For the past 2 weeks I had been reading new LGBTQ+ literature for our GSA event (which was GREAT), and rereading some of my favorite books. There are a few specific LGBTQ+ books I am always recommending, and absolutely LOVED reading them, but when enough time passes and I’ve read so many books, I forget the reasons why I enjoyed a particular book so much.
In particular, Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan and Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz. I honestly felt just as emotional rereading these books as the first time I read them, or potentially even more so, and it made me see how powerful rereading a book can be. I honestly I didn’t want to spend the time rereading them because I have such a long “to-read” list, but to see that I potentially gained even more insight after rereading them, it makes me want to reread a lot of my favorites now (Harry Potter, The Golden Compass, and more).
Another reason rereading can be useful (and a good use of time), at least for me in particular, is because I am a speed reader and often miss important details the first time around. I cannot help but read quickly, which is great for my job as I like to read a lot as a way to recommend books, but is hard because I do forget specific plot points of any given book rather quickly.
National Coming Out Day is October 11th, and to mark that occasion the Lawrence GSA and the Falmouth Academy GSA will be meeting for a social event and book talk. Myself, the GSA leaders, and co-owner at Eight Cousins Bookstore, Sara Hines will be hosting the students in the Lawrence Library and discussing some important books dealing with LGBTQ issues. To prepare for my piece in this event I have taken a huge bag of books home to read and re-read that I want to discuss with the students. Today I created a book display that showcases some of of LGBTQ literature in the library – fiction and nonfiction.
Last night alone I read The Pants Project by Cat Clarke and Lily and Dunkin by Donna Gephart.
The Pants Project follows Liv, who was born in a girl’s body but identifies as a boy. When Liv starts middle school he is forced to wear a skirt, per the school’s strict dress code. While battling bullies, losing a best friend, and trying to navigate a new school, Liv is able to find some loyal friends who want to help change the dress code as a means to make everyone feel comfortable in their own skin. This book is wonderful for students questioning their gender, or students who want to understand what it means to be transgender and provides a window into the mind of feeling so out of place in your body. This book also works on a different level for our students, because we do have a dress code in our school, so a lot of students will find a common ground with Liv. Although, our students are allowed to wear skirts, pants, dresses, and shorts!
Lily and Dunkin by Donna Gephart was one amazing read I couldn’t put down, and stayed up until past my bedtime finishing it. Lily, born Timothy is slowing trying to transition, but is meeting some resistance from her father about hormone blockers and her choice of clothes, makeup, and hair. She also is having difficulties getting through the day without being bullied by a group of boys. She meets Norbert before school starts, who she lovingly refers to as Dunkin, because Norbert also doesn’t think his name fits him and absolutely loves Dunkin’ Donuts. Dunkin is battling his own demons, an absent father, mental health issues, and deciding where he fits in at a new school.