Otis celebrates GLBT Pride Month!
Our book list celebrating GLBT Pride Month is compiled using the most distinguished sources for identifying the best books of merit relating to the GLBT experience. Below are the sources used.
The first and most enduring award for GLBT books is the Stonewall Book Awards, sponsored by the American Library Association’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table. Since Isabel Miller’s Patience and Sarah received the first award in 1971, many other books have been honored for exceptional merit relating to the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender experience.
The Rainbow Book List is a bibliography of books with significant gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or queer/questioning content, which are aimed at youth, birth through age 18. The list is intended to aid youth in selecting high-quality books that were published between July 2017 and December 2018. The list is also intended to aid as a collection development or readers’ advisory tool for librarians serving children and young adults.
The Over the Rainbow List. To recognize current quality non-fiction and fiction books that authentically express gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experiences.
Our list features titles from this year’s list as well as from previous years.
Click on the titles to visit the library catalog, place holds, and view availability.
Picture Books For Children
BunnyBear / Andrea J. Loney ; pictures by Carmen Saldaña.
Although Bunnybear was born a bear, he feels more like a bunny. He loves to bounce through the forest, wiggle his nose, and munch on strawberries. The other bears don’t understand him, and neither do the bunnies. Will Bunnybear ever find a friend who likes him just the way he is?
A family is a family is a family / written by Sara O’Leary ; illustrated by Qin Leng.
When a teacher asks the children in her class to think about what makes their families special, the answers are all different in many ways — but the same in the one way that matters most of all. One child is worried that her family is just too different to explain, but listens as her classmates talk about what makes their families special. One is raised by a grandmother, and another has two dads. One is full of stepsiblings, and another has a new baby
A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo / Marlon Bundo – HBO’s Emmy-winning Last Week Tonight with John Oliver presents a picture book about a Very Special boy bunny who falls in love with another boy bunny. (eBook)
Who are you? : the kid’s guide to gender identity / Brook Pessin-Whedbee ; illustrated by Naomi Bardoff.
What do you like? How do you feel? Who are you? This brightly illustrated children’s book provides a straightforward introduction to gender for anyone aged 5+.
Middle School Fiction
Melly hopes that a week at music camp with her best friend Olivia will distract her from the sudden announcement of her parents’ divorce. Although disappointed when they’re not placed in the same band, they each discover unexpected feelings for their bandmates.
Ivy Aberdeen’s house is destroyed by a tornado, leaving her to navigate a crush on a new friend during the turmoil that her family is thrown into as they try to put their lives back together.
Caroline is alone: her mother has disappeared and her only friend is a spirit that no one else can see. Then she falls for new student Kalinda, who helps her track down her mother in the middle of a hurricane.
Poppy and her friends, including her crush Isabella, have just reawakened the Sanderson Sisters. (This book begins with a novelization of the original 1993 film.) (eBook)
Alan Cole is not a coward / Eric Bell.
Hoping to keep his older brother Nathan silent about his secret crush on another boy at their school, twelve-year-old Alan agrees to a ruthless sibling competition involving nearly impossible tasks–from standing up to their demanding father to getting a first kiss.
Felix Yz / Lisa Bunker.
Thirteen-year-old Felix Yz chronicles the final month before an experimental procedure meant to separate him from the fourth-dimensional creature, Zyx, with whom he was accidentally fused as a young child.
Star-crossed / Barbara Dee.
When Mattie is cast as Romeo in an eighth-grade play, she is confused to find herself increasingly attracted to Gemma, a new classmate who is playing Juliet.
Young Adult Fiction
Leah Burke must navigate first love, her college search, and the unexpected implosion of her once-unshakable friend group. She’s also bisexual but she can’t find the right way to come out to her friends. (eAudiobook)
Arthur wants to find a relationship and Ben wants to get over his ex. After a serendipitous meeting they discover the reality of romance together.
A fun short story collection featuring a variety of romantic relationships.
Twins Sam and Ilsa throw an intimate dinner party and each invite three guests—but the other does not know who has been invited.
Freya, Harun, and Nathaniel have all suffered significant loss. Their lives intersect in New York City one fateful day, and they work together to heal.
Danny expresses himself through his art. But his art won’t make it clear to him why his friend completed suicide, what his parents are hiding, and what’s going on with his best friend Harry.
Darius struggles with bullies, depression, and his weight. When he goes to Iran for the first time, Darius makes connections to his Persian heritage and forges a friendship with neighbor Sohrab. (eBook)
Felicity Montague wants to become a doctor, but the men of 18th century Edinburgh and London won’t have her. She decides to appeal to her medical hero, but to do so she must reconcile with her childhood best friend, leading to adventures and intrigue across Europe.
The women in Georgina’s family have all inherited a special ability and she worries she has been passed over by the magic as she approaches her eighteenth birthday. Before she leaves her island home for college, a mystical tragedy about the death of a rare bird rips apart the town and her relationship with her twin sister. CW: rape.
Seeking revenge on the nobles responsible for the destruction of their people, genderfluid pickpocket Sal decides to audition for a position on the Queen’s Left Hand, Her Majesty’s royal assassins. The competition is fierce, and the body count is high.
Adam Thorn is having the most unsettling, difficult day of his life, with relationships fracturing, a harrowing incident at work, and a showdown with his preacher father that changes everything. It’s a day of confrontation, running, sex, love, heartbreak, disturbing visions, and maybe even hope.
In a fantasy world where there are humans, demons, and human-demons, Lei is forcibly taken to become a concubine to the demon king. She must survive violence and rape with her fellow courtesans, who learn to reclaim themselves and fight for their freedom. (eAudiobook)
Back in her small, strange hometown in Alaska, Corey is determined to find out what really happened to her best friend. But the whole town is pushing her away, which only makes her more determined to seek the truth. (eBook)
When Moss was a child, his father was shot by the Oakland police. Now, as racial tensions are building in his high school, Moss falls for Javier. When Moss decides he wants to take a stand, he risks losing everything.
Jack is an unabashedly out, sex-positive high school junior living large in New York. When he reluctantly agrees to write a sex advice column for a friend’s blog, he also starts receiving “love letters” that become increasingly threatening in tone.
Evan returns from summer camp to discover his best friend Henry has become impossibly attractive. As his feelings for Henry grow more intense, Evan’s mother becomes more abusive, and he must find the courage to speak up.
Libby and Zo come from two very different worlds. Zo is a queer, genderfluid teen from Knoxville and Libby is the eldest of six siblings, living off the grid with her devout Quiverfull family. When Zo’s family move next door to Libby, the two slowly become friends, neither expecting how much the friendship will change their lives.
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.
Lily and Dunkin by Donna Gephart
Lily Jo McGrother, born Timothy McGrother, is a girl. But being a girl is not so easy when you look like a boy. Especially when you’re in the eighth-grade. Norbert Dorfman, nicknamed Dunkin Dorfman, is bipolar and has just moved from the New Jersey town he’s called home for the past thirteen years. This would be hard enough, but the fact that he is also hiding from a painful secret makes it even worse. One summer morning, Lily Jo McGrother meets Dunkin Dorfman, and their lives forever change.
The gentleman’s guide to vice and virtue / Mackenzi Lee.
Henry “Monty” Montague was bred to be a gentleman. His passions for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men, have earned the disapproval of his father. His quest for pleasures and vices have led to one last hedonistic hurrah as Monty, his best friend and crush Percy, and Monty’s sister Felicity begin a Grand Tour of Europe. When a reckless decision turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt, it calls into question everything Monty knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.
As the crow flies / by Melanie Gillman.
When thirteen year-old lesbian African American Charlie questions her belief in God, she spends a week at an all-white Christian youth camp for some soul searching.
At the edge of the universe / Shaun David Huchinson.
When his best friend-turned-boyfriend goes missing and seems to be remembered by nobody else, Ozzie begins to believe that the universe is shrinking and forges ties with a new friend while struggling to figure out what is happening.
Little & lion [electronic resource]. / Brandy Colbert.
A stunning novel on love, loss, identity, and redemption, from Publishers Weekly Flying Start author Brandy ColbertWhen Suzette comes home to Los Angeles from her boarding school in New England, she isn’t sure if she’ll ever want to go back. L.A. is where her friends and family are (along with her crush, Emil). And her stepbrother, Lionel, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, needs her emotional support.But as she settles into her old life, Suzette finds herself falling for someone new…the same girl her brother is in love with. When Lionel’s disorder spirals out of control, Suzette is forced to confront her past mistakes and find a way to help her brother before he hurts himself—or worse.
The upside of unrequited / by Becky Albertalli.
Avoiding relationships to protect her sensitive heart, plus-sized Molly supports her once-cynical twin, Cassie, when the latter has her own bout of lovesickness, a situation that is complicated by sibling dynamics and an unexpected romantic triangle.
Far from the tree / Robin Benway.
Robin Benway’s beautiful interweaving story of three very different teenagers connected by blood, explores the meaning of family in all its forms—how to find it, how to keep it, and how to love it.
Unbecoming by Jenny Downham
Life has just become very complicated for seventeen-year-old Katie; her father walked out a year ago, her mother is stressed out, her brother is a “special needs” teenager, and she is caring for the maternal grandmother she has never met, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s–and Katie has a secret of her own that she cannot reveal.
The Great American Whatever by Tim Federle
Teenaged Quinn, an aspiring screenwriter, copes with his sister’s death while his best friend forces him back out into the world to face his reality.
Girl Mans Up by M-E Girard
In Ontario, Pen is a sixteen-year-old girl who looks like a boy. She’s fine with it, but everyone else is uncomfortable–especially her Portuguese immigrant parents and her manipulative neighbor who doesn’t want her to find a group of real friends.
We are the Ants by Shaun David
Hutchinson.Abducted by aliens periodically throughout his youth, Henry Denton is informed by his erstwhile captors that they will end the world in 144 days unless he stops them by deciding that humanity is worth saving.
If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo.
Amanda Hardy only wants to fit in at her new school, but she is keeping a big secret, so when she falls for Grant, guarded Amanda finds herself yearning to share with him everything about herself, including her previous life as Andrew.
Young Adult Nonfiction
Caitlyn Jenner / Carla Mooney.
Countless media outlets reported it: 2015 was the year of identity. And by and large, Caitlyn Jenner was a central figure in forging that dialogue. When she revealed her gender identity as a trans woman, Jenner shocked the public with her frankness, bringing awareness of transgender rights into the public spotlight. This biography tracks the life of one of America’s most beloved athletes and television personalities, putting emphasis on her role as a celebrity advocate for transgender individuals. Sidebars highlight other celebrity figures who paved the way for Jenner and cover important topics such as language sensitivity and transgender suicide rates.
A dazzling new novel of friendship and redemption in the face of tragedy and loss set in 1980s Chicago and contemporary Paris, by the acclaimed and award-winning author Rebecca Makkai In 1985, Yale Tishman, the development director for an art gallery in Chicago, is about to pull off an amazing coup, bringing in an extraordinary collection of 1920s paintings as a gift to the gallery. (eBook)
Lorena Hickok meets Eleanor Roosevelt in 1932 while reporting on Franklin Roosevelt’s first presidential campaign. Having grown up worse than poor in South Dakota and reinvented herself as the most prominent woman reporter in America. As her connection with the future first lady deepens into intimacy, what begins as a powerful passion matures into lasting love and a life that Hick never expected to have.
Her body and other parties : stories / Carmen Maria Machado.
Contains short stories about the realities of women’s lives and the violence visited upon their bodies. ( eBook)
The angel of history / Rabih Alameddine.
The Angel of History follows Yemeni-born poet Jacob as he revisits the events of his life, from his maternal upbringing in an Egyptian whorehouse to his adolescence under the aegis of his wealthy father and his life as a gay Arab man in San Francisco at the height of AIDS. Hovered over by the presence of alluring, sassy Satan who taunts Jacob to remember his painful past and dour, frigid Death who urges him to forget and give up on life, Jacob is also attended to by 14 saints.
This is how it always is / Laurie Frankel.
This is how a family keeps a secret…and how that secret ends up keeping them. This is how a family lives happily ever after…until happily ever after becomes complicated. This is how children change…and then change the world. 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
The ruin of a rake / Cat Sebastian.
Lord Courtenay has been called many things and has never much cared. But after the publication of a salacious novel supposedly based on his exploits, he finds himself shunned from society. Unable to see his nephew, he is willing to do anything to improve his reputation, even if that means spending time with the most proper man in London. Julian Medlock has spent years becoming the epitome of correct behavior. As far as he cares, if Courtenay finds himself in hot water, it’s his own fault for behaving so badly–and being so blasted irresistible. But when Julian’s sister asks him to rehabilitate Courtenay’s image, Julian is forced to spend time with the man he loathes–and lusts after–most. As Courtenay begins to yearn for a love he fears he doesn’t deserve, Julian starts to understand how desire can drive a man to abandon all sense of propriety. But he has secrets he’s determined to keep, because if the truth came out, it would ruin everyone he loves. Together, they must decide what they’re willing to risk for love.
My cat Yugoslavia : a novel / Pajtim Statovci ; translated from the Finnish by David Hackston.
Already an international sensation, a debut novel that tells a love story set in two countries in two radically different moments in time, bringing together a young man, his mother, a boa constrictor, and one capricious cat. In 1980s Yugoslavia, a young Muslim girl is married off to a man she hardly knows, but what was meant to be a happy match goes quickly wrong. Soon thereafter her country is torn apart by war and she and her family flee. Years later, her son, Bekim, grows up a social outcast in present day Finland, not just an immigrant in a country suspicious of foreigners, but a gay man in an unaccepting society. Aside from casual hookups, his only friend is a boa constrictor whom, improbably–he is terrified of snakes–he lets roam his apartment. But during a visit to a gay bar, Bekim meets a talking cat who moves in with him and his snake. It is this witty, charming, manipulative creature who starts Bekim on a journey back to Kosovo to confront his demons, and make sense of the magical, cruel, incredible history of his family. And it is this that, in turn, enables him finally, to open himself to true love–which he will find in the most unexpected place
The diverse poems in this collection form a mosaic of seemingly varied topics: the Pulse Nightclub massacre; an unexpected encounter on a visit to Cuba; the forced exile of 8,500 Navajos in 1868; the arrival of a young Chinese woman at Angel Island in 1938; the incarceration of a gifted writer; and the poet’s abiding love for his partner, who he is finally allowed to wed.
Buried for decades, the Up Stairs Lounge tragedy has only recently emerged as a catalyzing event of the gay liberation movement. In revelatory detail, Robert W. Fieseler chronicles the tragic event that claimed the lives of thirty-one men and one woman on June 24, 1973, at a New Orleans bar, the largest mass murder of gays until 2016.
The case of Alan Turing : the extraordinary and tragic story of the legendary codebreaker / drawings by Éric Liberge ; text by Arnaud Delalande ; translated by David Homel.
Jane Crow : the life of Pauli Murray / Rosalind Rosenberg.
The rules do not apply : a memoir / Ariel Levy.