5 new young adult books to read for Pride Month

There are a number of ways to celebrate Pride Month, but the bookworm in me insists there’s nothing like a good read. The young adult publishing industry has come a long way since my own teenage years when it comes to diverse and #OwnVoices titles, books written by authors who share a marginalized identity with their main characters. This month, I encourage you to check out one — or more — of these great, recent young adult books that put LGBT characters in the lead:

“All Out”

photo by: Contributed photo

This is a fantastic collection of short stories, spanning genres and time periods, written by many of today’s popular young adult authors, including Mackenzi Lee, Shaun David Hutchinson, and Tessa Gratton.

Fellow library staffer Kate Gramlich says, “The premise of writing fairy tale-esque stories from a young queer and/or trans perspective is really interesting, and I loved all of the different directions that the authors took.”

“The Beauty That Remains” by Ashley Woodfolk

photo by: Contributed photo

This is a beautiful story about death, grief and moving on. Autumn blames herself for the death of her best friend who died in a car accident; Logan tries to figure out the circumstances that led to the death of his ex-boyfriend whom he still loves and Shay wonders how to continue the music review blog she managed with her twin sister who recently died of leukemia.

“Looking for Group” by Rory Harrison

photo by: Contributed photo

My new favorite road trip novel. Dylan is in remission and addicted to medications and struggles to get along with a mother who only takes advantage of his situation. Arden lives with a father who refuses to accept her true gender. They’ve only met online playing World of Warcraft, but when Dylan shows up on Arden’s doorstep, they decide to abscond across the country on their first real life mission. A fun, endearing read.

“All We Can Do Is Wait” by Richard Lawson

photo by: Contributed photo

This book will pull you in and keep you turning the pages because you just have to know what happened. Set in Boston, a diverse group of teens wait at a hospital to find out whether their family or friends survived a bridge collapse. At the center are Jason and Alexa, who are waiting to find out what happened to their parents. Jason, who isn’t out, bears an even bigger secret that could tear the siblings apart. Heartbreaking and emotional, but not without hope.

“The Prince and the Dressmaker” by Jen Wang

photo by: Contributed photo

A wonderfully creative graphic novel, this is the story of Frances, a young seamstress who creates dresses for Prince Sebastian, who leads a secret double life as the fabulous fashion icon, Lady Crystallia. But Frances, who must remain secret as well, dreams of more.

— William Ottens is the cataloging and collection development coordinator at the Lawrence Public Library


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