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Experts Tell Us the Best LGBT Books For High School

This article showcases our top picks for the Best LGBT Books For High School. We reached out to industry leaders and experts who have contributed the suggestions within this article (they have been credited for their contributions below). We are keen to hear your feedback on all of our content and our comment section is a moderated space to express your thoughts and feelings related (or not) to this article This list is in no particular order.

The Princess and the Fangirl by Ashley Poston

This product was recommended by Gabrielle Bujak from Quirk Books

Listed #3 on Seventeen’s Best Young Adult Books of 2019 So Far list and nominated as a 2019 Goodreads Choice Awards semifinalist, the second book in Ashley Poston’s Once Upon a Con series is a witty and heartfelt twist on the Prince and the Pauper tale that can be read as a standalone. This contemporary, queer retelling follows pauper Imogen Lovelace, an ordinary fangirl on a mission to save her favorite Starfield character from being killed off, and princess Jessica Stone, the actress who plays said character and would like nothing more than to leave the fandom behind. A case of mistaken identity at ExcelsiCon sets off a chain of events that will change both of their lives.

Pride Leadership by Dr. Steven Yacovelli

This product was recommended by Dr. Steven R. Yacovelli from TopDog Learning Group, LLC

I recommend this book to anyone–regardless of age–who wants to be a great leader, specifically LGBTQ+ and Allies. Leadership is something that comes with practice, and having younger leaders explore the competencies in Pride Leadership will set them up for future leadership success.

The ABC’s of LGBT+ by Ashley Mardell

This product was recommended by Andy from Cloom

The YouTube star presents a personal, approachable, and informative guide for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of gender and sexual identity. The ABCs of LGBT+ is essential reading for questioning teens, teachers, parents looking for advice, or anyone who wants to learn about gender and sexual identity. In this volume, popular vlogger Ash Mardell, who embraces all pronouns, answers your questions about the post-binary world of the twenty-first century. With in-depth definitions, personal anecdotes, helpful infographics, resources, and more, Mardell lets readers know that it does get better when we are empowered by information and understanding. In Mardell’s own words, This book is also for allies and LGBT+ people simply looking to pack in some extra knowledge . . . a critical part of acceptance. Learning about new identities broadens our understanding of humanity, heightens our empathy, and allows us different, valuable perspectives.

Mindfulness for Teens in 10 Minutes a Day by Jennie Marie Battistin MA LMFT

This product was recommended by Andy from Cloom

Learn how to use mindfulness, or the ability to be fully aware in the present moment, to reduce everyday stress. Mindfulness for Teens in 10 Minutes a Day shows you how to take control of your feelings and focus your attention with short, simple mindfulness activities. Discover a wide variety of mindfulness techniques that will fit easily into your routine and help you thrive in every area of life. These engaging exercises show you how to find peace in the face of stress, improve relationships with friends and family, boost your self-esteem, and increase your focus to help you succeed at school and work. This book about mindfulness for teens includes: Short practice, big benefits―Take just a few minutes each day to find calm, focus, reconnect with your emotions, and respond to challenging situations. Exercises for going deeper―Find suggestions for connecting more deeply with each activity, including journal prompts and meditations for further reflection. Breathing techniques―Learn three key breathwork techniques to help you relax, reduce anxiety, and energize your body. Improve focus, reduce stress, and be fully present with help from Mindfulness for Teens in 10 Minutes a Day.

They Called Us Enemy by George Takei

This product was recommended by Andy from Cloom

George Takei has captured hearts and minds worldwide with his captivating stage presence and outspoken commitment to equal rights. But long before he braved new frontiers in Star Trek, he woke up as a four-year-old boy to find his own birth country at war with his father’s — and their entire family forced from their home into an uncertain future. In 1942, at the order of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, every person of Japanese descent on the west coast was rounded up and shipped to one of ten relocation centers, hundreds or thousands of miles from home, where they would be held for years under armed guard. They Called Us Enemy is Takei’s firsthand account of those years behind barbed wire, the joys and terrors of growing up under legalized racism, his mother’s hard choices, his father’s faith in democracy, and the way those experiences planted the seeds for his astonishing future. What does it mean to be American? Who gets to decide? When the world is against you, what can one person do? To answer these questions, George Takei joins co-writers Justin Eisinger & Steven Scott and artist Harmony Becker for the journey of a lifetime.

We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson

This product was recommended by Marka Law from N/A

The protagonist has the opportunity to save the world from surefire destruction by aliens with the press of a single button. But why would he? His home life is horrible, his school life is horrible, his boyfriend killed himself last year and that’s not something he can just get over. The way he sees it, there isn’t really a reason to save the world–or a reason to stay alive, if we look at it as a metaphor for suicide. Although the book deals with some heavy topics, the protagonist Henry’s narrative voice is sarcastic, lighthearted, and matter-of-fact about the struggles he’s facing. 10/10 read, its hard not to enjoy it!

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

This product was recommended by Marka Law from N/A

I’ve always wanted to do a comparison read between this novel and Lord of the Flies. LOTF is about young British boys stranded on a deserted island and trying to survive, and Beauty Queens is about teen beauty pageant contestants trying to survive on a similar deserted island. The novel is ripe with tongue-in-cheek observations about the beauty industry, media, and standards for teenage girls as we follow the story of the survivors, all coping with the tragedy in their own way. The book celebrates diversity, featuring girls who love girls, a trans girl, and a disabled girl who are all hugely important to the story, not tokenism. And it’s absolutely HILARIOUS.

My Queer Teen Life by Marcus Tallberg

This product was recommended by Monique Webber from MLWPR

It’s 2005 in Sweden’s most boring town. Mattias is fifteen, a bit of a slob, a loner and gay. Though he’s never told anyone he likes guys, the rumors are flying and he’s sick of feeling like the school fag. A queer. Home life isn’t much help. Mom is a bitch. Dad is sad. Sister is the favorite. After he comes out to his super religious best friend and prettiest girl in school, Tove, everything changes. For Mattias, life goes rainbows when a handsome stranger opens the door to a glamorous apartment and an eye-opening world of cool friends and thrilling new experiences. First kiss. First love. First Pride. His previously boring small town existence becomes exciting, electric and full of possibilities. Yet while it gets better for Mattias, life takes a turn for the worse in the seemingly perfect world of his friend Tove. After a naive act of kindness violently backfires, she questions her faith. Deeply ashamed, Tove spirals into depression, panicking her friends and spurring Mattias to action. Together, this most mis-matched pair of middle school friends-Beauty & The Beast, as Mattias calls them-share a heart-wrenching year in which both experience the pain and joy that are inextricably intertwined in trust, truth, love and above all, friendship.

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