On Display in YA – Banned Books, Let Freedom Read

on display in ya

October 2023 All book descriptions are from the publisher unless otherwise indicated. The Absolutely True Diary of Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie Budding cartoonist Junior leaves his troubled school on the Spokane Indian Reservation to attend an all-white farm town school where the only other Indian is the school mascot. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson A traumatic event near the end of the summer has a devastating effect on Melinda’s freshman year in high school. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews Seventeen-year-old Greg has managed to become part of every social group at his Pittsburgh high school without having any friends, but his life changes when his mother forces him to befriend Rachel, a girl he once knew in Hebrew school who has leukemia. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky A coming of age novel about Charlie, a freshman in high school who is a wallflower, shy and introspective, and very intelligent. He deals with the usual teen problems, but also with the suicide of his best friend. Flamer by Mike Curato I know I’m not gay. Gay boys like other boys. I hate boys. They’re mean, and scary, and they’re always destroying something or saying something dumb or both. I hate that word. Gay. It makes me feel . . . unsafe.’ It’s the summer between middle school and high school, and Aiden Navarro is away at camp. Everyone’s going through changes―but for Aiden, the stakes feel higher. As he navigates friendships, deals with bullies, and spends time with Elias (a boy he can’t stop thinking about), he finds himself on a path of self-discovery and acceptance. The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth In the early 1990s, when gay teenager Cameron Post rebels against her conservative Montana ranch town and her family decides she needs to change her ways, she is sent to a gay conversion therapy center. Looking for Alaska by John Green Sixteen-year-old Miles’ first year at Culver Creek Preparatory School in Alabama includes good friends and great pranks, but is defined by the search for answers about life and death after a fatal car crash. Crank; Tricks by Ellen Hopkins Kristina Snow is the perfect daughter, but she meets a boy who introduces her to drugs and becomes a very different person, struggling to control her life and her mind. Five troubled teenagers fall into prostitution as they search for freedom, safety, community, family, and love. We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson Abducted by aliens periodically throughout his youth, Henry Denton is informed by his erstwhile captors that they will end the world in 144 days unless he stops them by deciding that humanity is worth saving. All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Jackson In a series of personal essays, prominent journalist and LGBTQIA+ activist George M. Johnson explores his childhood, adolescence, and college years in New Jersey and Virginia. From the memories of getting his teeth kicked out by bullies at age five, to flea marketing with his loving grandmother, to his first sexual relationships, this young-adult memoir weaves together the trials and triumphs faced by Black queer boys. Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson When her friend Monday Charles goes missing and Monday’s mother refuses to give her a straight answer, Claudia digs into her disappearance. Almost Perfect by Brian Katcher With his mother working long hours and in pain from a romantic break-up, eighteen-year-old Logan feels alone and unloved until a zany new student arrives at his small-town Missouri high school, keeping a big secret. How to Be a (Young) Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi and Nic Stone The #1 New York Times bestseller that sparked international dialogue is now a book for young adults! Based on the adult bestseller by Ibram X. Kendi, and co-authored by bestselling author Nic Stone, How to be a (Young) Antiracist will serve as a guide for teens seeking a way forward in acknowledging, identifying, and dismantling racism and injustice. The Color of Earth by Kim Dong Hwa Ehwa grows up helping her widowed mother run the local tavern, watching as their customers – both neighbors and strangers – look down on her mother for her single lifestyle. Their social status isolates Ehwa and her mother from the rest of the people in their quiet country village. But as she gets older and sees her mother fall in love again, Ehwa slowly begins to open up to the possibility of love in her life. Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe In 2014, Maia Kobabe, who uses e/em/eir pronouns, thought that a comic of reading statistics would be the last autobiographical comic e would ever write. At the time, it was the only thing e felt comfortable with strangers knowing about em. Now, Gender Queer is here. Maia’s intensely cathartic autobiography charts eir journey of self-identity, which includes the mortification and confusion of adolescent crushes, grappling with how to come out to family and society, bonding with friends over erotic gay fanfiction, and facing the trauma and fundamental violation of pap smears. Started as a way to explain to eir family what it means to be nonbinary and asexual, Gender Queer is more than a personal story: it is a useful and touching guide on gender identity–what it means and how to think about it–for advocates, friends, and humans everywhere. Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin Six teens tell what it is like for them to be members of the transgender community. Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo In Chinatown in 1954, McCarthyism and the Red Scare are very real threats to Lily’s family; her father is already at risk of deportation despite his valid citizenship. Chinese American Lily could lose everything just for dating anyone white — let alone Kathleen Miller — but she could lose herself if she doesn’t risk everything to be true to her feelings. Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers Seventeen-year-old Richie Perry,