This week, our editorial team has brought some LGBTQ+ books for you to read. You should not miss out on learning more about these concerns. Don’t forget to read them out.
All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson****
All Boys Aren’t Blue is a nonfiction “memoir-manifesto” written by writer and activist George M. (Matthew) Johnson for young adults in 2020. It is Johnson’s first book, and it is a collection of writings created for an adolescent audience. In addition to explaining Johnson’s own experience, it directly addresses Black queer males who may not have someone in their life with similar experiences. Toni Morrison inspired Johnson to create the novel. Consent, agency, and sexual abuse are all discussed in the book. It describes statutory rape and sexual intercourse. In this YA “memoir-manifesto” for queer men of color and the youth who wish to support them, Johnson focuses on gender identity, structural discrimination, Black joy, and other issues. The memoir has been optioned for television by Gabrielle Union with the hope of turning it into a series.
Cinderella Is Dead by Kalynn Bayron****
Kalynn Bayron’s Cinderella is Dead is a young adult novel set to be published in 2020. The story follows Sophia Grimmins, a gay adolescent who lives 200 years after Cinderella’s death in the same world as her. Ian McLaughlin termed the novel “the right mix” of a dystopian society and a new twist on a traditional fairy tale in a review for The National of Scotland. The fairy tale is over 200 years after Cinderella got her prince. Teenage girls are now compelled to attend the Annual Ball when the kingdom’s males choose husbands based on a girl’s finery display. Sophia, who is sixteen, would prefer to marry Erin, her childhood best friend, rather than a parade in front of suitors. This new twist on a familiar tale will have readers questioning the stories they’ve been fed and rooting for females to challenge the world’s structures.
“Crosshairs”by Catherine Hernandez****
Catherine Hernandez is a Canadian writer. Catherine’s debut novel Scarborough was a shortlisted finalist for the 2017 Toronto Book Awards. She has also written the plays The Femme Playlist, Singkil, Eating with Lola, Kilt Pins and Future Folk, and the children’s book M for Mustache: A Pride ABC. Her second novel, Crosshairs, was published in 2020. It was adapted into the film Scarborough, which premiered at the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival. When Crosshairs begins, fascism is in full bloom in Toronto. People who are brown, Black, disabled, or queer are being rounded up and their property confiscated. Catherine Hernandez’s book is a call to arms against authoritarianism, white supremacy, and transphobia. It’s also the story of burgeoning awareness, resistance, and uprising. There are also echoes of The Handmaid’s Tale, written by Hernandez’s fellow Canadian Margaret Atwood. Crosshairs sometimes fall short in letting the reader fully engage and feel absorbed in the story.