6 Feminist Children Books to Educate Your Little One

After working at a bookstore and finding myself shelving in the children’s section a lot, i’ve found some incredibly cute feminist children’s books. I obviously haven’t read these but I see others picking them up often so I thought I might recommend them to you! If you want to know more about how people feel about the inside content of the books, check out Goodreads for reviews!

So, here’s a little of empowering children’s books. Happy International Women’s Day!

1. Feminist Baby by Loryn Brantz

51E9v4UsYuL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_ “Feminist Baby likes pink and blue.
Sometimes she’ll throw up on you!

Feminist Baby chooses what to wear
and if you don’t like it she doesn’t care!

Meet the irrepressible Feminist Baby in this refreshing, clever board book about a girl who’s not afraid to do her own thing, and wants to make as much noise as possible along the way!”

 

Edition: Board Book

Page Count: 22

Published: Disney Hyperion

 

2. Dress Like a Girl by Patricia Toht

y648.jpg“What’s the right way to dress like a girl? In this timely picture book in the vein of Princesses Wear Pants, a slumber party full of girls enacts their own playful, empowering twists on several stuffy, old-timey rules of fashion.

What does it mean to dress like a girl?

Many will tell you in this big wide world

that there are strict rules that must be addressed,

rules you will need when looking your best.

But when you are given these rules to obey,

the secret is heeding them—in your own way.

In these beautifully illustrated pages, a diverse cast of slumber-party participants considers the most time-honored traditions for how to dress. If a lady should wear white in summertime, then how about donning a space suit? If team colors are apropos at sporting events, why not wear the helmets and play ball?

Empowering and resonant and with a variety of interests ranging from sports to science to politics, this gorgeous book is sure to inspire any young girl, instilling the idea that the best way to dress like a girl is the way that makes you feel most like YOU!”

Edition: Hardcover Picture Book

Page Count: 32

Published: Harper Collins

 

3. She Persisted by Chelsea Clinton

51fvJJB-9XL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_Throughout American history, there have always been women who have spoken out for what’s right, even when they have to fight to be heard. In early 2017, Senator Elizabeth Warren’s refusal to be silenced in the Senate inspired a spontaneous celebration of women who persevered in the face of adversity. In this book, Chelsea Clinton celebrates thirteen American women who helped shape our country through their tenacity, sometimes through speaking out, sometimes by staying seated, sometimes by captivating an audience. They all certainly persisted.

She Persisted is for everyone who has ever wanted to speak up but has been told to quiet down, for everyone who has ever tried to reach for the stars but was told to sit down, and for everyone who has ever been made to feel unworthy or unimportant or small.

With vivid, compelling art by Alexandra Boiger, this book shows readers that no matter what obstacles may be in their paths, they shouldn’t give up on their dreams. Persistence is power.

This book features: Harriet Tubman, Helen Keller, Clara Lemlich, Nellie Bly, Maria Tallchief, Claudette Colvin, Ruby Bridges, Margaret Chase Smith, Sally Ride, Florence Griffith Joyner, Oprah Winfrey, Sonia Sotomayor—and one special cameo.”

Edition: Hardcover Picture Book

Page Count: 32

Published: Philomel Books

 

4. Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison

35231671 “Featuring forty trailblazing black women in American history, Little Leaders educates and inspires as it relates true stories of breaking boundaries and achieving beyond expectations. Illuminating text paired with irresistible illustrations bring to life both iconic and lesser-known female figures of Black history such as abolitionist Sojourner Truth, pilot Bessie Coleman, chemist Alice Ball, politician Shirley Chisholm, mathematician Katherine Johnson, poet Maya Angelou, and filmmaker Julie Dash. Among these biographies, readers will find heroes, role models, and everyday women who did extraordinary things – bold women whose actions and beliefs contributed to making the world better for generations of girls and women to come. Whether they were putting pen to paper, soaring through the air or speaking up for the rights of others, the women profiled in these pages were all taking a stand against a world that didn’t always accept them. The leaders in this book may be little, but they all did something big and amazing, inspiring generations to come.”

Edition: Hardcover Picture Book

Page Count: 88

Published: Little Brown Books for Young Readers

5. A is for Activist by Innosanto Nagara

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A is for Activist is an ABC board book for the next generation of progressives: Families that want their kids to grow up in a space that is unapologetic about activism, environmental justice, civil rights, LGBTQ rights, and so on.

Edition: Board Book

Page Count: 32

Published: Kupu Kupu Press

 

6. I Am Enough by Grace Byers

51AbnWTJ5nL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_“I Am Enough is the picture book everyone needs

This is a gorgeous, lyrical ode to loving who you are, respecting others, and being kind to one another—from Empire actor and activist Grace Byers and talented newcomer artist Keturah A. Bobo.

This is the perfect gift for mothers and daughters, baby showers, and graduation.

We are all here for a purpose. We are more than enough. We just need to believe it.”

Edition: Hardcover Picture Book

Page Count: 32

Published: Balzer + Bray

 

 

Buy these books for yourself at your local bookstore or at Barnes & Noble!

 

 

Becoming [MINI REVIEW]

“In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America—the first African-American to serve in that role—she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments.

Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare. In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own terms. Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations—and whose story inspires us to do the same.”

Edition: Hardcover

Release Date: November 13th, 2018

Page Count: 426

Publisher: Crown (Imprint of Penguin)

My Rating: 5/5 stars ★★★★★

Mini Review

I was only 9 years old whenever Obama was sworn in as President of the United States. I don’t remember the election at all and unfortunately, didn’t start truly learning about him and his family until I was about fifteen. But, I did know about Michelle Obama. I watched her speak out about children’s health on TV and I saw her changes whenever it came to school lunches. She worked hard to improve the health of children across America and as a child, I could tell.

I picked up this book out of pure admiration for the former first lady. I loved seeing how laid back, independent and strong she was. She was unapologetic and always herself — that’s why I loved her. In her book, she goes through her life in chronological order from when she was younger growing up in Chicago to her position as first lady. Hearing her talk about living is Chicago was humbling. It was so nice to hear someone so influential talk about the hard things they had to overcome in order to get to where they are. I loved hearing about her experiences in college too. As a college student myself, I saw bits and pieces of myself in her. Her ambition was mutual and I wish I worked as hard as she did.

I think the most interesting part about this book for me was listening to her speak about whenever Barack Obama was getting into government work. She was already working for Chicago’s government at the time as an assistant to Richard Daley. Quick note, I had no idea she worked in the government at the time of Daley’s career. I read a book about him once and can’t believe the things he did. Anyways, back to what I was saying! I loved hearing about how Barack Obama took off so much time to finish writing his book, taking it as far as leaving the country to isolate himself for work. I loved how Michelle decided that corporate law wasn’t for her and went into something that’s more community oriented like city government work. Hearing her speak about her intentions as the First Lady and what she wanted for our country was so heart warming. I can’t believe the things people said about her and her family. It broke my heart whenever she talked about how it made her feel.

Overall, I gave this book five out of five stars because I was never bored. I listened to her talk about growing up in the space above her aunts, going to Princeton and Harvard Law, her family, and her time as First Lady. I would recommend this to anyone, honestly. I think anyone could learn from this book while also learning about Michelle Obama’s life as well.

I apologize if this review isn’t too in-depth. I was reading this book for pure enjoyment and ended up finishing it all in one night so my thoughts are completely scattered. I just thought I’d let you know some of my thoughts anyway!

 

Buy this book for yourself at your local bookstore or at Barnes & Noble!

This Will Be My Undoing [REVIEW]

 

“From one of the fiercest critics writing today, Morgan Jerkins’ highly-anticipated collection of linked essays interweaves her incisive commentary on pop culture, feminism, black history, misogyny, and racism with her own experiences to confront the very real challenges of being a black woman today—perfect for fans of Roxane Gay’s Bad Feminist, Rebecca Solnit’s Men Explain Things to Me, and Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie’s We Should All Be Feminists.

Morgan Jerkins is only in her twenties, but she has already established herself as an insightful, brutally honest writer who isn’t afraid of tackling tough, controversial subjects. In This Will Be My Undoing, she takes on perhaps one of the most provocative contemporary topics: What does it mean to “be”—to live as, to exist as—a black woman today? This is a book about black women, but it’s necessary reading for all Americans.”

Edition: Paperback

Release Date: January 30th, 2019

Page Count: 258

Publisher: Harper Perenial

My Rating: 5/5 stars ★★★★★

Mini Review

I originally picked This Will Be My Undoing at work on a whim. I hadn’t heard of it but I often scan the social sciences section for new feminist non-fiction because it’s my favorite. I want to embrace reading more diversely, especially in terms of feminist lit, because it’s incredibly important to me to learn, read and share these stories with you. I bought this book because Roxane blurbs it and states Morgan Jerkins is, “a writer to be reckoned with.” So, of course, I bought this book immediately.

I think this might be one of the first feminist non-fiction books I’ve read that focused solely on life as a black woman. I ended up listening to this on audiobook and couldn’t stop. I love the way Morgan Jerkins writes. She’s incredibly talented and lyrical when it comes to writing. Her way of describing situations and memories is so captivating.  Her writing is definitely the first thing I noticed whenever I started this book and it’s why I ended up giving it five stars.

Her story was beyond interesting, emotional, and deeply personal. She’s able to tell her story throughout separate essays that still relate to each other. This book has so much depth to it and I would only hope that people are able to listen to her write and to learn. It hurt knowing the things she goes through daily just because she is both black and a woman. One of the parts that truly got me was listening to her speak about elementary/middle school. I believe this part is in the very beginning but everything she said just resonated with me.

I’m looking forward to reading more of her work because I truly loved this book. I ended up giving it five stars because none of it was ever boring, the writing was brilliant, and her story was so, so, important. I would highly recommend you pick this up if you’re into this genre of feminist non-fiction or are looking for more diverse reads!

 

Buy this book for yourself at your local bookstore or at Barnes & Noble!

 

Feminist Literature Recommendations

For #FeministFebruary, I thought I’d share with you some of the most popular Feminist Literature read today. You might see something that are blatantly obvious like the Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, for example. But, I wanted to share with you some newer novels that you might’ve not read yet. Nevertheless, these are extremely popular and tagged under Feminism on Goodreads so you’ve might’ve seen these before. Let’s get to listing, shall we?

182092681. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Ifemelu and Obinze are young and in love when they depart military-ruled Nigeria for the West. Beautiful, self-assured Ifemelu heads for America, where despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple with what it means to be black for the first time. Quiet, thoughtful Obinze had hoped to join her, but with post-9/11 America closed to him, he instead plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. Fifteen years later, they reunite in a newly democratic Nigeria, and reignite their passion—for each other and for their homeland.”

 

354805182. The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer

“Greer Kadetsky is a shy college freshman when she meets the woman she hopes will change her life. Faith Frank, dazzlingly persuasive and elegant at sixty-three, has been a central pillar of the women’s movement for decades, a figure who inspires others to influence the world. Upon hearing Faith speak for the first time, Greer–madly in love with her boyfriend, Cory, but still full of longing for an ambition that she can’t quite place–feels her inner world light up. Then, astonishingly, Faith invites Greer to make something out of that sense of purpose, leading Greer down the most exciting path of her life as it winds toward and away from her meant-to-be love story with Cory and the future she’d always imagined.”

 

 

 

12961964

3. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years before, when she lived and made love with her husband, Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now…”

377968664. Vox by Christina Dalcher

Set in an America where half the population has been silenced, VOX is the harrowing, unforgettable story of what one woman will do to protect herself and her daughter.


On the day the government decrees that women are no longer allowed to speak more than 100 words daily, Dr. Jean McClellan is in denial—this can’t happen here. Not in America. Not to her.

This is just the beginning.

Soon women can no longer hold jobs. Girls are no longer taught to read or write. Females no longer have a voice. Before, the average person spoke sixteen thousand words a day, but now women only have one hundred to make themselves heard.

But this is not the end.

For herself, her daughter, and every woman silenced, Jean will reclaim her voice.”

362223635. The Power by Naomi Alderman

“In The Power the world is a recognisable place: there’s a rich Nigerian kid who lounges around the family pool; a foster girl whose religious parents hide their true nature; a local American politician; a tough London girl from a tricky family. But something vital has changed, causing their lives to converge with devastating effect. Teenage girls now have immense physical power – they can cause agonising pain and even death. And, with this small twist of nature, the world changes utterly.

This extraordinary novel by Naomi Alderman, a Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year and Granta Best of British writer, is not only a gripping story of how the world would change if power was in the hands of women but also exposes, with breath-taking daring, our contemporary world.”

 

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6. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

“Mrs. Dalloway chronicles a June day in the life of Clarissa Dalloway –a day that is taken up with running minor errands in preparation for a party and that is punctuated, toward the end, by the suicide of a young man she has never met. In giving an apparently ordinary day such immense resonance and significance–infusing it with the elemental conflict between death and life–Virginia Woolf triumphantly discovers her distinctive style as a novelist. Originally published in 1925, Mrs. Dalloway is Woolf’s first complete rendering of what she described as the “luminous envelope” of consciousness: a dazzling display of the mind’s inside as it plays over the brilliant surface and darker depths of reality.

This edition uses the text of the original British publication of Mrs. Dalloway, which includes changes Woolf made that never appeared in the first or subsequent American editions.”

1280297. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

A Thousand Splendid Suns is a breathtaking story set against the volatile events of Afghanistan’s last thirty years—from the Soviet invasion to the reign of the Taliban to post-Taliban rebuilding—that puts the violence, fear, hope, and faith of this country in intimate, human terms. It is a tale of two generations of characters brought jarringly together by the tragic sweep of war, where personal lives—the struggle to survive, raise a family, find happiness—are inextricable from the history playing out around them.

Propelled by the same storytelling instinct that made The Kite Runner a beloved classic, A Thousand Splendid Suns is at once a remarkable chronicle of three decades of Afghan history and a deeply moving account of family and friendship. It is a striking, heart-wrenching novel of an unforgiving time, an unlikely friendship, and an indestructible love—a stunning accomplishment.”

114868. The Color Purple by Alice Walker

The Color Purple is a classic. With over a million copies sold in the UK alone, it is hailed as one of the all-time ‘greats’ of literature, inspiring generations of readers.

Set in the deep American South between the wars, it is the tale of Celie, a young black girl born into poverty and segregation. Raped repeatedly by the man she calls ‘father’, she has two children taken away from her, is separated from her beloved sister Nettie and is trapped into an ugly marriage. But then she meets the glamorous Shug Avery, singer and magic-maker – a woman who has taken charge of her own destiny. Gradually, Celie discovers the power and joy of her own spirit, freeing her from her past and reuniting her with those she loves.”

 

3950409. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath’s shocking, realistic, and intensely emotional novel about a woman falling into the grip of insanity. 

Esther Greenwood is brilliant, beautiful, enormously talented, and successful, but slowly going under—maybe for the last time. In her acclaimed and enduring masterwork, Sylvia Plath brilliantly draws the reader into Esther’s breakdown with such intensity that her insanity becomes palpably real, even rational—as accessible an experience as going to the movies. A deep penetration into the darkest and most harrowing corners of the human psyche, The Bell Jar is an extraordinary accomplishment and a haunting American classic.”




Pick these up at your local book store or Book Depository | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble!

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Books to Read after Watching Dumplin’ on Netflix

I recently watched Dumplin’ on Netflix because I love to support YA adaptations as much as I can and boy — I cried. I haven’t yet read the book (If you didn’t know, there’s a book and I’ve heard it’s great) and now, I think I just might have to pick it up! Here’s a little description from Goodreads about Dumplin’:

“Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson (dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom) has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. With her all-American beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked…until Will takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back.

Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Clover City beauty pageant—along with several other unlikely candidates—to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any twiggy girl does. Along the way, she’ll shock the hell out of Clover City—and maybe herself most of all.

With starry Texas nights, red candy suckers, Dolly Parton songs, and a wildly unforgettable heroine—Dumplin’ is guaranteed to steal your heart.”

It was recently made into a movie by Netflix so if you have a subscription, you can watch it! I highly recommend it. Definitely a tear jerker but are they sad or happy tears? I couldn’t tell.
I decided I’d conjure up a little list of recommendations of books you can read after watching the movie because I knew there’s tons of us out there who’ve just watched it and loved it.

1. Puddin’ by Julie Murphy

“It is a companion novel to Dumplin’, which follows supporting characters from the first book in the months after Willowdean’s star turn in the Clover City pageant.

Millie Michalchuk has gone to fat camp every year since she was a girl. Not this year. This year she has new plans to chase her secret dream—and to kiss her crush. Callie Reyes is the pretty girl who is next in line for dance team captain and has the popular boyfriend. But when it comes to other girls, she’s more frenemy than friend. When circumstances bring the girls together over the course of a semester, they will surprise everyone (especially themselves) by realizing they might have more in common than they ever imagined.”

If you didn’t know Dumplin’ had a sort-of sequel, now you know! Puddin’ came out this year and it’s a companion novel to Dumplin’. You better get reading!

2. Little White Lies (Debutantes #1) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

“Eighteen-year-old auto mechanic Sawyer Taft did not expect her estranged grandmother to show up at her apartment door and offer her a six-figure contract to participate in debutante season. And she definitely never imagined she would accept. But when she realizes that immersing herself in her grandmother’s “society” might mean discovering the answer to the biggest mystery of her life-her father’s identity-she signs on the dotted line and braces herself for a year of makeovers, big dresses, bigger egos, and a whole lot of bless your heart. The one thing she doesn’t expect to find is friendship, but as she’s drawn into a group of debutantes with scandalous, dangerous secrets of their own, Sawyer quickly discovers that her family isn’t the only mainstay of high society with skeletons in their closet. There are people in her grandmother’s glittering world who are not what they appear, and no one wants Sawyer poking her nose into the past. As she navigates the twisted relationships between her new friends and their powerful parents, Sawyer’s search for the truth about her own origins is just the beginning.


Set in the world of debutante balls, grand estates and rolling green hills, Little White Lies combines a charming setting, a classic fish-out-of-water story, and the sort of layered mystery only author Jennifer Lynn Barnes can pull off.”

If you’re looking for a book set in the south full of debutantes, here you go!

3. The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

“Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love—she’s lived through it twenty-six times. She crushes hard and crushes often, but always in secret. Because no matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.

Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly’s totally not dying of loneliness—except for the part where she is. Luckily, Cassie’s new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. Will is funny and flirtatious and just might be perfect crush material. Maybe more than crush material. And if Molly can win him over, she’ll get her first kiss and she’ll get her twin back.

There’s only one problem: Molly’s coworker Reid. He’s an awkward Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him. Right?”

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli is another body positive story about a fat girl and her journey finding love and self acceptance.

4. I’m Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl by Gretchen McNeil

“Beatrice Maria Estrella Giovannini has life all figured out. She’s starting senior year at the top of her class, she’s a shoo-in for a scholarship to M.I.T., and she’s got a new boyfriend she’s crazy about. The only problem: All through high school Bea and her best friends Spencer and Gabe have been the targets of horrific bullying.

So Bea uses her math skills to come up with The Formula, a 100% mathematically guaranteed path to social happiness in high school. Now Gabe is on his way to becoming Student Body President, and Spencer is finally getting his art noticed. But when her boyfriend Jesse dumps her for Toile, the quirky new girl at school, Bea realizes it’s time to use The Formula for herself. She’ll be reinvented as the eccentric and lovable Trixie—a quintessential manic pixie dream girl—in order to win Jesse back and beat new-girl Toile at her own game.

Unfortunately, being a manic pixie dream girl isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and “Trixie” is causing unexpected consequences for her friends. As The Formula begins to break down, can Bea find a way to reclaim her true identity and fix everything she’s messed up? Or will the casualties of her manic pixie experiment go far deeper than she could possibly imagine?”

5. The Sky is Everywhere

“Lennie’s family life is far from conventional. Her mother left when she was just an infant, and her eccentric grandmother raised Lennie and her big sister, Bailey, with some help from their uncle Big (who also happens to be the town lothario). But when Bailey dies suddenly, Lennie is completely lost; she’s never lived without her attention-grabbing big sister, and now she has to learn how. She isn’t prepared for her feelings about the perfect boy who just showed up at school, and she’s even less prepared for the sudden pull she feels toward Bailey’s fiancé, who seems like the only person with whom she can truly share her grief. Suddenly, she’s giving more thought to the mother who abandoned her, and Gram’s explanation of the “restless gene” that runs in their family just isn’t enough to explain her mother’s absence. The Sky is Everywhere is a beautiful reminder that family ties don’t always break for those who are left behind.”
If you’re looking for a book with a strong focus on family and relationships, here’s a perfect fit.

6. Future Perfect by Jen Larsen

“Every year on her birthday, Ashley Perkins gets a card from her grandmother—a card that always contains a promise: lose enough weight, and I will buy your happiness.


Ashley doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with the way she looks, but no amount of arguing can persuade her grandmother that “fat” isn’t a dirty word—that Ashley is happy with her life, and her body, as it is.
But Ashley wasn’t counting on having her dreams served up on a silver platter at her latest birthday party. She falters when Grandmother offers the one thing she’s always wanted: tuition to attend Harvard University—in exchange for undergoing weight loss surgery.

As Ashley grapples with the choice that little white card has given her, she feels pressured by her friends, her family, even administrators at school. But what’s a girl to do when the reflection in her mirror seems to bother everyone but her?

Through her indecisions and doubts, Ashley’s story is a liberating one—a tale of one girl, who knows that weight is just a number, and that no one is completely perfect.”

If you didn’t know, Julie Murphy also has other YA books as well! I’ve actually read her book Ramona Blue and really enjoyed it. 🙂
If you read any of these after watching Dumplin’, let me know! I’d love to hear what you thought.
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*the little graphic of Dumplin’ isn’t mine. It’s from the cover of the book*

LGBT+ YA Releases of 2019 pt. 1

 

What’s more exciting than a new year full of new LGBT+ releases? Here’s part one of my blog posts sharing with you all the LGBT+ releases for this year. Let’s support them by pre-ordering, adding them on Goodreads, and of course, reading them!

1. I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver [May 14th, 2019]

When Ben De Backer comes out to their parents as nonbinary, they’re thrown out of their house and forced to move in with their estranged older sister, Hannah, and her husband, Thomas, whom Ben has never even met. Struggling with an anxiety disorder compounded by their parents’ rejection, they come out only to Hannah, Thomas, and their therapist and try to keep a low profile in a new school.

But Ben’s attempts to survive the last half of senior year unnoticed are thwarted when Nathan Allan, a funny and charismatic student, decides to take Ben under his wing. As Ben and Nathan’s friendship grows, their feelings for each other begin to change, and what started as a disastrous turn of events looks like it might just be a chance to start a happier new life.”

2. The Love & Lies of Rukhsana Ali by Sabina Kahn [January 29th, 2019]

Seventeen-year-old Rukhsana Ali tries her hardest to live up to her conservative Muslim parents’ expectations, but lately she’s finding that harder and harder to do. She rolls her eyes instead of screaming when they blatantly favor her brother and she dresses conservatively at home, saving her crop tops and makeup for parties her parents don’t know about. Luckily, only a few more months stand between her carefully monitored life in Seattle and her new life at Caltech, where she can pursue her dream of becoming an engineer.


But when her parents catch her kissing her girlfriend Ariana, all of Rukhsana’s plans fall apart. Her parents are devastated; being gay may as well be a death sentence in the Bengali community. They immediately whisk Rukhsana off to Bangladesh, where she is thrown headfirst into a world of arranged marriages and tradition. Only through reading her grandmother’s old diary is Rukhsana able to gain some much needed perspective.

Rukhsana realizes she must find the courage to fight for her love, but can she do so without losing everyone and everything in her life?”

3. Song of the Dead  (Book #2) by Sarah Glenn Marsh [January 22nd, 2019]

“Karthia is nothing like it used to be. The kingdom’s borders are open for the first time in nearly three hundred years, and raising the dead has been outlawed. Odessa is determined to explore the world beyond Karthia’s waters, hoping to heal a heart broken in more ways than she can count. But with Meredy joining the ocean voyage, vanquishing her sorrow will be a difficult task.

Despite the daily reminder of the history they share, Odessa and Meredy are fascinated when their journey takes them to a land where the Dead rule the night and dragons roam the streets. Odessa can’t help being mesmerized by the new magic–and by the girl at her side. But just as she and Meredy are beginning to explore the new world, a terrifying development in Karthia summons them home at once.

Growing political unrest on top of threats from foreign invaders means Odessa and Meredy are thrust back into the lives they tried to leave behind while specters from their past haunt their tenuous relationship. Gathering a force big enough to ward off enemies seems impossible, until one of Queen Valoria’s mages creates a weapon that could make them invincible. As danger continues to mount inside the palace, Odessa fears that without the Dead, even the greatest invention won’t be enough to save their fates.

In this enthralling, heartrending sequel to Reign of the Fallen, Odessa faces the fight of her life as the boundaries between the Dead and the living are challenged in a way more gruesome than ever before”

4. You Asked for Perfect by Laura Silverman [March 5th, 2019]

“Senior Ariel Stone is the perfect college applicant: first chair violin, dedicated community volunteer, and expected valedictorian. He works hard – really hard – to make his life look effortless. A failed Calculus quiz is not part of that plan. Not when he’s number one. Not when his peers can smell weakness like a freshman’s body spray.

Figuring a few all-nighters will preserve his class rank, Ariel throws himself into studying. His friends will understand if he skips a few plans, and he can sleep when he graduates. Except Ariel’s grade continues to slide. Reluctantly, he gets a tutor. Amir and Ariel have never gotten along, but Amir excels in Calculus, and Ariel is out of options.

Ariel may not like Calc, but he might like Amir. Except adding a new relationship to his long list of commitments may just push him past his limit.”

5. Kings, Queens and In-Betweens by Tanya Boteju [May 7th, 2019]

“perpetually awkward Nima Kumara-Clark is bored with her insular community of Bridgeton, in love with her straight girlfriend, and trying to move past her mother’s unexpected departure. After a bewildering encounter at a local festival, Nima finds herself suddenly immersed in the drag scene on the other side of town.


Macho drag kings, magical queens, new love interests, and surprising allies propel Nima both painfully and hilariously closer to a self she never knew she could be—one that can confidently express and accept love. But she’ll have to learn to accept lost love to get there.
 “

6. Like a Love Story by Abdi Nazemian [June 4th, 2019]

“It’s 1989 in New York City, and for three teens, the world is changing.

Reza is an Iranian boy who has just moved to the city with his mother to live with his stepfather and stepbrother. He’s terrified that someone will guess the truth he can barely acknowledge about himself. Reza knows he’s gay, but all he knows of gay life are the media’s images of men dying of AIDS.

Judy is an aspiring fashion designer who worships her uncle Stephen, a gay man with AIDS who devotes his time to activism as a member of ACT UP. Judy has never imagined finding romance…until she falls for Reza and they start dating.

Art is Judy’s best friend, their school’s only out and proud teen. He’ll never be who his conservative parents want him to be, so he rebels by documenting the AIDS crisis through his photographs.

As Reza and Art grow closer, Reza struggles to find a way out of his deception that won’t break Judy’s heart–and destroy the most meaningful friendship he’s ever known.”

7. Tell Me How You Really Feel by Aminah Mae Safi [June 11th, 2019]

“Sana Khan is a cheerleader and a straight A student. She’s the classic (somewhat obnoxious) overachiever determined to win.

Rachel Recht is a wannabe director who’s obsesssed with movies and ready to make her own masterpiece. As she’s casting her senior film project, she knows she’s found the perfect lead – Sana.

There’s only one problem. Rachel hates Sana. Rachel was the first girl Sana ever asked out, but Rachel thought it was a cruel prank and has detested Sana ever since.

Told in alternative viewpoints and inspired by classic romantic comedies, this engaging and edgy YA novel follows two strongwilled young women falling for each other despite themselves.”

8. the Meaning of Birds by Jaye Robin Brown [April 16th, 2019]

“Before, Jessica has always struggled with anger issues, but come sophomore year that all changes when Vivi crashes into her life. As their relationship blossoms, Vivi not only helps Jess deal with her pain, she also encourages her to embrace her talent as an artist. And for the first time, it feels like the future is filled with possibilities. After In the midst of senior year, Jess’s perfect world is erased when Vivi suddenly passes away. Reeling from the devastating loss, Jess pushes everyone away, and throws out her plans to go to art school. Because art is Vivi and Vivi is gone forever.

Desperate for an escape, Jess gets consumed in her work-study program, letting all of her dreams die. Until she makes an unexpected new friend who shows her a new way to channel her anger, passion, and creativity. Although Jess may never draw again, if she can find a way to heal and room in her heart, she just might be able to forge a new path for herself without Vivi.”

9. These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Sterling [May 29th, 2019]

“Hannah’s a witch, but not the kind you’re thinking of. She’s the real deal, an Elemental with the power to control fire, earth, water, and air. But even though she lives in Salem, Massachusetts, her magic is a secret she has to keep to herself. If she’s ever caught using it in front of a Reg (read: non-witch), she could lose it. For good. So, Hannah spends most of her time avoiding her ex-girlfriend (and fellow Elemental Witch) Veronica, hanging out with her best friend, and working at the Fly by Night Cauldron selling candles and crystals to tourists, goths, and local Wiccans. 


But dealing with her ex is the least of Hannah’s concerns when a terrifying blood ritual interrupts the end-of-school-year bonfire. Evidence of dark magic begins to appear all over Salem, and Hannah’s sure it’s the work of a deadly Blood Witch. The issue is, her coven is less than convinced, forcing Hannah to team up with the last person she wants to see: Veronica.

While the pair attempt to smoke out the Blood Witch at a house party, Hannah meets Morgan, a cute new ballerina in town. But trying to date amid a supernatural crisis is easier said than done, and Hannah will have to test the limits of her power if she’s going to save her coven and get the girl, especially when the attacks on Salem’s witches become deadlier by the day.”

10. We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia [February 26th, 2019]

At the Medio School for Girls, distinguished young women are trained for one of two roles in their polarized society. Depending on her specialization, a graduate will one day run a husband’s household or raise his children, but both are promised a life of comfort and luxury, far from the frequent political uprisings of the lower class. Daniela Vargas is the school’s top student, but her bright future depends upon no one discovering her darkest secret—that her pedigree is a lie. Her parents sacrificed everything to obtain forged identification papers so Dani could rise above her station. Now that her marriage to an important politico’s son is fast approaching, she must keep the truth hidden or be sent back to the fringes of society, where famine and poverty rule supreme.


On her graduation night, Dani seems to be in the clear, despite the surprises that unfold. But nothing prepares her for all the difficult choices she must make, especially when she is asked to spy for a resistance group desperately fighting to bring equality to Medio. Will Dani cling to the privilege her parents fought to win for her, or to give up everything she’s strived for in pursuit of a free Medio—and a chance at a forbidden love?”

Please note that this is PART ONE of many posts sharing the LGBT+ releases of 2019. I just couldn’t fit them all in one. Isn’t that lovely?!

Let me know if you’re getting any of these releases!

Pick these up at your local book store or Book Depository | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble!

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Song of the Dead [REVIEW]

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“The Dead must stay buried.

Karthia is nothing like it used to be. The kingdom’s borders are open for the first time in nearly three hundred years, and raising the dead has been outlawed. Odessa is determined to explore the world beyond Karthia’s waters, hoping to heal a heart broken in more ways than she can count. But with Meredy joining the ocean voyage, vanquishing her sorrow will be a difficult task.

Despite the daily reminder of the history they share, Odessa and Meredy are fascinated when their journey takes them to a land where the Dead rule the night and dragons roam the streets. Odessa can’t help being mesmerized by the new magic–and by the girl at her side. But just as she and Meredy are beginning to explore the new world, a terrifying development in Karthia summons them home at once.

Growing political unrest on top of threats from foreign invaders means Odessa and Meredy are thrust back into the lives they tried to leave behind while specters from their past haunt their tenuous relationship. Gathering a force big enough to ward off enemies seems impossible, until one of Queen Valoria’s mages creates a weapon that could make them invincible. As danger continues to mount inside the palace, Odessa fears that without the Dead, even the greatest invention won’t be enough to save their fates.

In this enthralling, heartrending sequel to Reign of the Fallen, Odessa faces the fight of her life as the boundaries between the Dead and the living are challenged in a way more gruesome than ever before.”

I was sent a copy of Song of the Dead by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Please note this is a sequel so the review + description contain SPOILERS.

Edition: Hardcover, E-book

Release Date: January 22nd, 2019

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Razorbill

My Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Before we get into the review, I would like to highlight that this book is #OwnVoices and contains a f/f relationship! Yay for diversity in YA 🙂

I went into these books not knowing it was only a duology and now that I’ve finished Song of the Dead, I totally feel like there could be more built onto this world?! I haven’t read such a lovely YA fantasy in quite some time so these books were a breathe of fresh air for me. I loved the romance dearly, the world was new and interesting, and it kind of gave me A Darker Shade of Magic vibes? It might’ve been all the ship traveling, the magic, and a chase for romance. Oh, and Sarah Glenn Marsh doesn’t mind killing her characters off!

I loved seeing Odessa and Meredy’s relationship grow into something much more than it was in book one. I was thrown off at first because I mean, it was a sudden romance with her exes sister. But, I don’t judge. I lived for their relationship from beginning to end. I don’t want to say it was predictable but maybe just a bit. Am I mad? Definitely not. I like how they were able to bond and help each other through Evander’s death. Their grieving was written so well and made me truly feel for them. The chapter where they hear Evander’s voice again even though it’s not him was heartbreaking! I can’t forget to mention that this is a f/f relationship in a Young Adult book done right. It felt so right and I’m so glad I get to see these things in the books I read.

As for the writing, it was fantastic. There’s so many “I need to mark this with my sticky notes” moments. She captures feeling so well and brings her characters to life. Odessa was written as such a strong, caring and ambitious lead. Her actions were always justified and she wasn’t afraid of anything. Odessa is definitely my favorite type of main character.
The only problem I had with this book is that I loved the world, but I wish it were more in-depth. For Fantasy novels, I appreciate a connected, in-depth world that’s descriptive, fascinating, and makes sense. It was sometimes hard to follow whenever they were talking about magic, the world, etc. because it didn’t feel like enough. The world seems so complex but I still don’t understand it completely. This is my only reason I bumped it down .5 stars! It was still an incredibly interesting world to read about but I need more!
Overall, I enjoyed reading this duology but obviously, I wouldn’t mind another book. The world was so fascinating, the romance was captivating and the writing was so well-done. This sequel was SO much better than the first book and definitely worth reading.

Have you read Reign of the Fallen? Let me know!

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