Real & Magical: An Eclectic Pride Month Booklist for Teens & Adults

Posted on June 11, 2021 at 9:45 am

Man in rainbow light and stars

By Andrea Brumbaugh

In honor of Pride Month, I’ve put together a list of reads from LGBTQ literature. The library has many titles to help you discover, learn about, and read about the worlds of LGBTQ fictional characters and real people. So if you’re feeling overwhelmed on where to start, I’m sharing a few of my favorite books and some recent releases that I can’t wait to dive into.

This booklist includes adult and teen titles that are a mix of fiction, nonfiction, and graphic novels. The stories, histories, and tales include lesbian, gay, queer, and trans perspectives, among others. Some titles feature characters who struggle to reveal their sexuality because of homophobia as well as characters who have been out for years, and even worlds where sexuality isn’t an issue.

LGBTQ+ Books I’ve Loved

This is How You Lose the Time War, by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone

This incredibly creative and intriguing novella tells the story of two rival agents as they travel forward and backward in time, altering history to benefit their respective companies. The two seem to perpetually just miss each other, leaving jeering notes for the other to find. It’s an enemies-to-lovers story that spans time and space that pulls at my heartstrings.

The House in the Cerulean Sea, by T.J. Klune

This beautiful story is about many things—recognizing and squashing your own biases, questioning authority, breaking down the walls you’ve created, and letting in those who love you. It’s a tear-jerking, found-family story about a man who investigates orphanages for magical children, and it’s perfect for teen and adult queer fans of Harry Potter.

Honey Girl, by Morgan Rogers

Grace Porter wakes up in Las Vegas and realizes that she drunkenly got married to a beautiful stranger the night before, but her new wife is nowhere to be found. Grace spends the story learning about not only her new wife, but her family, her friends, society, and herself, as she navigates the racist, sexist, and homophobic landscape of her chosen career. If you enjoy stories with strong friendships, this is one for you.

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me, by Mariko Tamaki

The gorgeous artwork in this teen graphic novel is enough to make me recommend it to all graphic novel lovers. And the story—about first love, heartbreak, and that one person who lights up every room but maybe isn’t the best catch (haven’t we all known someone like that?)—makes it a book I’d suggest to anyone.

Check, Please, by Ngozi Ukazu

I’m not a hockey fan. But I couldn’t be more of a fan of these graphic novels. Check, Please centers around Eric “Bitty” Bittle—a former figure skater—as he enters college and joins the men’s hockey team. The artwork is cute, the story is adorable, and even the secondary characters get fleshed-out personalities. Just make sure you have a baked good nearby as you read because Bitty loves to bake and you’re sure to get hungry!

Recent LGBTQ+ Releases I Can’t Wait to Read

One Last Stop, by Casey McQuiston

From the author of Red, White, and Royal Blue, the latest release, One Last Stop, is about a girl who moves to New York City and the only good part of her day is a cute girl on the train. This romance has a hint of sci-fi and is full of diverse representation—sure to be a fantastic sophomore release from McQuiston.

Outlawed, by Anna North

The synopsis on Goodreads says Outlawed is “The Crucible meets True Grit,” and I’m here for it. It’s about a woman in the Wild West who joins a gang of outlaws who want to change the future for women. This feminist historical fiction novel tackles homophobia, racism, religion, women’s rights, and more.

Our Work is Everywhere: An Illustrated Oral History of Queer and Trans Resistance, by Syan Rose  

This nonfiction graphic title focuses on the history of queer and trans communities. This visually stunning graphic book acknowledges the history, resistance, and struggles of the LGBTQ community and highlights authentic and nuanced queer and trans realities in America that have paved the way for progress.

The Chosen and the Beautiful, by Nghi Vo

The Chosen and the Beautiful is a retelling of The Great Gatsby with a female, queer, Asian, adopted, immigrant protagonist. Just telling the story from Jordan Baker’s point of view will give this classic story a new twist, but it also includes magic along with mystery and excess to twist the tale even more. This is one I definitely can’t wait to read!

Malice, by Heather Walter

Malice is a retelling of Sleeping Beauty, in which not only is the main character queer, but she’s also the villain. And this villain falls in love with the princess. Fans of fairy tale retellings are sure to devour this first book in a new teen duology.

Andrea Brumbaugh, blogger

Andrea Brumbaugh is the Social Media Specialist for Spokane County Library District. When not at work, she can be found with her nose in a book, next to a body of water, or spending time with her wife and kids. Or maybe all of the above at the same time.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,