Month of Pride Part 2

June is LGBT Pride Month and to celebrate we are highlighting some of our books that feature LGBT characters.
syndetics-lcRead Me Like A Book by Liz Kessler

Available in Print.

Ashleigh Walker is in love. You know the feeling – that intense, heart-racing, all-consuming emotion that can only come with first love. It’s enough to stop her worrying about bad grades at college. Enough to distract her from her parents’ marriage troubles. There’s just one thing bothering her . . .

Shouldn’t it be her boyfriend, Dylan, who makes her feel this way – not Miss Murray, her English teacher?

A thought-provoking coming out story from a highly skilled author. (Goodreads)

syndetics-lcYou Know Me Well  by Nina LaCour and David Levithan

Available in Print.

Who knows you well? Your best friend? Your boyfriend or girlfriend? A stranger you meet on a crazy night? No one, really?

Mark and Kate have sat next to each other for an entire year, but have never spoken. For whatever reason, their paths outside of class have never crossed.

That is, until Kate spots Mark miles away from home, out in the city for a wild, unexpected night. Kate is lost, having just run away from a chance to finally meet the girl she has been in love with from afar. Mark, meanwhile, is in love with his best friend Ryan, who may or may not feel the same way.

When Kate and Mark meet up, little do they know how important they will become to each other—and how, in a very short time, they will know each other better than any of the people who are supposed to know them more.

Told in alternating points of view by Nina LaCour and David Levithan, You Know Me Well is a story about navigating the joys and heartaches of first love, one truth at a time. (Goodreads)

syndetics-lcWithout Annette by Jane B. Mason

Available in Print.

Josie Little and her girlfriend Annette Anderson have traveled halfway across the country to attend Brookwood Academy, a prestigious boarding school in Connecticut, and get away from Annette‘s abusive mother, but as soon as they get there things begin to unravel–the undercurrents in the school are poisonous, Annette seems more interested in drinking with the in-crowd, and a boy declares that he is in love with her.


Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E.K. Johnston REVIEW

exit coverAvailable in Print, eBook & eAudiobook.

Just a forewarning about this book. It deals with the matter of rape which I know not everyone wants to read about. So if this is a trigger for you, feel free to pass on this review.

With that being said, I don’t think this book is solely about rape. The sexual assault of the main character, Hermoine Winters, is by far a pivotal action of the story. But the resulting months and story line after her assault are about much more than that. This story, for me at least, was about growth in personal lives, in relationships and in maturity. Hermione’s story starts at the beginning of her senior year in high school, which is a year of growth and change in of itself. She is already thinking about how things will be changing and how something as simple as sleeping in a bunk at cheer camp will be the last time. But then her life is thrown upside down. She is drugged and sexually assaulted while at cheer camp.

In the wake of the Stanford case & Brock Turner’s ‘sentencing’, this book struck a chord with me. It gave me a look at the process and people that ultimately end up being involved when something terrible like this happens. While Hermione’s ordeal is by no means the standard situation a survivor deals with, her handling of the situation, her relationships and healing were a perspective I would not have any knowledge of prior. I think the author wrote an intriguing story not about rape, but about how rape changes a person and the people around them. Characters in the book grappled with blame, fault, ignorance, empathy and anger in their own ways. Johnston gave the reader a look at how sexual assault can affect people involved directly and indirectly in many ways.

I know this isn’t a book that many people would want to go out of their way to read. However, I would still recommend it greatly. It is well written and provides a story line of a situation often not discussed enough. If you aren’t willing to give this story a try, you might check out one of Johnston’s other stories such as ‘One Thousand Nights’. I’ve already read and enjoyed that story as well.

Happy Reading!

Warren Branch
Indianapolis Public Library


Month of Pride

June is LGBT Pride Month and to celebrate we are highlighting some of our books that feature LGBT characters.

Cover of This Book Is GayThis Book Is Gay

by James Dawson

Available as eBook

Lesbian. Bisexual. Queer. Transgender. Straight. Curious. This book is for everyone, regardless of gender or sexual preference. This book is for anyone who’s ever dared to wonder. This book is for YOU.

There’s a long-running joke that, after “coming out,” a lesbian, gay guy, bisexual, or trans person should receive a membership card and instruction manual. THIS IS THAT INSTRUCTION MANUAL. You’re welcome.

Inside you’ll find the answers to all the questions you ever wanted to ask: from sex to politics, hooking up to stereotypes, coming out and more. This candid, funny, and uncensored exploration of sexuality and what it’s like to grow up LGBT also includes real stories from people across the gender and sexual spectrums, not to mention hilarious illustrations.

You will be entertained. You will be informed. But most importantly, you will know that however you identify (or don’t) and whomever you love, you are exceptional. You matter. And so does this book.

Cover of Beyond MagentaBeyond Magenta Transgender Teens Speak Out

Available as eBook

A 2015 Stonewall Honor Book. A groundbreaking work of LGBT literature takes an honest look at the life, love, and struggles of transgender teens. Author and photographer Susan Kuklin met and interviewed six transgender or gender-neutral young adults and used her considerable skills to represent them thoughtfully and respectfully before, during, and after their personal acknowledgment of gender preference. Portraits, family photographs, and candid images grace the pages, augmenting the emotional and physical journey each youth has taken. Each honest discussion and disclosure, whether joyful or heartbreaking, is completely different from the other because of family dynamics, living situations, gender, and the transition these teens make in recognition of their true selves.

Cover of Branded by the Pink TriangleBranded by the Pink Triangle

Available as eBook
A history of the persecution of gay men by the Nazi regime during the Holocaust. When the Nazis came to power in Europe, the lives of homosexuals came to be ruled by fear as raids, arrests, prison sentences and expulsions became the daily reality. When the concentration camps were built, homosexuals were imprisoned along with Jews. The pink triangle, sewn onto prison uniforms, became the symbol of their persecution. This book combines historical research with first-person accounts and individual stories to bring this time to life for readers. From the first chapter, with its story of a young Jewish girl who was rescued from the depths of despair and starvation in the camps by a fellow prisoner who wore the pink triangle, to the last, entitled It Gets Better, which outlines the strides forward in gay rights made in the decades since the war, the feeling of bravery and perseverance in the face of inhuman cruelty shines through.




The Trials of Apollo: The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan REVIEW

apolloAvailable in Print, Audio Book, eAudio Book & Large Type.

I’ve been binge-reading Riordan’s series lately in preparation for this book. Riordan’s series are great for middle readers but I love them as an adult and I know many teens that enjoy keeping up with the series.

Trials of Apollo, Riordan’s 5th series, centers around the god, Apollo, after he is punished by Zeus and turned into a mortal. Not even a demi-god, just a mortal, awkward teenage boy. Some of our favorite characters from the Percy Jackson & Heroes of Olympus series make cameos in the first book. With mention of many main characters that may pop up in additional books of the series.

I enjoyed this first story of Apollo a lot. It’s interesting to see the world that Riordan has created from the perspective of a god instead of a teenage demigod. Apollo’s perspective on the wars and demigod’s actions is quite contrasting from what we’re used to hearing from characters like Percy Jackson.  I think Riordan has set up an interesting story arch for Apollo in the coming ‘trials’/stories of the series. I look forward to learning more about Apollo and hopefully seeing some appearances from old beloved characters.

For anyone a fan of Rick Riordan’s books, this series will not disappoint. If you haven’t read Riordan’s books before, I strongly suggest reading the Percy Jackson series and then Heroes of Olympus series first before diving into this one. Riordan’s other series, Kane Chronicles and Magnus Chase series, can be read without reading the others. But once you start, you’ll find it hard not to read all of them!

Happy reading!
Warren Branch