June is celebrated as LGBT Pride Month throughout the United States to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York, often cited as the beginning of the modern gay rights movement. Teens can show their pride, too!
This year’s Denver Pride celebration will be held on June 16-17, and is sponsored by the The Center, the GLBT community center of Colorado. The weekend of events includes a Family Field Day and a parade. While you plan on celebrating your pride at the festivities later this month, check out some of these books, both fiction and nonfiction, especially geared towards glbt teens:
There are a lot of special things happening during the summer at Denver Public Libraries and teen volunteers can help make them a success! Are you 12-18 years old? Are you looking for a fun way to give back to your community? Try volunteering at your local branch library!
As a library volunteer, some of the activities you may be able to help with include: the Summer of Reading program, crafts or gaming activities, or helping to shelve library materials. However, not all branches accept volunteers – check this web page to see if the branches near you have a teen volunteer program. Several branches also have teen advisory boards where you can give the librarians input on library services for those in grades 6-12.
In 1841, fourteen-year-old Nakahama Manjirō is fishing with friends when their boat is shipwrecked on an island off the coast of Japan. They are rescued by an American whaling ship and after requesting to stay aboard the ship, Nakahama becomes the first Japanese person to set foot in the United States. This incredible true story is the basis for NPR's Back-Seat Book Club selection for May.
Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus is the story of a boy who is a simple fisherman but dreams of becoming a samurai. He never lets go of his dreams, despite living in a society where there is no chance for changing your station in life. After his rescue from the island, he is given a great opportunity: travel to California and begin a new life.
Transformation is the theme of April's selection for NPR's Back-Seat Book Club for 9 to 14-year-olds.
In Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman, an eight-year-old girl named Kim starts an unexpected revolution in her Cleveland neighborhood with one simple act: planting lima bean seeds in a vacant lot. When a neighbor observes her action and shares her concern for the seeds with another neighbor, who decides to plant his own garden, the transformation of trashed lot to community garden begins.
The conference features various classes and workshops presented by experts who specialize in teen literature and working with teens. One of the highlights of the conference is attending the luncheon, featuring keynote author Maggie Stiefvater, who wrote The Scorpio Races and The Wolves of Mercy Falls Trilogy. The conference closes with both Todd Mitchell and Maggie Stiefvater answering questions from a teen panel.
Teens and adults alike have been captivated by Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games trilogy. If you haven't had enough of the Hunger Games books, and want more books with similar themes, check out the If You Like The Hunger Games page on DPL's Teen Website, eVolver! I recently did a poll of my colleagues who enjoyed The Hunger Games for their ULTIMATE Hunger Games read-a-like.
The James Tiptree Jr. Award is a literary award given annually to science fiction or fantasy (novels, novellas, short stories) that expands or explores our understanding of gender. The award is named after Alice B. Sheldon, who wrote under the male name James Tiptree Jr. in order to be more accepted by publishers of science fiction.
While some of these books/stories may not be in the Denver Public Library's collection, they may be worth seeking out if you are interested in issues of gender in science fiction and fantasy. Please note all the teen books on the list--several of which were on my favorite reads of 2011 list!
The 2011 Tiptree Award Winner is: Redwood and Wildfire by Andrea Hairston (Aqueduct Press, 2011)
NPR's Back-Seat Book Club for 9 to 14-year-olds has selected a best-selling, eccentric adventure for March: The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart.
The Mysterious Benedict Society is a curious story, indeed! It all starts with several children answering the following newspaper ad: "Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?" Once the chosen few have passed a series of bizarre tests, they are trained, their special gifts are sharpened, and they are set for – what else – an undercover mission to stop evil!