Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Fall 2020 Book Club

Please join us for LGBTQ+ Book Club. Click here to register for any of the sessions. $5 per session. All ages welcome.

This group is for transgender, gender-expansive, nonbinary, agender, queer, gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, or any other youths who fall under the LGBTQ spectrum to choose and discuss books. During each meeting, youth will discuss a book featuring positive queer representation. All ages and dis/abilities are welcome, and the reading level and interest level of the books will vary.
Please message me if you missed a favorite book and would like us to repeat one of the books (there is a full listing of past books in the Outschool course listing). I realize the books scheduled at the moment are on the more mature side, so I am certainly happy to repeat some of our younger books in particular.

Wed Oct 28 2020: Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin

Available here on Amazon. Local library likely has eBook available. The book has some mature themes (suicide, sexual assault) but is not graphic and does not glorify these themes.

Riley Cavanaugh is many things: Punk rock. Snarky. Rebellious. And gender fluid. Some days Riley identifies as a boy, and others as a girl. But Riley isn't exactly out yet. And between starting a new school and having a congressman father running for reelection in über-conservative Orange County, the pressure—media and otherwise—is building up in Riley's life.

On the advice of a therapist, Riley starts an anonymous blog to vent those pent-up feelings and tell the truth of what it's really like to be a gender fluid teenager. But just as Riley's starting to settle in at school—even developing feelings for a mysterious outcast—the blog goes viral, and an unnamed commenter discovers Riley's real identity, threatening exposure. And Riley must make a choice: walk away from what the blog has created—a lifeline, new friends, a cause to believe in—or stand up, come out, and risk everything.

Sun Nov 8 2020: Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee

Available here on Amazon. Local library likely has eBook available.

From School Library Journal: Although her parents are the local superheroes, it looks like Jessica Tran is merely "normal." Taking an internship would be another normal thing for her, except it turns out she'll be working with her biggest crush as well as for her parents' nemesis. Can she work alongside Abby without making a total fool of herself? And what is the truth about heroes and villains in this superpowered world? This is a light romp of a middle grade adventure/romance, but the real strength is in its matter-of-fact representation of LGBTQ and first-generation American identities. While the meanings of these identities are explored, they are not the focus of the book and are simply part of the character- and world-building. Coming out has already happened, friendships based on immigrant identity are complicated, and there are many primary and secondary characters who fall into these categories so that no single character has to stand for everyone. It's unfortunate that the use of the third person is so clunky throughout and that the twists are so obvious, but these are minor issues. VERDICT: A good addition to any middle grade library concerned with LGBTQ and racial diversity representation across all genres.

C.B. Lee is a bisexual writer, rock climber and pinniped enthusiast based in California. She is a first-generation Asian American and has a BA in Sociology and Environmental Science, which occasionally comes in handy in her chosen career, but not usually. Lee enjoys reading, hiking and other outdoor pursuits. Her first novel, Seven Tears at High Tide, was published by Duet (Interlude Press) in 2015.

Wed Nov 11 2020: Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden

Available here on Amazon. Local library likely has eBook available. 

When Liza Winthrop first lays eyes on Annie Kenyon at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, she knows there’s something special between them. Soon, their close friendship develops into a deep and intimate romance. Neither imagined that falling in love could be so wonderful, but as Liza and Annie’s newfound sexuality sparks conflict in both their families and at their schools, they discover it will take more than love for their relationship to succeed.
One of the first books to positively portray a lesbian relationship, Annie on My Mind is a groundbreaking classic of the genre. The subject of a First Amendment lawsuit over banned books and one of School Library Journal’s “One Hundred Books that Shaped the Century,” Nancy Garden’s iconic novel is an important story for anyone discovering who they’re meant to be.

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