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Books & Authors, Diverse Voices

LGBT Teen Reads Adults Will Love

The following selection of books features LGBT characters from differing cultural backgrounds dealing with everyday life and battling insurmountable odds. Featuring stories of magic, special abilities, financial hardship, love, and relationships with family and friends, these books are enjoyable to teens and adults of all ages. 

Six angry girls by Adrienne Kisner

Raina Petree is crushing her senior year, until her boyfriend dumps her, the drama club (basically) dumps her, the college of her dreams slips away, and her arch-nemesis triumphs. Things aren't much better for Millie Goodwin. Her father treats her like a servant, and the all-boy Mock Trial team votes her out, even after she spent the last three years helping to build its success. But then, an advice columnist unexpectedly helps Raina find new purpose in a pair of knitting needles and a politically active local yarn store. This leads to an unlikely meeting in the girls' bathroom, where Raina inspires Millie to start a rival team. The two join together and recruit four other angry girls to not only take on Mock Trial, but to smash the patriarchy in the process.

Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger; illustrations by Rovina Cai 

Imagine an America very similar to our own. It's got homework, best friends, and pistachio ice cream. There are some differences. This America has been shaped dramatically by the magic, monsters, knowledge, and legends of its peoples, those Indigenous and those not. Some of these forces are charmingly everyday, like the ability to make an orb of light appear or travel across the world through rings of fungi. But other forces are less charming and should never see the light of day. Seventeen-year-old Elatsoe ("Ellie" for short) lives in this slightly stranger America. She can raise the ghosts of dead animals, a skill passed down through generations of her Lipan Apache family. Her beloved cousin has just been murdered, in a town that wants no prying eyes. But she is going to do more than pry. The picture-perfect façade of Willowbee masks gruesome secrets, and she will rely on her wits, skills, and friends to tear off the mask and protect her family.

Night shine by Tessa Gratton 

An orphan girl called Nothing slips within the shadows of the vast palace of the Empress, unseen except by the Great Demon of the palace and her true friend, Prince Kirin, heir to the throne. When Kirin is kidnapped, only Nothing and the prince's bodyguard suspect that Kirin may have been taken by the Sorceress Who Eats Girls, a powerful woman who has plagued the land for decades. Nothing and the bodyguard set out on a rescue mission, through demon-filled rain forests and past to the gates of the Fifth Mountain. All magic is a bargain-- but the price the Sorceress demands for Kirin may very well cost Nothing her heart.

 

Even if we break by Marieke Nijkamp

Friends Finn, Liva, Maddy, Carter, and Ever begin a farewell round of the game they have played for three years, but each is hiding secrets and the game itself seems to turn against them.

 

 

 

 

 Each of us a desert by Mark Oshiro

Xochitl is destined to wander the desert alone, speaking her troubled village's stories into its arid winds. Her only companions are the blessed stars above and enigmatic lines of poetry magically strewn across dusty dunes. Her one desire: to share her heart with a kindred spirit. One night, Xo's wish is granted--in the form of Emilia, the cold and beautiful daughter of the town's murderous conqueror. But when the two set out on a magical journey across the desert, they find their hearts could be a match--if only they can survive the nightmare-like terrors that arise when the sun goes down.

 

You should see me in a crown by Leah Johnson

Liz Lighty has always done her best to avoid the spotlight in her small, wealthy, and prom-obsessed midwestern high school, after all, her family is black and rather poor, especially since her mother died; instead she has concentrated on her grades and her musical ability in the hopes that it will win her a scholarship to elite Pennington College and their famous orchestra where she plans to study medicine--but when that scholarship falls through she is forced to turn to her school's scholarship for prom king and queen, which plunges her into the gauntlet of social media which she hates and leads her to discoveries about her own identity and the value of true friendships.

 

Girls of paper and fire by Natasha Ngan

When Lei, seventeen, is stolen from her home to become one of nine Paper Girls, the Demon King's concubines, she proves to be more fire than paper.

 

 

 

 

 

The henna wars by Adiba Jaigirdar

Nishat's parents say she can be anyone she wants-- as long as she isn't a lesbian. She doesn't want to lose her family, but she also doesn't want to hide who she is. When childhood friend Flávia walks back into her life, Nishat falls for her instantly. Then a school competition invites students to create their own businesses, and both Flávia and Nishat decide to showcase their talent as henna artists. As the competition heats up, Nishat has a decision to make: stay in the closet for her family, or put aside her differences with Flávia and give their relationship a chance.

 

Date me, Bryson Keller by Kevin Van Whye

Everyone knows about the dare: Each week, Bryson Keller must date someone new--the first person to ask him out on Monday morning. Few think Bryson can do it. He may be the king of Fairvale Academy, but he's never really dated before. Until a boy asks him out, and everything changes. Kai Sheridan didn't expect Bryson to say yes. So when Bryson agrees to secretly go out with him, Kai is thrown for a loop. But as the days go by, he discovers there's more to Bryson beneath the surface, and dating him begins to feel less like an act and more like the real thing. Kai knows how the story of a gay boy liking someone straight ends. With his heart on the line, he's awkwardly trying to navigate senior year at school, at home, and in the closet, all while grappling with the fact that this "relationship" will last only five days. After all, Bryson Keller is popular, good-looking, and straight . . . right?

 

 

 

 

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