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Dawson, Juno (ed.)


Stripes, 2019, pp352, [pounds sterling]7.99 978 1 788950 602

Proud is an anthology of stories, poetry and illustrations by LGBTQ+ authors and illustrators. Each of the ten stories and two beautiful poems at each end of the book is on the theme of pride and feature characters from the whole LGBTQ+ community. The stories within are as diverse as the community it represents, but all are of a high standard. I loved the humour in 'Penguins' by James Green, a story of gay penguins, beautifully paired with Alice Oseman's art. 'On the run' by Kay Staples filled me with warmth, and Cynthia So's 'The Phoenix Fault' was an exotic fantasy about two girls realising that they are more than friends. I loved the friendship in 'The Other Team' by Michael Lee Richardson, the excitement in Jess Vallance's story 'The Instructor' and the depiction of anxiety in 'Almost Certain' by Tanya Bryne. One of my personal favourites was the poem at the end of the book, 'How to Come Out as Gay' by Dean Atta, which, I think, will speak to many young people.

Juno Dawson sets the tone, with her impassioned foreword reminding us of the political background against which many LGBTQ+ people have grown up, and the challenges that we still face to create a compassionate and inclusive society, but it is also a message of hope and a rallying call.

This book is for everyone. For some, it will reflect their experience and allow them to identify with the protagonists. For others, it will be a way to learn, to see things from a different perspective and empathise with people who identify differently from them.

For this reason, and because it is important that young LGBTQ+ young people feel safe, supported and included, Proudshould be on the shelves of every secondary school library.

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Title Annotation:12-16 Fiction
Author:Guyon, Agnes
Publication:School Librarian
Article Type:Book review
Date:Jun 22, 2019
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