Please welcome Wendy Xu and Suzanne Walker today for our #ReadYourWorld Book Jam 2020 with the Children’s Book Council. They have created a book list on LGBTQ+ Representation in YA Fiction.
We are giving away 2 ARCS of Mooncakes. Please fill out the Rafflecopter at the bottom to enter.
Mooncakes by Wendy Xu, illustrated by Suzanne Walker
A story of love and demons, family and witchcraft.
Nova Huang knows more about magic than your average teen witch. She works at her
grandmothers’ bookshop, where she helps them loan out spell books and investigate any supernatural occurrences in their New England town.
One fateful night, she follows reports of a white wolf into the woods, and she comes across the unexpected: her childhood crush, Tam Lang, battling a horse demon in the woods. As a werewolf, Tam has been wandering from place to place for years, unable to call any town home.
Pursued by dark forces eager to claim the magic of wolves and out of options, Tam turns to Nova for help. Their latent feelings are rekindled against the backdrop of witchcraft, untested magic, occult rituals, and family ties both new and old in this enchanting tale of self-discovery. [young adult, ages 13 and up]
LGBTQ+ Representation in YA Fiction
Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kobabe
Maia Kobabe’s autobiographical graphic novel is both an intensely personal story, detailing eir journey of self-discovery and identity, and a guidepost for gender identities existing beyond the binary. Filled with touching and deeply relatable stories of adolescent crushes, coming out to family and the wider world, and the joys of queer fanfiction, it is an opportunity for other queer and nonbinary teens to see themselves on the page, in more ways than one. [young adult, ages 14 and up]
When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore
A story of two best friends: Meil, a girl with roses that grow from her wrists, and Sam, a transgender boy who paints moons and hangs them in trees. Though they are both outsiders, they especially avoid the Bonner sisters, who want the roses that grow from Miel’s skin. Their friendship blossoms into romance as they care for each other and guard each other’s secrets. McLemore’s poetic and luminous prose invites the reader to enter a lush, beautiful world of magical realism. [young adult, ages 12 and up]
As the Crow Flies by Melanie Gillman
A story for any teen exploring their own identity, but especially those queer POC teens who suffered the indignities of sleepaway camp. Charlie Lamonte is a queer, black 13-year-old who winds up at an all-white Christian youth backpacking camp, even as she begins questioning her belief in God. The hypocrisy and microaggressions of her fellow campers and counselors purported commitment to feminism wear thin, and she finds solace in her bond with Sydney, the other outsider in their group. Together, they grow into themselves and the wider world. [young adult, ages 14 and up]
Huntress by Malinda Lo
Huntress is a high stakes adventure story starring two girls, one with magic and one without, who have to save their world– and just happen to fall in love in the process. On very a personal note, this was one of the first queer books AND one of the first Asian-American YA books I read as a teenager, so it is a double whammy of representation. Queer Asian teens looking for fantasy fare that they can see themselves fully humanized in can find solace and empowerment in the pages of this book. [young adult, ages 14 and up]
On a Sunbeam by Tillie Walden
A beautifully rendered, surreal space fantasy, ON A SUNBEAM stars a young woman who joins the motley crew of a fish-shaped starship, where she finds time to reflect on a lost first love from her school days. The expansive starscapes and cathedral-like architecture mirror the loneliness and longing in the heart of the main protagonist, matched in tone only by the warmth, coziness and kindness found aboard the starship. ON A SUNBEAM is a masterclass in narrative storytelling and anyone of any age looking to read and appreciate comics must lose themselves in this one. [young adult, ages 12 and up]
Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me by Rosemary Valero O’Connell and Mariko
Love is not always sunshine and roses. Freddy struggles to be a good friend while her on-again, off-again girlfriend Laura Dean waltzes in and out of her life as she pleases. When a crisis affects her best friend’s life, Freddy has to make the ultimate choice of whether to show up for her or for Laura Dean. The art is layered and subtle, with emphasis on backgrounds and negative space to depict emotion as much as character expression. While there is no shortage of books that deal with falling in love, there are fewer books that show the complicated and ugly side of teen relationships in as real and raw way as O’Connell and Tamaki have done. [young adult, ages 14 and up]
2 ARC Giveaway of Mooncakes!
We are giving away 2 ARCS of Mooncakes. Please fill out the Rafflecopter below to enter. We can only mail to U.S. addresses.
Wendy Xu is a Brooklyn-based illustrator and comics artist. She is co-creator of “Mooncakes”, a graphic novel released in 2019 from Lion Forge Comics. Her work has been featured on Catapult, Barnes & Noble Sci-fi/Fantasy Blog, and Tor.com, among other places. You can find her on twitter @angrygirlcomics or on Instagram as @artofwendyxu.
Suzanne Walker is a Chicago-based writer and editor. She is co-creator of the graphic novel Mooncakes (Lion Forge, October 2019) with artist Wendy Xu. Her short fiction has been published in Clarkesworld, and she has published nonfiction articles with Uncanny Magazine, StarTrek.com, Women Write About Comics, and the anthology Barriers and Belonging: Personal Narratives of Disability. She has spoken at numerous conventions on a variety of topics ranging from disability representation in sci-fi/fantasy to the importance of fair compensation for marginalized SF/F creators. You can find her posting pictures of her cat and occasionally yelling about baseball on Twitter: @suzusaur.