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Pride! Book Suggestions for Teens


Let's keep the momentum of NYC's 2012 Gay Pride Parade going with a list of LGBTQ-themed books for young adults. New and old, NYPL has titles your teens are going to love, if they don't already. Please feel free to add recommendations or additions in the comments.

The Difference Between You and Me has it all — secret love affairs, radical politics and a great ending! By Madeleine George.

Happy Families by Tanita Davis. Teenage twins Ysabel and Justin discover their father is transsexual. Well developed characters and plot twist or two keep the pages turning as the Nicholas family works to understand, accept and love each other all over again.

The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily Danforth.
After her parents are killed in a car accident, Cam's conservative grandmother and aunt take her in and send her to endure "religious conversion therapy" once her sexuality is discovered.

Tessa Masterson Will Go to Prom is reminiscent of the 2010 controversy involving a Mississippi school, a cancelled prom, and a lesbian couple. When high school senior Tessa comes out to her best friend, she is threatened by protesters, expulsion and (of course) school administrators cancellling the prom. Tessa summons the strength to overcome adversity and discover who her real friends are.

A bit older, but not to be missed...

Fun Home is Alison Bechdel's graphic memoir of what is was like growing up as a lesbian with her closeted father in Pennsylvania.

Boy Meets Boy
Joy Scouts instead of Boy Scouts, a drag queen football quarterback (who is also homecoming queen!) and other stereotype switcheroos set the stage for Levithan's classic about a high school love affair in a place where it's okay to be gay.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Charlie learns to deal with his best friend's suicide and his own past sexual abuse in this coming of age mainstay. By Stephen Chbosky.

Putting Makeup on the Fat Boy by Bil Wright. Carlos Duarte has much to overcome before he achieves his dream of being a make-up artist to the stars.

GLBTQ: The Survival Guide for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Teens is exactly what it says it is — a comprehensive resource for anyone in the GLBT community, or Questioning their sexual identity. By Kelly Huegel.

From the Notebooks of Melanin Sun by Jaqueline Woodson. Melanin Sun (an African American boy growing up in Brooklyn) finds out his mom is in love with a white woman.

Some of us will never forget activist Dan Savage's It Gets Better YouTube project. The book It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying, and Creating A Life Worth Living also offers encouragement to GLBTQ teens with essays and stories from a wide range of people, including President Obama.

Wildthorn by Jane Eagland. Travel back in time to an insane asylum for women in 19th century England, and uncover why 17-year old Louisa was sent there.

Parrotfish by Ellen Witlinger. "Inside the body of this strange, never-quite-right girl was hiding the soul of a typical, average, ordinary boy." Enough said?

Hello, Cruel World 101 Alternatives to Suicide for Teens, Freaks, and Other Outlaws is an unconventional work by transsexual trailblazer Kate Bornstein. Check out the goodreads reviews for more info.

Freak Show by James St. James. Billy Bloom is an over-the-top high school student/drag queen extraordinare who stands up for outsiders everywhere when he runs for prom queen in an attempt to open the minds and hearts of the townspeople who harass him.


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