Teen Librarian Toolbox
Inside Teen Librarian Toolbox

What’s new in LGBTQIA+ this winter

Every other month I’ll be doing a roundup of new and forthcoming LGBTQIA+ YA books (and sometimes some non-YA books). I’ll try to include as many titles as possible. Know of a title I missed in this list? Or know of a forthcoming title that should be on my radar for an upcoming list? Leave a comment or tweet me @CiteSomething. This list covers a couple November titles I missed, December 2014, and January 2015 titles. All annotations here are via WorldCat or the publishers. My previous post, from October, can be found here. Lots of great titles.

 

November 2014

Unicorns and Rainbow Poopby Sam Kadence (Harmony Ink Press/Dreamspinner, November 6, ISBN 9781632164179): Vocal Growth series book 2. Ex-boyband member Dane Karlson is struggling to overcome an eating disorder and a body dismorphic disorder. His fall through a glass table puts him in rehab and on the road to recovery. Then a friend dies. Bas, an openly gay high school student who’s recently lost his grandmother, is trying to survive his last few months of school before escaping to Stanford. Having just lost the only person in his family to care for him, he is victim to the cruelty of the others. His younger brother bullies him, and his parents are suing him for his gran’s inheritance. Together Dane and Bas find a middle ground, supporting each other through the lows, dancing together during the highs.

 

Always Leaving by Gene Gant (Harmony Ink Press/Dreamspinner, November 13, ISBN 9781632165879): When Jason Barrett wakes up, he remembers only one thing: his name. Frightened and driven by paranoia, Jason keeps moving, going from town to town working odd jobs and making no friends. When he stumbles onto an emergency in New Hanover and saves a fellow teenage boy, it offers him the first connection he’s felt in a while. To return Jason’s kindness, Ravi wants to help solve the riddle of Jason’s missing past. As they work through clues, Jason begins to feel settled. He finds a place he belongs with Ravi—maybe something more.

 

Speaking Out: Queer Youth in Focus by Rachelle Lee Smith, forward by Candace Gingrich (PM Press, November 15, ISBN 9781629630410): A photographic essay that explores a wide spectrum of experiences told from the perspective of a diverse group of young people, ages 14–24, identifying as queer (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning), Speaking OUT: Queer Youth in Focus presents portraits without judgment or stereotype by eliminating environmental influence with a stark white backdrop. This backdrop acts as a blank canvas, where each subject’s personal thoughts are handwritten onto the final photographic print. With more than 65 portraits photographed over a period of 10 years, the book provides rare insight into the passions, confusions, prejudices, joys, and sorrows felt by queer youth and gives a voice to an underserved group of people that are seldom heard and often silenced. The collaboration of image and first-person narrative serves to provide an outlet, show support, create dialogue, and help those who struggle.

 

If You Knew Jack by MC Lee (Harmony Ink Press/Dreamspinner, November 20, ISBN 9781632166883): Sequel to You Don’t Know Jack. Jack Carlisle has returned to the Center after an assignment designed to push him to the edge of his limits—and beyond. He is given just a few short days to get used to a new identity and a new team. He’s been trained to assume a new identity, but working with a new team is more difficult, especially since it throws him back in the path of Leo McCormack, the boy who stole Jack’s heart and handed it back broken into tiny pieces.

 

December 2014

Driving Lessons by Annameekee Hesik (Bold Strokes Books, December 16, ISBN 9781626392281): Abbey Brooks has recovered from her end-of-freshman-year heartbreak and has vowed that this year, her sophomore year at Gila High, will be different in every way. Her to-do list: get her driver’s license, come out to her mom, get (and keep) a girlfriend, and survive another year of basketball. As always, though, nothing goes according to plan. Who will be there for her as her plans start to unravel? Who will bring her back to life after another round of heartache and betrayal? These remain a mystery—even to Abbey. But one thing is for sure, she’s not confused about who she is. And that is going to make all the difference.

 

Asher’s Shot by Elizabeth Wheeler (Bold Strokes Books, December 16, ISBN 9781626392298): After uncovering the truth about his parents’ divorce and his brother’s death, fifteen-year-old Asher Price is ready for a shot at happiness. Armed with a Canon camera borrowed from his nutty neighbor, a date to homecoming, and revitalized relationships with family and friends, Asher’s on the right track. Even though Asher’s black-and-white view of the world has shifted to color, he still believes the only way to protect the people he loves is by keeping their secrets. His candid pictures capture the truth, but what if his success as a photographer requires exposing an enemy? In the end, Asher discovers protecting the people he loves can have devastating consequences, and his only shot at happiness involves revealing secrets of his own.

 

 

January 2015

The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson (David Fickling Books, January 1, 2015, ISBN 978-1910200322): UK BOOK: Two boys. Two secrets. David Piper has always been an outsider. His parents think he’s gay. The school bully thinks he’s a freak. Only his two best friends know the real truth – David wants to be a girl. On the first day at his new school Leo Denton has one goal – to be invisible. Attracting the attention of the most beautiful girl in year 11 is definitely not part of that plan. When Leo stands up for David in a fight, an unlikely friendship forms. But things are about to get messy. Because at Eden Park School secrets have a funny habit of not staying secret for long ….

 

Sienna by Helen Eve (Macmillan Children’s Books, January 1st 2015, ISBN 9781250054593): UK BOOK: Prequel to Stella.

Worshipped, envied, desired, and feared by all, Siena Hamilton reigns over Temperley High. Nothing can shake her place as the head of Temperley’s elite – not even that unfortunate incident at the end of last term . . . Siena is her mother’s daughter: she knows how to be perfect, and she will not disappoint. There is only one person who could possibly get in her way…. Romy, former Starlet, and Siena’s ex-best friend is back. And no one is happy about it, least of all her. Romy has changed after her term away in France, and is trying hard to be normal, to blend in and to keep the secret of what really happened that night safe and hidden. But when you’ve betrayed your former best friend, you don’t get to come back without a fight.

 

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, January 13, 2015, ISBN 9780316261043): In the town of Fairfold, where humans and fae exist side by side, a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives awakes after generations of sleep in a glass coffin in the woods, causing Hazel to be swept up in new love, shift her loyalties, feel the fresh sting of betrayal, and to make a secret sacrifice to the faerie king.

 

Alex as Well by Alyssa Brugman (Henry Holt and Co. (BYR), January 20, 2015, ISBN 9781627790147): Alex is ready for things to change, in a big way. Everyone seems to think she’s a boy, but for Alex the whole boy/girl thing isn’t as simple as either/or, and when she decides girl is closer to the truth, no one knows how to react, least of all her parents. Undeterred, Alex begins to create a new identity for herself: ditching one school, enrolling in another, and throwing out most of her clothes. But the other Alex—the boy Alex—has a lot to say about that. Heartbreaking and droll in equal measures, Alex As Well is a brilliantly told story of exploring gender and sexuality, navigating friendships, and finding a place to belong.

 

The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley by Shaun David Hutchinson (Simon Pulse, January 20, 2015, ISBN 9781481403108): Andrew Brawley was supposed to die that night, just like the rest of his family. Now he lives in the hospital, serving food in the cafeteria, hanging out with the nurses, sleeping in a forgotten supply closet. Drew blends in to near invisibility, hiding from his past, his guilt, and those who are trying to find him. His only solace is in the world of the superhero he’s created—Patient F. Then, one night, Rusty is wheeled into the ER, half his body burned by hateful classmates. Rusty’s agony calls out to Drew like a beacon, pulling them both together though all their pain and grief. In Rusty, Drew sees hope, happiness, and a future for both of them. A future outside of the hospital, and away from their pasts. But to save Rusty, Drew will have to confront Death, and life will have to get worse before it gets better. And by telling the truth about who he really is, Drew risks destroying any chance of a future.

 

Love Hurts compiled by Malorie Blackman (Corgi Children’s, January 29, 2015, ISBN 978-0552573979):  UK BOOK: Malorie Blackman brings together the best teen writers of today in a stunningly romantic collection about love against the odds. Featuring short stories and extracts about modern star-crossed lovers from stars such as Gayle Forman, Markus Zusak and Patrick Ness, and with a brand-new story from Malorie Blackman herself, Love Hurts looks at every kind of relationship, from first kiss to final heartbreak.