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Posts Tagged ‘YA fiction’

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In this edition of The Beyond Binaries Book Club, we attempt to read The Second Mango, a queer YA fantasy novel about a young queen and her knight on a quest to find the queen a girlfriend. Read on for dragons, food allergies, crime-solving, magic–and a narrative style that didn’t work for everyone. Spoilers ahead.

What’s the Beyond Binaries Book Club?

Long version here.

Our focus is on books (and media) about characters with sexualities, gender identities, or gender expressions that aren’t simply male/female or gay/straight. That is, characters who are bi/pansexual/queer-identified, or whose gender expression or identity is not strongly fixed to the gender binary (may include agender, transgender, gender-nonconforming, gendervariant, genderfluid, intersex [as identity], non-binary, genderqueer, et al.). We tend to read speculative fiction novels (as opposed to non-fiction, including autobiographies), but other genre fiction, graphic novels, comics, and short stories may be on our list.

The Second Mango

Queen Shulamit never expected to inherit the throne of the tropical land of Perach so young. At twenty, grief-stricken and fatherless, she’s also coping with being the only lesbian she knows after her sweetheart ran off for an unknown reason. Not to mention, she’s the victim of severe digestive problems that everybody think she’s faking. When she meets Rivka, an athletic and assertive warrior from the north who wears a mask and pretends to be a man, she finds the source of strength she needs so desperately.

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Via Tor.com. [Image: cover of Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire. The cover shows an open wooden door in a doorframe in the middle of a forest.]

What’s the Beyond Binaries Book Club?

While Book Club might have fallen a bit by the wayside as I (and many of the other participants in this group and in my blogging community) have spent the post-election weeks calling representatives, donating, and just reading, reading, reading everything about bills and political issues and the Electoral College and trying everything to get through to the people who are not concerned about marginalized groups because it’s easier to say “you’ll survive, don’t be a sore loser” than “you and your loved ones might be in danger and your fear is rational, what can we do to help each other? I am listening.”

Plus, Thanksgiving, that great “oh god please no one talk politics at the dinner table but also I am angry and feel like yelling” holiday is this week. Maybe you need a nice fantasy book to warm your heart as you crash in the guest room or on the couch, or to give to your cousin or sibling who just came out, or to remind yourself that you are real, you exist, and you matter.

In light of this disaster of an election, I want to highlight groups relevant to each post where you can donate, volunteer, share with others, utilize, and/or learn more. Since today’s book features ace and trans youth, here are a few ways you can support them under the VP-elect’s anti-LGBTQ Christian extremism.

The Trevor Project, which has support for LGBTQIA and questioning youth, and is ace and trans inclusive. In addition to the (telephone) hotline, there are also options to text and chat; the hotlines are staffed by trained counselors. If you’re an adult, you can receive training for youth-serving professionals.

Trans Lifeline deals specifically with trans issues and is staffed by trans people. A $25 donation pays for someone’s call. The Lifeline received 400 calls on election night–essentially a month’s worth of calls.

PFLAG: don’t let the name mislead you: “Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays” covers all our rainbow alphabet-soup letters, not just LG. If you have an LGBTQIA family member or friend and want to learn how to be a good ally* without relying on that person for your education, this is THE place to go. And not just for straight and cis allies: maybe you’re bi+ or trans and your partner isn’t–go together. Maybe you want your parents to see other people like you, or they want to network and advocate for you. Maybe you need a guided space to sort out your feelings about your orientation or gender, or had someone come out to you and want to educate yourself. There’s plenty of reasons to attend. There are chapters all over the country. *Note: including within the queer community–trans and nonbinary individuals and bi+ are marginalized within the monosexual-cis queer community.

Finally, here’s an article on supporting ace youth.

Our Sept/Oct 2016 book: Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire.

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Look, I’m just saying that Edward and Jacob would have been the more compelling star-crossed lovers: vampires and werewolves hate each other; plus coming out as a queer interracial couple to your oddly conservative supernatural communities is going to be rough, especially in a small town–
(loud coughing) I mean, welcome, friends, to day 3 of Feminist Halloween, where we continue this queer horror theme we’ve got going with The Other Side: Queer Paranormal Romance Anthology, edited by Kori Michele Handwerker and Melanie Gillman!

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lioness-rampant-9781442427662_lgGuess who’s running a day late! What’s time, anyway?

We’re finishing The Song of the Lioness quartet today with Tamora Pierce’s final book in the series, Lioness Rampant, in which Alanna gets some problematic booty, punches a mystical baboon, and fights an undead wizard.

Contains major spoilers, femme-/non-binary/magic shaming.

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LOOK AT THIS 80S-TASTIC COVER

LOOK AT THIS 80S-TASTIC COVER

Welcome, readers, to the June 2015 edition of the Beyond Binaries Book Club! This month (and for the next few months), we’ll be taking a look at non-binary gender expression in Tamora Pierce’s Song of the Lionness quartet, starting with Alanna: The First Adventure (1983).

The mild spoiler below is necessary to explain the “beyond binaries” aspect and why we chose this series for our club.

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