Well then, let me show you, because that’s what I do for a living.
Right now, it’s this time of the year, and the little ones have just freshly hatched:
You’ll notice they’re still blind and naked when they hatch. So I make them little coats to keep them warm during their first winter:
See how they happily line up to put them on:
See? Better. Now they’re ready to go and explore the world.
And if they make it through the winter and we take good care of them, they will grow up to be strong and wise like their older fellows:
So, in case you were ever wondering, now you know.
[image description: a graphic with five rows of queer teen books, labelled “GAY IN YA”. The letters LGBTQ are in a column on the left side, corresponding to five books each.
L: The Miseducation of Cameron Post by emily m. danforth, Huntress by Malinda Lo, Keeping You a Secret by Julie Anne Peters, The Difference Between You and Me by Madeleine George*, The Bermudez Triangle (now titled On the Count of Three) by Maureen Johnson*.
G: Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan, Geography Club by Brent Hartinger, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz, Hero by Perry Moore, Proxy by Alex London.
B: Pink by Lili Wilkinson, Boyfriends with Girlfriends by Alex Sanchez, Adaptation by Malinda Lo, Empress of the World by Sara Ryan, Coda by Emma Trevayne.
T: Luna by Julie Anne Peters, I am J by Cris Beam, Almost Perfect by Brian Katcher, Parrotfish by Ellen Wittlinger, Freakboy by Kristin Elizabeth Clark.
Q: Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg, Every Day by David Levithan, Weetzie Bat by Francesca Lia Block, Ash by Malinda Lo, Will Grayson, Will Grayson by David Levithan and John Green.]
It’s time for a little #GayInYA!! For a complete list of the books plus the option to download the infographic at full size, visit our blog!
Also, I have linked the book titles to their Amazon pages if you’d like to read the blurbs! (Or buy them. It is my Amazon sponsor link.)
[image description: the covers of the books listed below, including the picture book Mom and Mum are Getting Married!]
Second Story Press has Banded By The Pink Triangle, the first book about queers and the Holocaust written for a younger audience (they said grades 7+). The same author also has a picture book about gay marriage. Second Story was also proud to show off a book of coming out stories written for teens and by teens collected by Planned Parenthood of Toronto called Hear Me Out.
Just an odd assortment of odd books, some of which may or may not be appropriate for general audiences
Those Bones Are Not My Child: A Novel by Toni Cade Bambara
Written over a span of twelve years, and edited by Toni Morrison, who calls Those Bones Are Not My Child the author’s magnum opus, Bambara’s last novel leaves us with an enduring and revelatory chronicle of an American nightmare.
In a suspenseful novel of uncommon depth and intensity, Toni Cade Bambara renders a harrowing portrait of a city under siege. Having elected its first black mayor in 1980, Atlanta projected an image of political progressiveness and prosperity. But between September 1979 and June 1981, more than forty black children were kidnapped, sexually assaulted, and brutally murdered throughout “The City Too Busy to Hate.”
A separated mother of three holding down several jobs, Zala Spencer has managed to survive on the margins of a flourishing economy until she awakens the morning of Sunday, July 20, 1980, to find her teenage son Sonny missing. As the hours turn into days, Zala realizes that Sonny is among the many cases of missing children just beginning to attract national attention. Growing increasingly disillusioned with the authorities, who respond to Sonny’s disappearance with cold indifference, Zala and her estranged husband embark on a desperate search. Through the eyes of a family seized by anguish and terror, we watch a city roiling with political, racial, and class tensions. [book link]
This was a book that I didn’t so much read as devour. It sucked me in from the beginning and I literally could not put it down until I was finished. I finished it all in one afternoon, it was that good.
Sixteen-year old Max is the Golden Boy (so golden that the cover is literally glittery). He’s a top student, a strong athlete, and an excellent older brother. He is also intersex, a fact that his family has kept secret from almost everyone (including his younger brother). When Max is raped, he suddenly needs to face his intersex status and indeed his own body for the first time. The resulting pregnancy and question of abortion only adds layers and depths to this struggle.
Max very much suffers in silence. Shame, secrecy, and lies of omission are rife in his family dynamic. His father is running for Parliament and trying to put the family’s best face forward. His mother is a smothering control freak whose codependent relationship with Max is very focused on him pleasing her. His little brother is very quick to anger and at age 9 completely emotionally unprepared to understand his mother’s favoritism, his father’s absences, and his beloved brother’s increasing emotional instability. Each section is narrated by a different family member as well as chapters by Max’s girlfriend.
I was utterly pulled into the sea of Max’s emotions, particularly the scenes where he goes to his doctor and demands to know the name and details of his actual condition because his parents have never told him. I felt like this book did a great job of handling intersex issues from an emotional and medical standpoint. Tarttelin also makes explicit the connection between doctors and parents violating the bodily autonomy of intersex people and sexual violence.
While Max isn’t bisexual (he identifies as straight consistently through the book), I think bisexual people will be drawn in by the frank assessment of the limitations of gender binaries. Max struggles with being not quite a boy, certainly not a girl, and how to be something in between. That same in-betweenness is a site of struggle in his parents marriage, as his father opposes any surgical or medical intervention that Max himself does not want and his mother wants to shove him into a neat little box so he can just be normal. The themes of assessing and overcoming a binary view of gender will resonate well with bisexual people. And fans of contemporary adult fiction will find themselves drawn into this well-written family struggle.
PS: You can also read what intersex people say about the book here.
these are beautiful, but why would you ever do this to a book?
Okay this is something I have to answer because as a bookseller, as a bookseller working in a used bookstore, this is something I have to deal with daily. People get mad at me or express something like profound disappointment when I indicate that we recycle what we can’t use, and some of that recycling is the employees using books to make art and/or crafts like purses, buttons, collages, jewelry, etc.
You know why we do it? Because we love books. We recycle them so they can be made into new books by a company that we pay to do exactly that. We make them into art because sometimes there is nothing else you can do with them and the thought of just getting rid of them seems like a waste.
You may love books and hate to see them “destroyed,” but tell me what you, personally, are going to do with a full set of Encyclopedia Britannica from 1994? That’s 26 books of outdated information. When you have a stack of Twilight books that is literally two feet tall, is it really absolutely necessary to preserve the integrity of their bookiness? Or might it be more worthwhile to give them a second life? As a new book, as art, as something other than an object that takes up space in a store where we need as much as possible to sell the books you love and that we love too. I wouldn’t do this to, say, the Gutenberg Bible or a first edition Virginia Woolf, but something we see several times a day every day? Art is a pretty good fate for an otherwise unsaleable book.
No one is asking you to make incredible mountain ranges out of the books you love. But please consider that same love might have something to do with why people make the things they do out of books.
I love you, Carl Sagan.
I wonder if you’re allowed to make friends in Hell. Or is it kind of like silent reading time, but with more fire.
Reading time with fire….
Books on fire…
Yep, must be hell.