Gino, Alex. 2015. George. New York: Scholastic Press.

A white book cover with GEORGE in rainbow colors. A young girl peeks out through the O.

“You’re one tough cookie. But the world isn’t always good to people who are different. I just don’t want you to make your road any harder than it has to be.”

“Trying to be a boy is really hard.”

Mom blinked a few times, and when she opened her eyes again, a teardrop fell down her cheek. (page 170)

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Girl Mans Up

Girard, M-E. Girl Mans Up. New York: HarperTeen, 2016.

A young woman with a white T-shirt, black pants, and short, tousled hair leans against a brick wall with her arms crossed.

Pen is a sixteen-year old girl who eschews girly stuff and would rather dress in guy’s clothes. Growing up in Ontario, a child of Portuguese immigrants, she moves between two worlds—gaming with her dude friends and asking her parents for traditional blessings. It’s been tense with her parents, but when she cuts her long hair off, her parents are more concerned than ever. Continue reading

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The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue

Lee, Mackenzi. The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue. New York: Katherine Tegen Books, 2017.

A young white man in fancy 18th century British clothing. The title, Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue, is overlayed in aqua letters, and there are yellow music notes and a yellow line drawing of a violin dancing around the young man.

Henry “Monty” Montague is a true hedonist—he loves gambling, smoking, and drinking, and regularly wakes up in the beds of random men and women. He’s also a British gentleman, and his frustrated father needles him relentlessly to improve his debaucherous behavior. On the eve of Monty’s yearlong Grand Tour of Europe, his father tells him in no uncertain terms that if he doesn’t shape up, he’ll cut him out of the will and throw him out of the family. Continue reading

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The Gods Themselves

Asimov, Isaac. The Gods Themselves. New York: Doubleday, 1972.

A panorama of the rocky surface of the moon with the Earth hanging in the black night sky. The title is in big red letters.

At last, Earth scientists have discovered the secret to abundant free energy, through an electron transfer with aliens in a parallel universe. Only a handful of people suspect that the ongoing nuclear reaction could lead to a supernova. Continue reading

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About a Girl

McCarry, Sarah. About a Girl. New York: St. Martin’s Griffin, 2015.

Close-up of two White girls kissing, with vines overlayed.

Tally is a multiracial girl who wants to be an astronomer. She is extremely gifted and has excelled in school. She has three adoptive parents who dote on her and provide her with everything they possibly can. Still, she wonders about her parentage. When she discovers that her mother was friends with a mysterious musician in the Puget Sound, she takes a journey to learn more about her past, and in doing so, meets a beautiful woman who changes her life. Continue reading

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Princess Princess Ever After

O’Neill, Katie. Princess Princess Ever After. Portland, OR: Oni Press, 2016.

Two princesses hugging with their faces close together. On the left, a Brown princess with an undercut, a scar on her face, and a fancy suit. On the right, a white princess with a dress and crown.

In this adorable graphic novel, princess Amira rescues princess Sadie from a tower where she has been imprisoned by her jealous sister. The two go on an adventure together, rescue and befriend a prince fleeing from his princely duties, teach an ogre to dance so he stops ruining cities with his giant feet, and dethrone the wicked sister. At the end, they get married to great fanfare. Continue reading

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Different Class

Harris, Joanne. Different Class. New York: Touchstone, 2016.

Title and author in white text on a black backround with an image of a green apple with an unsightly bruise.

In this masterful suspense novel, aging Latin teacher Roy Straitley confronts more than the typical schoolboy carousing as an old student comes back into his life. In the early 1970s, a tight-knit group of three boys clamor for the attention of their favorite teacher, Harry Clarke. They water his plants, fetch him cups of tea, and listen to records together on their lunch break. It isn’t uncommon for boys to form such relationships with teachers, and nobody thinks anything of it.

Note: some minor spoilers follow. Continue reading

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