The Stonewall Riots: Coming Out in the Streets Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2019-09-12 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 0 user ratings

"In honor of Pride month, I decided to learn more about the Stonewall Riots especially given that the event happened exactly 50 years ago. The book is structured around analyzing different artifacts. In fact each chapter revolves around a photograph, leaflet, poster, etc. What I most appreciated was how honest the book was and informed the reader of conflicting testimonies and gray area details. The Stonewall Riots were significantly underreported and so gaps have impacted this historical retelling. This is a topic often considered taboo in schools, but by not teaching something, your (un)intended oversight speaks volumes." said.

"It's refreshing to read a book about a recent historical event written by an author who doesn't claim to know exactly how it happened. In a situation like the Stonewall Riots, when passions are high, people's recollections are going to be affected by their emotions, so to read a book that doesn't say "this is how it started, and that's that" feels honest. The background information of the actual location, as well as the folks involved was interesting, though there were times when so many additional "characters" were introduced that it got a little confusing. I enjoyed reading this account of the riots, their impact on the current LGBTQIA community, and the people involved.

This book was provided to me free of charge by Edelweiss. My review is given voluntarily.
" said.

"This reminds me of a family scrapbook in that much of the 'hard' history is most likely lost thanks to the passage of time, death of primary sources and the unbelievable prejudice in media 50 years ago. Imagine finding a slightly faded album of photos in your grandmother's attic and since she has passed on, you and your parents must read between the lines as you decipher the stories behind the photos. This has that flavor for me. Don't get me wrong, I am very impressed with the information in here and there are many people I've never heard of that played parts in the groundswell that started the Gay Liberation movement. This is a book for anyone, regardless of age who cares about history in general and LGBTQ+ history in specific. I'm passing my copy on to a nearby high school library." said.

"This is a phenomenal little book that makes the messy, non-linear, and sometimes unknown history of the Stonewall Riots and Gay Liberation easily digestible for young and older readers. Historical events and contextualising cultural attitudes are shared via object lessons,

I appreciated the relatively unbiased take on all of the history - Pitman shows more than one side of the story in many cases. That said, (and I understand that children's' books tend to maintain a level of simplicity) the story felt like it was still missing a lot.

My own personal understanding of gay liberation rests largely on the legacy of Martha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, and STAR; people of colour and counterculturalists were represented as being largely present during the riots, but relatively absent in the events that contributed to liberation and the ongoing struggle in the decades following. That seemed off to me.

In the end, I learned a lot more than I knew before reading it, and I'm grateful to feel closer to the ancestors who helped me live as freely as I do today.
" said.

"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.
" said.

"Disclaimer: I received an eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Stonewall Riots: Coming Out in the Streets is a middle grade non-fiction book about the events before, during, and after the Stonewall Riots in New York City in 1969.

This non-fiction book is designed around artifacts of major events pertaining to the Stonewall Riots. Each document may be something like a newspaper article, a button, an arrest sheet, or pictures. When I first started reading, I was a little hesitant about this style, but I quickly became fascinated by it.

It was extremely well put together, and together, it told a very cohesive recounting of the key events in recent LGBT+ history. At no point did the text seem disjointed. The author also solidly explained some of the terminology that was used as slurs then (and are still used now as slurs), and while I wish that the author had chosen not to include them, I can understand why they would.

Overall, this is a very good introduction to those in the middle-grade category about this historic event and will keep them engaged with the short chapters and pictures.
" said.

"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.
" said.

"*Please disregard the updates I posted about this book being marketed as Middle Grade. When I went to add my review to Edelweiss it now says the book is classified as a "Social Science - Lgbt studies" textbook. When it was originally promoted in the EW newsletter of upcoming titles it said it was MG and the catalog page also noted it as MG, but now that has been changed.

The hints that this was not MG were the inclusion of accounts electroshock aversion therapy, lobotomies, prostitution rings, illegal drug trade, and drug abuse; plus quotes of uncensored newspaper clippings, detailed descriptions of State and Federal laws, and tons of dates and names. Middle Grade is for elementary school students ages 7-12.

This book is okay. It's being promoted as being a less dry, and more narrative, history recounting of early LGBTQ+ events and the Stonewall riots, but I personally still found it to read like a textbook with very few personal narratives which were also, most times, only very short paragraphs. I don't see this book having much function outside of an educational setting as a textbook. There were photographs of activists and the gay community from that time which was a nice addition.

I was approved for an eARC, via Edelweiss, in return for an honest review.
" said.

September 2019 New Book:

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