Cover Image: Stonewall Riots

Stonewall Riots

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Member Reviews

Whilst written for middle grade readers, The Stonewall Riots is an important first step for anyone of any age wanting to educate themselves about Stonewall, the events leading up to it and the aftermath. It is informative without being overloaded, allowing it to read easily.

However, many elements felt more like a string of anecdotes that barely came together, others disjointed vague accounts and others that abruptly stopped just as they became in-depth. Also, perhaps it was the formatting of the e-arc - disappearing sentences, blank images - but there were moments in reading where I was pulled out of the book.

Even so, I definitely recommend this to someone who is beginning to research the importance of Stonewall.
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Stonewall Riots: Coming Out in the Streets by Gayle E Pitman was an amazing story that follows the real life Stonewall Riots that took place in 1969. This was a huge turning point of the LGBT community and it really hit home for me. Highly recommended.
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I love books like A History of Gardening in 50 Objects or A History of the World in 6 Glasses. Which is why I absolutely adored this book because it could be subtitled A History of the Stonewall Inn in 50 Objects. They say a picture is worth a thousand words and my students (I am reviewing after print book cake out and after my classroom copy arrived) and I have loved this one because readers who don't have a lot of time can just pick it up and either go to a specific object listed on the index and read about it or turn the pages until they find an artifact that speaks to them and learn more.
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I really wanted to like this book but just couldn't get into it. The book starts out very informative about the origin and history of Stonewall Inn. I found that the beginning of the story is easy to follow and well put together until the actual riot is addressed. At that point there was a shift in how the book flowed. I understand that there is very little factual information on the actual Stonewall Riots. And this book didn’t change that undisputed fact. However, after it gets to the riots the information begins to feel unfocused and even confusing at times. Again, I really wanted to enjoy the information this nonfiction title delivered. However, it wasn’t put together very well and seemed scattered at best.
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I read a lot of LGBT fiction but one thing that I haven’t read enough about is the history of the LGBT community. I am seriously behind on my non-fiction. From what I have learned through research after reading things in fiction I have picked up bits and pieces but I really need to expand my knowledge of the LGBT+ community and the ongoing battle for equality. This year I plan to change this. My non-fiction reading journey has begun with The Stonewall Riots by Gayle E. Pitman.

I had heard the term ‘Stonewall’ but never quite understood what it meant and its root. After reading The Stonewall Riots I now see how hard the initial fights for rights were and just how institutionalised the homophobia was…and sadly still is.

Pitman’s easy style means that the book can be read and enjoyed by all. It is a book that should be a feature of every school library and be used in PSHE lessons when discussing LGBTQIA+ issues.

If, like me, you are new to the non-fiction element of the history of LGBTQIA+ rights then The Stonewall Riots is a great book to start you off on that journey.

The Stonewall Riots by Gayle E. Pitman is available now.

For more information regarding Abram Kids (@ABRAMSbooks) please visit
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I admit to knowing not a lot about the history of LGBT+ activism. This book is a great introduction to one of the main events that led to the movement gaining traction. It included a brief history of what led up to the Stonewall Riots in New York and eyewitness accounts of what happened on those nights and a timeline of main events in history (across the 60s and 70s) that moved the activismfrom the shadows and into the spotlight, explaining why we have pride today.
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Great text for students. Information was clearly written and in a very engaging and kid appropriate tone.
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This book presents the Stonewall Riots to middle grade readers in an accessible way. The text is clear and concise, and everything is broken up nicely into easily digestible chunks. A fantastic addition to collections as the 50th anniversary of the riots approach.
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This history of the Stonewall Riots is intended for middle grade readers. Pitman does a lovely job of setting the stage for the world that the riots occurred in, with pictures of locations, people, and items, as well as back stories of the individuals and institutions involved. The prose is clear and easy to follow, if a bit dry, in my opinion.

While I liked the book, it was a little different than I expected. Some of the weirdness was the digital galley--it looked strange on the page with words appearing in multiple fonts and sentences breaking across different pages. The other part is that was laid out like an Eyewitness-style book, rather than a narrative, which is a very particular kind of reading experience. An Eyewitness book is designed to be dipped into at random rather than read straight through. I found it off-putting and it was harder to engage with the material this way. 

I had thought that I could share this with my older elementary child as a good primer on the event, but I think I'll put it on my list of books to check out with her in a few years. Right now, I think she's still too young to want to wade through some of the prose. Again, the words are clear, but I think she'd prefer more of a story style retelling rather than reference book.

I was given a complimentary copy of this book via NetGalley in order to facilitate this review.
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I love that books about LGBTQIA+ history are being made accessible to younger ages! This history is important, and I think people of all ages can enjoy this book, and learn about these fascinating events that impacted this community. Not to mention this cover is to die for!! I'll definitely be sharing this one with my students!
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The Stonewall riots were a crucial, era-defining moment in the struggle for equality. In the early hours of June 28 1969, The Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in the West Village of Manhattan, became the epicentre of an event that changed the course of LGBT history.

As the world celebrates 50 years since the riots and as Pride month (June) approaches, Pitman has compiled the known details into a book which is a lot less dry than its competitors. There is plenty of colour and the way it is structured keeps youngsters engaged. Not only are there bold and beautiful illustrations throughout but there are newspaper clippings, photographs and interviews with some of the people who were key players in the LGBTQ+ movement.

Although targeted at youngsters this is the perfect introduction to the mood leading up to the riots and what came after. It is an important topic, and despite not being part of the LGBTQ+ community myself I have many friends who are and I support the notion of equal rights for all. The book is a great way to see how far we've come in terms of acceptance, but we still have so much further to go.

I feel strongly that children should be introduced to the existence of LGBTQ+ issues from a young age due to the horrendous prejudice I have witnessed when spending time with friends. This is an essential addition to the bookshelf in schools, libraries and home collections. Many thanks to ABRAMS Books for Young Readers for an ARC.
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This book did not format well on my kindle. I will have to wait until it is published to read it. But it seems like a very good accounting of the history.
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This book should be in all schools; it provides a clear and detailed description of the events leading up to and following the Stonewall Riots bringing to life not just the historical events but the emotions and issues surrounding them. The characters involved are vividly realised and engaging without sentimentality or hero worship - the struggle is real and detailed in its breadth of concerns . Gayle Pitman manages to give meticulously researched historical detail whilst retaining the strong narrative and also provides further fascinating notes at the end. I thought I was fairly well informed about the riots but learned a lot from this reading and gained a greater depth of understanding. Highly recommended.
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I’ve read books about the Stonewall Riots before, but this was a whole other ballpark.  Instead of the usual dry, ambiguous factual information that authors tend to present alongside maps, Pitman presents the lead-up and aftermath of the Riots through pieces of evidence she calls “Objects”.  Those objects are news clippings, photographs, buttons, testimonials, and even more.

She discusses movements such as the GLF and the Mattachine Society, and how they failed lesbians and trans folks and drag queens.  How much of the liberation movement was focused on white, middle-class gay folks.  She discusses ambiguity of the Stonewall Riots, such as when Marsha P. Johnson showed up, and whether Storme Delarverie was actually present.  Not only that, but she discusses the lingo of the time, and how terms such as “transgender” were not really in existence, though those experiences were.

Filled to the brim with photographs and an additional timeline and citation section, this book certainly asserts its validity, and is written in a way that neither shies away from the difficulties nor overly dramatizes them–after all, this is a book perfect for middle grade students, and if they’re part of the lgbt community, this book should inform and comfort them, not scare them!

It’s overall just a really great and informational text.  I learned a lot from it, and makes me even more excited for this coming June!
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This is a good history of the Stonewall Riots, appropriate for tweens and anyone older. The book contains lots of photographs of artifacts from the time and utilizes primary sources whenever possible. This is an excellent book that belongs on every library's shelf.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Netgalley for the purposes of review.
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This was superbly done. Building a non-fiction LGBTQ+ section in my middle school library is somewhat of a challenge, but this book will go into the collection as soon as it's released.

In 2008 my family and I visited New York, and my aging-hippy father desperately wanted to visit Greenwich Village and Bleecker Street--to walk where musicians he loved walked. When I explained to him the we could absolutely do that, but he should know that Greenwich Village was also a community full of LQBTQ+ businesses, bars, and restaurants. He replied, "Oh, right. We need to go check out Stonewall." (RIP, Daddy.)

So I know a little bit about the Stonewall Riots (and not just because I also watched that one Drunk History episode), but I learned so much from this little book. Focusing on photos, clippings, and other items from LGBTQ+ activism, Pitman gives us a pretty comprehensive history accessible to all. And it's not just Stonewall--Pitman goes back to the turn of the 20th century when brave men and women began standing up for themselves and takes us beyond the Stonewall Riots to the activist groups that paved the way.

"This was just another battle. Nobody thought of it as History, Her-Story, My-Story, Your-Story or Our-Story. We were being denied a place to dance together. That's all."
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1 Star
Many thanks to NetGalley and Abrams Kids for providing me with an eARC of this title for review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Reviewing a book that isn’t published is sometimes difficult. You don’t know if more edits will be made or if this is the finished product. With that being said, I really wanted to like this book but just couldn't get there. The book starts out very informative about the origin and history of Stonewall Inn. I found that the beginning of the story is easy to follow and well put together until the actual riot is addressed. At that point there was a shift in how the book flowed. I understand that there is very little factual information on the actual Stonewall Riots. And this book didn’t change that undisputed fact. However, after it gets to the riots the information begins to feel unfocused and even confusing at times. The author breaks off into tangents that either didn’t flow well or had little relevance to the story. The book does however, try to highlight how the riots pushed the LGBTQ movement forward, politically. The book closes with historic changes such as, in 1999 the Stonewall Inn was added to the NRHP (National Register of Historic Places) with historical significance to the LGBTQ community. And in 2016, Stonewall was designated a National Monument.
Again, I really wanted to enjoy the information this nonfiction title delivered. However, it wasn’t put together very well and seemed scattered at best. At this time, this title will not be high on my recommended list for my students. I will read it again when it is officially published and hopefully it will read better at that time.
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Pitman’s newest nonfiction foray is timely as the Stonewall Riots celebrate its 50th anniversary this year. Within, Pitman has done copious research, conducted interviews, and collected various primary resources to support the context of the Stonewall Riots. However, it seems, from this eARC, that it is a first draft and not well organized. The timeline jumps around, introduces people multiple times, and overall is a mess. Hopefully, this can be corrected before publishing in May. Additionally, it is quite dry. I didn’t ever feel very invested in the people portrayed, despite many of them being ripe for empathy and characterization. Nevertheless, I did learn a lot about the Stonewall Riots and the birth of the LGBTQIA+ movement.
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Geared for young readers, this history of the Stonewall Riots and the events leading up to them is fascinating. The author does a wonderful job of clearly setting out the history of the gay rights movement and its earlier incarnations (The Mattachine Society, the Gay Liberation Front, The Daughters of Bilitis, etc.). Slowly, but surely, the reader sees just how pivotal the Stonewall Riots were in creating public awareness of gay rights. I also like how the pictures of various objects give readers a picture of the times (old matchbooks, pictures of the early Stonewall Inn, protest posters, etc.) 

My only comment is that at times the text is repetitive with events described several times. But overall, this is an very good non-fiction book for young readers (and readers of all ages) who want a good understanding of the Stonewall Riots and their importance in our nation's history. 4 stars.
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Extremely informative without feeling inaccessible. An  hugely important topic covered perfectly within the book .
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