Five Books to Celebrate Pride Month 2015

Mallory Dobry/ Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer ‘17

Pride Month is celebrated each year in June, to commemorate the Stonewall Riots that occurred in June 1969. The month aims to highlight the successes and give exposure to members of the LGBTQ community that are changing the world, and to celebrate sexual and gender identities. With the recent Supreme Court news, Pride is as strong as ever. LBGTQ pride has been seen also in calls for diversity in literature, particularly with the We Need Diverse Books campaign rising to popularity and attention within the book community. Diverse books allow for readers to find themselves, no matter what their sexual orientation, race, or gender identity, in characters and know that they are not alone and well represented.

Here are some reads to celebrate the end of Pride Month on this Fourth of July.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Released in 2012, Aristotle and Dante details the story of two boys, Ari Mendoza and Dante Quintana, who develop a close bond that leads to a discovery of who they really are. Saenz’s novel received the Michael L. Printz award in Young Adult fiction following its release. The novel not only tells the story of two boys finding themselves and falling in love, it also offers racial representation, as both the protagonists are of Latino heritage, and plays a crucial role in their story.

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

In a stunning twist on Homer’s The Iliad, Madeline Miller’s The Song of Achilles tells the story of young Patroclus and his childhood friend, Achilles. Set during the course of the Trojan war, with the boys being constantly tugged apart by war, obligation, and politics, it details the trials and tender moments between the pair. The novel also one the Orange Prize for Fiction.

“The Song of Achilles” Cover. Source: Bloomsbury

The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth

The Miseducation of Cameron Post follows Cameron Post, a young girl in the midst of discovering her sexuality, when her parents are tragically killed in a car crash. Cameron Post is sent to live with her very conservative aunt, and is ultimately sent to a “de-gaying” camp, to teach her to be the girl her family wants.

Quicksilver by R.J. Anderson

Quicksilver is the second book in the Ultraviolet series, and features an asexual lead heroine. While it may seem as though romance drive many young adult novels, Quicksilver shows that it is entirely possible for a protagonist to function without a sexy romance subplot in their story. Tori, the main character, is a heroine before she is asexual, and she serves far more of a purpose than being the “token ace” in the story. The novel also depicts Tori’s asexuality accurately and appropriately, dismissing many misconceptions and myths about asexual people.

“Quicksilver” Cover. Source: Carolrhoda Books

Beautiful Music for Ugly Children by Kirstin Cronn-Mills

Kirstin Cronn-Mills 2012 novel surrounds Gabe, a young boy born as Elizabeth, and lived as Elizabeth until he realizes he’s really been a boy his whole life. To cope with his parents failure to accept him, and his community following in suit, Gabe finds solace in DJing for a community radio station.  The novel’s frank narration and detailing of Gabe’s life as a transgender teen makes it one of very few novels to depict the struggles and life of people within the transgender community.

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