Video Stream LGBTQ Movies and Series To Celebrate Pride Month!

51 years ago today, the Stonewall riots began, when the New York City police raided the Stonewall Inn club in Greenwich Village and the LGBTQ members fought back, with six days of protests that lead to the gay liberation movement. To commemorate this pivotal point in LGBTQ history, and continue the celebration of Pride Month, here are some movies and TV shows available on IndieFlix and hoopla with your library card! 

Angel Dumott Schunard is one of the kindest and yet most controversial characters in the popular award-winning musical RENT. Throughout the movie, Angel dresses in drag and sometimes identifies as “he” and at other times “she.” However she identifies, she is there for her friends as well as her lover. Angel isn’t alone in being an LGBTQ character in this musical. Maureen Johnson flirts with both guys and girls, making her girlfriend, Joanne, jealous. But RENT isn’t just about the relationships. It’s about coping with illness, the characters finding their voice or calling in life, and trying to make ends meet so they can pay their… you guessed it: rent! 

Also on hoopla is a movie with many recognizable characters, including Christina Ricci, known for her role as Kat in Casper; Lisa Kudrow, recognizable as the eccentric Phoebe Buffay in Friends, and Johnny Galecki, who played Leonard Hofstadter in The Big Bang Theory. In The Opposite of Sex, Ricci portrays 16-year-old Dedee, who runs away from her mother to live with her half-brother, Bill, and intrude on his relationship with his boyfriend, Matt. Despite Dedee being the narrator, there are moments when it’s difficult to be on her side. 

There are plenty of other LGBTQ movies to pick from in hoopla’s LGBTQIA+ Pride Month movie collection, including The Feels, about a girl couple celebrating their joint bachelorette party; My Summer Love, which has a deceptively cheery title for a psychological thriller; and The Wedding Banquet, a comedy about a Chinese yuppie in New York who tries to fake a marriage of convenience to hide his sexuality from his parents in Taiwan. 

If you don’t have the time or patience to sit through a whole movie, or if you’re interested in creative films such as the ones shown at the Marblehead Festival of Arts Film Festival, go over to IndieFlix and try some of the short films and series there. 

Consisting of two seasons of episodes only a few minutes long, The Coffee Shop Series is like a flash fiction series in visual format which you can easily binge in one night. Get a glimpse into everyday encounters Carol experiences in various coffee shops, where she meets girls and guys, sometimes running into them repeatedly, as fate would have it, all the while trying out various types of art, including sketching, writing, and making necklaces. 

One road trip you wouldn’t want to be on is the one with Tristan and Zooey in the 15-minute film, The Thing. With both of them unable to hold their annoyances towards the other about taking the trip, they struggle to reconnect as they travel to “The Thing.”

For something a bit more odd, try Candy Cravings, about a woman who has an insatiable appetite.. for people! It must be difficult to be in a relationship when all you want to do is eat your girlfriend. Find out what happens by logging on to your RB Digital account! 

It doesn’t end there! View the whole Indieflix LGBTQ collection for more short movies and series. You can also find out more about the history of the LGBTQ community in this selection of nonfiction titles, and peruse the reading lists of LGBTQ+ YA Books and YA Novels Featuring Trans and Nonbinary Characters

Also, check out the Pride Month events held by some of our museum partners, including a musical and visual performance from singer-songwriter Anjimile and artist Jess T. Dugan at 2:00 pm today, Sunday, June 28th!

Historical Fiction Reviews and NextReads Newsletters

Travel to another time and place with these historical fiction books! You can check these ebooks and audiobooks out with your library card on hoopla or Overdrive/the Libby app.

Belgravia by Julian Fellowes

Julian Fellowes created the hit PBS series, Downton Abbey, and won many awards for his screenplays. His novel Belgravia has been filmed for a mini-series. The story begins in 1815 Belgravia, London. On the eve of the Battle of Waterloo, events occur at the famous ball given by the Duchess of Richmond that will follow the characters with their secrets to unfold twenty-five years later. 

Read the Overdrive ebook or listen to the hoopla audiobook

Boston Girl by Anita Diamant

Set in early twentieth century Boston, Diamant tells the story of a Jewish girl, Addie Baum growing up with her three sisters and Russian immigrant parents. They live through the 1918 Influenza epidemic. Addie works toward her dream of going to college and becoming a career woman. She enters the work force as a newspaper typist. Diamant began her career as a journalist and is a Massachusetts author.

Read the Overdrive ebook or listen to the hoopla audiobook.

Brooklyn by Colm Toibin

Award-winning author Colm Toibin delivers an engaging story of Irish immigrant Eilis Lacey’s experiences having to move to Brooklyn on her own to find a job and then being torn between the life she has found there and returning home to her family. Colm Toibin’s wonderful writing depicts life in the 1950s, Eilis living in a boarding house, attending dances, studying at Brooklyn College, her aching homesickness and the people and events that shape the person she becomes.

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

Abraham Verghese is an American physician and winner of a National Humanities Medal. Born in Ethiopia he emigrated with his family to the United States and did his fellowship at Boston University School of Medicine during the AIDS epidemic. His novel begins in 1947. Twin brothers, Marion and Shiva were born from a secret union between an Indian nun and a British surgeon. Their mother died in childbirth and the father abandons them. The twins grew up cared for by two doctors. The Ethiopian Civil War began and the ill fated love Marion and Shiva shared for the same woman drove them apart. Marion continues his medical training and becomes a surgeon in New York where he becomes reunited with his estranged father and brother. 

Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier

Set in Jane Austen’s time, Chevalier brings to life the world of Lyme Regis where Mary Anning and her friend Elizabeth Philpot search the rocky beaches for fossils. Mary Anning’s amazing discoveries had a significant impact on the scientific community.

The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Coates tells the story of Hiram Walker who was born into slavery on a plantation in Virginia in the mid 1800s. His father was the owner of the plantation. Hiram realizes he has an extraordinary photographic memory except he can’t remember his mother who was sold as a slave when he was young. He then recognizes his mother in a vision as a water dancer when he has a near death experience. Hiram wants to escape slavery and embarks on a journey into the Underground and a fight for freedom. Coates began his career as a journalist and is a National Book Award winner for Between the World and Me.


You can sign up to receive booklist newsletters via email from NextReads through NOBLE. Choose from a variety of genres, including historical fiction, to find your next great read, and search for ebook and audiobook formats to download through Overdrive/the Libby app and hoopla.

You can also search for reading recommendations through NoveList (see our NoveList post for more information on this resource) or contact the Reference staff at mar@noblenet.org.

Cyborgs, Assassins, and Stepsisters: YA Cinderella Retellings

When you think of fairy tales, one that may come to mind is the story of Cinderella. It has been told and retold hundreds of times, sometimes in the form of YA novels. In this post, you will find a few of these tales. They feature cyborgs, assassins, comic-cons, and stepsisters. One of them is even true. So if any of these catch your interest, check out the list below and explore a few of the Cinderella retellings we have accessible for you in Overdrive or through Overdrive’s Libby App.

*All descriptions are from the publisher.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer (also available as an audiobook on hoopla)

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl…

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

Ash by Malinda Lo

In the wake of her father’s death, Ash is left at the mercy of her cruel stepmother. Consumed with grief, her only joy comes by the light of the dying hearth fire, rereading the fairy tales her mother once told her. In her dreams, someday the fairies will steal her away. When she meets the dark and dangerous fairy Sidhean, she believes that her wish may be granted.

The day that Ash meets Kaisa, the King’s Huntress, her heart begins to change. Instead of chasing fairies, Ash learns to hunt with Kaisa. Their friendship, as delicate as a new bloom, reawakens Ash’s capacity for love—and her desire to live. But Sidhean has already claimed Ash for his own, and she must make a choice between fairy tale dreams and true love.

Geekerella by Ashley Poston

Geek girl Elle Wittimer lives and breathes Starfield, the classic sci-fi series she grew up watching with her late father. So when she sees a cosplay contest for a new Starfield movie, she has to enter. The prize? An invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball, and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. With savings from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck (and her dad’s old costume), Elle’s determined to win…unless her stepsisters get there first.

Teen actor Darien Freeman used to live for cons—before he was famous. Now they’re nothing but autographs and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Carmindor is all he’s ever wanted, but the Starfield fandom has written him off as just another dumb heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, Darien feels more and more like a fake—until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise.

Chinese Cinderella: The True Story of an Unwanted Daughter by Adeline Yen Mah

A Chinese proverb says, “Falling leaves return to their roots.” In Chinese Cinderella, Adeline Yen Mah returns to her roots to tell the story of her painful childhood and her ultimate triumph and courage in the face of despair. Adeline’s affluent, powerful family considers her bad luck after her mother dies giving birth to her. Life does not get any easier when her father remarries. She and her siblings are subjected to the disdain of her stepmother, while her stepbrother and stepsister are spoiled. Although Adeline wins prizes at school, they are not enough to compensate for what she really yearns for — the love and understanding of her family.

Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly (also available on hoopla)

Isabelle should be blissfully happy-she’s about to win the handsome prince. Except Isabelle isn’t the beautiful girl who lost the glass slipper and captured the prince’s heart. She’s the ugly stepsister who cut off her toes to fit into Cinderella’s shoe… which is now filling with blood.

Isabelle tried to fit in. She cut away pieces of herself in order to become pretty. Sweet. More like Cinderella. But that only made her mean, jealous, and hollow. Now she has a chance to alter her destiny and prove what ugly stepsisters have always known: it takes more than heartache to break a girl.

Walt Disney Records The Legacy Collection
Fewer tracks on this version
Japanese version

This next book isn’t a direct retelling, more of an inspired-by. The author mentions in an interview that her inspiration for the story was Disney’s Cinderella soundtrack during the fleeing the castle scene. (Click the images or link above to access different copies of the soundtrack in hoopla – the song is titled “The Stroke Of Midnight /Thank You Fairy Godmother” in all of them.) She felt that the music was a bit too dark and intense for the scene and thought that it would fit better if Cinderella was an assassin sent to kill the prince instead, and so the following story was born.

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.

Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom.

Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilarating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her… but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead… quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

If you’re interested in other fairy tales, check out our post on Beauty and the Beast retellings!

The Green Witch: Your Complete Guide to the Natural Magic of Herbs, Flowers, Essential Oils, and More

Spring is in full bloom, and most of us are itching to get outside and enjoy all that nature has to offer us. We admire the trees for their blossoming buds, and we plant gardens full of colorful flowers and aromatic herbs. In Arin Murphy-Hiscock’s The Green Witch: Your Complete Guide to the Natural Magic of Herbs, Flowers, Essential Oils, and More, readers learn how to connect more deeply and spiritually with the natural environment they live in. 

Living in Salem’s neighboring cities and towns, we’re all familiar with the terms witch and witchcraft. A common misconception about witchcraft is that it is the same as Wicca. Wicca is a specific and formal nature-based religion, whereas witchcraft (as Hiscock describes) “refers to the practice of working with natural energies to attain goals, without the specific religious context” (p. 14). 

There are many forms and focuses of witchcraft, but the path of the green witch is defined by her relationship to the world around her, by her ethics, and by her affinity with the natural world. With green witchcraft, there are no unique prayers, no uniforms, no holy texts, no obligatory tools, and no specific holiday. Instead, green witchcraft is a practice that combines the use of herbs and other green matter with seven basic energies: harmony, health, love, happiness, peace, abundance, and protection.

Throughout Hiscock’s guide, readers will learn how to use the various elements of nature—the sun, the moon, trees, stones, flowers, and herbs—to connect more closely with the Earth, to create and craft green witch magic, to become a natural healer, and much more.The Green Witch: Your Complete Guide to the Natural Magic of Herbs, Flowers, Essential Oils, and More is now accessible in Overdrive and the Libby app!

Humor and the Apocalypse

Humor and apocalypse – do they go together?

The Last Kids on Earth series of graphic novels, written by Max Brallier and illustrated by Douglas Holgate, is an action-packed comic for ages 8-12 with lots of slimy, squelchy, icky monsters that need to be dispatched in time-honored snarky hero style. Enter 13-year-old Jack Sullivan and his three best friends who might just be the last kids on earth due to a “Monster Apocalypse.” One way to deal with anxiety is to frame a comic with gamer-style action and comedy with kids saving the world.

Reluctant readers have been grabbing this series even before it was rumored to be turned into a Netflix offering soon. Lots of humor, over-the-top villains, and tight friendships.

Read this series on Overdrive or with the Libby app!

Book 1: The Last Kids on Earth
Book 2: The Last Kids on Earth and the Zombie Parade
Book 3: The Last Kids on Earth and the Nightmare King
Book 4: The Last Kids on Earth and the Cosmic Beyond
Book 5: The Last Kids on Earth and the Midnight Blade

Middle Grade Fiction Picks For Ages 10+ Dealing With Struggles

As adults, we have so many different and conflicting feelings each day of the COVID-19 pandemic. Children are feeling similar emotions with the loss of their routines and worries for their families. Here are some middle grade books that explore difficult life situations that children can experience. Despite their struggles, the characters in these stories demonstrate resilience, and learn how to understand and accept their own emotions.

The List of Things That Will Not Change by Rebecca Stead

In this story, narrator Bea looks back on when she was a fifth grader, her parents divorced, and her father remarried. The list of things that will not change was to console her through all the things that did. Bea must deal with anxiety, a new stepsister, prejudice against her gay father, and her own failures with anger management.  But with support from adults, including a helpful therapist. Bea learns to see the emotions behind her behavior, and finds the strength to cope.

Refugee by Alan Gratz

Powerful historical fiction that uses three parallel stories to show the migrant experience from the point of view of three different kids migrating by boat in three different time periods. The two boys and a girl are fleeing from Nazi Germany, Cuba, and Aleppo. Their journeys have much hardship and fear, and experiences of loss. The behavior of the adults they encounter runs the gamut of exploitation to generosity. These three stories demonstrate the very real value of hope.  

The Benefits of Being an Octopus by Ann Braden

Middle schooler Zoey has to look after her three younger siblings while her mother works her shifts at the local pizza parlor. The family lives in a rural part of Vermont, and her family’s poverty causes many hardships for her. Her homework isn’t always done, her clothes are few and dirty, and food and basic transportation needs are challenging. A sympathetic teacher finagles her into the debate club, where she learns to speak up for her friends and herself, find her voice, and start imagining a future.

Find more books for kids you can access for free with your library card on Overdrive (or in the Libby app) and hoopla!