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Claire's Staff Favorites
Claire joined Annie Blooms’ staff in November 2017 while earning her French and English degree from Portland State University. She is the author of Unraveled from Gurt Dog Press. She loves Young Adult books with diverse, relatable protagonists...and dragons are always a plus.
The best portrayal of OCD I've ever seen in fiction, based on Green's own experience with the disorder. This is my favorite of Green's books because of the main character's inner monologue, which thanks to her severe anxiety is difficult to read at times but extremely accurate and important. Plus, it's just a plain good mystery and you'll learn a lot about tuataras.
YA, but reads like adult literary fiction, about a gay teenage girl in 1970s Montana whose conservative aunt sends her to conversion therapy. Characters feel like real people and there's so much detail it feels like you're actually there. One of my all-time favorites. It's a movie now, but the movie only covers the last 200 pages of the book––you have to read it to get the full story!
This is the cutest, sweetest, most heartfelt book I’ve read in a long while. Read this one if you want warm tea for your soul. The cast of characters is diverse and beautifully illustrated, and the tea dragons will make you smile. Check out the other two books in this trilogy as well as the author's other work.
It's rare to find LGBTQ+ characters in the same book as dragons, but this one has it all. The bisexual heroine sets out to rescue her girlfriend and tame dragons along the way. The first book in a duology.
A beautifully written, atmospheric fantasy. Malinda Lo's writing is some of my favorite fantasy prose out there. This one is a lesbian retelling of Cinderella and does a wonderful job talking about depression and figuring out your identity.
The space book I've been looking for all my life. A diverse cast of teenagers prepares for a 20+ year mission to a second Earthlike planet. Despite the sci-fi plot, it's introspective and focuses on the mental effects of a long-term voyage on teenagers, with sensitive portrayal of depression. This is one I’ll be rereading.
A beautifully-written YA romance between two girls who are dealing with the aftereffects of a controversial space program. This is an author to keep an eye on.
I love all of the graphic novels by Telgemeier, but this one is my favorite because of the sensitive portrayal of childhood anxiety, based on her own life.
A modern retelling of the Orpheus myth about a girl who gets sent to conversion therapy with her girlfriend and makes it her goal to escape together. This is a hard one to read because of the homophobia but it's a lovely story nonetheless, and this author was still a teenager when her first book was published. I can't wait to see what she does next.
A ridiculously adorable graphic novel with a LGBTQ+ romance, diverse cast, exciting plot, and all the magic you could ask for. I tore through this one and have wanted to reread it ever since.