NEW YORK (AP) – June is Pride Month. Here are some book suggestions for parents, kids and teens on the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning gender experience.
“Trans Bodies, Trans Selves,” Oxford University Press, May: Encyclopedic but conversational book that harkens back to the feminist health resource “Our Bodies, Ourselves.” Written by transgender contributors and includes social history, gender politics and wide-ranging advice on health, law and relationships. Edited by Laura Erickson-Schroth.
“Raising My Rainbow: Adventures in Raising a Fabulous, Gender Creative Son,” Crown, 2013: By Lori Duron, who “outed” herself as a mommy blogger to chronicle her journey raising a gender nonconforming son. Heartbreaking and hilarious at times. Stonewall Book Award winner.
“A Little Gay History: Desire and Diversity Across the World,” Columbia University Press, 2013: Using the British Museum’s collection, curator R.B. Parkinson draws on David Hockney, ancient Egyptian papyri, Grecian urns with homoerotic imagery and dozens of other artifacts for a historical and cultural look at same-sex experiences. Stonewall honor book.
FOR PRESCHOOLERS and YOUNG GRADE SCHOOLERS
“And Tango Makes Three,” Simon & Schuster, 2005: Inspired by a male-male penguin couple in New York City’s Central Park Zoo. Chinstrap penguins Roy and Silo nest together and try to hatch an egg-shaped rock until their keepers offer them a real egg from a heterosexual penguin pairing that can’t handle more than one at a time. By Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell. Illustrated by Henry Cole.
“It’s Okay to Be Different,” Little, Brown, 2009: An explosion of bright color and happy faces brings the joy of diversity alive. For children just beginning to read who may also love the book’s creator, Todd Parr. Celebratory and not exclusively about LGBTQ people.
“I Am Jazz,” Penguin, out this September: Co-written by and based on the real-life experience of Jazz Jennings, a transgender 13-year-old. From the time she was 2, Jazz knew she had a girl’s brain in a boy’s body. Jazz is co-founder of the TransKids Purple Rainbow Foundation. Co-written by Jessica Herthel. Illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas.
FOR MIDDLE SCHOOLERS and HIGH SCHOOLERS
“The Letter Q: Queer Writers’ Letters to Their Younger Selves,” Scholastic, April: Anthology of 63 authors, including Amy Bloom and Armistead Maupin, looking back on their lives through stories and pictures. Edited by Sarah Moon and James Lecesne.
“The Miseducation of Cameron Post,” Balzer & Bray, 2013: Set in rural Montana in the 1990s, young Cameron is orphaned and sent to a conservative aunt. She falls in love with her best friend, a cowgirl, is eventually outed and sent off to “conversion” camp, where she learns to embrace her true identity. By Emily M. Danforth.
“Two Boys Kissing,” Knopf, 2013: Based on true events, narrated by a Greek chorus representing a generation of gay men lost to AIDS. Two 17-year-old boys in a 32-hour kissing marathon to set a new Guinness world record. A Lambda award winner, Stonewall honor book. By David Levithan.
“Beautiful Music for Ugly Children,” Flux, 2012: Born Elizabeth Williams, Gabe can’t wait for eighth-grade graduation as he begins his gender transition. Bullied by peers, unsupported by his family, he turns to best friend Paige and a neighbor who helps get him on community radio. By Kirstin Cronn-Mills.
“Some Assembly Required: The Not-So-Secret Life of a Transgender Teen,” Simon & Schuster, out in September: A memoir written by 17-year-old Arin Andrews on gender reassignment as a high school junior. Arin writes of the challenges he faced as a girl, getting kicked out of private school and dating a young transgender woman.
“Rethinking Normal: A Memoir in Transition,” Simon & Schuster, out in September: 19-year-old Katie Rain Hill details her story of gender reassignment. She tried to take her own life at age 8, faced bullies and was pressured by her parents to be “normal” after realizing she was a girl born in a boy’s body.
“Totally Joe,” James Howe
“The Misfits,” James Howe
“Better Nate Than Ever,” Ted Federle
“Tricks,” Ellen Hopkins
“Weetzie Bat,” Francesca Lia Block
“Empress of the World,” Sara Ryan