Read Proud, Live Proud

Posted & filed under Blog.

We hope you choose to observe Pride month by checking out some of the materials we have on display that celebrate authors, actors, illustrators, and characters from across the queer spectrum. Here are just a few of our most recommended titles:

Fun Home: A Graphic Memoir, written by Alison Bechdel, is a darkly funny and poignant memoir about the author’s experience coming out – and learning about her family in the process. If you’re a Broadway fan, a musical production of this graphic novel was in Chicago last winter, and has won multiple Tony awards.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, a powerful and moving novel from Benjamin Alire Sáenz (with Lin Manuel Miranda narrating the audiobook) that explores friendships, identity, and family. A sequel, called There Will Be Other Summers, has been announced (but has no release date yet) and will pick up where Ari and Dante left off.

Lily and Dunkin follows Lily, a girl born in a boy’s body, currently figuring out how to transition, and Dunkin, struggling with bipolar disorder, playing basketball, and making new friends as the new kid in town. When you’d rather stay under the radar, but the way you’re made forces the world to see you – it’s better to have a friend by your side.

Ever wonder what it’s like to attend a Pride parade? Gayle E. Pitman has crafted a beautifully simple story in her picture book This Day in June to illustrate the pure joy of such a day (June 25 in Chicago).

Jazz Jennings, born with a girl’s brain in a boy’s body, has written two books about her experiences – I Am Jazz, a simple telling of her story (cowritten by Jessica Herthel) that’s a perfect way to introduce the topic of being transgender to picture book readers; and Becoming Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen. Her influential and inspiring story is a must-read for all as a way to celebrate overcoming differences and maintaining personal pride. In the adult collection, you can learn more about experiences with a transgender family member in Raising Ryland: Our Story of Parenting a Transgender Child with No Strings Attached by Hillary Whittington. 

Carrie Mesrobian, well known in the YA lit world for her refusal to shy away from sexual content, explores bisexuality in her powerful novel Cut Both Ways, about a boy who drunkenly makes out with his best friend (and likes it) but also has feelings for a beautiful girl two years his junior.

Saving Montgomery Sole tells a thoroughly honest tale of family, religion, intolerance, and more as high schooler Montgomery navigates school, belief systems, enemies, and defending her moms.

For a complete chronicle of the modern struggle for GLBT rights, you can’t miss Lillian Faderman’s The Gay Revolution: the Story of the Struggle, an in-depth look starting with the 1950s.

For some amazing new titles by smash-hit authors, try Ramona Blue (Julie Murphy) or The Upside of Unrequited (Becky Albertalli), both with larger-than-life characters who aren’t afraid to be who they were born to be.

There are many more books available on displays in the Information Services department as well as the Youth & Teen area – we hope you’ll explore something new – and that you have a Happy Pride Month!