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Ask the Passengers

Ask The Passengers

By A.S. King

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Curriculum Subjects: Friendship, Individuality, Self-Discovery, Prejudice, Relationships/Sexuality, Parents/Siblings/Babies

Grade: 10-12

 

2012 Kirkus Best YA Books

 

Astrid Jones copes with her small town’s gossip and narrow-mindedness by staring at the sky and imagining that she’s sending love to the passengers in the airplanes flying high over her backyard. Maybe they’ll know what to do with it. Maybe it’ll make them happy. Maybe they’ll need it. Her mother doesn’t want it, her father’s always stoned, her perfect sister’s too busy trying to fit in, and the people in her small town would never allow her to love the person she really wants to: another girl named Dee. There’s no one Astrid feels she can talk to about this deep secret or the profound questions that she’s trying to answer. But little does she know just how much sending her love–and asking the right questions–will affect the passengers’ lives, and her own, for the better.

 

In this unmistakably original portrayal of a girl struggling to break free of society’s boxes and definitions, Printz Honor author A.S. King asks readers to question everything–and offers hope to those who will never stop seeking and sharing real love.

 

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PRAISE

★ “King’s thoughtful, sad, funny, and frank book is finally about paradox and will appeal to any mature teen resisting the pressure to conform or rebel” – School Library Journal

 

I AM J

I Am J

By Cris Beam

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Curriculum Subjects: Self-Discovery, Personal Development, Relationships/Sexuality

Grade: 10-12

 

[button link=”https://www.hachettebookgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/EG_9780316053617.pdf”]Educator Guide[/button][button link=”https://www.hachettebookgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/PR4625_LBYRBookClubHardTopics_7p.pdf”]Book Club Discussion Guide[/button]

J had always felt different. He was certain that eventually everyone would understand who he really was: a boy mistakenly born as a girl. Yet as he grew up, his body began to betray him; eventually J stopped praying to wake up a “real boy” and started covering up his body, keeping himself invisible—from his parents, from his friends, from the world. But after being deserted by the best friend he thought would always be by his side, J decides that he’s done hiding—it’s time to be who he really is. And this time he is determined not to give up, no matter the cost.

 

Cris Beam delivers a powerful and inspiring story of self-discovery as readers share in J’s struggle to find his own path and to love his true self.

 

PRAISE

★ “Easily the best book to date about the complicated condition of being a [transgender] teen, not only sharing important information that is artfully woven into the plot but also creating, in J, a multilayered, absolutely believable character whose pain readers will share. Perhaps most importantly, the author brings clarity and charity to a state of being that has too long been misunderstood, ignored, and deplored.” —Booklist

 

★ “The novel’s greatest strengths are J’s voice and his clearly articulated perspective. The tone is believably histrionic, perfectly attuned to adolescence…even readers with little familiarity with transgender issues will find plenty to relate to on an emotional level.” —BCCB

 

★ “Finally, a book about a transgender teen that gives its central character a life in which gender and transition matter but do not define his existence!” —Kirkus Reviews

 

“J’s personal frustrations and desires are strongly conveyed, pulling readers into the internal narrative…a gift to transgender teens and an affecting story of self-discovery for all readers.” —The Horn Book

 

“It is J’s authentic voice that keeps this challenging story from simply being a problem novel…Readers should be absorbed by J’s struggle to prove ‘My gender’s not a lie. I am not a lie.'” —Publishers Weekly

 

“J is an especially vivid character…the story is believable and effective due to insightful situations, realistic language, and convincing dialogue.” —School Library Journal

 

 

She Loves You, She Loves You Not

She Loves You, She Loves You Not

By Julie Anne Peters

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Curriculum subjects: Self-Discovery, Family, Relationships/Sexuality

Grade: 10-12

 

Seventeen-year-old Alyssa thought she knew who she was. She had her family and her best friends and, most important, she had Sarah. Sarah, her girlfriend, with whom she dreamed with about the day they could move far away and live out and proud and accepted for themselves, instead of having to hide their relationship. 

Alyssa never thought she would have to make that move by herself, but disowned by her father and cut off from everyone she loves, she is forced to move hundreds of miles away to live with Carly, the biological mother she barely knows, in a town where everyone immediately dismisses her as “Carly’s girl.”

 

As Alyssa struggles to forget her past and come to terms with her future, will she be able to build a new life for herself and believe in love again? Or will she be forced to relive the mistakes that have cost her everything and everyone she cared about?

National Book Award finalist Julie Anne Peters has written a compelling novel about coming out, finding love, and discovering your place in the world. Alyssa’s story will speak to anyone who has known the joy and pain of first love and the struggle to start over again.

 

★ “The story of friends, family, and lovers will pull readers into the deeper themes of trust, rejection, and intimate secrets revealed.” – Booklist

 

Luna

Luna

By Julie Anne Peters

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Curriculum subjects: Relationships/Sexuality, Personal Development, Prejudice, Self-Discovery, Family

Grade: 10-12

2004 National Book Award finalist 

 

Regan’s brother Liam can’t stand the person he is during the day. Like the moon from whom Liam has chosen his female namesake, his true self, Luna, only reveals herself at night. In the secrecy of his basement bedroom Liam transforms himself into the beautiful girl he longs to be, with help from his sister’s clothes and makeup. Now, everything is about to change-Luna is preparing to emerge from her cocoon. But are Liam’s family and friends ready to welcome Luna into their lives?

 

Compelling and provocative, this is an unforgettable novel about a transgender teen’s struggle for self-identity and acceptance.

 

★ “Groundbreaking, finely tuned realism about a transsexual teen. . . .Peters writes her characters with care and complexity.”-Kirkus Reviews

 

 

 

Keeping You a Secret

Keeping You A Secret

By Julie Anne Peters

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Curriculum subjects:

Grade: 10-12

 

With a steady boyfriend, the position of Student Council President, and a chance to go to an Ivy League college, high school life is just fine for Holland Jaeger. At least it seems to be. But when Cece Goddard comes to school, everything changes. Cece and Holland have undeniable feelings for each other, but how will others react to their developing relationship? This moving love story between two girls is a worthy successor to Nancy Garden’s classic young adult coming out novel, Annie on My Mind.

 

With her characteristic humor and breezy style, Peters has captured the compelling emotions of young love.

 

★ “Anyone who has ever fallen in love will recognize themselves in the realistic characters of this captivating love story.” –VOYA

 

 

 

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Ash

Ash

By Malinda Lo

Genre: Fantasy, Folklore, GLBTQ

Curriculum Subject: Folk Tales/Fairy Tales/Classics: Family Life, Teen Life: Relationships/Sexuality, Teen Life: Personal Development

Grade: 10-12

Awards: 

2010 Morris Award finalist
ALA Best Book for Young Adults
Kirkus Best Book for Young Adults

 

In the wake of her father’s death, Ash is left at the mercy of her cruel stepmother. Consumed with grief, her only joy comes by the light of the dying hearth fire, re-reading the fairy tales her mother once told her. In her dreams, someday the fairies will steal her away, as they are said to do. When she meets the dark and dangerous fairy Sidhean, she begins to believe that her wish may be granted.

 

The day that Ash meets Kaisa, the King’s royal Huntress, her heart begins to change. Instead of chasing fairies, Ash learns to hunt with Kaisa. Though their friendship is as delicate as a new bloom, it reawakens Ash’s capacity for love-and her desire to live. But Sidhean has already claimed Ash for his own, and she must make a choice between fairy tale dreams and true love.

 

Entrancing and romantic, Ash is an empowering retelling of Cinderella about the connection between life and love, and solitude and death, where transformation can come from even the deepest grief.

 

“An unexpected reimagining of the Cinderella tale, exquisite and pristine, unfolding deliberately. … Beautiful language magically wrought; beautiful storytelling magically told.” — Kirkus, starred review