Rediscover: Gender Queer

Banned Books Week is nearly over, but the fight for free speech in schools, libraries and bookstores continues. According to the American Library Association's Office for Intellectual Freedom, Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe was the most challenged book of 2021 and continues to be a lightning rod for censorship attempts. Thankfully the most egregious of these efforts was struck down late last month, when a Virginia Beach Circuit Court judge dismissed a case seeking to bar Barnes & Noble from selling Gender Queer and another book, Sarah J. Maas's A Court of Mist and Fury, to minors without parental consent. Though this escalation was thwarted, Kobabe's book has already been stripped from multiple schools and libraries and is sure to face future challenges.

Gender Queer (Oni Press) is a graphic memoir of Maia Kobabe's experience growing up nonbinary and asexual. Kobabe, who uses the pronouns e, em and eir, serves as both author and illustrator. In our review, Shelf Awareness associate editor Dave Wheeler called Gender Queer "[a] challenging yet heartwarming memoir [that] succeeds on all fronts." Originally published in 2019, Gender Queer won the 2020 ALA Alex Award and was a 2020 Stonewall-Israel Fishman Non-fiction Award Honor Book. In July 2022, Oni Press published a deluxe hardcover edition of Gender Queer with a new cover, bonus art and sketches, a foreword by ND Stevenson and an afterword by the author. --Tobias Mutter

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