Reading is What?
Welcome to a dazzling world where literature meets the fierce art of drag! This Friday, we pay homage to the captivating allure of drag queens and gender-queer characters, exploring the transformative power they embody.
From the glitz and glamour of RuPaul's Drag Race to the pivotal history of icons like Marsha P. Johnson, drag is a realm where self-expression, activism, and creativity collide. These fabulous novels celebrate the colorful tapestry of queerness, inviting readers to be enchanted by the spectrum of voices and stories within their pages and the transformative power of drag in YA literature!
Please enjoy exploring these books that embrace the art of drag, illuminating the path to self-acceptance, body positivity, and unapologetic confidence.
The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta
Michael is a mixed-race gay teen growing up in London. All his life, he’s navigated what it means to be Greek-Cypriot and Jamaican—but never quite feeling Greek or Black enough.
As he gets older, Michael’s coming out is only the start of learning who he is and where he fits in. When he discovers the Drag Society, he finally finds where he belongs—and the Black Flamingo is born.
Pumpkin by Julie Murphy
Waylon Russell Brewer is a fat, openly gay boy stuck in the small West Texas town of Clover City. His plan is to bide his time until he can graduate, move to Austin with his twin sister, Clementine, and finally go Full Waylon, so that he can live his Julie-the-hills-are-alive-with-the-sound-of-music-Andrews truth.
So when Clementine deviates from their master plan right after Waylon gets dumped, he throws caution to the wind and creates an audition tape for his favorite TV drag show, Fiercest of Them All. What he doesn’t count on is the tape accidentally getting shared with the entire school. . . . As a result, Waylon is nominated for prom queen as a joke. Clem’s girlfriend, Hannah Perez, also receives a joke nomination for prom king.
Waylon and Hannah decide there’s only one thing to do: run—and leave high school with a bang. A very glittery bang. Along the way, Waylon discovers that there is a lot more to running for prom court than campaign posters and plastic crowns, especially when he has to spend so much time with the very cute and infuriating prom king nominee Tucker Watson.
Waylon will need to learn that the best plan for tomorrow is living for today . . . especially with the help of some fellow queens. . . .
The Extraordinaries by T.J. Klune
Nick Bell? Not extraordinary. But being the most popular fanfiction writer in the Extraordinaries fandom is a superpower, right?
After a chance encounter with Shadow Star, Nova City’s mightiest hero (and Nick’s biggest crush), Nick sets out to make himself extraordinary. And he’ll do it with or without the reluctant help of Seth Gray, Nick's best friend (and maybe the love of his life).
Confessions of A Teenage Drag King by Markus Harwood-Jones
Seventeen-year-old Lauren is trying to navigate the tricky waters of teen romance. From high school to the drag show and back, Lauren must keep up their two personas--Ren, a drag king, and Lauri, a typical student--and come to terms with their feelings both for mixed-race student Clover and their own identity as an LGBTQ+ teen.
Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens by Tanya Boteju
Perpetually awkward Nima Kumara-Clark is bored with her insular community of Bridgeton, in love with her straight girlfriend, and trying to move past her mother’s unexpected departure. After a bewildering encounter at a local festival, Nima finds herself suddenly immersed in the drag scene on the other side of town.
Macho drag kings, magical queens, new love interests, and surprising allies propel Nima both painfully and hilariously closer to a self she never knew she could be—one that can confidently express and accept love. But she’ll have to learn to accept lost love to get there.
Love & Other Curses by Michael Thomas Ford
“I’m pretty sure I’m the only guy in my school who can replace a faulty kick-down switch and also create the perfect smoky eye.”
The Weyward family has been haunted by a curse for generations—if a Weyward falls in love before their seventeenth birthday, the person they love dies.
Sam doesn’t plan to fall for anyone in the weeks before his birthday. He’ll spend his time working at the Eezy-Freeze with his dad; cooking up some midsummer magic with his grandmother, great-grandmother, and great-great-grandmother (the Grands); and experimenting with drag with the help of the queens at the Shangri-La, the local gay club.
But when a new guy comes to town, Sam finds himself in trouble when they strike up a friendship that might be way more than that.
As Sam’s birthday approaches and he still hasn’t quite fallen in love, the curse seems to get more powerful and less specific about who it targets.
A mysterious girl Sam talks to on the phone late at night and a woman he’s only seen in a dream might have the answers he’s been looking for—but time is running out to save the people he cares about.