Tag Archive | LGBTQ

C is CALLING THE MOON: 16 Period Stories from BIPOC Authors, edited by Aida Salazar & Yamile Saied Mendez (YA book review) #A2Z

book cover of Calling the Moon: 16 Period Stories from BIPOC Authors, edited by Aida Salazar & Yamile Saied Mendez. Published by Candlewick Press | recommended on BooksYALove.com

One’s first period…
awaited, dreaded, longed-for, a total surprise?

Whether you know a little or a lot about menstruation and the cultural traditions surrounding it, you’ll empathize, learn, and celebrate the varied perspectives shared by these Black, Indigenous, and people of color writers.

“The Arrival” is chronicled in verse by Nikki Grimes, as a young athlete fears that she’s injured herself at track practice, learns that it’s just a normal first period, and is determined to channel her new “woman-me” into strength and speed at the track meet.

Leah Henderson writes that Amari absolutely knows that she doesn’t want to give up soccer and return to ballet like her mom wants, but is really uncertain about the “Turning Point” Celebration day that Mom sets in motion as soon as the 12 year old gets her first period.

After their mother’s sudden death, how will Papi cope with his girls growing up? wonders the eldest, 13-year-old Lucia, when the neighborhood ladies tell him to worry about “pimples and periods and hormones” in “Ofrendas” by Guadalupe Garcia McCall.

Contributors include Hilda Eunice Burgos * Veeda Bybee * Susan Muaddi Darraj * Saadia Faruqi * Nikki Grimes * Leah Henderson * Mason J. * Erin Entrada Kelly * Guadalupe Garcia McCall * Elise McMullen-Ciotti * Yamile Saied Méndez * Emma Otheguy * Aida Salazar * Christina Soontornvat * Padma Venkatraman * Ibi Zoboi.

The list of Resources includes books (like Period Power: A Manifesto for the Menstrual Movement, which I recommended here), films, podcasts, support organizations, and websites.

*kmm

Book info: Calling the Moon: 16 Period Stories from BIPOC Authors, edited by Aida Salazar & Yamile Saied Mendez. Candlewick Press, 2023. [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

Friends and more – tweens look for ANSWERS IN THE PAGES, by David Levithan (MG book review)

book cover of Answers in the Pages, by David Levithan. Alfred A. Knopf Books | recommended on BooksYALove.com

What an exciting book!
Who wants to take it away?
Why can’t kids read what they want?!

The Adventurers! Donovan can’t wait to read the novel that Mr. Howe has chosen for their fifth-grade class – three young people trying to stop an evil mastermind, with danger and bravery at every turn!

But his mom’s bad habit of jumping to the end of a book halts everything. She interprets its final sentence as too mature for tweens to handle: “At that moment, Rick knew just how deeply he loved Oliver, and Oliver knew just how deeply he loved Rick, and the understanding of this moment would lead them to much of the happiness and adventure that came next.”

She calls other parents and visits the principal, making Mr. Howe take back The Adventurers until the school board can meet about it. But Donovan forgot his copy at home (way under his bed), so he gets to read it – alligators and helicopters and three amazing friends saving the world.

Meanwhile, shy Gideon is stunned to make a new friend when Roberto moves to town – a fellow lover of turtles and books. Joelle and Tucker have been his friends forever, but Roberto likes Gideon for being himself, and the pair spends more and more time together.

Can Donovan get the author to town to defend the book?
Does Oliver have to choose between help Rick escape from the alligator and capturing the villain?
Does Roberto share the same feelings as Gideon?

At the school board meeting, viewpoints clash. Some adults want to “protect kids” by banning the book. Members of the community and gay students speak up for everyone’s right to live and love.

Three stories, presented chapter by chapter – Donovan’s headed by a book symbol, Rick and Oliver’s by an alligator, and Gideon and Roberto’s by a turtle – each symbol reminding us of the characters’ essential focus.

Released in paperback on 5 September 2023 – read the first pages free here, courtesy of the publisher.

What book has revealed an important truth about your own self to you?
**kmm

Book info: Answers in the Pages / David Levithan. Alfred A. Knopf Books, 2022. [author site] [publisher site] Personal copy; cover image courtesy of the publisher.

Get THE JUMP on invading oil company! by Brittney Morris (YA book review)

book cover of The Jump, by Brittney Morris. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers | recommended on BooksYALove.com

They know Seattle, street by street, edge to edge, even belowground. No one is better at digital scavenger-hunting than Team JERICHO.

Jax, cryptologist, Black vegan – why should the community garden his parents founded be replaced by an Roundworld oil refinery?

Yas, parkourist, gay hijabi – her father’s Pakistani-American convenience store is losing business to Roundworld’s HQ cafeteria.

Spider, tech-whiz, social justice warrior – thankful that Mom and her Korean restaurant staff support his transitioning.

Han, cartographer, autistic – brother working for Roundworld, Dad’s livelihood threatened by its pipeline.

When “The Order” posts a puzzle whose prize is “power” during protests against Roundworld, JERICHO decides to accept the challenge!

Can they solve The Order’s puzzle before Team Royal?
Will it allow the teens to stop Roundworld from placing an oil refinery in their neighborhood?
What does “the game is anarchy” in The Order’s first clue really mean?

The four long-time friends take turns telling this complex tale of clues, loyalties, greed, and consequences.

By the author of The Cost of Knowing, recommended here.

How are you reacting against injustice near you?
**kmm

Book info: The Jump / Brittney Morris. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2023. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

Lives lived loud and clear – historical fiction to read with your ears! (audiobook recommendations)

Our AudioSYNC offerings this week take us into different times and different places with well-crafted historical fiction audiobooks that begin with murder!

You have until Wednesday 12 July 2023 to download either or both of these professionally produced audiobooks into your Sora shelf. Get all the details here.

Now tell me… what did they do next?

CD cover of The Boy in the Red Dress, by Kristin Lambert | Read by Sophie Amoss. Published by Listening Library

The Boy in the Red Dress (free Sora download 7/6-7/12/23)
by Kristin Lambert | Read by Sophie Amoss
Published by Listening Library

Murder on New Year’s Eve! In 1929 New Orleans, the Cloak & Dagger speakeasy and LBGTQIA haven features Marion in drag – who is now suspected of murder.

His best friend Millie (teenage niece of the club owner) is determined to prove his innocence and find the real killer.

https://www.audiofilemagazine.com/reviews/read/179183/the-boy-in-the-red-dress-by-kristin-lambert-read-by-sophie-amoss/

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CD cover of This Rebel Heart, by Katherine Locke. Read by Kathleen Gati, Steven Jay Cohen. Published by Listening Library

This Rebel Heart (free Sora download 7/6-7/12/23)
by Katherine Locke | Read by Kathleen Gati, Steven Jay Cohen
Published by Listening Library

After her parents are murdered in 1956, young Hungarian woman Czilla is eager to leave the country and its repressive regime.

She finds allies in a man seeking his missing lover, an angel of death, and others primed to revolt for freedom.

https://www.audiofilemagazine.com/reviews/read/213314/this-rebel-heart-by-katherine-locke-read-by-kathleen-gati-steven-jay-cohen/

Best historical fiction book you ever read?
**kmm

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Celebrate the rainbow spectrum – read with your ears! (audiobook recommendations)

For Pride Month, AudioSYNC brings us real-life and fictional accounts of teens across the rainbow of gender and sexuality.

You have until Wednesday 28 June 2023 to download either or both of these professionally produced audiobooks into your Sora shelf. Get all the details here.

The Audiofile review page for each audiobook include a link to their podcast discussion of the book!

Get ready to read with your ears!

CD cover of Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out, by Susan Kuklin | Read by Tanya Eby, Nick Podehl, Todd Haberkorn, Roxanne Hernandez, Janina Edwards, Nancy Wu, Marisol Ramirez. Published by Brilliance Audio/Candlewick

Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out (free Sora download 6/22-6/28/23)
by Susan Kuklin | Read by Tanya Eby, Nick Podehl, Todd Haberkorn, Roxanne Hernandez, Janina Edwards, Nancy Wu, Marisol Ramirez
Published by Brilliance Audio/Candlewick

Two trans feminine, two trans masculine, and two nonbinary young people spoke candidly with Susan Kuklin about their struggles to be accepted.

These real interview transcripts of gender non-conforming teens also include some family members; all narrated by professional voice actors with emotion and empathy.

https://www.audiofilemagazine.com/reviews/read/225998/beyond-magenta-by-susan-kuklin-read-by-tanya-eby-nick-podehl/

swirling lines clipart http://www.clipartpanda.com/clipart_images/mondays-throughout-the-day-17164159
CD cover of Loveless, by Alice Oseman | Read by Billie Fulford-Brown, Elizabeth Schenk, Imogen Church. Published by Scholastic Audiobooks

Loveless (free Sora download 6/22-6/28/23)
by Alice Oseman | Read by Billie Fulford-Brown, Elizabeth Schenk, Imogen Church
Published by Scholastic Audiobooks

Surely her first year of college will be when Georgia finally has a crush, gets kissed, falls in love…right?

New friends and old help the British teen find her true self and claim her identity as asexual/aromantic.

I recommended Loveless here on BooksYALove.

https://www.audiofilemagazine.com/reviews/read/206271/loveless-by-alice-oseman-read-by-billie-fulford-brown-elizabeth-schenk/

What’s your favorite story with gender-nonconforming characters?
**kmm

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Her art school future requires ceramics mastery – will she SLIP? by Marika McCoola & Aatmahja Pandya (Graphic novel review)

book cover of Slip / words by Marika McCoola, art by Aatmaja Pandya. Published by Algonquin Young Readers

Jade is attending an intensive art camp to develop her ceramics skills and prepare her art school application portfolio.

But the high schooler is worried beyond words that her best friend Phoebe just went into treatment for attempted suicide – how can she try to make new friends?

Jade’s technique with clay is good, but where’s the inspiration? Everyone else at Art Camp is so much better prepared…

One night, she crumples up yet another not-good-enough sketch and sets a match to it – there in the smoke her memories with Phoebe appear like a movie!

Mary tries to help Jade find inspiration in the woods, the art book library, the hardware store in the nearby tiny town, in being together…

When Jade’s ceramic angry cat comes out of the kiln and runs away, she’s not sure what’s happening!

Getting a scholarship for art college requires a strong portfolio, and Jade’s days at Art Camp are growing short.

How can Jade support her best friend when Phoebe doesn’t want to talk to anyone?
How can she and Mary have wonderful moments together while Jade is struggling?
How can the images in smoke and moving ceramic cat exist?

Pressure to succeed, to love and be loved, to respect others’ artworks – Jade doesn’t want to fail.

When have you searched for inspiration and found it?
**kmm

Book info: Slip / words by Marika McCoola, art by Aatmaja Pandya. Algonquin Young Readers, 2022. [author site] [artist site] [book site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

WHEN THE ANGELS LEFT THE OLD COUNTRY, following the faithful, by Sacha Lamb (YA book review)

book cover of When the Angels Left the Old Country, by Sasha Lamb. Published by Levine Querido | recommended on BooksYALove.com

Studying the Talmud with an angel should keep the demon too busy to make trouble in the nameless tiny Polish village, but Little Ash manages to hear all the gossip. Many Jews have left for America, but still no word from Essie, the baker’s daughter.

In the town of Belz, 16-year-old Rose now runs the dry goods store for her distractable father, hiring lovely best friend Dinah as clerk. They’ll keep their families afloat and save enough to go to America! Dinah has not noticed that Rose is as fond of her as the young Torah scholar visiting the store is.

The villagers assume that Little Ash and the angel are young men, glad that the pair can go to Warsaw where Essie was last heard from. Oh, that emigration agent is a scoundrel, cheating so many, even killing some, like that rebbe from Belz! Little Ash will make very sure that the agent harms no one else, ever.

And so it is that they are on the steamship dock with Rose, whose year-long plan was smashed when Dinah announced her engagement. The trio watch each other’s belongings in the crowded steerage deck and pray that all aboard stay healthy enough to pass inspection at Ellis Island.

The angel carried along the rebbe’s books, hoping to bring them to his daughter. The murdered rebbe appears to the angel, saying that they must have kaddish sung for him at the earliest moment possible, lest his spirit wander forever!

Rose longs to meet kind-eyed Essie whose photo was in the letters stolen by that evil agent.

And so it was that the three friends became separated at the immigration station, as the angel was passed first because those letters showed a relative’s address.

Can the angel get Little Ash and Rose released from Ellis Island?
Can they find Essie and save her from the ‘shop boss’?
What place will they carve out for themselves in this new world?

Obligation and challenges, friendship and love – those who tried and dared, may their memory be a blessing.

What stories of arriving in new places do you tell?
**kmm

Book info: When the Angels Left the Old Country / Sacha Lamb. Levine Querido, 2022. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

IT’S A WHOLE SPIEL: Love, Latkes, and Other Jewish Stories, edited by Katherine Locke & Laura Silverman (YA book review)

book cover of It's a Whole Spiel: Love, Latkes, and Other Jewish Stories, edited by Katherine Locke & Laura Silverman. Published by Alfred A. Knopf | recommended on BooksYALove.com

Feeling too Jewish or not Jewish enough at school, summer camp, at another family’s Seder dinner, on a Birthright trip to Israel in college…

In this short story collection, young adults embrace, question, and reexamine their Jewish faith as it connects (or doesn’t) to their childhood, their family, their sexual identity, their now, and their future.

Raysh hopes to overcome her fear of drowning (again) in “He Who Revives the Dead”, while Miri’s first meeting with her new boyfriend’s parents is interrupted by an earthquake and “Aftershocks.”

Short stories by Dahlia Adler, Adi Alsaid, David Levithan, Elie Lichtschein, Katherine Locke, Alex London, Goldy Moldavsky, Hannah Moskowitz, Matthue Roth, Lance Rubin, Dana Schwartz, Laura Silverman, Rachel Lynn Solomon, and Nova Ren Suma.

“Judaism is about seeing the world for what it is and being part of a community that is greater than the sum of its parts,” reminds actress Mayim Bialik in the foreword.

Each story in this anthology is one of those parts, a vivid and varied kaleidoscope of experiences, meeting new people, and watching old friends change.

Find the print version or ebook at a library near you with WorldCat.

What part of yourself do you share with a new friend?
**kmm

Book info: It’s a Whole Spiel: Love, Latkes, and Other Jewish Stories / edited by Katherine Locke & Laura Silverman. Alfred A. Knopf / Random House, 2019. [Katherine’s site] [Laura’s site] [publisher site] Personal copy; cover image courtesy of the publisher.

Meet magical creatures in compelling stories with AudioSYNC (audiobook recommendations)

Encounter wonderful and wondrous magical beings in this week’s AudioSYNC free audiobooks.

Be sure to download either or both audiobooks into your Sora shelf by Wednesday 24 May 2023 – free!

You can sign up for a free Sora account and see the entire AudioSYNC season here.

Here are this week’s tales of magical creatures, in our world and theirs.

CD cover of Keeper of the Night, by Kylie Lee Baker | Read by Rebecca Yeo
Published by Dreamscape

Keeper of the Night book 1 (free Sora download 5/18-24/2023)
by Kylie Lee Baker | Read by Rebecca Yeo
Published by Dreamscape

Ever-searching for her banished mother, Ren is a collector of deceased souls. The near-immortal teen travels from England to Japan on her quest, encountering mortals and magical creatures. Who’s on her side? Can she escape the rest?

https://www.audiofilemagazine.com/reviews/read/205506/the-keeper-of-night-by-kylie-lee-baker-read-by-rebecca-yeo/

swirling lines clipart http://www.clipartpanda.com/clipart_images/mondays-throughout-the-day-17164159
CD cover of Out of the Blue, by Jason June | Read by André Santana, Neo Cihi. Published by Harper Audio

Out of the Blue (free Sora download 5/18-24/2023)
by Jason June | Read by André Santana, Neo Cihi
Published by Harper Audio

During his month-long quest on land, Crest must decide whether to return to the sea as a mer or live as a human. Meeting lifeguard Sean is eye-opening for the non-binary mer. As their relationship grows, Crest and Sean consider what their future might be.

https://www.audiofilemagazine.com/reviews/read/214852/out-of-the-blue-by-jason-june-read-by-andr%C3%A9-santana-neo-cihi/

So many tales of magical beings – what others do you recommend?
**kmm

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Y = Time loop? Time warp? SEE YOU YESTERDAY, by Rachel Lynn Solomon (YA book review) #A2Z

book cover of See You Yesterday, by Rachel Lynn Solomon. Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers | recommended on BooksYALove.com

Just great – her high school nemesis is her new college roommate, and a guy in Physics volunteers her to answer a basic question that she doesn’t know.

Investigative reporting that turned Barrett’s whole high school against her isn’t good enough for the campus newspaper – full stop on her career plans.

Don’t even ask why she’s tagged in every photo of a frat house fire… worst Wednesday ever!

The next morning she wakes up to… Lucie moving in again? The first day of Physics and rude Asian guy and humiliating interview again? What is going on?!?

Somehow, she and Miles (the Japanese guy) are both stuck in a time loop – and he’s been repeating this same day for two months!

As they try over and over again to escape this not-great day, the teens discover commonalities (their Jewish heritage, wanting to tell stories that matter, love of classic movies) and differences (his parents are professors, her mom and soon-to-be stepmom run a stationery shop, she’s fat and he’s not).

Doing good deeds, skipping class, asking a retired professor about theoretical time travel – what’s going to break this cycle?

Or do they want to stay in this one September day forever, together?

Another love story set in Seattle by the author of Today Tonight Tomorrow (I recommended here) and We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This (see more here).

What day in your life would you want to experience on repeat?
**kmm

Book info: See You Yesterday / Rachel Lynn Solomon. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2022. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.