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Proud Review

Books of the Month Featured Books for 13+ readers Featured Books for Young Adults Poetry Poetry Books for Children Star Books

Twelve trailblazing tales by top LGBTQ+ talent

March 2019 Book of the Month

Compiled by YA author and broadcaster Juno Dawson, this inspiring anthology of illustrated short stories by LGBTQ+ writers shines a light on a kaleidoscopic array of experiences through an equally kaleidoscopic breadth of genres, themes and styles. 

From Chinese lesbian fairytale The Phoenix’s Fault by Cynthia So, to Simon James Green’s hilarious, heart-warming Penguins (who would’ve thought a pair of penguins could steal a person’s coming out thunder?!), this is a powerfully diverse collection. Alongside more established names, among them authors David Levithan and Jess Vallance, and illustrator David Roberts, special mention must go to the four new voices whose stories grace these pages – be sure to seek out what Karen Lawler, Michael Lee Richardson, Cynthia So and Kay Staples do next.

These are stories of struggle and trouble, passion and promise, with much wit, warmth, wisdom and support shared along the way. And so it seems fitting to leave the last loud, proud, celebratory words to Dan from David Levithan’s queer youth choir story: “You hold your ground. You sing out loud and proud in defiance of all the people who want you to be quiet”.

Joanne Owen

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Proud Synopsis

A boy’s coming out is overshadowed by gay penguins, a music-loving teen overcomes her shyness about approaching a girl and a trans boy joins a ragtag football team. From a China where a lantern-maker has a pet phoenix to the Travelodge hideout of two teens on the run, these stories shine with glorious moments of pride.

Compiled by Juno Dawson, author of This Book is Gay and Clean. A celebration of LGBTQ+ talent, Proud is a thought-provoking, funny, emotional read.

Contributors: Steve Antony, Dean Atta, Kate Alizadeh, Fox Benwell, Alex Bertie, Caroline Bird, Fatti Burke, Tanya Byrne, Moira Fowley-Doyle, Frank Duffy, Simon James Green, Leo Greenfield, Saffa Khan, Karen Lawler, David Levithan, Priyanka Meenakshi, Alice Oseman, Michael Lee Richardson, David Roberts, Cynthia So, Kay Staples, Jessica Vallance, Kristen Van Dam and Kameron White.

Following A Change is Gonna Come, winner of the YA BOOK PRIZE SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD 2018

Proud Press Reviews

Be still my rainbow-striped, queer-as-all-heck beating heart! From the adorable to the achingly beautiful, from the funny to the fabulous, what we have in Proud is a beautiful collection of stories that speaks to so many different experiences. I cannot WAIT for the world to read this collection, it's truly astounding. What a brilliant thing Stripes and Juno Dawson have done! -- George Lester, TheGeorgeLester, YouTube

This is a beautiful, brilliant collection that we need now more than ever. There's such joy and hope in it, and yes, some agony, too, but that's life. Whole lives, instead of little keyhole peeks at it. The whole thing is spectacular. -- Saundra Mitchell, editor of All Out

It's wonderful to see a collection that manages to reflect so many different aspects of the LGBTQ+ experience, written by such talented authors. It's a (rainbow of) light, coming into the world just when such a light is needed the most. -- Jay Hulme, Rising Stars New Voices in Poetry

The incredible stories inside of PROUD made me laugh, cry, and feel proud to be who I am. -- Julian Winters, author of Running with Lions

I loved every page of this wonderful and much-needed collection. Funny, sad, charming and more than a little bit magical. -- Keris Stainton, author of My Heart Goes Bang

PROUD is a stunning rainbow array of stories and poems that cover romance, friendship, loss, family, and even D&D. A gorgeous mural of what it means to be LGBTQ+ in this specific moment. The selections are all wonderfully different, but they share the same heartbeat. Pride and love. I want to hand this collection to every queer teenager I meet-and I wish I could go back and give it to my sixteen year old self. -- Amy Rose Capetta, author of Echo After Echo

A brilliant, broad and inclusive collection of stories and poems spanning different genres, themes and identities. It's a wonderful snapshot of LGBTQ+ writing for young people from the UK and Ireland and is in turns funny, touching, stirring, and empowering. -- Sophie Cameron, author of Out of the Blue

PROUD is not just a fabulous collection of LGBTQ+ stories for teens, it's also a beautiful, sometimes deeply touching collection of tales, confessions and council. Five stars. Get this baby on your TBR, ASAP. -- Rebecca Denton, author of The Punk Factor

A joyous, brilliantly curated collection of short stories highlighting the full range and breadth of LGBTQ+ diversity in the UK and Ireland. -- Lauren James, author of the Next Together and The Lonliest Girl in the Universe

Proud brings together a beautiful variety of queer voices, telling stories of love and pain, struggles and triumphs. It's like a multi-faceted gemstone, each angle reflecting a new, different, story about queer adolescence - and together as a collection, it shines. -- LC Rosen, author of Jack of Hearts (and Other Parts)

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781788950602
Publication date: 07/03/2019
Publisher: Stripes Publishing an imprint of Little Tiger Press Group
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781788950602
Publication date: 7th March 2019
Author: Juno Dawson & various
Illustrator: Selected illustrators
Publisher: Stripes Publishing an imprint of Little Tiger Press Group
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 352 pages
Suitable for: 13+ readers, YA readers
Genres: Poetry, Poetry
Recommendations: Books of the Month, Star Books
Collections: LGBTQI Literature celebrating 50 Years of Pride, LGBT+ History Month 2022,

About Juno Dawson & various

Juno Dawson is the multi award-winning author of dark teen thrillers. Her first non-fiction book, Being A Boy, tackled puberty, sex and relationships in a frank and funny fashion, and a follow-up for young LGBTQ+ people, This Book Is Gay, came out in 2014. Juno worked as a teacher, specialising in PSHE. In 2014 she became a School Role Model for the charity Stonewall.Introducing four new voices in YA fiction:Karen Lawler is an American living in London with her awesome wife and extremely cute dog Buffy. She loves reading, especially sci-fi, fantasy, YA, and historical non-fiction, and she funds her ...

More About Juno Dawson & various

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