The Airdrie Public Library (APL) is collaborating with the Airdrie Pride Society to launch a new book club next month that focuses on LGBTQ2S+ literature.
According to the Airdrie Pride Society's website, the new club – which will meet monthly to discuss the books – is titled Pages of Pride. Each month will feature a different book, and meetings will discuss the stories’ characters, themes, and plots, as well as how they represent LGBTQ2S+ individuals and stories.
The club was the brainchild of Taylor Stevens, an Airdrie Pride Society volunteer who recently moved to Airdrie. She said the club is catered to older teenagers and young adults, but anyone who is interested in joining the new book club is welcome to do so.
“That’s the beauty of any sort of programming like this, whether it’s through Airdrie Public Library or Airdrie Pride itself,” she said. “Even if you’re not part of the LGBTQ2S+ community, it’s a great opportunity to learn, engage with members of the community, to ask questions and just talk among peers and feel like a community. That’s the ultimate goal here.
“If you’re interested in books like this and talking about these themes, it would be a great program choice.”
The first book the club will delve into is called They Both Die at the End, by Adam Silvera. According to Stevens, the book is set in a semi-dystopian future, where people learn of their impending death by receiving a notification on their cell phone when they have 24 hours left to live. The book follows Mateo and Rufus, two boys who get to know each other as they each await their impending deaths.
“The book itself follows these two boys from their different perspectives,” Stevens said. “Eventually, they meet in the book and you follow their journey together until they, well, both die at the end.”
The second book the club will discuss is Ash, by Malinda Lo – a lesbian retelling of Cinderella.
While They Both Die at the End is a modern story featuring gay characters, Stevens said Ash is more akin to a classic fairy tale. However, instead of focusing on a heterosexual romance, the tale turns the traditional fairy tale structure on its head by highlighting a lesbian relationship.
Stevens said the books discussed at Pages of Pride will tend to have either LGBTQ2S+ characters or be written by LGBTQ2S+ authors. She added the books will tend to be catered to older teen or young-adult readers.
“For the demographic, I wanted to focus on older teens or young adults, just because there is a lot of programming for younger people. While that’s great for them, we want to make sure we have that inclusion of those older teens, younger adults and even older adults who also want to be a part of programming like this,” she said.
Club meetings will be facilitated by Zoom until current COVID-19 public health restrictions are lifted and groups are able to meet indoors safely again. The first meetings will be on Nov. 15 and Dec. 6 at 7 p.m.
Stevens said the club will try to meet monthly, with the goal of meeting in the middle of each month.
Interested participants can learn more about Pages of Pride and register at bit.ly/2XJysXz