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10 Teen Books To Read For Pride 2019 (That Adults Will Like Too)

Here are 10 books from the young adults (YA) section to read this Pride Month that can be enjoyed at any age…

Next time you find yourself wandering the aisles of Chapters, try visiting a section you probably haven’t been in a while: the young adult shelves. These days, YA authors are some of the most innovative and bold storytellers out there, tapping into untold experiences and experimenting with both form and message. I recently devoured Elizabeth Acevedo’s The Poet X, a novelwritten completely in slam poetry, in one sitting. And Angie Thomas’ The Hate U Give (which was turned into a major feature film) is probably one of the most talked-about books of the last few years.

So, whether you’re a teen yourself or you’re a parent to teenagers, here are 10 books from the YA section to read this Pride Month that can be enjoyed at any age, featuring characters that are lovable, complex, and inspiring.

Chicken Girl
By Heather Smith
After being cyberbullied about her weight, once-optimistic Poppy gets a job at a local restaurant and trades her funky vintage wardrobe for a chicken suit, which she has to wear on the street corner all day. Throughout the book, her character evolves as she learns about the experiences of other people—for example, her twin brother, who is starting to live openly as gay, a young boy who is in the midst of transitioning, and a six-year-old girl named Miracle, who helps Poppy heal from her own pain.
Get it here: Amazon | Indigo

We Contain Multitudes
By Sarah Henstra
This new book is told through letters written between two boys who are seemingly nothing alike. Kurl is a senior, used to play football, and has been held back a year. Meanwhile, Jo is in 10th grade, devours poetry, and has a flair for vintage fashion. They become friends through their correspondence, but when it develops into something more, they must overcome homophobia, abuse at home, and bullying in order to be together.
Get it here: Amazon | Indigo

The Miseducation of Cameron Post
By Emily M. Danforth
Set in rural cattle-town Montana in the early ’90s, this novel tells the story of Cam, a teenage girl who moves in with her ultra-conservative aunt after her parents unexpectedly die. When her aunt discovers that Cam is attracted to girls, she tries to “fix” her by sending her to a conversion camp. This heartbreaking and engaging book was adapted into a film starring Chloë Grace Moretz, so you’ll be able to watch the story play out after you finish the last pages.
Get it here: Amazon | Indigo

Leah on the Offbeat
By Becky Albertalli
In this sequel to Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (the book behind the film Love, Simon), Simon’s BFF Leah takes centre stage. Besides the stress of prom, graduation, and college, Leah is struggling with her own insecurities, the reality that her home life is less privileged than that of her friends, and the fact that she is secretly bisexual.
Get it here: Amazon | Indigo

If I Was Your Girl
By Meredith Russo
Amanda, the new girl at school, just wants to fit in. But she has a secret: at her old school, she was known a boy named Andrew. To protect secret (and her heart), she tries to keep to herself. But when a friendship with a kind boy named Grant turns into something more, she has to decide whether or not to open up and share her past.
Get it here: Amazon | Indigo

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue
By Mackenzi Lee
In this historical thriller, readers are transported back in time to the eighteenth century. Young Henry “Monty” Montague is a gentleman’s son and is expected to start taking the lead on the family estate. To finish off his education, he is sent on the ‘grand tour’ of Europe, as rich kids did, but along the way, he falls in love with his companion, Percy, and makes a rash choice that turns their trip upside down.
Get it here: Amazon | Indigo

Queer, There, and Everywhere
By Sarah Prager
In this non-fiction book, LGBTQ activist Sarah Prager digs into the historical record and profiles 23 people who influenced high politics, culture, and world history that expressed diversity in their gender identity and sexual orientation. Some are household names, such as Abraham Lincoln, and some are lesser-known personal favourites of mine, such as seventeenth-century Christina, Queen of Sweden, and Sor Juana Inez de la Cruz, a Mexican nun, poet, and advocate for education.
Get it here: Amazon | Indigo

Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens
By Tanya Boteju
Debut author Tanya Boteju grew up feeling isolated, lonely, and without many mentors as a young, queer, brown kid from a Catholic family. But when she began experimenting and performing as a drag king, she found a safe haven and a world of magic and acceptance. In this new novel, inspired by her own experience, she tells the story of a young girl named Nima, who also discovers magic and wonder in the world of drag.
Get it here: Amazon | Indigo

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me
By Mariko Tamaki and Rosemary Valero-O’Connell
If you’re the type of person who prefers pictures to prose, then this one is for you. In this new comic book, your eye will leap from strip to strip as you follow Freddy seek advice from a local mystic and then an advice columnist, desperately trying to figure out what to do when her girlfriend, Laura Dean, keeps breaking up with her.
Get it here: Amazon | Indigo

Some Assembly Required
By Arin Andrews
In this non-fiction memoir, 17-year-old Arin Andrews recounts his experience transitioning and going through gender reassignment while in high school. This true coming-of-age story is honest, vulnerable, and full of hope.
Get it here: Amazon | Indigo

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