It’s spring! In order to avoid all those spring cleaning chores and the wicked heat outside, I’ve taken to reading even more than usual. The following is a list of books I’ve read recently and really enjoyed, in no particular order. I hope you too can stay out of the sun and beat the heat with these fun books.

Picture Books

Worm Loves Worm by J. J. Austrian, illustrated by Mike Curato

Worm and Worm want to get married! In this charming picture book Worm and Worm are helped along by their buggy friends to put on the best worm wedding ever.

This Day in June by Gayle E. Pitman, illustrated by Kristyna Litten

The illustrations really made this book fabulous and fun to read, plus they’ve included resources at the back for talking with your children about Pride and the LGBTQ+ community.

Middle Grade Reads

Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graff

Albie is not great at math, or art or really much of anything if you were to ask his parents, but his new nanny thinks that there’s still something special about him. This book is a great story about accepting who you are and finding out how to discover your own strengths and to be proud of them.

George by Alex Gino

George knows that she is a girl and her real name is Melissa. Even if everyone else sees her as a boy, she wants to be able to be herself. When the class play comes along, George has the opportunity to audition for the lead role of Charlotte in Charlotte’s Web. Read along as George tells her own story from the perspective of a fourth grade student with some wonderful friends and a sometimes okay big brother.

Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky

Another gentle and hopeful story of a transgender girl, Grayson was orphaned as a preschooler and is sent to live with her aunt, uncle and cousin. At 12 years old Grayson wears baggy shirts and swishy track pants, but imagines herself in flowing princess dresses. Grayson isn't sure where she belongs, but she has some great friends, an older cousin who can be pretty annoying and an aunt and uncle who care about her a lot.

Young Adult Novels

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

I will admit that I only read this book because I was having a hard time recommending it as something other than “that fanfic that the girl in Fangirl was writing,” but I LOVED it. If you loved Harry Potter but want something a little different, check out this school story by the ever engaging Rainbow Rowell. Adventure! Magic! Romance!

Bone Gap by Laura Ruby

Bone Gap is a slow farming town that most people want to escape. When Roza appears one night in Sean and Finn’s barn, injured and scared, they aren’t sure what to do with her. Slowly she becomes a beloved part of the town until the day that she disappears. Finn is the last person to see her at the state fair and can only describe the way her abductor moves “like a shivering cornstalk”. Finn’s inability to give a physical description of the man makes everyone believe that he’s got something to hide about the night Roza disappeared.

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Simon Spier is gay, but no one knows about it. Not even his sisters. The only person he can talk to is someone he hasn’t even met. When someone finds out about Simon’s emails with “Blue,” Simon is blackmailed, his name plastered all over the school gossip Tumblr and is generally bullied by the biggest jerks at his school. Still, he has to make it through the school play, keep all of his friendships intact and hopefully meet the person he looks forward to hearing from every day.

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