South End Scoop: Books & More From the King County Library System — Pride Month


The King County Library System (KCLS) and the South Seattle Emerald are teaming up to bring you the “South End Scoop.” Dig into this community-centered column each month for great book, music, movie, and event recommendations from your local librarians.

We’re celebrating Pride at KCLS this month, and we’ve got some fantastic book picks and programming to share. 

LOCAL LIBRARIAN PICKS

Explore LGBTQIA+ history, culture, and stories through the following titles, selected by KCLS librarian Destinee Sutton. 

Kids (ages 3 to 7) 

Calvin, by JR and Vanessa Ford; illustrated by Kayla Harren

This joyful, affirming picture book tells the story of a child coming out as transgender. Feelings of nervousness and hesitation are present, but there is a refreshing absence of conflict. Calvin starts the school year with a new haircut, new clothes, and a new name. He finds acceptance and a sense of belonging as his community lovingly embraces him during his transition. The authors are parents of a transgender child and are founding members of the Human Rights Campaign’s Parents for Transgender Equality. 

Book cover depicting the face of a Black-presenting youth with yellow text across the forehead that reads, "Calvin."
“Calvin” by JR and Vanessa Ford, illustrated by Kayla Harren.

Kids and Tweens (ages 8 to 13) 

This Is Our Rainbow: 16 Stories of Her, Him, Them, and Us, edited by Katherine Locke and Nicole Melleby

This collection of short stories for middle-grade readers features lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, gender-fluid, and nonbinary characters. With a great mix of joy, angst, fantasy, and reality, there’s something for every reader to enjoy and connect with — from first crushes and first kisses, to coming out stories and more! This is Our Rainbow features work by 16 notable authors including Justina Ireland, Alex Gino, Mark Oshiro, and Ashley Herring Blake.  

Book cover depicting multicultural youth gathered around text that reads, "This Is Our Rainbow" and the youth at the bottom are holding an LGBTQIA+ pride flag.
“This is Our Rainbow: 16 Stories of Her, Him, Them, and Us” edited by Katherine Locke and Nicole Melleby

Teens (ages 14 to 17) 

The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School, by Sonora Reyes 

When Yamileta Flores enrolls in a new school, she plans to lay low and keep her sexuality under wraps. Then she meets Bo, a girl too cute to ignore. This sweet love story has elements of both drama and humor. The chapter headings alone will make you laugh; they’re versions of the Ten Commandments, like “Thou Shalt Divert Thy Mothers Gaydar” and “Honor Thy Liner and Thy Hoops.” Debut author Reyes based this novel on their own experience as a queer Mexican American teen who attended Catholic school.  

Book cover depicting a Latina youth wearing a blue jacket with pink text that reads, "The Lesbiana's Guide to Catholic School"
“The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School” by Sonora Reyes

Adult (ages 18 and older)

Fine: A Comic About Gender, written and illustrated by Rhea Ewing

Author Rhea Ewing unpacks the meaning of femininity, masculinity, and other gender labels in this nonfiction comic. Ewing embarked on a mission to understand their own gender identity in 2011, and their resulting book raises more questions than it answers. How can we foster queer communities of belonging? Can we create the words we need to describe diverse gender identities? What does it mean to define yourself by what you’re not? Ewing’s musings and explorations leave readers with lots of food for thought.  

Graphic novel cover that depicts a group of multicultural individuals all glancing toward the reader with a speech bubble coming forth from some with text that reads, "A Comic About Gender: Fine."
“Fine: A Comic About Gender” by Rhea Ewing

For more Pride reading recommendations, visit our full booklist.

About the Librarian: Destinee Sutton is a children’s librarian at the White Center Library. She enjoys helping readers of all ages find great books. Drop into one of her Story Times or find her online at kcls.org/author/destinee.  



PRIDE EVENTS

Hear from a variety of LGBTQIA+ authors at our online Author Voices events. 

Author Voices with Da’Shaun Harrison
Thursday, June 23, 7:30–8:30 p.m.

Join an online discussion with Da’Shaun Harrison, author of Belly of the Beast, for an exploration of “anti-fatness and anti-Blackness at the intersections of race, police violence, gender identity, fatness and health.” 

Author Voices with Lev AC Rosen
Tuesday, June 28, 4:00-5:30 p.m.

Author Lev AC Rosen will discuss his books, Jack of Hearts and most recently Camp, which is being adapted into a film directed by and starring Billy Porter. 


ADDITIONAL JUNE PROGRAMMING 

Juneteenth

KCLS will honor and observe Juneteenth on Sunday, June 19, to commemorate the emancipation of African Americans from slavery. 

Join us at the Tukwila Library on Saturday, June 18, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. to celebrate the 2nd Annual Juneteenth Commemoration. Presented in partnership with the City of Tukwila, this in-person event will feature books, resources, speakers, performers, and more. The event is located at the Tukwila Sullivan Center, the outdoor plaza next to the library.

Read stories that celebrate the richness of Black American culture, heritage, legacy. and freedom in KCLS’ Juneteenth reading list, and find more events and ways to get involved in our full collection of Juneteenth events

World Refugee Day

Monday, June 20, is World Refugee Day, an international day designated by the United Nations to honor refugees around the globe. It celebrates the strength and courage of people who have been forced to flee their home country to escape conflict or persecution. 

Join us at the Federal Way Library on Saturday, June 25, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. to commemorate World Refugee Day with performances by the Tacoma Refugee Choir, West African dance groups, and more.

Learn about the refugee experience and find titles to honor courage in the face of hardship with our World Refugee Day booklist.


NEED A LIBRARY CARD?

Residents in the KCLS service area (in King County, outside the City of Seattle) can sign up instantly for a physical card to access our full collection, or a digital eCard to access our digital collection. Visit kcls.org/library-cards to get started. Contact Ask KCLS at kcls.org/ask if you need assistance with your account, or call (425) 462-9600 or (800) 462-9600.


📸 Featured Image: South Seattle Emerald and the King County Library System (KCLS) are teaming up to give you book, media, and event recommendations each month via the South End Scoop.

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