Llewellyn Publications/Flux 2007.
Gay – T
Belle had expected to marry her high school boyfriend, Dylan, after college, so she is devastated when he comes out to her. However, she soon starts dating someone else, and even manages to be there as a friend to Dylan, despite her anger.
Jones has nothing new to offer with this well-worn plot theme. Low recommend.
The Chicken House, 2009
Gender-conformity concerns – Infant-Preschool
Patrick the penguin is horrified to wake up pink one morning. Boys can’t be pink! He will be teased at school! This is the end of the world!
Patrick’s parents reassure him that it’s okay to be different, and his father pulls out a book of birds of the world to show him photographs of flamingos, half of whom are definitely boys.
But after a few days of misery, Patrick packs his knapsack, and tells his parents he’s going to Africa where he will fit in better with the flamingo flocks. To his dismay, while the flamingos are friendly, he doesn’t fit it there either. He can’t fish like they do, and he can’t fly like they do. And the water is awfully warm for a penguin.
When he returns home, he is welcomed by friends, classmates, and family alike, and gives a presentation in class about everything he learned about flamingos.
Maybe being a pink penguin isn’t the end of the world after all.
This is a great book to use with children about feeling comfortable about their differences, and also to potentially explore gender issues with.
Also available in Spanish: ¡Pink! El pingüino que se volvió rosa. Trapella Books, 2010.
Gay – Infant-Preschool
Guinea pigs Chloe and her Uncle Bobby are best buddies. They do everything together. When Chloe learns that Uncle Bobby will be marrying his friend Jamie, she worries she will be left out in the cold. After a talk with Uncle Bobby she feels reassured, and even grows to appreciate Jamie.
Lesbian – High School
Johanna has been nursing a wild crush on Reeve, who she scarcely knows. She grasps at the opportunity to make a place in Reeve’s life for herself, even as Reeve pushes her away, and as her friends, and ex-lovers of Reeve’s warn her that she’s getting into trouble. Reeve lives in a home permeated with violence, drug and alcohol abuse. She struggles to survive and protect her brother Robbie, who is perhaps autistic. She can’t risk letting anyone get close to her, and violence is the only way she knows to push people away. Johanna, however, keeps coming back for more, in a pattern that becomes almost impossible to be willing to break.
Teens will find themselves deeply engaged in this very well-written book which deals realistically with the difficult issues raised; however, it is disappointing to read yet another LGBT novel that is so filled with pain and violence and hopeless relationships.
[Los Angeles]: Institute for Gay Men’s Health, c2004.
Gay/Transgender – Adult/Teen interest
This bi-lingual graphic novel tells the story of a Cuban exile who first thinks he’s gay, then realizes he’s really transgender.
Some “mature” content.
Soft Skull Press, 2005.
Transgender – Adult/Teen Interest
Thirteen-year-old Berry wants nothing more than to remain a choirboy all his life. In humorous and heart-rending fashion Berry goes from nerdy teen to confused transgender-kid. Anders brings new life to the term teenage angst.
In How Beautiful the Ordinary: Twelve Stories of Identity edited by Michael Cart. Bowen Press / Harper Teen, 2009.
Cross-dressing/Transgender – High School
“All that time, trapped in the walls of your own house and no one even knowing you’re there?”
To Jimmy, who has just ventured out for the first time dressed as a girl in his sister’s clothes, his mother’s surprised comment about a missing girl makes painful sense.
This short story is highly recommended.