by Maggie Block
At the beginning of Governor Jay Inslee’s stay-at-home orders to slow the spread of COVID-19, the King County Library System (KCLS) and the South Seattle Emerald teamed up to offer book recommendations to help readers get through the pandemic shutdown. While there may be more opportunities to get out and about now, many of us continue to spend time at home, and could still use some great digital reading material to consume during the reopening process.
All you need is a KCLS library card to access our digital collections. If you don’t have one, residents in the KCLS service area (in King County, outside the city of Seattle) can sign up instantly for a digital eCard. Enter your library card and PIN number to search for titles in BookFlix and hoopla. And the Libby app makes it especially easy to download digital titles through OverDrive. Contact Ask KCLS if you need assistance with your account, or to get help finding and downloading titles.
And if you’re wondering about the status of libraries, KCLS staff are back in buildings preparing for our Curbside to Go launch on July 1. Visit kcls.org/reopening to learn more about KCLS’ multiphase plan to expand services.
Since June is the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, and the birth of the LGBTQIA+ movement, it is the month we celebrate LGBTQIA+ pride! Here are some great titles for the whole family to learn about LGBTQIA+ experiences.
Kids (ages 3 to 7): Julián Is A Mermaid by Jessica Love / Available on OverDrive
This is an utterly beautiful picture book that explores a child’s dreams and imagination with bright and colorful illustrations. Julián and his abuela see beautiful women on the bus, who Julián thinks must be mermaids. Julián wants to be a mermaid too, and dresses up as one when they get home. When his abuela sees what he’s been up to, she gets dressed up too, and they go to the carnival to hang out with all the other mermaids.
Kids and Tweens (ages 8 to 13): The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill / Available on hoopla
Get ready for the sweetest, coziest and most delightful graphic novel series. Greta rescues a tea dragon and begins to learn the art of raising and tending to the creature with the help of her mentors, two gay men. Along the way, she meets a new girl in town and they begin a sweet relationship. This book is followed by the sequel “The Tea Dragon Festival,” also available on hoopla.
For more recommendations and resources, check out the wonderful videos made by Queer Kids Stuff.
Teens (ages 14 to 17): None of the Above by I. W. Gregorio / Available on OverDrive
Kristin is a track star, best friends with two of the most popular girls in school, and is perfectly in sync with her boyfriend. She plans a romantic night with her boyfriend after the homecoming dance, but the night goes anything but magical. When Kristin goes to the doctor for help, she finds out she’s intersex, and it challenges her relationships, her athletics and even her understanding of herself. It may sound like a bummer, and it certainly does explore the depths of the reader’s feels, but Kristin’s self-discovery is empowering, and will leave you feeling uplifted!
For more recommendations and resources, check out KCLS’ LGBTQIA+ movie list.
Adult (ages 18 and older): Bury the Lede by Gaby Dunn/ Available on hoopla
This comic is a fun, pulpy mystery set in modern times, and is filled with a diverse cast of characters. Madison’s internship at The Boston Lede newspaper is winding down, yet she still hasn’t managed to make an impression, and worries won’t she get hired. When she hears about a grisly murder on a police scanner, she rushes to the crime scene where she meets Dahlia Kennedy, wife of the victim, covered in his blood. In police custody, Dahlia will only talk to Madison. It’s the career opportunity she’s been waiting for—the only problem, is that Madison goes from writing the story, to suddenly being the story.
For more recommendations and resources, check out KCLS’ LGBTQIA+ movies for adults.
While Pride may feel different to many of us this year, we can always continue to show love and acceptance to ourselves and our neighbors! I hope these prideful books will help bring some of that love and acceptance into your home this month, and every month, moving forward.
Maggie Block is the teen services librarian at KCLS’ Skyway Library. When Maggie is not collaborating with community members to create meaningful programming for Skyway’s tweens and teens, she can be found: reading graphic novels; listening to audio books; watching as many movies as she can fit into her week; and cooking batch meals. She lives with her partner of five years, two cats and one dog, and is currently trying to see if she can turn seeds into vegetables in her front yard (wish her luck).