LGBTQ+ Middle Grade Recs

As much as I’m an avid reader of YA novels featuring queer protagonists, I haven’t actually read that many middle grade books / younger YA novels with LGBTQIAP+ characters. Well, I don’t usually get to read that many middle grade novels, period. But I’ve been wanting to read more of these books recently so that I can recommend them to the younger readers in my life and the tweens that come into the bookstore I work at asking for recommendations. I’m sick of talking about the same hyped middle grade series, and I want to give these people novels that they might see themselves in.

The first book I ever read with a queer protagonist was The Flywheel when I was about 15, and that book holds so much emotional significance to me. It was the first book I saw my feelings represented in. It was the first time I recognised that having feelings for other girls was valid and didn’t make me unnatural or unlovable. If I’d have read more middle grade novels with queer protagonists in my early teen years, perhaps I would have been able to come to terms with my identity as a biromantic asexual sooner.

Although there are undoubtedly a lot more middle grade and YA novels now than there were five years ago, I would still love to hear more buzz about middle grade novels with queer protagonists—and there’s always room for more! So if you have any recommendations for books I should check out, specifically featuring LGBTQIAP+ characters under 14, I would love to check them out. In the meantime, here are three novels featuring younger teens who happen to be queer!

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Must-Reads for Every Slytherin

I’m sure I’m not the only person out there who categorises allocates characters from certain books their Hogwarts House. That’s not weird, right? Like Starr from The Hate U Give is clearly Gryffindor, whereas Holland from A Darker Shade of Magic is the epitome of your typical Slytherin. But I also like to categorise books themselves to Hogwarts Houses, depending on their major themes and just my general feeling about the narrative — how it sits with me. I like to think of myself as the Sorting Hat in these instances.

Today, I’d like to share some of my favourite Slytherin reads with all of you! While I first thought I was Gryffindor, and then my visions aligned with Ravenclaw, and now I’m sufficiently evil enough to be placed in Slytherin by Pottermore — find out more about my Hogwarts House journey here — I want to share some of my favourite novels that I’ve sorted into Slytherin. Whether they be dark, filled with characters who are ruthlessly ambitious, or blatantly worship a reincarnation of the devil, these are all books that I think show a bit of Slytherin pride!Read More »

Books to Read in Winter

One of the things that I hate about being so distant from the rest of the world over here in Australia is that the rest of the world is enjoying their summer and going to the beach and we’re stuck down here, lamenting about our winter. While I do love winter — the hot chocolates, reading inside on a rainy day, wearing big scarfs and warm coats — it’s often hard to get into the wintery mood while there are summery books being released and talked about everywhere else.

Take My True Love Gave to Me for example, a festive season anthology all about Christmas and winter and all the other holidays that take place around that time. I mean, it’s a little bit hard to know when to read this book because I want to read it in December to get me in the mood for the festive season, but it’s difficult to read about baking gingerbread men while it snows outside when it’s 40 degrees outside where I live. But if I read it in the Australian winter, then I get all excited about the festive season six months before it actually comes around! You see my dilemma?

So instead of crying about how lonely is it to live on an island in the middle of nowhere, where it takes a whole day on a plane to fly to America or Britain, I’m going to share some of my favourite wintery reads with you! If you’re lucky enough to live in a place where it’s winter around June and July, these are some of the books you can pick up to get in the mood for the colder time of the year! If it’s summer where you live, ha! You’ll have to wait six more months until you can see the first snow fall or the nights get darker earlier. I guess that’s a curse or a blessing, depending on whether you’re a summer or a winter person.Read More »