Since my initial post kicking off this challenge, I’ve hit the ground running. I selected a wide array of books and immediately began devouring them.
Although I’ve worked hard to diversify my TBR (To Be Read) pile for this challenge, this week’s wrap-up will not include any YA or adult titles. However, I managed to fly through most of the graphic novels and picture books I selected.
So here is what I read this first week:
All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold and Suzanne Kaufman
This book takes place in a school where every child is loved and appreciated no matter what. It’s a great book with lots of representation and diversity in race, gender, religion, culture, and sexuality. There are many illustrations to provide excellent opportunities for adults to ask children questions about what they see. Although this book has a wide array of characters, this might not be the best for people looking for books specifically about LGBTQIA stories.
The Tea Dragon Society, Vol. 1 by Katie O’Neill
This is a fantastic fantasy graphic novel that focuses on a young blacksmith’s adventure to discover who she is as well as the mystical creatures known as “Tea Dragons.” I loved the LGBTQIA representation, although it’s only a tiny part of the overall story. The volume is pretty quick, so it’s a fast read that had me wanting more!
Overall it’s cute, the illustration style is gorgeous, and I have nothing to complain about. This story is perfect for people of all ages, and everyone will fall in love with the concept.
When Aidan Became a Brother by Kyle Lukoff and Illustrated by Kayla Juanita
This book is one of my favorites so far. The story takes place from the point of view of a transgender child excited about becoming a big brother and is concerned about everyone focusing on the baby’s gender. Although this book is short, it tackles many issues like misgendering, fixing mistakes with honesty and communication, and being a decent person.
Stella Brings the Family by Miriam B Schiffer and Illustrated by Holly Clifton-Brown
Similar to When Aidan Became a Brother, the central conflict boils down to the main character being nervous about a specific event: this time it’s Stella, who has two dads, not knowing who to invite to her school’s Mother’s Day celebration.
I immensely enjoyed this story. It includes LGBTQIA representation, touches on found family, and is even a little comical. I enjoyed this swing on an LGBTQIA story where the representation is not focused on the main character.
Julián is a Mermaid by Jessica Love
This book, and its counterpart, Julián at the Wedding, are like no other I’ve ever experienced before.
This story centers around Julián, who wants to dress up as a beautiful mermaid after seeing several women dressed to the nines on the bus ride home. The story gets tense when Julián doesn’t know how Abuela will react to them making a mess after dressing up.
I love this book so much. Each moment flows through a set of illustrations that capture the story’s emotion, energy, and subtle messages.
This book challenges the gender binary and provides excellent representation that can empower children to have fun being who they are. I love the illustrations and the moments they give children to expand on the story themselves.
Julián at the Wedding by Jessica Love
Similar to, Julián is a Mermaid, this book centers around Julian and his friend Marisol as they have fun at a wedding. This book continues to challenge the gender binary while also adding some lesbian representation. And just like the previous title, there are lots of illustrations to help children expand on the narrative themselves.
Heartstopper, Vol 1 & Vol 2 by Alice Oseman
I loved reading this graphic novel. This story focuses on a friendship to lovers storyline where two rugby players (one gay and the other who discovers they’re bisexual) learn their feelings for one another.
When I started this challenge, I thought most of the books on my TBR would follow tropes like this: the trope of discovering one’s sexuality as a significant point of interest/conflict. Even so, that’s not the entire story with Heartstopper.
This series also covers some complex topics that teens and young adults who are LGBTQI might encounter while growing up, including bullying, coming out, and being uncertain about their sexuality.
The Magic Fish by Trung Le Nguyen
This graphic novel is conceptual and powerful.
Tien and his mother face their own unique challenges—Tien is gay and doesn’t know how to tell his parents, and his mother is a Vietnamese immigrant who doesn’t know much English. Tien doesn’t know how to explain it to his parents, and he doesn’t know how they’ll react. But through various fairy tales, they break these boundaries.
To be honest, I had difficulty processing all of the symbolism and concepts that this graphic novel portrayed. But once I read the last page, it all clicked together. This is a fantastic own voices story with phenomenal representation, and I highly recommend it to everyone.
Books Read: 8
Pages Read: 1,128 pages
Money Saved (total price of MSRP of the books I’ve read): $152.87
This first week of reading flew by fast! I’ve been slowly chipping away at some longer YA and Adult titles, which I will hopefully (fingers crossed) be able to wrap up next week.
Be sure to continue following along with me on my challenge on Instagram stories @bucksctylib. And don’t be a stranger; send me messages, answer polls, and leave some engaging comments!