBTQ people in the United States.

Stonewall: A building. An uprising. A revolution. by Rob Sanders

From Rob Sanders, author of the acclaimed Pride- The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag, comes this powerful and timeless true story that will allow young readers to discover the rich and dynamic history of the Stonewall Inn and its role in the gay civil rights movement--a movement that continues to this very day. In the early-morning hours of June 28, 1969, the Stonewall Inn was raided by police in New York City. Though the inn had been raided before, that night would be different. It would be the night when empowered members of the LGBTQ+ community--in and around the Stonewall Inn--began to protest and demand their equal rights as citizens of the United States. Movingly narrated by the Stonewall Inn itself, and featuring stirring and dynamic illustrations, Stonewall- A Building. An Uprising. A Revolution is an essential and empowering civil rights story that every child deserves to hear.

Stella brings the family by Miriam Baker Schiffer

Stella's class is having a Mother's Day celebration, but what's a girl with two daddies to do? It's not that she doesn't have someone who helps her with her homework, or tucks her in at night. Stella has her Papa and Daddy who take care of her, and a whole gaggle of other loved ones who make her feel special and supported every day. She just doesn't have amom to invite to the party. Fortunately, Stella finds a unique solution to her party problem in this sweet story about love, acceptance, and the true meaning of family. 

A tale of two mommies by Vanita Oels

A Tale of Two Mommies is a beach conversation among three children. One boy asks another boy about having two mommies. A young girl listening in asks some questions too.

True to a child's curiosity, practical questions follow. "Which mom is there when you want to go fishing? / Which mom helps out when Kitty goes missing?" To which he answers: "Mommy helps when I want to go fishing. / Both Mommies help when Kitty goes missing."

A Tale of Two Mommies is intended for 4-8 year olds.

This book lets us look inside one non-traditional family, a same sex couple and their son. As the children talk, it's clear this boy lives in a nurturing environment where the biggest issues are the everyday challenges of growing up.

And Tango makes three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell

And Tango Makes Three is the bestselling, heartwarming true story of two penguins who create a nontraditional family.

At the penguin house at the Central Park Zoo, two penguins named Roy and Silo were a little bit different from the others. But their desire for a family was the same. And with the help of a kindly zookeeper, Roy and Silo get the chance to welcome a baby penguin of their very own.

Selected as an ALA Notable Children's Book Nominee and a Lambda Literary Award Finalist, "this joyful story about the meaning of family is a must for any library."

My two dads by Claudia Harrington

My Two Dads is the story of a normal day in Jazz's life. When classmate Lenny visits her home, he discovers Jazz has two dads. Who makes her dinner? Papi! Who braids her hair? Dad! Who taught her how to dance? Papi and Dad! Lenny realizes love makes a family. Aligned to Common Core standards and correlated to state standards. Looking Glass Library is an imprint of Magic Wagon, a division of ABDO.

In the dream house: A memoir by Carmen Maria Machado

In the Dream House is Carmen Maria Machado's engrossing and wildly innovative account of a relationship gone bad, and a bold dissection of the mechanisms and cultural representations of psychological abuse. 

Tracing the full arc of a harrowing relationship with a charismatic but volatile woman, Machado struggles to make sense of how what happened to her shaped the person she was becoming. And it's that struggle that gives the book its original structure: each chapter is driven by its own narrative trope--the haunted house, erotica, the bildungsroman--through which Machado holds the events up to the light and examines them from different angles. She looks back at her religious adolescence, unpacks the stereotype of lesbian relationships as safe and utopian, and widens the view with essayistic explorations of the history and reality of abuse in queer relationships. 

Machado's dire narrative is leavened with her characteristic wit, playfulness, and openness to inquiry. She casts a critical eye over legal proceedings, fairy tales, Star Trek, and Disney villains, as well as iconic works of film and fiction. The result is a wrenching, riveting book that explodes our ideas about what a memoir can do and be.

On swift horses: A novel by Shannon Pufahl  

Muriel is newly married and restless, transplanted from her rural Kansas hometown to life in a dusty bungalow in San Diego. The air is rich with the tang of salt and citrus, but the limits of her new life seem to be closing in: She misses her freethinking mother, dead before Muriel's nineteenth birthday, and her sly, itinerant brother-in-law, Julius, who made the world feel bigger than she had imagined. And so she begins slipping off to the Del Mar racetrack to bet and eavesdrop, learning the language of horses and risk. Meanwhile, Julius is testing his fate in Las Vegas, working at a local casino where tourists watch atomic tests from the roof, and falling in love with Henry, a young card cheat. When Henry is eventually discovered and run out of town, Julius takes off to search for him in the plazas and dives of Tijuana, trading one city of dangerous illusions and indiscretions for another.

Do you mind if I cancel?: (things that still annoy me) by Gary Janetti

Fans of David Sedaris, Jenny Lawson, and Tina Fey... meet your new friend Gary Janetti. Gary Janetti, the writer and producer for some of the most popular television comedies of all time, and creator of one of the most wickedly funny Instagram accounts there is, now turns his skills to the page in a hilarious, and poignant book chronicling the pains and indignities of everyday life. 

Gary spends his twenties in New York, dreaming of starring on soap operas while in reality working at a hotel where he lusts after an unattainable colleague and battles a bellman who despises it when people actually use a bell to call him. He chronicles the torture of finding a job before the internet when you had to talk on the phone all the time, and fantasizes, as we all do, about who to tell off when he finally wins an Oscar. 

As Gary himself says, "These are essays from my childhood and young adulthood about things that still annoy me."

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens agenda by Becky Albertalli

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he's pushed out--without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he's never met.

Incredibly funny and poignant, this twenty-first-century coming-of-age, coming out story--wrapped in a geek romance--is a knockout of a debut novel by Becky Albertalli.

Call me by your name by André Aciman

Andre Aciman's Call Me by Your Name is the story of a sudden and powerful romance that blossoms between an adolescent boy and a summer guest at his parents' cliffside mansion on the Italian Riviera. Each is unprepared for the consequences of their attraction, when, during the restless summer weeks, unrelenting currents of obsession, fascination, and desire intensify their passion and test the charged ground between them. Recklessly, the two verge toward the one thing both fear they may never truly find again: total intimacy. It is an instant classic and one of the great love stories of our time.

Red, white & royal blue by Casey McQuistion

When his mother became President, Alex Claremont-Diaz was cast as the American equivalent of a young royal. Handsome, charismatic, genius his image is pure millennial-marketing gold for the White House. 

There's only one problem: Alex has a beef with an actual prince, Henry, across the pond. And when the tabloids get hold of a photo involving an Alex-Henry altercation, U.S./British relations take a turn for the worse. Heads of family, state, and other handlers devise a plan for damage control: staging a truce between the two rivals. What at first begins as a fake, Instragramable friendship grows deeper, and more dangerous, than either Alex or Henry could have imagined. 

Soon Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret romance with a surprisingly unstuffy Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations and begs the question: Can love save the world after all? Where do we find the courage, and the power, to be the people we are meant to be?

Lover at last: A novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward

Qhuinn, son of no one, is used to being on his own. Disavowed from his bloodline, shunned by the aristocracy, he has finally found an identity as one of the most brutal fighters in the war against the Lessening Society. But his life is not complete. Even as the prospect of having a family of his own seems to be within reach, he is empty on the inside, his heart given to another....

Blay, after years of unrequited love, has moved on from his feelings for Qhuinn. And it's about time: it seems Qhuinn has found his perfect match in a Chosen female, and they are going to have a young. It's hard for Blay to see the new couple together, but building your life around a pipe dream is just a heartbreak waiting to happen. And Qhuinn needs to come to terms with some dark things before he can move forward...

Fate seems to have taken these vampire soldiers in different directions... but as the battle over the race's throne intensifies, and new players on the scene in Caldwell create mortal danger for the Brotherhood, Qhuinn finally learns the true definition of courage, and two hearts who are meant to be together... finally become one.

Girl, woman, other by Bernardine Evaristo

Girl, Woman, Other is a celebration of the diversity of Black British experience. Moving, hopeful, and inventive, this extraordinary novel is a vivid portrait of the state of contemporary Britain and the legacy of Britain's colonial history in Africa and the Caribbean. 

 The twelve central characters of this multi-voiced novel lead vastly different lives: Amma is a newly acclaimed playwright whose work often explores her black lesbian identity; her old friend Shirley is a teacher, jaded after decades of work in London's funding-deprived schools; Carole, one of Shirley's former students, works hard to earn a degree from Oxford and becomes an investment banker; Carole's mother Bummi works as a cleaner and worries about her daughter's lack of rootedness despite her obvious achievements. From a nonbinary social media influencer to a 93-year-old woman living on a farm in Northern England, these unforgettable characters also intersect in shared aspects of their identities, from age to race to sexuality to class. 

Sparklingly witty and filled with emotion, centering voices we often see othered, and written in an innovative and fast-moving form that borrows from poetry, Girl, Woman, Other is a polyphonic and richly textured social novel that reminds us of everything that connects us to our neighbors, even in times when we are encouraged to be split apart.

This is how it always is by Laurie Frankel

When Rosie and Penn and their four boys welcome the newest member of their family, no one is surprised it's another baby boy. At least their large, loving, chaotic family knows what to expect. But Claude is not like his brothers. One day he puts on a dress and refuses to take it off. He wants to bring a purse to kindergarten. He wants hair long enough to sit on. When he grows up, Claude says, he wants to be a girl. Rosie and Penn aren't panicked at first. Kids go through phases, after all, and make-believe is fun. But soon the entire family is keeping Claude's secret. Until one day it explodes. This Is How It Always Is is a novel about revelations, transformations, fairy tales, and family. And it's about the ways this is how it always is: Change is always hard and miraculous and hard again; parenting is always a leap into the unknown with crossed fingers and full hearts; children grow but not always according to plan. And families with secrets don't get to keep them forever. 

Dear Sweet Pea by Julie Murphy

The first middle grade novel from Julie Murphy, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Dumplin' (now a popular Netflix film), is a funny, heartwarming story perfect for fans of Rebecca Stead, Ali Benjamin, and Holly Goldberg Sloan.

Patricia "Sweet Pea" DiMarco wasn't sure what to expect when her parents announced they were getting a divorce. She never could have imagined that they would have the "brilliant" idea of living in nearly identical houses on the same street. In the one house between them lives their eccentric neighbor Miss Flora Mae, the famed local advice columnist behind "Miss Flora Mae I?"

Dividing her time between two homes is not easy. And it doesn't help that at school, Sweet Pea is now sitting right next to her ex-best friend, Kiera, a daily reminder of the friendship that once was. Things might be unbearable if Sweet Pea didn't have Oscar--her new best friend--and her fifteen-pound cat, Cheese.

Then one day Flora leaves for a trip and asks Sweet Pea to forward her the letters for the column. And Sweet Pea happens to recognize the handwriting on one of the envelopes.

What she decides to do with that letter sets off a chain of events that will forever change the lives of Sweet Pea DiMarco, her family, and many of the readers of "Miss Flora Mae I?

Our Dreams at Dusk by Yuhki Kamatani

Not only is high schooler Tasuku Kaname the new kid in town, he is also terrified that he has been outed as gay. Just as he’s contemplating doing the unthinkable, Tasuku meets a mysterious woman who leads him to a group of people dealing with problems not so different from his own. In this realistic, heartfelt depiction of LGBT+ characters from different backgrounds finding their place in the world, a search for inner peace proves to be the most universal experience of all.

Hold My Hand by Michael Barakiva

Alek Khederian thinks about his life B.E. and A.E.: Before Ethan and After Ethan. Before Ethan, Alek was just an average Armenian-American kid with a mess of curly dark hair, grades not nearly good enough for his parents, and no idea of who he was or what he wanted. After he got together with Ethan, Alek was a new man. Stylish. Confident. (And even if he wasn't quite marching in LGBTQ parades), Gay and Out and Proud.With their six-month anniversary coming up, Alek and Ethan want to do something special to celebrate. Like, really special. Like, the most special thing two people in love can do with one another. But Alek's not sure he's ready for that. And then he learns something about Ethan that may not just change their relationship, but end it.Alek can't bear the thought of finding out who he'd be P.E.: Post-Ethan. But he also can't forgive or forget what Ethan did. Luckily, his best friend Becky and madcap Armenain family are there to help him figure out whether it's time to just let Ethan go, or reach out and hold his hand.Hold My Hand is a funny, smart, relatable take on the joy and challenges of teenage love, the boundaries of forgiveness, and what it really means to be honest.

Beautiful on the Outside by Adam Rippon

Former Olympic figure skater and self-professed America's Sweetheart Adam Rippon shares his underdog journey from beautiful mess to outrageous success in this hilarious, big-hearted memoir that the Washington Post calls "comedic gold."

Your mom probably told you it's what on the inside that counts. Well, then she was never a competitive figure skater. Olympic medalist Adam Rippon has been making it pretty for the judges even when, just below the surface, everything was an absolute mess. From traveling to practices on the Greyhound bus next to ex convicts to being so poor he could only afford to eat the free apples at his gym, Rippon got through the toughest times with a smile on his face, a glint in his eye, and quip ready for anyone listening. Beautiful on the Outside looks at his journey from a homeschooled kid in Scranton, Pennsylvania, to a self-professed American sweetheart on the world stage and all the disasters and self-delusions it took to get him there. Yeah, it may be what's on the inside that counts, but life is so much better when it's beautiful on the outside.

How We Fight For Our Lives by Saeed Jones

"People don't just happen," writes Saeed Jones. "We sacrifice former versions of ourselves. We sacrifice the people who dared to raise us. The 'I' it seems doesn't exist until we are able to say, 'I am no longer yours.'"

Haunted and haunting, How We Fight for Our Lives is a stunning coming-of-age memoir. Jones tells the story of a young, black, gay man from the South as he fights to carve out a place for himself, within his family, within his country, within his own hopes, desires, and fears. Through a series of vignettes that chart a course across the American landscape, Jones draws readers into his boyhood and adolescence--into tumultuous relationships with his family, into passing flings with lovers, friends, and strangers. Each piece builds into a larger examination of race and queerness, power and vulnerability, love and grief: a portrait of what we all do for one another--and to one another--as we fight to become ourselves.

An award-winning poet, Jones has developed a style that's as beautiful as it is powerful--a voice that's by turns a river, a blues, and a nightscape set ablaze. How We Fight for Our Lives is a one-of-a-kind memoir and a book that cements Saeed Jones as an essential writer for our time. 

Over the Top: A raw journey to self-love by Jonathan Van Ness

Over the Top uncovers the pain and passion it took to end up becoming the model of self-love and acceptance that Jonathan is today. In this revelatory, raw, and rambunctious memoir, Jonathan shares never-before-told secrets and reveals sides of himself that the public has never seen. JVN fans may think they know the man behind the stiletto heels, the crop tops, and the iconic sayings, but there's much more to him than meets the Queer Eye. You'll laugh, you'll cry, and you'll come away knowing that no matter how broken or lost you may be, you're a Kelly Clarkson song, you're strong, and you've got this.

Go For It, Nakamura! by Syundei

Nakamura loves a boy in his class--now he just has to keep himself together!

Nakamura is a shy boy who falls in love at first sight with another boy--his dreamy high school classmate Hirose. But there's a problem: they haven't met yet. And Nakamura is a total klutz who might bungle things before they even begin! In this endearing Boy's Love comedy about the trials of high school, follow Nakamura's hilarious attempts to cling to happiness. 

Karamo: My story of embracing purpose, healing, and hope by Karamo Brown

When Karamo Brown first auditioned for the casting directors of Netflix's Queer Eye, he knew he wouldn't win the role of culture expert by discussing art and theater. Instead he decided to redefine what "culture" could--and should--mean for the show. He took a risk and declared, "I am culture."

Karamo believes that culture is so much more than art museums and the ballet--it's how people feel about themselves and others, how they relate to the world around them, and how their shared labels, burdens, and experiences affect their daily lives in ways both subtle and profound. Seen through this lens, Karamo is culture: his family is Jamaican and Cuban; he was raised in the South in predominantly white neighborhoods and attended an HBCU (Historically Black College/University); he was trained as a social worker and psychotherapist; he overcame personal issues of colorism, physical and emotional abuse, alcohol and drug addiction, and public infamy; he is a proud and dedicated gay single father of two boys, one biological and one adopted. It is by discussing deep subjects like these, he feels, that the makeovers on the show can attain their full, lasting meaning. Styling your hair and getting new clothes and furniture are important, but it's imperative that you figure out why you haven't done so in twenty years so you can truly change your life.

In this eye-opening and moving memoir, Karamo reflects on his lifelong education. It comprises every adversity he has overcome, as well as the lessons he has learned along the way. It is only by exploring our difficulties and having the hard conversations--with ourselves and one another--that we are able to adjust our mind-sets, heal emotionally, and move forward to live our best lives.

The Fever King by 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.

The Lotterys more or less by Emma Donoghue

Sumac Lottery is the keeper of her family's traditions -- from Pow Wow to Holi, Carnival to Hogmanay, Sumac's on guard to make sure that no Lottery celebration gets forgotten. But this winter all Sumac's seasonal plans go awry when a Brazilian visitor overstays his welcome. A terrible ice storm grounds all flights, so one of her dads and her favorite brother can't make it home from India. And then the power starts going out across the city...

Can Sumac hang on to the spirit of the season, even if nothing is going like a Lottery holiday should?

The second story by Neil Patrick Harris & Alec Azam

From award-winning actor Neil Patrick Harris comes the magical second book in the New York Times bestselling Magic Misfits series--with even more tricks up its sleeve.

Growing up in an orphanage, Leila was bullied for being different. She turned her hardship into skill by becoming an escape artist--a valuable trait when you belong to a group of magical best friends. But when a famous psychic comes to town, Leila and her pals can't escape the big mystery heading their way. Whether chasing mad monkeys or banishing ghosts from haunted hotels, these six friends will do their best to keep their home of Mineral Wells safe--but can they protect themselves?

Join the Magic Misfits as they discover adventure, friendship, and more than a few hidden secrets in this delightful new series. Whether you're a long-time expert at illusion or simply a new fan of stage magic, hold onto your top hat!

Southernmost by Silas House

Asher Sharp is willing to give up everything for what he believes in.  Except his son.  

In the aftermath of a flood that washes away much of a small Tennessee town, evangelical preacher Asher Sharp offers shelter to two gay men. In doing so, he starts to see his life anew--and risks losing everything: his wife, locked into her religious prejudices; his congregation, which shuns Asher after he delivers a passionate sermon in defense of tolerance; and his young son, Justin, caught in the middle of what turns into a bitter custody battle.

With no way out but ahead, Asher takes Justin and flees to Key West, where he hopes to find his brother, Luke, whom he'd turned against years ago after Luke came out. And it is there, at the southernmost point of the country, that Asher and Justin discover a new way of thinking about the world, and a new way of understanding love.
In this stunning literary page-turner about judgment, courage, heartbreak, and change, bestselling author Silas House wrestles with the limits of belief, and with love and its consequences.

Pride: The story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag by Rob Sanders

In this deeply moving and empowering true story, young readers will trace the life of the Gay Pride Flag, from its beginnings in 1978 with social activist Harvey Milk and designer Gilbert Baker to its spanning of the globe and its role in today''s world. Award-winning author Rob Sanders's stirring text, and acclaimed illustrator Steven Salerno's evocative images, combine to tell this remarkable - and undertold - story. A story of love, hope, equality, and pride.

Prince & knight by Daniel Haack

Once upon a time, in a kingdom far from here, there was a prince in line to take the throne, so his parents set out to find him a kind and worthy bride. The three of them traveled the land far and wide, but the prince didn't quite find what he was looking for in the princesses they met.

While they were away, a terrible dragon threatened their land, and all the soldiers fled. The prince rushed back to save his kingdom from the perilous beast and was met by a brave knight in a suit of brightly shining armor. Together they fought the dragon and discovered that special something the prince was looking for all along. This book is published in partnership with GLAAD to accelerate LGBTQ inclusivity and acceptance.

Harriet gets carried away by Jessie Sima

From the author and illustrator of the bestselling Not Quite Narwhal comes a sweet and funny story about remembering where you belong, no matter how far you roam, or what you're wearing when you get there.

Harriet loves costumes. She wears them to the dentist, to the supermarket, and most importantly, to her super-special dress-up birthday party. Her dads have decorated everything for the party and Harriet has her most favorite costume all picked out for the big day. There's just one thing missing--party hats!

But when Harriet dons her special penguin errand-running costume and sets out to find the perfect ones, she finds something else instead--real penguins! Harriet gets carried away with the flock. She may look like a penguin, but she's not so sure she belongs in the arctic. Can Harriet manage her way back to her dads (and the party hats!) in time for her special day?

The house of impossible beauties by Joseph Cassara

It's 1980 in New York City, and nowhere is the city's glamour and energy better reflected than in the burgeoning Harlem ball scene, where seventeen-year-old Angel first comes into her own. Burned by her traumatic past, Angel is new to the drag world, new to ball culture, and has a yearning inside of her to help create family for those without. When she falls in love with Hector, a beautiful young man who dreams of becoming a professional dancer, the two decide to form the House of Xtravaganza, the first-ever all-Latino house in the Harlem ball circuit. But when Hector dies of AIDS-related complications, Angel must bear the responsibility of tending to their house alone.

As mother of the house, Angel recruits Venus, a whip-fast trans girl who dreams of finding a rich man to take care of her; Juanito, a quiet boy who loves fabrics and design; and Daniel, a butch queen who accidentally saves Venus's life. The Xtravaganzas must learn to navigate sex work, addiction, and persistent abuse, leaning on each other as bulwarks against a world that resists them. All are ambitious, resilient, and determined to control their own fates, even as they hurtle toward devastating consequences. 

Speak no evil by Uzodinma Iweala

In the long-anticipated novel from the author of the critically acclaimed Beasts of No Nation, a revelation shared between two privileged teenagers from very different backgrounds sets off a chain of events with devastating consequences.

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.

The dangerous art of blending in by Angelo Surmelis

Seventeen-year-old Evan Panos doesn't know where he fits in. His strict immigrant Greek mother refuses to see him as anything but a disappointment. His quiet, workaholic father is a staunch believer in avoiding any kind of conflict. And his best friend, Henry, has somehow become distractingly attractive over the summer.

Tired, isolated, scared--Evan finds that his only escape is to draw in an abandoned monastery that feels as lonely as he is. And yes, he kissed one guy over the summer. But it's Henry who's now proving to be irresistible. Henry, who suddenly seems interested in being more than friends. And it's Henry who makes him believe that he deserves more than his mother's harsh words and terrifying abuse.

But as things with Henry heat up, and his mother's abuse escalates, Evan has to decide how to find his voice in a world where he has survived so long by being silent.

This is a powerful and revelatory coming-of-age novel based on the author's own childhood, about a boy who learns to step into his light.

Saturdays with Hitchcock by Ellen Wittlinger

Twelve-year-old movie-loving Maisie is in need of a distraction from her current romantic dilemma when her Uncle Walt comes to stay with her family after being hurt on the set of the movie he's filming in Hollywood.

Maisie's best friend, Cyrus, has been hanging out a lot with Gary Hackett, whose last-name sounds to Maisie like a cat barfing up a hairball. When it seems as if Hackett might like Maisie romantically, she's none too pleased, and Cyrus is even less impressed.

Uncle Walt has a way of pointing Maisie in the right direction, and Maisie's love of movies also keeps her centered. Heading to the local independent theater on Saturdays to see old movies helps Maisie stay grounded as she struggles with growing up, family tensions, a grandma who seems to be losing her memory, and a love triangle she never expected.

Release by Patrick Ness

Adam Thorn doesn't know it yet, but today will change his life.

Between his religious family, a deeply unpleasant ultimatum from his boss, and his own unrequited love for his sort-of ex, Enzo, it seems as though Adam's life is falling apart.  At least he has two people to keep him sane: his new boyfriend (he does love Linus, doesn't he?) and his best friend, Angela.

But all day long, old memories and new heartaches come crashing together, throwing Adam's life into chaos. The bindings of his world are coming untied one by o? yet in spite of everything he has to let go, he may also find freedom in the release.

The art of starving by Sam J. Miller

Matt's stomach stabs and twists, pleading for a meal, but Matt won't give in. The hunger clears his mind, keeps him sharp-- and the less he eats the more he seems to have the ability to see things he shouldn't be able to see. Maybe even the authority to bend time and space. And Matt needs to be as sharp as possible if he's going to find out just how Tariq and his band of high school bullies drove his sister, Maya, away. But Matt doesn't realize there are many kinds of hunger-- and he isn't in control of all of them.

It's not like it's a secret by Misa Sugiura

This charming and bittersweet coming-of-age story featuring two girls of color falling in love is part To All the Boys I've Loved Before and part Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda.

Sixteen-year-old Sana Kiyohara has too many secrets. Some are small, like how it bothers her when her friends don't invite her to parties. Some are big, like the fact that her father may be having an affair. And then there's the one that she can barely even admit to herself--the one about how she might have a crush on her best friend.

When Sana and her family move to California, she begins to wonder if it's finally time for some honesty, especially after she meets Jamie Ramirez. Jamie is beautiful and smart and unlike anyone Sana's ever known.

There are just a few problems: Sana's new friends don't trust Jamie's crowd; Jamie's friends clearly don't want her around anyway; and a sweet guy named Caleb seems to have more-than-friendly feelings for her. Meanwhile, her dad's affair is becoming too obvious to ignore.

Sana always figured that the hardest thing would be to tell people that she wants to date a girl, but as she quickly learns, telling the truth is easy...what comes after it, though, is a whole lot more complicated.

The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich

There is a secret organization that cultivates teenage spies. The agents are called Love Interests because getting close to people destined for great power means getting valuable secrets. Caden is a Nice: The boy next door, sculpted to physical perfection. Dylan is a Bad: The brooding, dark-souled guy, and dangerously handsome. The girl they are competing for is important to the organization, and each boy will pursue her. Will she choose a Nice or the Bad? Both Caden and Dylan are living in the outside world for the first time. They are well-trained and at the top of their games. They have to be - whoever the girl doesn't choose will die. What the boys don't expect are feelings that are outside of their training. Feelings that could kill them both.

Looking for group by Rory Harrison

Rory Harrison's beautiful novel about identity, home, and fresh starts recounts one boy's quest to discover a world where he can thrive, one adventure at a time.

Dylan doesn't have a lot of experience with comfort. His room in the falling-down Village Estates can generously be categorized as squalid, and he sure isn't getting any love from his mother, who seemed to--no, definitely did--enjoy the perks that went along with being the parent of a "cancer kid."

His only escape has been in the form of his favorite video game--World of Warcraft--and the one true friend who makes him feel understood, even if it is just online: Arden. And now that Dylan is suddenly in remission, he wants to take Arden on a real mission, one he never thought he'd live to set out on: a journey to a mysterious ship in the middle of the Salton Sea.

But Arden is fighting her own battles, ones that Dylan can't always help her win. As they navigate their way west, they grapple with Arden's father (who refuses to recognize his daughter's true gender), Dylan's addiction, and the messy, complicated romance fighting so hard to blossom through the cracks of their battle-hardened hearts.

The inexplicable logic of my life by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Sal used to know his place with his adoptive gay father, their loving Mexican American family, and his best friend, Samantha. But it's senior year, and suddenly Sal is throwing punches, questioning everything, and realizing he no longer knows himself. If Sal's not who he thought he was, who is he? 

This humor-infused, warmly humane look at universal questions of belonging is a triumph.

The other F-word by Natasha Friend

Milo has two great moms, but he's never known what it's like to have a dad. When Milo's doctor suggests asking his biological father to undergo genetic testing to shed some light on Milo's extreme allergies, he realizes this is a golden opportunity to find the man he's always wondered about. Hollis's mom Leigh hasn't been the same since her other mom, Pam, passed away seven years ago. But suddenly, Leigh seems happy -- giddy, even -- by the thought of reconnecting with Hollis's half-brother Milo. Hollis and Milo were conceived using the same sperm donor. They met once, years ago, before Pam died. Now Milo has reached out to Hollis to help him find their donor. Along the way, they locate three other donor siblings, and they discover the true meaning of the other F-word: family.

Lucky Jim by James Hart

Lucky Jim is a story about how a young man survived a violent childhood home, found his voice as an incredible writer, established a love that was both so right and so wrong, and ultimately found the strength to be his true self. Jim Hart is a master at building relationships, he is charming, funny, and a great listener with a guru's insight. His success in life and business was based on his ability to connect with others, from people recovering in 12-step programs in Upstate New York to those living in the rarified air of Martha's Vineyard. But after more than twenty years of sobriety, a single slip-up triggered an active addiction that threatened his relationships with his then-wife, singer-songwriter Carly Simon, his recovery friends, his son, and even with himself as he began to confront his sexuality.

The best man by Richard Peck

Archer Magill has spent a lively five years of grade school with one eye out in search of grown-up role models. Three of the best are his grandpa, the great architect; his dad, the great vintage car customizer,; and his uncle Paul, who is just plain great. These are the three he wants to be. Along the way he finds a fourth--Mr. McLeod, a teacher. In fact, the first male teacher in the history of the school.

But now here comes middle school and puberty. Change. Archer wonders how much change has to happen before his voice does. He doesn't see too far ahead, so every day or so a startling revelation breaks over him. Then a really big one when he's the best man at the wedding of two of his role models. But that gets ahead of the story.

In pages that ripple with laughter, there's a teardrop here and there. And more than a few insights about the bewildering world of adults, made by a boy on his way to being the best man he can be.

True letters from a fictional life by Kenneth Logan

If you asked anyone in his small Vermont town, they'd tell you the facts: James Liddell, star athlete, decent student, and sort-of boyfriend to cute, peppy Theresa, is a happy, funny, carefree guy. But whenever James sits down at his desk to write, he tells a different story. As he fills his drawers with letters to the people in his world -- letters he never intends to send -- he spills the truth: he's trying hard, but he just isn't into Theresa. It's his friend, a boy, who lingers in his thoughts. James's secret letters are his safe space -- but his truth can't stay hidden for long. Will he come clean to his parents, his teammates, and himself, or is he destined to live a life of fiction?

You know me well by Nina LaCour & David Levithan

Who knows you well? Your best friend? Your boyfriend or girlfriend? A stranger you meet on a crazy night? No one, really?

Mark and Kate have sat next to each other for an entire year, but have never spoken. For whatever reason, their paths outside of class have never crossed.

That is until Kate spots Mark miles away from home, out in the city for a wild, unexpected night. Kate is lost, having just run away from a chance to finally meet the girl she has been in love with from afar. Mark, meanwhile, is in love with his best friend Ryan, who may or may not feel the same way.

When Kate and Mark meet up, little do they know how important they will become to each other -- and how, in a very short time, they will know each other better than any of the people who are supposed to know them more.

Boy erased by Garrard Conley

The son of a Baptist pastor and deeply embedded in church life in small-town Arkansas, Garrard Conley was terrified and conflicted about his sexuality as a young man. When Garrard was a nineteen-year-old college student, he was outed to his parents, and was forced to make a life-changing decision: either agree to attend a church-supported conversion therapy program that promised to 'cure' him of homosexuality; or risk losing family, friends, and the God he had prayed to every day of his life. Through an institutionalized twelve-step program heavy on Bible study, he was supposed to emerge heterosexual, ex-gay, cleansed of impure urges and, because of his brush with sin, stronger in his faith in God. Instead, even when faced with a harrowing and brutal journey, Garrard found the strength and understanding to search for his true self, empathy, and forgiveness. By examining and excavating his buried past and the burden of a life lived in shadow, Garrard traces the complex relationships among family, faith, and community.

Being Jazz: My life as a (transgender) teen by Jazz Jennings

Jazz Jennings is one of the youngest and most prominent voices in the national discussion about gender identity. At the age of five, Jazz transitioned to life as a girl, with the support of her parents. A year later, her parents allowed her to share her incredible journey in her first Barbara Walters interview, aired at a time when the public was much less knowledgeable or accepting of the transgender community. This groundbreaking interview was followed over the years by other high-profile interviews, a documentary, the launch of her YouTube channel, a picture book, and her own reality TV series--I Am Jazz--making her one of the most recognizable activists for transgender teens, children, and adults.
 
In her remarkable memoir, Jazz reflects on these very public experiences and how they have helped shape the mainstream attitude toward the transgender community. But it hasn't all been easy. Jazz has faced many challenges, bullying, discrimination, and rejection, yet she perseveres as she educates others about her life as a transgender teen. Through it all, her family has been beside her on this journey, standing together against those who don't understand the true meaning of tolerance and unconditional love. Now Jazz must learn to navigate the physical, social, and emotional upheavals of adolescence--particularly high school--complicated by the unique challenges of being a transgender teen. Making the journey from girl to woman is never easy--especially when you began your life in a boy's body.

Then comes marriage: United States v. Windsor and the defeat of DOMA by Roberta Kaplan with Lisa Dickey

Renowned litigator Roberta Kaplan knew from the beginning that it was the perfect case to bring down the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Edie Windsor and Thea Spyer had been together as a couple, in sickness and in health, for more than forty years--enduring society's homophobia as well as Spyer's near total paralysis from multiple sclerosis. Although the couple was finally able to marry, when Spyer died the federal government refused to recognize their marriage, forcing Windsor to pay a huge estate tax bill. 

In this account of one of our nation's most significant civil rights victories, Kaplan describes meeting Windsor and their journey together to defeat DOMA. She shares the behind-the-scenes highs and lows, the excitement and the worries, and provides intriguing insights into her historic argument before the Supreme Court. 

A critical and previously untold part of the narrative is Kaplan's own personal story, including her struggle for self-acceptance in order to create a loving family of her own.