Otis celebrates GLBT Pride Month!


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

bunnybearBunnyBear / 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 familyA 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 BundoA 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 youWho 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

drumrollplease-hc-cDrum roll, please / Lisa Jenn Bigelow 

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 Letter to the worldIvy Aberdeen’s letter to the world / Ashley Herring Blake

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.


hurricane child.pngHurricane child / Kheryn Callender

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.


hocus Pocus and the all new sequelHocus Pocus and the All-New Sequel / A. W. Jantha

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 cowardAlan 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 YZFelix 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.jpgStar-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 and the offbeatLeah on the offbeat by Becky Albertalli

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)


what if its usWhat if it’s us by Becky Albertalli

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.


meet cuteMeet cute by Jennifer Armentrout

A fun short story collection featuring a variety of romantic relationships.


sam and ilsasSam & Ilsa’s last hurrah by Rachel Cohn

Twins Sam and Ilsa throw an intimate dinner party and each invite three guests—but the other does not know who has been invited.


I have lost my wayI have lost my way by Gayle Forman

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.


picture us in the lightPicture us in the light by Kelly Loy Gilbert

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 the great is not okayDarius the Great is not okay by Adib Khorram

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)


the lady's guide to petticoats and piracyThe lady’s guide to petticoats and piracy: Montague Siblings Series, Book 2 by Mackenzi Lee 

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.

summer of saltSummer of salt by Katrina Leno

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.

mask of shadowsMask of shadows by Linsey Miller

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.

releaseRelease by Patrick Ness

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.

girls of paper and fireGirls of paper and fire by Natashaa Ngan

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)


before i let goBefore I let go by NIJKAMP MARIEKE

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)


anger is a giftAnger is a gift by Mark Oshiro

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 of heartsJack of hearts (and other parts) by Lev AC Rosen

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.


the dangerous art of blending inThe dangerous art of blending in: a novel by Angeloo Surmelis

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.


quiverQuiver by Stephanie Spinner

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.

speak no evilSpeak no evil: a novel 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.

IMG_0801Lily 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 gentlemans guide to vice and virtueThe 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.jpgAs 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.



the edge of the universeAt 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 and lionLittle & 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 downThe 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.jpgFar 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.

unbecomingUnbecoming 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.


great american whatever.jpgThe 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.jpgGirl 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 antsWe 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 girlIf 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 jennerCaitlyn 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.

Adult Fiction

the great believersThe great believers by Rebecca Makkai

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)

white housesWhite houses: A Novel by Amy Bloom

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.jpgHer 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.jpgThe 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.jpgThis 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 rakeThe 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.jpgMy 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

Adult Nonfiction

how to love a countryHow to love a country: poems by Richard Blanco

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.

tinderboxTinderbox: the untold story of the Up Stairs Lounge fire and the rise of gay liberation by Robert W Fieseler

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 turningThe 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.

Lambda Literary Award finalist Alan Turing, subject of the Oscar-winning 2014 film The Imitation Game , was the brilliant mathematician solicited by the British government to help decipher messages sent by Germany’s Enigma machines during World War II. The work of Turing and his colleagues at Hut 8 saved countless lives andmillions’ worth of British goods and merchandise. At the same time, as a homosexual he was forced to lead a tortured, secret life. After a young man stole money from him, he went to the police, where he confessed his homosexuality; he was charged with gross indecency and only avoided prison after agreeing to undergo chemical castration. Tragically, he committed suicide two years later. The particulars of Turing’s achievements were only made known in 2012, following the release of once-classified papers. Authors Liberge and Delalande used this information to create a graphicbiography that is scientifically rigorous yet understandable for the lay reader. Delving deeper into Turing’s life than The Imitation Game , this graphic work is an intimate portrayal of a brilliant gay man living in an intolerant world.

A celebration of what [writer and photographer] Bill Hayes calls ‘the evanescent, the eavesdropped, the unexpected’ of life in New York City, and an intimate glimpse of his relationship with the late [neurologist] Oliver Sacks

jane crow.jpgJane Crow : the life of Pauli Murray / Rosalind Rosenberg.

Throughout her prodigious life, activist and lawyer Pauli Murray systematically fought against all arbitrary distinctions in society, channeling her outrage at the discrimination she faced to make America a more democratic country. In this definitive biography, Rosalind Rosenberg offers apoignant portrait of a figure who played pivotal roles in both the modern civil rights and women’s movements.
A gorgeous, darkly humorous memoir for readers of Cheryl Strayed about a woman overcoming dramatic loss and finding reinvention, as well as a portrait of a generation used to assuming they’re entitled to everything–based on this award-winning writer’s New Yorker article ‘Thanksgiving in Mongolia’



GLBT Book Month: Information without judgment

Curious about the Free Library of Pride?


Stonewall Book Awards List

 2019 Rainbow Book List

Over the Rainbow Book List 

2019 Over the Rainbow Book List 

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