Youth Book Corner: National Coming Out Day

On Sunday, October 11, we celebrate National Coming Out Day! In honour of the LGBTQ2S+ community, our Festival Assistant Aditya Bhagirath has put together some recommended reads featuring LGBTQ2S+ characters and themes.

Fire Song
Written by Adam Garnet Jones

Cree author Adam Garnet Jones adapted his award-winning feature film of the same name into this critically acclaimed novel. Fire Song follows the story of Shane, a teenager still grieving from the loss of his younger sister, Destiny, to suicide. In the face of a distant mother, a neglectful girlfriend, and the difficulties of living on a reservation, Shane’s only source of comfort is his friend, David. Soon, their relationship deepens in ways that neither of them could have foreseen. But when more tragedy strikes, Shane finds himself having to make tough decisions about what he truly wants out of his life. A challenging but rewarding read, Fire Song is a fierce and honest testament to the power of love, community, and courage. Grades 9-12

Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens
Written by Tanya Boteju

In Tanya Boteju’s joyous debut novel, Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens, we find our protagonist Nima Kumara-Clark stuck in a rut–bored of the same Bridgeton people, frustrated at being in love with her straight girlfriend, and still grappling with her sudden exit from her life. However, little does Nima know, things are going to change for her very soon, and very fast! After being welcomed into the drag scene on the other side of town, Nima finds herself discovering strange and exciting things about herself while also finding friends, allies and love interests who understand and support her. Written with a quick wit and a lot of heart, Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens is a celebration of queerness, acceptance and self-expression. Grades 6-12

Pride: The Celebration and the Struggle
Written by Robin Stevenson

Robin Stevenson’s Pride: The Celebration and the Struggle is a non-fiction title focused on the victorious moments of the LGBTQ+ community over the past 50 years, while also outlining the struggles many members of the community continue to face today. Spanning countries from all around the globe and people of all sexualities, gender identities, races, cultures, and ages, Pride is an informative and necessary read for anyone interested in learning more about not only the continued fight for equality and freedom, but also the important role that our youth play in it. Grades 4-8


Aditya Bhagirath