I’ve also written some nonfiction works for young adults. They’re intended for school libraries. One was work for hire, so it’s not included here, but two of them are works of the heart, because they’re topics I care about, and there are people I love in each book (it’s a cool thing, putting people you love into your nonfiction).
In 2014, Transgender Lives: Complex Stories, Complex Voices was published by Twenty-First Century Books, an imprint of Lerner Publishing. It’s got 7 different stories of trans individuals in it, plus some general trans history. There were definitely folks who disagreed with the fact that it includes a drag queen, but the book was working from a more academic definition of “transgender,” which isn’t exclusively about identity. However, since 2014, “transgender” has evolved to mean an identity that rarely includes drag queens. So some folks weren’t happy with the book. I see their point, though I still think the book is solid. If you disagree, you’re welcome to email me (not kidding at all).
In 2016, I published LGBTQ+ Athletes Claim the Field: Striving for Equality, also with Twenty-First Century Books/Lerner. This book holds a really special place in my heart, because the introduction is written by Alex Jackson Nelson, the man who helped me understand Gabe to make him believable. Alex also helped me with Transgender Lives. And, just like Transgender Lives, this book was great fun to research and write. It’s a shame this book hasn’t been out in the world before now—there are so many fantastic stories of LGBTQ+ athletes, and more are emerging every day.
These books were also great to write because I had the same phenomenal editor for both of them, a woman named Domenica DiPiazza. She found out about me from someone who knew about Beautiful Music, and she asked me to write Transgender Lives. Our writing experience together was so positive, she asked me to do LGBTQ+ Athletes. I am grateful to her for giving me these opportunities.
Transgender Lives was placed on the 2015 Best Children’s Books of the Year list from Bank Street College, and LGBTQ+ Athletes Claim the Field was a Junior Library Guild selection, a 2017 American Library Association Rainbow List selection, a 2017 Best Children’s Books of the Year selection from Bank Street College, and a 2017 Minnesota Book Award finalist for Young Adult Literature.