Monday, 4 July 2022

, , , , , , , ,

Review: Rick by Alex Gino

Rick by Alex Gino on a white sheet, on a diagonal, top left to bottom right. It's lying partially on a rainbow flag in the top left corner of the photo, and a small rainbow pin is on the middle right of the book.

Links with an asterisk (*) are Ad: Affiliate Links, which means if you make a purchase through them, I'll make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Rick by Alex Gino


Published: 7th May 2020 | Publisher: Scholastic | Source: Bought
Alex Gino’s Website

Rick's never questioned much. He's gone along with his best friend Jeff even when Jeff's acted like a bully and a jerk. He's let his father joke with him about which hot girls he might want to date even though that kind of talk always makes him uncomfortable. And he hasn't given his own identity much thought, because everyone else around him seemed to have figured it out.

But now Rick's gotten to middle school, and new doors are opening. One of them leads to the school's Rainbow Spectrum club, where kids of many genders and identities congregate, including Melissa, the girl who sits in front of Rick in class and seems to have her life together. Rick wants his own life to be that . . . understood. Even if it means breaking some old friendships and making some new ones.

As they did in their groundbreaking novel Melissa, in Rick, award-winning author Alex Gino explores what it means to search for your own place in the world . . . and all the steps you and the people around you need to take in order to get where you need to be.
From The StoryGraph.

Purchase from Bookshop.org*
The StoryGraph | Goodreads


Continue reading Review: Rick by Alex Gino

Saturday, 2 July 2022

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Review: Home Field Advantage by Dahlia Adler

A photo of a stack of three books - from top to bottom, Under the Lights, Behind the Scenes, and Cool for the Summer, all by Dahlia Ader - on and in front of a Progress Pride Flag. Home Field Advantage by Dahlia Adler is stood upright ontop of the stack, slightly over the the right. Partially slid behind Home Field Advantage is a print of a cheerleader doing the hair of a female quarterback.

Home Field Advantage by Dahlia Adler


Published: 7th June 2022 | Publisher: Wednesday Books | Source: Bought
Dahlia Adler’s Website

Amber McCloud’s dream is to become cheer captain at the end of the year, but it’s an extra-tall order to be joyful and spirited when the quarterback of your team has been killed in a car accident. For both the team and the squad, watching Robbie get replaced by newcomer Jack Walsh is brutal. And when it turns out Jack is actually short for Jaclyn, all hell breaks loose.

The players refuse to be led by a girl, the cheerleaders are mad about the changes to their traditions, and the fact that Robbie’s been not only replaced but outshined by a QB who wears a sports bra has more than a few Atherton Alligators in a rage. Amber tries for some semblance of unity, but it quickly becomes clear that she’s only got a future on the squad and with her friends if she helps them take Jack down.

Just one problem: Amber and Jack are falling for each other, and if Amber can’t stand up for Jack and figure out how to get everyone to fall in line, her dream may come at the cost of her heart.
From The StoryGraph.

The StoryGraph | Goodreads


Continue reading Review: Home Field Advantage by Dahlia Adler

Thursday, 30 June 2022

, ,

A New Direction for Once Upon a Bookcase: Now an LGBTQ+ Children's & Fantasy Book Blog

A purple blog graphic reading the words Once Upon a Bookcase - Now an LGBTQ+ Children's & Fantasy Blog in black and in capitals, with the left half of a rainbow on the left side of the words. The graphic is has illustrations of open and closed books in white and various shades of purple surrounding the words.

A New Direction for Once Upon a Bookcase:

Now an LGBTQ+ Children's & Fantasy Book Blog



It's the last day of Pride Month, and there's no better time to announce that there is going to be a change of direction for Once Upon a Bookcase. From now on, this blog will be a primarily LGBTQ+ book blog!

We are getting such a range of LGBTQ+ stories now, across a range of genres, and there's so much to read! I've also found that I'm generally drawn to queer fiction over cishet fiction. And with the work I'm doing at the bookshop I work at on the permanent LGBTQ+ YA section, the permanent LGBTQ+ YA & MG table, and LGBTQ+ books in the Children's Department as a whole, I'm so hugely passionate about these books, and that passion has me wanting to do more. To shout about them loudly outside of work more. To read more widely, to highlight them here, to help, in another way, queer readers find the right books for them.
Continue reading A New Direction for Once Upon a Bookcase: Now an LGBTQ+ Children's & Fantasy Book Blog

Wednesday, 29 June 2022

, , ,

Recommending LGBTQ+ MG & YA Graphic Novels

A blog graphic of 15 graphic novels making up the background, with the words Once Upon a Bookcase - Recommending LGBTQ+ MG & YA Graphic Novels in hot pink and surround pastel pink transparent background in front.

Links with a circumflex (^) are Ad: Affiliate Links, which means if you make a purchase through them, I'll make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Recommending LGBTQ+ MG & YA Graphic Novels


Looking after the LGBTQ+ YA section at Foyles, and seeing how well it's done, I've also worked on trying to put together lists of other queer titles in the Children's Department and try to make sure we've got stock in, in order to recommend titles if we're asked. As it's Pride Month, I thought I'd share some of those lists, so you can stock up for the younger readers in your life.

Today, I'm sharing a range of middle grade and YA graphic novels with LGBTQ+ characters. Some of the titles listed might technically be "adult" titles, but they have cross over appeal featuring teen characters, and no inappropriate content for teens. On to the books!
Continue reading Recommending LGBTQ+ MG & YA Graphic Novels

Monday, 27 June 2022

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Review: The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri

A photo of a small stack of two books - Empire of Sand and Realm of Ash, both by Tasha Suri - on top of which stands The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri. Just to the left of The Jasmine Throne is a small rainbow pin. They’re on and in front of a large Progress Pride Flag.

I received an eProof for free from Orbit via NetGalley for the purposes of providing an honest review.

Links with an asterisk (*) are Ad: Affiliate Links, which means if you make a purchase through them, I'll make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri


Published: 8th June 2021 | Publisher: Orbit | Source: Bought
Tasha Suri’s Website

One is a vengeful princess seeking to depose her brother from his throne.
The other is a priestess searching for her family.
Together, they will change the fate of an empire.

Imprisoned by her dictator brother, Malini spends her days in isolation in the Hirana: an ancient temple that was once the source of powerful magic – but is now little more than a decaying ruin.

Priya is a maidservant, one of several who make the treacherous journey to the top of the Hirana every night to attend Malini’s chambers. She is happy to be an anonymous drudge, as long as it keeps anyone from guessing the dangerous secret she hides. But when Malini accidentally bears witness to Priya’s true nature, their destinies become irrevocably tangled...
From The StoryGraph.

Purchase from Bookshop.org*
The StoryGraph | Goodreads


Continue reading Review: The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri

Saturday, 25 June 2022

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Review: Bad Things Happen Here by Rebecca Barrow {#Ad)

A photo of a Bad Things Happen Here by Rebecca Barrow proof on a Progress Pride flag over the POC chevron, which is at a diagonal, so the chevron is pointing to the bottom right, On top of the proof, on it's right side, is a postcard of the book's final cover - which is different to the proof cover - on a diagonal, top right, to bottom left. There is a rainbow pin on the top left of the proof, and around the book is a white shell, a shiva shell heart, and a small jar of sand and tiny shells.

I was sent this proof for free by Hot Key Books for the purposes of providing an honest review.

Links with an asterisk (*) are Ad: Affiliate Links, which means if you make a purchase through them, I'll make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Bad Things Happen Here by Rebecca Barrow


Published: 28th June 2022 | Publisher: Hot Key Books | Source:
Rebecca Barrow’s Website

With compelling characters, broken friendships and complicated romances, Bad Things Happen Here is the irresistible YA murder mystery thriller: it makes your heart race, your toes curl, and your mind whirl with deadly secrets, dark truths and the innate need to escape a poisonous paradise.

The island of Parris: paradise or poison?

Luca Laine Thomas lives in Parris, the beautiful island plagued by the unsolved deaths of young women - most significantly, Luca's best friend. All Luca wants is to heal from the traumatic loss and leave her feelings of guilt and helplessness behind.

Then Luca comes home to find the police at her house. Her sister, Whitney, is dead.

Luca and Naomi, the new girl next door, decide to take the investigation into their own hands, and along the way their connection deepens. Soon, their casual touches and innocent flirtations become something way more real. But finding out what happened on the night of Whitney's disappearance reveals lie upon lie.

Nothing is as it seems. Will Luca's search finally reveal truth about her sister's murder? And will she unravel and escape the clutches of the curse and survive Parris?
From The StoryGraph.

Purchase from Bookshop.org*
The StoryGraph | Goodreads


Continue reading Review: Bad Things Happen Here by Rebecca Barrow {#Ad)

Friday, 24 June 2022

, , , , , , , , , ,

Review: Picture Books for Pride

A photo of three Pride picture books on a large Progress Pride Flag, At the top-center is 'Twas the Night Before Pride by Joanna McClintick and Juana Medina. ABC Pride by Dr Elly Barnes MBE, Louie Stowell and Amy Phelps in on the bottom left, partially under 'Twas the Night Before Pride. It's diagonal, top left to bottom right. The Big Book of Pride Flags by Jessica Kinglsye Books and Jem Milton is at the bottom right, particially on top of 'Twas the Night Before Pride. It's diagonal, top right to bottom left.

Links with an asterisk (*) are Ad: Affiliate Links, which means if you make a purchase through them, I'll make a small commission at no extra cost to you.


Being that it's Pride, I thought it was appropriate to squeal over some of the beautiful picture books for young children that have been published specifically relating to Pride! They are gorgeous and beautiful, and I adore them!
Continue reading Review: Picture Books for Pride