Diversity Reading Challenge Young Adult

2017 #DiversityReadingChallenge-February How Did You Do?

Time for a check up. How is your diversity reading going? Let’s see how I did in February.

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda

Oh Oh Oh I loved this book so HARD!!

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.


Counts as an LGBT main character #7. Kinda like You’ve got Mail
for YA.

I can’t believe I didn’t tell you about it?

Go get it NOW.

I read a few other books but they were of the grown up variety and not appropriate for An Unconventional Librarian.

So that’s it for Feb.What did you read?


Books Young Adult

What’s on My Radar: Gabi, a Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero

I love it when I find a book about the Hispanic culture.  Having lived in Texas for 10 years, I’m keenly aware of the lack of diversity in books containing Hispanic characters.  I’m glad to see more of them are getting noticed.  Cinco Punto press has published a book called

Gabi, A Girl in Pieces

Gabi a Girl in Pieces

written by Isabel Quintero, who is a librarian in California.  Gotta love those librarians! Here’s a blurb about the book;

July 24

My mother named me Gabriella, after my grandmother who, coincidentally, didn’t want to meet me when I was born because my mother was unmarried, and therefore living in sin. My mom has told me the story many, many, MANY, times of how, when she confessed to my grandmother that she was pregnant with me, her mother beat her. BEAT HER! She was twenty-five. That story is the basis of my sexual education and has reiterated why it’s important to wait until you’re married to give it up. So now, every time I go out with a guy, my mom says, “Ojos abiertos, piernas cerradas.” Eyes open, legs closed. That’s as far as the birds and the bees talk has gone. And I don’t mind it. I don’t necessarily agree with that whole wait until you’re married crap, though. I mean, this is America and the 21st century; not Mexico one hundred years ago. But, of course, I can’t tell my mom that because she will think I’m bad. Or worse: trying to be White.

Gabi Hernandez chronicles her last year in high school in her diary: Cindy’s pregnancy, Sebastian’s coming out, the cute boys, her father’s meth habit, and the food she craves. And best of all, the poetry that helps forge her identity.

If you’re a fan of epistolary books, which is a fancy word for letters, then you might like this book.  Also, it kinda has a Crank by Ellen Hopkins feel to it too.  I just cracked the book open; I can’t wait to get started on it. I’m sure I’m going to like it.

Did I mention that we need more diverse books?


Books Young Adult

Hotlight Spotlight: A YA book tackling LGBT issues


WOW.  Got your attention with that title, didn’t I? The title of the book is Fag by author Krissy Bells.

Fag_-_High_Resolution   I think you can guess what the book is about, can’t you? Here’s a bit about the title:

Aaron Garrett is many things in life: he is a son, a friend, a student, and caring boyfriend to his lovely girlfriend Leigh Ann. In these roles, he is kind, hardworking, smart, loving, dedicated, and considerate. At Jefferson High School, he is a leader, a football star, and well-respected by his peers. Aaron’s life is perfectly on track, he is pursuing a college scholarship and hopeful for the future, except for just one thing: Aaron Garrett is gay. When a former child star from Aaron’s small Southern town saturates the national media after making homophobic comments, Aaron’s life is turned upside down as supporters rally around the sentiments. Social media attention begins to swell nationally and locally until it begins to eat away at every part of Aaron’s existence.

Wow. And you think your life is tough. Try being a teen who’s gay who gets outed.  Not fun.  Reminds me of a lot of issues the LGBT teen population is facing now. BellsauthorThe author, Krissy Bells, was born and raised in the Detroit metro area. A former school secretary, she now spends her days as a stay-at-home mom. She is passionate about her family and friends, her Dachshund named Harry, and anything topped with cheese or chocolate. She can be contacted at [email protected].

Young Adult

King of Angels by Perry Brass an LGBT Story

As most things happen around here, I stumbled upon my acquaintance with Perry Brass by serendipity. As you know, I have a soft spot for the underdog and the LGBT population is no different. I find that these kids want very much to be included in the conversation when it comes to Young Adult novels. I’ve been fortunate enough to review some of the more mainstream titles but we still have a long way to go in reaching those kids.

That’s where Perry comes in! I’m featuring his book but I must warn you it is NOT for children.  The book is called King of Angels: A Novel about the Genesis of Identity and Belief. It’s a coming of age tale that describes cruelty against children and Jews and is strongly homoerotic.  The main character is gay, attends Catholic school and lives in Savannah in the early 1960s.  Imagine what a struggle this kid had? I want to feature this book in the hopes that you will find that there are indeed books that include you.  And if not, you can write your own!

King of Angels


We all struggle to discover who we are and where we fit in. LGBT teens are no different.

I hope this gets into the hands of a kid who needs it.

Live in the NYC area? This weekend Perry and other members of the LGBT community will hold the Rainbow Book Fair!

Rainbow Book Fair



It sounds like a lot of fun, I really really really hope to be able to pop up Saturday afternoon after work to check it out and see if I can make some new friends. Unless, I can figure out how to be in two places at the same time…