One of the best things about the start of summer is all the Pride events happening around the world!
And recently, I’ve started looking for and reading books with themes on gender and sexuality. I’m trying to read more books along the spectrum, rather than just the centre. And here are some really good ones that I’ve read as of late!
When George’s school puts on a production of Charlotte’s Web, George instantly grabs for a chance to play Charlotte. However she gets turned down, because she was born a boy.
This is a fantastic, quick & informative middle grade book about a character whose trans. Because it’s middle grade, the writing is quite simplified but perfect for the targeted age group. At the same time though, I think this book would be perfect for parents to read as well. The book is written from George’s perspective, so you get her thoughts and feelings right there on the page and it makes the story more realistic and truthful. I flew through this book and highly recommend.
Unspeakable follows the main character, Megan, who hasn’t spoken since the accidental death of her best friend Hana. Then a new girl at school, Jasmine, comes into her life and starts to brighten up Megan’s life.
This book for me was a bit of a slow burner, even though it’s just over 200 pages. It took me a while to get into it, as the main plot line of the story didn’t happen until about 3/4 in. I liked the relationship between Megan and Jasmine, when it happened. But I think the book would’ve been better if we had both Megan & Jasmine’s perspectives, as you only know what Megan is thinking. There’s a twist at the end of the book which I thought was done well. You think the book is going in one direction and then it changes, very swiftly. If you’re into slow burners with a mystery then I would recommend this book.
All of the Above is a coming of age, British contemporary that follows Toria who has just moved to a smallish town in England. We follow Toria’s journey through sixth form college with as she makes new friendships & forms new relationships as well as exam stress and pressures fitting in.
As an aspiring author, can I describe the characters in this as “character goals”? Because the cast of characters were what kept me going and entertained in this book. Juno Dawson creates a fantastic diverse cast, she really does include a mix of different sexualities, races & sizes that are explored and represented. As a British person, it’s great to see that represented as there’s And she includes lots of different topics and unfortunately, that’s what I think lets this book down. The book is only just over 300 pages long and it makes the piece just a tad rushed to also include topics like self harm/eating disorders/friendships. Another thing, this book seemed to be marketed as a girl discovering her sexuality and yet that doesn’t really happen until the last third of the book.
It was still an enjoyable read and I still recommend it if you’re looking for a contemporary with wonderful characters and I hope we see more contemporaries from Juno Dawson in the future. (Get on it, Hot Key Books!)
Thanks for reading!
Until next time,