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

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  785 Ratings  ·  178 Reviews
That’s the Stonewall.
The Stonewall Inn.
Pay attention.
History walks through that door.

In 1969 being gay in the United States was a criminal offense. It meant living a closeted life or surviving on the fringes of society. People went to jail, lost jobs, and were disowned by their families for being gay. Most doctors considered homosexuality a mental illness. There were few s
...more
Hardcover, 128 pages
Published May 5th 2015 by Viking Books for Young Readers
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Rebecca Honeycutt
As a basic, surface-level look at Stonewall and its historical importance, this is fine.

As narrative nonfiction, however, it's not terribly compelling. And as a factual account, it leaves out a lot of important individuals (including trans folks and people of color) and generally embraces an upbeat, "Gay Inc" tone which I found kind of insulting to the intended teen audience. Teens (especially the teens who are most likely to pick up this book) are aware of and able to discuss thorny subjects l
...more
Eliana
Jul 09, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: lgbtq, new-york
Overall, this book was enjoyable, well-written, and a good introduction to anyone who wants to learn more about the beginnings of the gay rights movement. (Including me, who picked up this book because I was thinking "I'm gay and I want to be more of a leader in the LGBTQ community, but all I know about Stonewall is what I read on the wikipedia page. I should probably fix that.")

But I felt like this book overwhelmingly focused on gay men who (I assume) were cisgender, and I wish more attention h
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Ije the Devourer of Books
Excellent and enjoyable!

This is excellent. It is an easy to read, educational perspective of the Stonewall riots.

Recognised as a key galvanising moment in the struggle for gay liberation, the Stonewall riots initiated a fresh stage in the political movement for gay rights in the US. At the time of the riots there was an existing movement for gay rights and Stonewall served to galvanise this movement and strengthen it.

The riots led to a fresh wave of gay activism at community levels and laid ne
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Kelly
Sep 15, 2015 rated it it was ok
This was generally well-crafted and fairly well researched however, I felt it had a few problems. I found some of the dated vocabulary (which I believe was intentional) disconcerting and frankly uncomfortable. Additionally, I think that it might be excluding some aspects of the event-i.e. I was hoping to find more information about the roles of transgender people and people of color. I'd love to hear opinions from reviewers with the specialized historical knowledge that I sadly lack.
Kelly
Jul 04, 2016 added it
Shelves: read-in-2016
An okay introduction to Stonewall. It acknowledges some of its shortcomings, but it overlooks others. It felt quite short, and the pacing was a bit strange with its time leaps.

I wonder if reading an adult, more fully-fleshed, history of Stonewall would better serve those who are interested. It's not bad but it's just okay.
Alie Stumpf
Apr 10, 2017 rated it liked it
This was a helpful resource to build my understanding of this important event, but certainly commits the common sin of omitting women and people of color and trans activists from the history. I think almost all of the testimony quoted here is from white gay men. Important book & very readable for any interested age, and I hope there is a sequel about the unsung of the unsung heroes from Stonewall.
Kara Belden
Jan 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
This quick read (just over 100 pages) was interesting, informational, and inspiring. It taught me a lot about an important part of history that I knew nothing about. This book is perfect for a YA audience, and it would make a nice addition to any high school library.

“The most burdensome problem the homosexual must bear is the stigma placed upon him by an unenlightened and intolerant society” - Abigail Van Buren
Daniel Dillon
Jun 07, 2018 rated it liked it
A decent rendition of the story. The writing is good, but the focus of the narration tends to foreground gay men, often using them to stand for the entirety of the LGBTQ+ community. There's a distinct lack of trans figures from the story. As a general introduction to the violence that sparked the queer rights movement, it does a good job of highlighting that we did not win all those early victories from respectability politics.
Sonia Crites
Mar 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
I am so happy to have found this book and been able to explore the Gay Rights Movement through it. It share a lot of powerful history and really shows how it all came together at the right time and place.
Rachael
Jul 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
It is impossible to review Ann Bausum's new chronicle of the gay rights movement without thinking about where I was one month ago today: standing on Market Street in San Francisco, watching the biggest, most joyous Pride parade I have ever witnessed. It was two days after we all woke up to learn that the Supreme Court had granted same-sex couples the right to marry in all 50 states, and the mood in the city was total jubilation. The parade itself felt incredibly uncontroversial, with every corpo ...more
Sunny
Jun 22, 2016 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: definitely not trans people
I couldn't finish this book. I should have known from the phrase "gay rights" right there in the title that this was going to be an inaccurate recounting that focuses almost entirely on cis gay people (and possibly mostly cis gay men). This book was published in 2015. The author had absolutely no excuse for erasing the contributions of trans women and misgendering them. It doesn't matter what state trans politics were in at the time; just because these women were often considered crossdressing m ...more
Kristen
A good introduction into the Stonewall riots, and the gay rights movement before and after. It was really interesting to learn about how Stonewall galvanized the gay rights movement (and how celebrating the riots led to gay pride parades). I found the actual account of the riot to be a bit confusing and muddled (which I suppose makes sense, as riots aren't really linear, clear things to document).

Tim Federle, writer of the fabulous Better Nate Than Ever, is the narrator of the audiobook and he
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Evan
Feb 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbt
A great into to the Stonewall Riot and the role it played in the Gay Rights movement. Expertly narrated by Tim Federle (of "Better Nate Than Ever" fame). Seriously, I would listen to him read the phone book, if that still existed.
Donalyn
Well-researched and fascinating look at the early battle for gay rights.
Gerhard
Sep 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was a bit nervous about reading this, as a 100-odd page book on the history of gay activism seems overly reductive, especially considering the complexities involved. However, Ann Bausum tackles her subject with commendable clarity and economy, to produce a highly informative, and remarkably neutral, pocket history.

The genesis of the book was when a woman at a signing asked her to write about gay rights. Bausum then recounts learning about the suicide of 18-year-old American student Tyler Cleme
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Elizabeth
Stonewall is a solid introductory book to the Stonewall riot and LGBT rights history in the US for teens and young adults.

This is decently well written and researched. It covers the big picture of America before and after the riots admirably. The details of the riot itself were thorough enough and well told. I was hoping for more new information than I got, as I feel like I didn't learn much new having previously read articles and seen documentaries. I was hoping to see more info about POC and
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Sara
Jun 08, 2017 rated it liked it
The information in this short book was good. Mostly, however, I would say it was more of an 'introduction' to the Stonewall Riots and the Gay Rights/LGBT movement than a really decent, in depth history. It is, after all, only about 128 pages long. I described this to a friend as 'an abridged record of events'. Worth a read, but definitely not the ONLY book you should read on this topic.
Lee-Lee
Apr 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read the book Stonewall: Breaking Out in the Fight for Gay Rights by Ann Bausum, a Nonfiction book, for the 3rd quarter independent reading project. I would give this book a five star rating. In my overall opinion, I believe the book was extremely informative and detailed. The main characters was a large group/community known as the LGBTQ+ Community (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans*, Queer/questioning). They were considerably angry as they really wanted their rights. The main conflict was that t ...more
kapil
Jul 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: history, queer
Better read the other book by David Carter if you wish to know in depth, this book could be for those who want to read short history.
Ellyn Lentz
excellent
mj
May 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
an entire book on stonewall and marsha p johnson isn’t mentioned once. kinda shitty how so many cops and homophobes were mentioned by name and so many people important to the lgbt community left unnamed. disrespectful
Annette
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 f
...more
Renata
Jul 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
I'm really glad this exists! It's a very readable, accessible book for teens about a hugely important event that is often overlooked by American history books. (I mean, I know I read And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic when I was in high school, but that was extracurricular reading because that's the kind of nerd I was.) It's already--happily--out of date with its talk of gay marriage, but still a great look at just how hard it was to be a gay American in the 60s. (No ...more
Cecilie Larsen
Oct 23, 2016 rated it liked it
Bear in mind that when she says "Gay Rights" in the title it is setting the trend for the entire book.

Is particularly vague in instances when you'd know if you'd read up on Stonewall that the people being discussed are black and/or transgender. It wouldn't be hard to specify this and it's important.
The author isn't great when talking about trans people especially. At one point she misgenders a transwoman and continues to misgender her even though she states that she is trans. She does say some
...more
Earl
Stonewall, a nonfiction book intended for a teenage audience, is an informative look into an important part not only in gay history but American history as well. It details the corruption and the causes of the infamous riots, noting the key players and events that would spark a revolution. It includes a note from the Author sharing her story why she wrote this. With all the news involving gay rights, it's an exciting look at how far we've come and what's possible ahead.

The audio book is narrated
...more
Jan
Mar 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a wonderfully written and fascinating account of the Stonewall Riot, which many link to the beginning of the Gay Rights movement. In 1969, the year of Stonewall, LGBTQ people were treated with contempt by both the police and society. The police were responsible for constant harassment of gay bars (like Stonewall) and their patrons. One night, the gay community had had enough. That was the night of the Stonewall riot, which although violent at times, was more like a civil rights demonstra ...more
Jennifer Mangler
Aug 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, nonfiction
Of course I've heard of Stonewall and know it is significant in the equality movement, but when I heard about this book I realized that I actually had no idea what happened at Stonewall. I had no idea why Stonewall was important. There are probably a lot more people who could say the same thing. This book does a good job of introducing the reader to what happened at the Stonewall Inn and why that event became some a pivotal moment in the fight for equality.
Vicki
Aug 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, glbt, history
Very informative non-fiction book about the inception of gay rights. I grew up in the 60's and 70's and I was unaware of so much that happened. If I knew of the Stonewall Inn, I'd forgotten about it. I wasn't into world issues at that time, so I was not to aware of gay rights, but I had no idea that dressing or the opposite gender or dancing with the opposite sex was considered a crime!

Recommendation: A good book to read up on gay rights and those at the forefront of it.
Cass
Jul 12, 2015 rated it liked it
This is a very quick and easy read that gives a broad account of stonewall. However, this book is lacking in diversity and only focuses on a few select individuals. It is very important to teach our youth about all aspects of history and not just the part that focuses on white men. overall though, this is a very good and interesting telling of Stonewall.
Ella
Dec 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading this book. It was really informative on gay history which is kind of being forgotten with new generations of LGBT+ youth. The only reason I wouldn't give it 5 stars is because it was less of a story and more factual. I would definitely recommend it!
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Ann Bausum writes about history for readers of all ages from her home in southern Wisconsin. Her works often focus on under-told stories from the past, and she frequently explores issues of social justice.

Her newest title, The March Against Fear (National Geographic: 2017), is her third work to examine the civil rights movement in the American South. In the case of these and other books, Bausum s
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More about Ann Bausum

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“The spirit that emerged outside a Mafia-run bar in 1969 became the pulse of the gay community and inspired not just an annual parade but ways to express gay pride in individual lives.
Stonewall happens every day.”
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“Change does come.” 1 likes
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