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Transgender lives

Last November Ellen Wittlinger — author of Parrotfish, the first young adult novel starring a transgender protagonist — took a second look at her groundbreaking book and concluded: “Parrotfish Needed an Update: The Rapidly Changing Language of Transgender Awareness.” Along with her article, we posted a roundup of available books for children and teens featuring […]

Orlando

We walk in, by ones or twos, flash IDs and smiles. If you are lucky, the dance floor is already crowded and you can simply slip between the sounds, into the movement. There are colored lights spinning over skin, over carefully chosen outfits, over movements practiced in home mirrors, over moments of joy and sweat […]

Review of The Best Man

The Best Man by Richard Peck Intermediate, Middle School     Dial     232 pp. 9/16     978-0-8037-3839-3     $16.99     g e-book ed. 978-0-698-18973-7     $10.99 Rise and toast The Best Man, Peck’s story about Archer Magill, a boy growing from a raw dollop of kindergarten id into a functional middle-school kid, a budding citizen of the world. As a participant […]

Five questions for Tim Federle

Tim Federle, well known for his middle-grade novels Better Nate Than Ever and its sequel Five, Six, Seven, Nate! (both Simon, 8–12 years), recently published his YA debut The Great American Whatever (Simon, 14 years and up). We asked the versatile writer and Broadway veteran about his reading past and his characters’ futures, and we […]

YA with pride

June is LGBT Pride Month. Before, during, and after the parades have been attended and the rainbow cakes baked, readers can find queer-centric tales of love, struggle, and discovering one’s identity in the following books. It’s Pride Week in San Francisco in Nina LaCour and David Levithan’s You Know Me Well, and high-school seniors Mark […]

Happy Pride Month!

June is LGBT Pride Month! We’re celebrating with new and archival Horn Book articles, reviews, interviews, and booklists featuring LGBTQIA+ characters and book creators, one per day for the rest of the month with a roundup on Fridays. Look for the social media tag #HBLGBTPride16 on Facebook.com/TheHornBook and @HornBook. We kick things off with Barbara […]

Review of Draw the Line

Draw the Line by Laurent Linn; illus. by the author High School    McElderry    520 pp. 5/16    978-1-4814-5280-9    $17.99    g e-book ed.  978-1-4814-5282-3    $10.99 Adrian’s junior year in high school is not going well. A self-loathing closeted teen stuck in small-town Texas, he’s surrounded by “Bubbas” whose primary values are football and beer. Although he finds […]

Review of The Great American Whatever

The Great American Whatever by Tim Federle High School    Simon    276 pp. 3/16    978-1-4814-0409-9    $17.99    g e-book ed.  978-1-4814-0411-2    $10.99 Sixteen-year-old Quinn’s life is static: less than a year after his sister’s fatal car crash in front of their school and his father’s subsequent departure, his screenwriting ambitions have been put on hold, his social […]

Recommended books on transgender lives

Ellen Wittlinger’s Parrotfish was the first young adult novel starring a transgender protagonist. In the eight years since its publication, other books for young readers have also explored transgender lives and experiences. The titles below were reviewed and recommended by The Horn Book Magazine and The Horn Book Guide at the time of their publication; […]

Parrotfish Needed an Update: The Rapidly Changing Language of Transgender Awareness

A decade ago, I wrote Parrotfish, the first young adult novel with a transgender protagonist. At the time I wrote it, most of my (middle-aged) friends didn’t understand the meaning of the word transgender. They guessed that it meant cross-dresser or drag queen, but the topic was not one that straight, mainstream Americans thought about, […]