Monday, May 18, 2015

Book Review: Stonewall: Breaking Out in the Fight for Gay Rights

STONEWALL: BREAKING OUT IN THE FIGHT FOR GAY RIGHTS by Ann Bausum is a powerful and timely work of nonfiction for today’s teens.
Bausum’s compelling narrative begins in the summer of 1969 at a bar in Greenwich Village, New York. What begins as a police raid on the Stonewall Inn soon erupts into riots in the street and cheers of “gay power.” In the days following the raid, emotions continued to run high as frustrated LGBT citizens began to organize. The raid had become a symbol of the oppression felt by thousands of gay and lesbian community members in the city. The rest of the book describes the gay pride movement of the 1970s, the impact of AIDs in the 1980s and 90s, and the changing public attitudes of the 2000s. The book concludes on an optimistic note focusing on the LGBT community’s rainbow symbol of diversity and unity.
Bausum is known for her carefully researched books focusing on social justice. From carefully describing the oppression experienced by generations of gay individuals to clearly explaining the tireless work of gay advocates, Bausum does a masterful job helping today’s young people understand how decades of struggle led to recent societal changes. In the book’s author notes, Bausum explains her motivation for writing a book about the gay rights movement at this point in American history. Her timing is perfect.
Librarian who have been waiting for an up-to-date LGBT history will be quick to add this outstanding work of nonfiction to their library collections. Filled with first hand accounts, historical quotes, and primary source documents, social studies teachers will find this book to be an excellent addition to their social justice curriculum.
Look for STONEWALL to appear on many “best of nonfiction” lists for 2015.
To learn more about the author, go to
Published by Viking on May 5, 2015.