Author: Becky Albertalli
Best For: 8th grade and up
My Take: LGBT literature is not a new genre in YA, but it’s becoming easier to find books with LGBT protagonists and themes. Simon is one such heart-warming book.
Simon in a junior in high school and he has two secrets. One, he’s gay; two, he is in a relationship with another boy – sort of.
Simon (a.k.a., “Jaques”) has been emailing “Blue” (not his real name) ever since Simon saw a poem Blue wrote on the school’s gossipy Tumblr page. Both boys attend the same high school, but keep their identities anonymous while emailing.
Until Martin, a classmate, capitalizes on Simon’s carelessness when he forgets to log-out of his email on the school computer. With screen-shots of Simon and Blue’s emails, Martin goes about blackmailing Simon so he can get what he wants – Simon’s friend, Abby, to like him.
Throughout the book, Simon and his friends are whirlwinds of emotions, much like most teens. Friendship troubles, acceptance, isolation, and loneliness are only a few big ideas explored in this novel, which is largely about self-discovery.
Bottom Line: Add this to your classroom library! There is a movie slated to come out in 2018, so I’d even show the trailer, once it becomes available.