Hey folks. If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram you’ve heard me talk about the Faux Book Box: a monthly post in which I select a few bookish or otherwise awesome items all centered around a newly released queer book (probably often YA, since that’s a genre I read a lot of). I want to feature queer makers as much as possible, so if you think that might be you, let me know!
Without any further ado, let’s “unbox” this!
The theme for this month’s post is social justice. I know y’all can probably guess the book, but this month I’m going to wait to tell you what it is until the end. Cue suspense!
And the first item is…
I’ve been following this shop on Instagram for a while now and I love their work. I’m especially in love with their line of Dungeons and Dragons themed social justice items. For this box I selected the Social Justice Bard mug because the main character of this month’s book definitely falls into that class. I’m half-tempted to send one to the author just because I think they’d get a kick out of it. If mugs aren’t your thing, though, or if you don’t feel like a bard so much yourself, there’s a whole collection of items and classes you can get along the same theme. After all, why should warriors have all the fun?
Atomic Octopus Designs
Many folks know about the fury sparked by The 100 following the Bury Your Gays trope, but less people may be familiar with the character herself or the show’s storylines. Clarke is one of the teens sent down by a space station to discover if Earth is habitable after a nuclear apocalypse, and Lexa is the leader of the Grounders, a civilization that developed after the disasters. Clarke and Lexa fall in love but Lexa is killed in season 3 of the show. This sticker, to me, is a wonderful symbol of queer resistance. It shows Lexa’s tower and symbol surrounded by the Grounder words that mean “Our fight is not over.” Though queer (and other minority) rep in media is improving, we still have a ways to go. Even when we have victories, even when we have our hearts crushed and feel like giving up hope, we need to keep moving forward. Our fight is not and likely will never be over.
And now on a slightly lighter note, check out this gorgeous bookmark! To me, the phrase “love is love” symbolizes both a wonderful step forward (legalizing equal marriage in many places) and a horrible tragedy (the Pulse nightclub shooting). In both cases, Love is Love (is love is love is love) became our rallying cry. Plus, it’s a bookmark, so it’s both pretty and practical.
(Sorry, I know I said this was a lighter note. But this box (and the book it’s centered around) gave me lots of feels.)
Stella Bookish Art
Speaking of practical items, who doesn’t need a bookish tote bag? (According to my wife I don’t, but pshh.) This design by Stella Bookish Art features a quote from Cassandra Clare that really stuck with me. It’s because of books that I figured out so much about myself and my identity, and it’s because of books that I didn’t feel so isolated even when I was the only queer person I knew. Stella’s designs are always fabulous, and because this one is on Society6 you can get it on a variety of different items.
Junebug and Darlin
If you feel like releasing your anger by stabbing something a bunch of times, then cross stitch might be for you. With this pattern you can also donate to a queer charity. All proceeds of this pattern are donated to Southerners on New Ground, or SONG. As it says in the item listing, SONG is “an LGBTQ organization operating with a focus on intersectional politics.” Junebug and Darlin have several other patterns with proceeds donated to charity as well as full cross stitch kits with a selection of gorgeous queer designs.
And now that we’ve gone through all the items, it’s time to announce the book!
Anger is a Gift by Mark Oshiro
I have a full, mostly spoiler-free review posted earlier on the blog (and I promise I give very clear warning before I go into spoiler territory). The story follows Moss, a black gay teen who must find a way to resist when his school starts treating its students like criminals. This story pulls no punches, so make sure you’re ready for an intense read going in, but it is well done.
Find it online here or at your local library.
And that’s it! That’s this month’s Faux Book Box. What did y’all think? What was your favorite item? Do you think you might get any yourselves?
As I said above, if you’re interested in having your shop featured please let me know on Instagram or Twitter! I’d love to find some queer makers/crafters/artists that I haven’t heard about before. If you’re a fan of the Faux Box idea, let me know what books/items you might like to see in future posts.