BOOK LIST: LGBTQIA+ YA for Pride

June is Pride Month and all month long we’ve been celebrating LGBTQIA+ reads. Did you check out our reading list curated by Glad Day Book Shop?

Gearing up for Toronto’s Pride Parade this Sunday, this is our exclusively YA reading list of books to read during, and after, Pride. On Instagram? Follow us and you can WIN some of the titles listed. Find out more here!

 

Maeve struggles with severe anxiety, and it’s not something she can just talk herself out of. Now she is moving to Vancouver to live with her dad. Between her dad’s wavering sobriety, her pregnant stepmom’s home-birth plans and a new relationship with Salix, a carefree local girl, can Maeve navigate through all the potential catastrophes to be there for the people she loves?

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Another Kind of Cowboy
Written by Susan Juby
HarperTeen, 2007
ISBN 978-0060765170
IL: Ages 12 and up RL: Grades 7 and up

For Alex Ford, dressage is an oasis. In the stable, he can slip into his riding pants, shed the macho cowboy image, and feel like himself for a change. For Cleo O’Shea dressage is a fresh start. She’s got a new boarding school, absentee parents, and best of all: no one to remember her past… They’re an unlikely pair, but sometimes the last person you’d ever think of as a friend ends up being the one you need the most. Susan Juby’s trademark humor brings life and laughter to this remarkable story of relationships, mixed signals, and the soul-searching that sometimes takes two.

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Fire Song
Written by Adam Garnet Jones
Annick Press, 2018
ISBN 978-1-5545-1977-4
IL: Ages 14+ RL: Grades 9+

How can Shane reconcile his feelings for David with his desire for a better life?
Shane is still reeling from the suicide of his kid sister, Destiny. How could he have missed the fact that she was so sad? He tries to share his grief with his girlfriend, Tara, but she’s too concerned with her own needs to offer him much comfort. What he really wants is to be able to turn to the one person on the rez whom he loves―his friend, David. When yet another tragedy strikes, the two boys have to make difficult choices about their future together.

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Girl Mans Up
Written by M-E Girard
HarperCollins Publishers, 2016
ISBN 978-1-44344-704-1
IL: Ages 14 and up RL: Grade 7

Why does everyone have a problem with Pen being the kind of girl she’s always been? They think she should quit trying to be something she’s not. Old-world parents, disintegrating friendships and feelings for other girls drive Pen to see the truth — respect and loyalty are often empty words, and that in order to be who she truly wants to be, she’ll have to man up.

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Just Julian
Written by Markus Harwood-Jones
Lorimer, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-4594-1292-7
IL: Ages 13-18 RL: Grades: 4

After years of bullying at school, 19-year-old Julian is depressed. He sees a glimmer of hope after meeting the similarly out-of-place Romeo at a party and sharing a kiss with him. The only problem: Romeo has always identified as straight and he hangs out with a group of intolerant guys. But as the two begin to fall in love, Julian finds strength he never knew he had. When Romeo’s old friends come after the couple, a vicious fight puts both Julian and Romeo in the hospital. The two boys decide to take a stand for their right for respect.

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Moon at Nine
Written by Deborah Ellis
Pajama Press, 2014
ISBN 978-1-927485-59-0
IL: Ages 12 + RL: Grades: 7 +

Fifteen-year-old Farrin has many secrets.  It is 1988; ever since the Shah was overthrown, the deeply conservative and religious government controls every facet of life in Iran. The day she meets Sadira, Farrin’s life changes forever. Sadira is funny, wise, and outgoing; the two girls become inseparable. But as their friendship deepens into romance, the relationship takes a dangerous turn. It is against the law to be gay in Iran; the punishment is death. Despite their efforts to keep their love secret, the girls are discovered and arrested. Separated from Sadira, Farrin can only pray as she awaits execution. Will her family find a way to save them both?

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Past Tense
Written by Star Spider
HarperCollins, 2018
ISBN 978-1-4434-5211-3
IL: Ages 14 and up RL: Grades 9-10

Julie Nolan is a pretty average girl with pretty average problems. She’s been in love with her best friend, Lorelei, ever since they met in grade three. Only Lorelei doesn’t know about it — she’s too busy trying to set Julie up with Henry, her ex, who Julie finds, in a word, vapid. But life gets more complicated when Julie comes home to find her mother insisting that her heart is gone. Pretty soon it becomes clear: Julie’s mom believes that she has died.

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Romeo for Real
Written by Markus Harwood-Jones
Lorimer, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-4594-1296-5
IL: Ages 13-18 RL: Grades: 4

On the surface, Romeo has it all: success on the basketball court, great a group of friends. Everything changes when he shares a kiss with openly gay Julian at a party. Despite their obvious attraction, Romeo is less sure of himself than ever, and leaves without even telling Julian his name. Realizing how little he knows about other sexual orientations and gender identities, Romeo begins to see the world in a whole new light, and he and Julian begin to fall in love. But his homophobic friends and family can’t accept him as gay. After a violent confrontation with one of his old friends, Romeo becomes determined to prove that his love for Julian is real and right.

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The Way Back Home
Written by Allan Stratton
Scholastic Canada, 2017
ISBN 978-1-4431-4838-2
IL: Ages 12 and up RL: Grade 7

Zoe Bird is going nowhere fast. She’s angry and lonely, and her only true friend is her granny, whose Alzheimer’s is worsening. When her parents put Granny in a home, Zoe decides now is the time to break free. She smuggles Granny out and they hit the road, taking an unforgettable trip to Toronto to find her long-lost uncle.

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Way To Go
Written by Tom Ryan
Orca Book Publishers, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-4598-0077-9
IL: Ages 12 + RL: Grades 7 +

Danny thinks he must be the only seventeen-year-old guy in Cape Breton—in Nova Scotia, maybe—who doesn’t have his life figured out. His buddy Kierce has a rule for every occasion, and his best friend Jay has bad grades, no plans and no worries. Danny’s dad nags him about his post-high-school plans, his friends bug him about girls and a run-in with the cops means he has to get a summer job. Worst of all, he’s keeping a secret that could ruin everything.

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When Everything Feels Like the Movies
Written by Raziel Reid
Arsenal Pulp Press, 2015
ISBN 978-1-5515-2574-7
IL: Ages 14 + RL: Grades 9 +

School is just like a film set: there’s The Crew, who make things happen, The Extras who fill the empty desks, and The Movie Stars, whom everyone wants tagged in their Facebook photos. But Jude doesn’t fit in. He’s not part of The Crew because he isn’t about to do anything unless it’s court-appointed; he’s not an Extra because nothing about him is anonymous; and he’s not a Movie Star because even though everyone knows his name like an A-lister, he isn’t invited to the cool parties. As the director calls action, Jude is the flamer that lights the set on fire.

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(You) Set Me on Fire
Written by Mariko Tamaki
Razorbill Canada, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-14318- 093-7
IL: Ages 14 + RL: Grades 9 +

Allison Lee is seventeen and off to college in the fall. So far, she’s been in love once (total catastrophe) and on fire twice (also pretty bad). Both love and fire have left their scars.

Looking a little more burnt chicken and a little less radiant phoenix, Allison takes up residence in Dylan Hall at St. Joseph’s College, where she discovers the true gift of freshman year: the opportunity to reinvent yourself. But Allison still feels like the odd girl out … until Shar appears. Beautiful and blinding, Shar quickly becomes the sun at the centre of Allison’s universe, drawing her in with dangerous allure.

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