As graduation approaches Mike and his friends just want to make it through all of the mundane end of the year rigamarole so they can continue on with their lives. Unfortunately there are a group of kids in his town lovingly referred to as the “indie kids” who seem to be all of the chosen ones.
In The Rest of Us Just Live Here Patrick Ness brings us the story of the kids in the background. Basically this is the Perceys and the Larrys of Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Ness gives a few nods to BtVS throughout the novel which brought me joy. This book was great and had one of the most diverse character spreads I have seen in young adult fiction. None of which felt forced or tokenized. The fact that all of these kids are just trying to have fun with their friends and do their thing in order to graduate I present a lovely poppunk song about dealing with high school and getting out alive, Doing Time by MxPx.
In celebration of LGBTQ+ pride month, I would like to present to you for this Tunesday in June, Spit and Passion by Cristy C. Road. I met Cristy in the late 90s when we were both awkward teens trying to figure our shit out on America Online in the depths of Punk and Green Day chatrooms. After years of publishing zines, Cristy put out this amazing graphic memoir examining her identity as a queer pre-teen in a Cuban household in Miami. Like myself, Cristy clung to Green Day as a life preserver in deep seas of identity confusion. Spit and Passion explores being queer and closeted while reaching out to grasp art and music that keeps one afloat when feeling alone.
You may recognize Cristy’s subversive artwork that has appeared all over progressive politics and punk rock showing us a beautiful world of queer people of color. In this pairing, I present the song that closed out Green Day’s MTV live show, Jaded in Chicago, She. I wore out my VHS playing this over and again, sobbing and singing. This song was a big part of staying alive through the 90s for me, and it is the perfect soundtrack for Spit and Passion.
I was so lucky to have met Alex Gino at Book Expo America and get a copy of their most recent book, George, signed. Alex was a bright and lively spirit and I am so happy to have met them and had an opportunity to thank them in person for the tremendous work they are doing for LGBTQ+ and children’s literature. Because of this serendipitous event I have my very first blog giveaway!
I present to you a signed copy of Alex Gino’s George!
During the month of June, also Pride month for the LGBTQ+ community, I have made it a point for the vast majority of my reading to be LGBTQ+ friendly. George fit right in as it is the story of a fourth grader who knows they are a girl despite what the outside world sees. George sets her heart on playing Charlotte in her school’s rendition of Charlotte’s Web but is turned down due to her teacher reading her as a boy. Frustrated, she plots with her best friend Kelly to overcome this wrongdoing. Meanwhile, George struggles with family life and school bullies as a transgender kid. (TW for emetophobia as there is a large plot point involving emesis.)
George isn’t only for trans kids, but for all children to read and learn how to have empathy and understanding for people who are not the same as them. In all honesty, it’s a book for adults as well. George serves as a starting point to learn how to create a safe environment for transgender kids to thrive.
If you are interested in winning this signed copy of George please fill out the form below by June 30th. You must be over 18 and in the United States. If you are under 18 please ask a trusted adult to enter under their name and pass the book along to you. A winner will be chosen at random and will be notified by email on July 1st. I won’t pass along your email address, I just need it to request your address!