Challenge Accepted: Read Harder 2017
A new year means new year resolutions and challenges. One reading challenge that I love to do is Book Riot’s 2017 Read Harder challenge. Instead of having people focus on a specific number of books, Read Harder challenges people to read different genres or authors that they may overlook. This year, there are 24 prompts for readers, and a complete list may be found here on the Book Riot Goodreads page. Today, I will address fifteenth challenge: to read a YA or middle-grade novel by an author who identifies as LGBTQ+.
Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan (YA)
A YA classic, Boy Meets Boy is a LGBTQ+ romantic classic set in a town of fantastic characters. At Paul’s high school, the cheerleaders ride Harley motorcycles and the Infinite Darlene rules the school as the most popular girl, the star quarterback, and the homecoming queen. And then Paul meets Noah and everything seems perfect. Until he screws it up. The school bookies have him at 12 to 1 odds at winning Noah back, but Paul is not giving up without a fight.
George by Alex Gino (MG)
When people look at George, they see a lot of things: shy, quiet, silly, nerdy. But the thing that nobody sees is that George knows that she's not a boy, but a girl. She prefers the name Melissa, and is trying to vocalize her perceptions about herself when her class puts on a play of Charlotte's Web. Gino is genderqueer and writes about the nuances and perceptions of gender in a way that is extremely accessible to all ages.
If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo (YA)
Amanda is about to start her senior year and it’s a really big deal. Not only is she at a new school, in a new town, living with her father that she hasn’t spoken to in over three years, but this is a new chance. Amanda is trans* and she sees this as an opportunity to live the life in the body she’s always seen herself in. Her goals are to lay low, not make any enemies, and to not get hurt. But almost right away, Amanda has trouble following her goals: the people in her school are nice to her, and boys are asking her out on dates.
If You Could Be Mine by Sarah Farizan (YA)
In Tehran, homosexuality is outlawed, but being trans* is not, so when best friends and girlfriends Sahar and Nasin are threatened with Nasin’s upcoming marriage, Sahar considers transitioning to preserve their relationship. But transitioning would mean assuming another false identity and ignoring who she really is: a girl who likes girls.
Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera (YA)
Juliet has recently come out to her parents, and it… was not great. To get out of the house, Juliet takes a chance, reaches out to one of her favorite authors, and gets an internship! In Portland! As Juliet is discovering what being queer means to her, the reader is taken along on a trip to Portland, Miami, and beyond.
Did you read something else for this challenge? Share it with us on twitter by using #readharderdcpl!