Highlighting the LGBTQ+, BLM and Disability communities through literature

Bridget Comerford-Joyce

December break is the perfect time to cozy up with a good book. After looking through book suggestions from our fantastic BHS Librarian Shannon Walters and combing the good old web, I created a personal reading list. From sweet romance to harsh reality, this list of books highlights stories of people in the LGBTQ+ community, people of color and/ or people with disabilities. I can’t wait to read them. Join me!


Laughing at My Nightmare by Shane Burcaw

In his autobiography Laughing at My Nightmare, the first of a three part series, Shane Burcaw tells his life story of living with spinal muscular atrophy.  “As long as I’m not thinking about these problems, they can’t bring me down, so I simply don’t think about them! It’s not rocket science,” Burcaw writes. Burcaw uses humor as a way to cope with his disability. His book shows people that it is okay to be different and that being different doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy each day. 


The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas


The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas Starr lives in two worlds: the Black neighborhood she grew up in, and the white private school she attends. After Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her best friend Kahali by a police officer, she has a choice to make: continue letting lies be spread about what happened or speak the truth about that night.  This was a hot read in 2017 and a popular film in 2018.  


Love from A-Z by S. K. Ali

Love from A-Z, by S. K. Ali, is told from the perspective of two Muslim teenagers: Adam Chen, a college freshman traveling from London, and Zayneb Malik, a highschool senior from Indiana. Both characters are traveling to Doha Qatar when they meet. Adam is traveling back to his home country to see his family, and Zayneb, on the other hand, was there after getting suspended from school (after confronting her Islamophobic teacher). Adam was diagnosed with Multiple sclerosis (MS) which killed his mother ten years prior. This novel explores the ideas of religion and romance, as well as loss and uncertainty while also giving us a look into Islamophobia within our schools.  


What if it’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera

Adam Silvera and Becky Albertalli (Author of Love, Simon) bring us another love story: What If It’s Us. This romance follows Ben, a heartbroken, hard-working, young Puerto Rican, and Adam  a young (white) man who dreams of law school. After a  chance meeting, they date throughout that summer, but what will happen when they have to return to their respective lives? Will they defy the odds and be together or will they leave us balling our eyes out?


Every day by David Laviathan 

Every Day, by David Levithan, is the story of a genderless sixteen-year-old soul, referred to as “A”, who spends each day as a different person. Every morning they wake up in a different body. A experiences many difficult situations in their peers’ lives. One day, A runs into Rhiannon, with whom they fall in love. The story shows the real struggles many teens and young adults face including abusive relationships, depression, drug abuse, sexuality, and gender identification.  

The Silence Between Us by Alison Gervai

Moving across the country is hard enough on its own, but when you add switching from a  school for the hard of hearing, to a regular public high school, the transition is unimaginably difficult. Seventeen-year-old Maya Harris has to adapt. At first, she feels ignored, but then Beau, a fellow student, decides to learn American Sign Language so he can communicate with her. Ultimately, Maya has to decide if she will create her own path or the path those expect her to follow. 


Dear Martin by Nic Stone

Dear Martin is a story about teenager Justyce McAllister. Justyce excels in school, has some of the best grades in his class, and is head of the debate team. Justyce tries to take inspiration from the life of Martin Luther King Jr. Yet,  this path he put to the test after helping his drunk ex girlfriend (Melo, who is biracial and white presenting). Martin was only trying to be helpful by driving her home but an officer saw this happening and arrested him on the spot because he was black. After getting arrested he finds himself asking in these times what would Martin do?


Check, Please!, book 1: # Hockey by Ngozi Ukazu

College freshman, Eric Bittle, was a pro figure skater back in his home town in Georgia. Now Entering  College, Eric has decided to play hockey for his school team. Much to his dismay, it is nothing like the club hockey he was used to playing back home. Eric documents his adventures by vlogging his experiences. One of those adventures centers on his flirtation with the irritable, but rather cute, hockey captain, Jack. This story is followed by its sequel Check, Please! book 2: # Sticks & Scones.