Wednesday, 29 June 2022

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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!
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Monday, 27 June 2022

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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


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Saturday, 25 June 2022

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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


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Friday, 24 June 2022

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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

Wednesday, 22 June 2022

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Recommending LGBTQ+ Middle Grade

A blog graphic with the covers of 15 books as the background, with the words Once Upon a Bookcase, Recommeding LGBTQ+ Middle Grade in purple, with a transparent lilac background around the words.

Ad: Titles with an asterisk (*) were provided to me for free by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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+ Middle Grade



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 here with a list of LGBTQ+ middlegrade novels! The only books I'm including here are books either with LGBTQ+ protagonists, or, if not, that have prominent LGBTQ+ themes, rather than incidental, background rep. I love middlegrade with same-gender parents, for example, but if they're in the background, and it's not relevant to the story, that's great, and they definitely have their place, but I want to highlight books that LGBTQ+ middlegrade readers can see themselves in, or themes that are relevant. So on we go with the recommendations!
Continue reading Recommending LGBTQ+ Middle Grade

Monday, 20 June 2022

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Review: From Dust, A Flame by Rebecca Podos (#Ad)

A photo of the From Dust, A Flame by Rebecca Podos hardback on top of the proof, the former on a diagonal to the left, the latter on a diagonal to the right. They're on top of a large Progress Pride flag, witht he chevron pointing to the bottom right. The books are on the chevron, so they white, pink and blue lines for trans people are visible. There is a small rainbow pin resting on the left of the proof.

I was sent a proof for free by Harper360YA for the purposes of providing an honest review.

From Dust, A Flame by Rebecca Podos


Published: 8th March 2022 | Publisher: Balzer + Bray | Source: Publisher
Rebecca Podos’ Website

Lambda Literary Award–-winning author Rebecca Podos returns with a rich, transporting, genre-bending contemporary Jewish fantasy about the power of history, the complicated nature of family, and the search for identity amidst it all.

Hannah’s whole life has been spent in motion. Her mother has kept her and her brother, Gabe, on the road for as long as she can remember, leaving a trail of rental homes and faded relationships behind them. No roots, no family but one another, and no explanations.

All that changes on Hannah’s seventeenth birthday when she wakes up transformed, a pair of golden eyes with knife-slit pupils blinking back at her from the mirror—the first of many such impossible mutations. Promising that she knows someone who can help, her mother leaves Hannah and Gabe behind to find a cure. But as the days turn to weeks and their mother doesn’t return, they realize it’s up to them to find the truth.

What they discover is a family they never knew and a history more tragic and fantastical than Hannah could have dreamed—one that stretches back to her grandmother’s childhood in Prague under the Nazi occupation, and beyond, into the realm of Jewish mysticism and legend. As the past comes crashing into the present, Hannah must hurry to unearth their family’s secrets—and confront her own hidden legacy in order to break the curse and save the people she loves most, as well as herself.

Rebecca Podos, award-winning author of Like Water, returns with a contemporary fantasy of enduring love, unfathomable loss, and the power of stories to hold us together when it seems that nothing else can.
From The StoryGraph.

The StoryGraph | Goodreads


Continue reading Review: From Dust, A Flame by Rebecca Podos (#Ad)

Saturday, 18 June 2022

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Review: These Are the Words by Nikita Gill (#Ad)

A photo of the proof of These Are the Words by Nikita Gill standing on top of a stack of other books by Nikita Gill. From top to bottom, the stack incluides Where Hope Comes From, Fierce Fairytales, Wild Embers, Great Goddesses, and The Girl and the Goddess. On top of Where Hope Comes From on the left is a rainbow pin. The stack sits on a giant Pride flag, which is also the background; the flag is pinned up, and drapes over the surface, which the stack is put on top of.

I was sent this proof for free by Macmillan Children's Books / Willow Publicity 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.

These Are the Words by Nikita Gill


Published: 18th August 2022 | Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books | Source: Publisher
Nikita Gill on Instagram

From international poetry sensation Nikita Gill comes her highly anticipated YA debut These Are the Words: an empowering, feminist and beautifully illustrated poetry collection exploring all the things Nikita wished someone had told her when she was younger.

Reclaim your agency. Discover your power. Find the words.

Taking you on a journey through the seasons of the soul, in this collection Nikita gives you the words to help heal from your first breakup, to celebrate finding your family, to understand first love, to express your anger and your joy, to fight for what you believe in and to help you break some rules to be your truest self.

Gorgeously illustrated throughout by Nikita herself and featuring seasonal astrological poetry, this collection is an achingly beautiful, stunningly warm and fearless expression of truth from one of the most influential and well-known voices in modern poetry.

REMINDER FOR HEALING
You do not owe anyone your forgiveness.
The trees do not apologize to the wind that uproots them.
The rocks do not apologize to the erosion by the sea.
The stars do not apologize to the universe
when they are writhing and dying out.
And you are not obligated to forgive anyone
but yourself.
From The StoryGraph.

Purchase from Bookshop.org*
The StoryGraph | Goodreads


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