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The Stonewall Riots: Making a Stand for LGBTQ Rights

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Turn back the clock with History Comics! In this graphic novel, experience the Stonewall Riots firsthand and meet iconic activists like Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera. Three teenagers—Natalia, Jax, and Rashad—are magically transported from their modern lives to the legendary Stonewall Inn in the summer of 1969. Escorted by Natalia's eccentric abuela (and her pet cockat Turn back the clock with History Comics! In this graphic novel, experience the Stonewall Riots firsthand and meet iconic activists like Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera. Three teenagers—Natalia, Jax, and Rashad—are magically transported from their modern lives to the legendary Stonewall Inn in the summer of 1969. Escorted by Natalia's eccentric abuela (and her pet cockatiel, Rocky), the friends experience the police raid firsthand and are thrown into the infamous riots that made the struggle for LGBTQ rights front-page news.


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Turn back the clock with History Comics! In this graphic novel, experience the Stonewall Riots firsthand and meet iconic activists like Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera. Three teenagers—Natalia, Jax, and Rashad—are magically transported from their modern lives to the legendary Stonewall Inn in the summer of 1969. Escorted by Natalia's eccentric abuela (and her pet cockat Turn back the clock with History Comics! In this graphic novel, experience the Stonewall Riots firsthand and meet iconic activists like Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera. Three teenagers—Natalia, Jax, and Rashad—are magically transported from their modern lives to the legendary Stonewall Inn in the summer of 1969. Escorted by Natalia's eccentric abuela (and her pet cockatiel, Rocky), the friends experience the police raid firsthand and are thrown into the infamous riots that made the struggle for LGBTQ rights front-page news.

30 review for The Stonewall Riots: Making a Stand for LGBTQ Rights

  1. 5 out of 5

    brianna

    such an important comic 🥹

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ashley G.

    Age range for this is probably going to be 8 to 10 depending on maturity. This was a very mild retelling of what happened at Stonewall which is appropriate for the age that this is geared toward. Beautifully illustrated and brief. A reminder to our youth that the freedoms they enjoy were fought for.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Manon the Malicious

    I was provided an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. History Comics: The Stonewall Riots takes up back to those nights in 1969 inside and outside of the Stonewall Inn. Literally, characters from our time, Natalia, Jax and Rashad, are thrown back in time by Natalia's abuela and live the events for themselves. I hadn't read the summary before reading or requesting this, and I was not expecting this. I was really expecting a more scholar version of the events, but that's my bad for n I was provided an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. History Comics: The Stonewall Riots takes up back to those nights in 1969 inside and outside of the Stonewall Inn. Literally, characters from our time, Natalia, Jax and Rashad, are thrown back in time by Natalia's abuela and live the events for themselves. I hadn't read the summary before reading or requesting this, and I was not expecting this. I was really expecting a more scholar version of the events, but that's my bad for not reading synopsis. Overall, I liked this okay, but it's definitely aimed at teens and younger, I don't feel like I learned much and it mostly just made me want to read more about those nights and Queer history in general. Still, I could recommend this to kids and I feel like the comic format was pretty smart, also while I didn't connect with all the characters, I did really feel a sort of connection with Natalia and I enjoyed following her the most. All in all, a fast read that could have been more in depth but still teaches the basic of this historic moment.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Dave Mevis

    This is a very quick read which provided a very high level overview of the infamous Stonewall Riots, said to informally mark the start of the LGBTQIA+ rights movement, though the author points out there were many smaller protests and uprisings occurring around the country for years prior to the Stonewall Riots. The graphic novel is a fictionalized account and the author notes it is a history from one person's perspective. The effect was to help this reader better understand and more closely empa This is a very quick read which provided a very high level overview of the infamous Stonewall Riots, said to informally mark the start of the LGBTQIA+ rights movement, though the author points out there were many smaller protests and uprisings occurring around the country for years prior to the Stonewall Riots. The graphic novel is a fictionalized account and the author notes it is a history from one person's perspective. The effect was to help this reader better understand and more closely empathize with the LGBTQIA+ community at the center of these discriminatory abuses and the resulting protests and uprisings (a more fitting description of what went on than simply "riot"). I recommend that everyone buy and read this book and everything else you can get your hands on about the struggles of all oppressed peoples around the world and the efforts by many to further discriminate and oppress these people. (I'm looking at you, Trump, Putin, Gaetz, MTG, SCOTUS, McConnell, etc.)

  5. 5 out of 5

    Annie

    I saw this at a comic book shop in Portland and thought why not. It’s a graphic novel telling of the 1969 Stonewall Riots. I had high hopes for it. Stonewall was instrumental for LGBT rights. I had listened to a podcast about the riots so I was curious to see how this book told the story. It’s a very sanitized version of the riots. It is told through three LGBT youth who go back in time after learning that one of their grandmothers was gay. The three teens that go back in time, are very superfic I saw this at a comic book shop in Portland and thought why not. It’s a graphic novel telling of the 1969 Stonewall Riots. I had high hopes for it. Stonewall was instrumental for LGBT rights. I had listened to a podcast about the riots so I was curious to see how this book told the story. It’s a very sanitized version of the riots. It is told through three LGBT youth who go back in time after learning that one of their grandmothers was gay. The three teens that go back in time, are very superficial, and they almost do this incident a disservice. I understand that you want to make the story accessible to a younger audience, but at the same time, you are doing the movement a disservice with this portrayal. It doesn’t focus so much on what that group of people went through, and more on the superficial bullshit of the young teens. I wanted to like this book more, because I feel it tells an important story. I hope that in the future somebody else will do the story justice in this medium.

  6. 5 out of 5

    dobbs the dog

    Received from NetGalley, thanks! This was a good overview of what led to the Stonewall Riots in 1969. I liked that it also gave a bit of history of actions that occurred prior to Stonewall, as well as some highlights of what has come since, with an overall sense that there is still a lot of work to be done.

  7. 4 out of 5

    tany

    I borrowed this from my brother before he returned it to the library and I really enjoyed it. It's an important historical event introduced to young readers through the lens of teens experiencing it. I liked the recap of the strides/progress that has happened since and what work continues to be needed. 5/5 I borrowed this from my brother before he returned it to the library and I really enjoyed it. It's an important historical event introduced to young readers through the lens of teens experiencing it. I liked the recap of the strides/progress that has happened since and what work continues to be needed. 5/5

  8. 5 out of 5

    Meredith Ann

    ARC courtesy of NetGalley. A great addition to the History Comics series. Three teens, along with one's abuela, find themselves traveling through time back to the Stonewall Riots in 1969, learning firsthand what happened and how it still affects them as LGBTQ+ teens living in today's world. ARC courtesy of NetGalley. A great addition to the History Comics series. Three teens, along with one's abuela, find themselves traveling through time back to the Stonewall Riots in 1969, learning firsthand what happened and how it still affects them as LGBTQ+ teens living in today's world.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Gretchen

    A group of lgbt teenagers and their elderly friend get sucked back in time to the 1960s. They experience the Stonewall Riots in person and discover different ways that they can advocate for lgbt people in the present. #NetGalley

  10. 5 out of 5

    TheNextGenLibrarian

    A great way to share information about the Stonewall Riots that many don’t even know about.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Andréa

    Note: I received a digital review copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Karen Meno

    A disappointed read about a significant event in history. The writing reads like a history text. The time travel is a worn device and is not a good fit. The characters are teens but are completely clueless about the struggles faced by the LGBTQ community which is odd considering the students are involved in a LGBTQ organization at their school. The grandmother reveals she had a girlfriend when she was young but that wasn’t acceptable so she got married and had children. There is no reflection on A disappointed read about a significant event in history. The writing reads like a history text. The time travel is a worn device and is not a good fit. The characters are teens but are completely clueless about the struggles faced by the LGBTQ community which is odd considering the students are involved in a LGBTQ organization at their school. The grandmother reveals she had a girlfriend when she was young but that wasn’t acceptable so she got married and had children. There is no reflection on this revelation by any of the characters. They just leap into the 1960s. So much of this is written about so casually and flippantly that the subject matter is not given the gravity and respect it deserves. Disappointing.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sesana

    Honestly, I have somewhat mixed feelings about this graphic novel, and they're mostly to do with the framing device. Bongiovanni decided to show the events of the Stonewall Riots through the eyes of three modern teenagers, who travel back in time with the grandmother of one of them. On one hand, I liked how this device allowed Bongiovanni to explore just how much has changed in terms of safety and visibility for LGBT+ people, and how each teen showcased different coping strategies: one wants to Honestly, I have somewhat mixed feelings about this graphic novel, and they're mostly to do with the framing device. Bongiovanni decided to show the events of the Stonewall Riots through the eyes of three modern teenagers, who travel back in time with the grandmother of one of them. On one hand, I liked how this device allowed Bongiovanni to explore just how much has changed in terms of safety and visibility for LGBT+ people, and how each teen showcased different coping strategies: one wants to ignore the issues and have fun, one wants to run away and hide, and one wants to take immediate action. They each learn that their initial instincts aren't sufficient, and return to the modern day determined to do better. So far, so good. But I can't help but feel that concentrating so much on three fictional, time-traveling teens distracted from the real history. Which is a shame, because Bongiovanni does an excellent job of setting up what life was like for LGBT+ people at the time and why the Stonewall Riots were so important, without painting it as either a beginning or ending for the movement. I think young readers will get a lot out of this book, especially perspective, which is why I'm willing to overlook that I'm not in love with the framing device.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

    This was an interesting way to learn about a historical topic rarely seen in most schools. It starts out with a letter of introduction from a LGBTQ historian. The graphic novel is a group of three modern kids helping their abuela move and they find a picture of her with another woman. Abuela she starts telling them what it used to be like before being bisexual was considered okay. She not only tells them about it she decides to show them and somehow magically transfers them back to 1969. She tak This was an interesting way to learn about a historical topic rarely seen in most schools. It starts out with a letter of introduction from a LGBTQ historian. The graphic novel is a group of three modern kids helping their abuela move and they find a picture of her with another woman. Abuela she starts telling them what it used to be like before being bisexual was considered okay. She not only tells them about it she decides to show them and somehow magically transfers them back to 1969. She takes them to the Stonewall Inn but doesn’t pay attention to the date. They just so happen to get there on the date the riots start. I was under the assumption that the riots were a one night event but this made it sound like it was a few nights. In the back the author even admits that some things are not true. Obviously the two major figures in the stonewall riots did not meet three time traveling kids, however the author does make a very good point that history looks different to different people. So while there is no “official” account of what happened at Stonewall there are multiple different perspectives. After talking about stonewall the book goes both forward and backward into the LGBTQ movement including the fight, gay marriage, various alliances, and organizations, etc. Overall this book was a successful introduction to the topic that would be good for middle school and might get other kids interested in finding out what really happened.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Raven Black

    I give this book a four for the story idea and showing history in this genre/format. But it loses a point due to the time traveling aspect. The fact this was a major point of GLBT+ rights mean that having 21st century people in 1969 allows the smallest thing could cause a butterfly effect and could have changed history. However, that aside the look at the struggles of Stonewall is well done with contemporary ideas to show how "then and now" are radically different, but also the same. I liked that I give this book a four for the story idea and showing history in this genre/format. But it loses a point due to the time traveling aspect. The fact this was a major point of GLBT+ rights mean that having 21st century people in 1969 allows the smallest thing could cause a butterfly effect and could have changed history. However, that aside the look at the struggles of Stonewall is well done with contemporary ideas to show how "then and now" are radically different, but also the same. I liked that we are not only introduced to Gay Rights protesters/revolutionaries, but some GLBT+ people who still wanted to be safe, quiet. The other movements before, during and after Stonewall was a nice touch (1969 was not the start of fighting, even the late 1950s saw their share). Of course, the historical people are there, and even how the leaders would later fight another fight for inclusion in the movement they started. The history aspect is done well, a good introduction to the subject nd really is an all-ages book. However, the younger end might not do well with the riot scenes (while tastefully done, they might not be for the sensitive reader).

  16. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    I'm a sucker for books that play with time. I also love when a story can teach me something. So I was excited to get my hands on this book. My oldest daughter and I have often lamented that there are no fiction books centered around the Stonewall Riots. It seems like such an important piece of LGBTQ history, yet no one is writing about it outside of a handful of non-fiction titles. So when I saw that this was a time travel story about a group of teens transported to the riot - we were both very I'm a sucker for books that play with time. I also love when a story can teach me something. So I was excited to get my hands on this book. My oldest daughter and I have often lamented that there are no fiction books centered around the Stonewall Riots. It seems like such an important piece of LGBTQ history, yet no one is writing about it outside of a handful of non-fiction titles. So when I saw that this was a time travel story about a group of teens transported to the riot - we were both very excited. My only complaint is that I wish it were longer. I wish we could have gone deeper into the story, but that isn't what this book is meant to be. It's a fantastic introduction to this moment in history, but it's only that, an introduction. I loved seeing the modern teens reacting to the time period, and realizing that the fight isn't over, even though it is safer today to be out. My full review is here: http://historybookbybook.com/History_...

  17. 4 out of 5

    Dawn

    First, I'm a huge fan of History Comics to begin with. Second, while this subject is covered in other books, and some even quite well, I appreciate a non-fiction graphic novel even more. This one hits close to home as I have seen many people in the LGBTQIA+ community who would rather sit on the sidelines or run than fight. And, while I understand the desire, it's nice to have these characters learn and change (as I hope others will now). While this book covers the basics of the Stonewall Riots, First, I'm a huge fan of History Comics to begin with. Second, while this subject is covered in other books, and some even quite well, I appreciate a non-fiction graphic novel even more. This one hits close to home as I have seen many people in the LGBTQIA+ community who would rather sit on the sidelines or run than fight. And, while I understand the desire, it's nice to have these characters learn and change (as I hope others will now). While this book covers the basics of the Stonewall Riots, where it really hits for me is the addition of much more LGBTQIA+ history. As big a history nerd as I am (and pretty well versed in LGBTQIA+ history), I learned a couple of new things. This will grace the shelves of the libraries I buy for. for sure!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Rachel McShane

    Thank you, NetGalley, for this ARC! This was an EXCELLENT book. It reminded me of things like the Magic School Bus or The Magic Treehouse series. Three young queer teens get transported back in time to the Stonewall riots and not only learn about history, but themselves as well. This would be a great resource for young students to learn both about LGBTQ+ history, and also recognize some of the things we in modern times tend to take advantage of. It also had resources for young LGBTQ people and y Thank you, NetGalley, for this ARC! This was an EXCELLENT book. It reminded me of things like the Magic School Bus or The Magic Treehouse series. Three young queer teens get transported back in time to the Stonewall riots and not only learn about history, but themselves as well. This would be a great resource for young students to learn both about LGBTQ+ history, and also recognize some of the things we in modern times tend to take advantage of. It also had resources for young LGBTQ people and young activists in the back. It is an excellent resource that teachers need to get ASAP!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Candice

    I think this graphic novel is a great way to teach younger generations about the Stonewall Inn Riots and LGBTQ history. I liked the art work and of course the queer grandma was extra cute. I do think the only downside of this book is that it felt like it was talking down to teens and kids, like they couldn't possibly fathom the hardships their queer elders went through. Having some of the characters in the book laugh off the real violence that was happening made the story feel very disconnected I think this graphic novel is a great way to teach younger generations about the Stonewall Inn Riots and LGBTQ history. I liked the art work and of course the queer grandma was extra cute. I do think the only downside of this book is that it felt like it was talking down to teens and kids, like they couldn't possibly fathom the hardships their queer elders went through. Having some of the characters in the book laugh off the real violence that was happening made the story feel very disconnected at times. I think this does a disservice to Gen Z and younger generations who may be reading this book. It definitely felt like it was written from the perspective of someone who thinks kids are only caught up in their phones and don't care about things happening in the real world. I'm not sure if other books in this series are similar to this one, but I would hope in the future that this series discusses important historical events, but not at the cost of making fun of the book's intended audience.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

    History Comics: The Stonewall Riots places a group of modern teenagers and their older friend back in the time of the riots. Each teenager has a different reaction to the events, but all are left with a better understanding of the movement for gay civil rights and an increased interest in maintaining and fighting for those same rights. While the actions of the characters were mostly relatable, they did come off as whiny at times. Overall, this book provides an easy to read and engaging look at a History Comics: The Stonewall Riots places a group of modern teenagers and their older friend back in the time of the riots. Each teenager has a different reaction to the events, but all are left with a better understanding of the movement for gay civil rights and an increased interest in maintaining and fighting for those same rights. While the actions of the characters were mostly relatable, they did come off as whiny at times. Overall, this book provides an easy to read and engaging look at a historical event that many teens probably know only the name of, if that.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rick

    Oh man, I so wanted to love this comic. I’ve enjoyed other books in this series, so I had pretty high hopes for this one. Unfortunately, it didn’t really work for me. Draping the story of the Stonewall Uprising into a time travel story kind of trivializes the events. There is something that makes it feel illegitimate. I know this wasn’t the intention of the authors, but that’s how it felt. It was more powerful in the sections where it was just relating the facts and not attempting to make the st Oh man, I so wanted to love this comic. I’ve enjoyed other books in this series, so I had pretty high hopes for this one. Unfortunately, it didn’t really work for me. Draping the story of the Stonewall Uprising into a time travel story kind of trivializes the events. There is something that makes it feel illegitimate. I know this wasn’t the intention of the authors, but that’s how it felt. It was more powerful in the sections where it was just relating the facts and not attempting to make the story a captivating narrative. Other than the time travel aspect, this volume is wonderful.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Matthias Hernandez

    I was curious to learn more about this important event for LGBT liberation. The plot revolves around three Gen Z teens traveling back to 1969 and being amazed that there was no internet or phones. They go to Stonewall Inns, see cop raids and… well that’s it. I feel like the story is poorly told and I mostly appreciated the end of the book, where there is a list of less known events that occurred before and after the Stonewall riots, but were important in the journey towards equal rights. The art I was curious to learn more about this important event for LGBT liberation. The plot revolves around three Gen Z teens traveling back to 1969 and being amazed that there was no internet or phones. They go to Stonewall Inns, see cop raids and… well that’s it. I feel like the story is poorly told and I mostly appreciated the end of the book, where there is a list of less known events that occurred before and after the Stonewall riots, but were important in the journey towards equal rights. The art style is pretty though so that’s nice to look at.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Aud

    The art was pretty good, and the panels were very readable. I didn't really care for the frame story, though. Focusing on the young people from the present was more distracting than anything. I don't think young readers need that kind of "intercessor" to understand the past. I would have preferred seeing the story more from just the POV of a young person from that era or something. I'm sure there are plenty of kids who will enjoy the book and learn a lot from it. Just wasn't my personal favorite. The art was pretty good, and the panels were very readable. I didn't really care for the frame story, though. Focusing on the young people from the present was more distracting than anything. I don't think young readers need that kind of "intercessor" to understand the past. I would have preferred seeing the story more from just the POV of a young person from that era or something. I'm sure there are plenty of kids who will enjoy the book and learn a lot from it. Just wasn't my personal favorite.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sharon

    I really wanted to like this book, especially because I've liked some of the creator's other work a great deal, but I just don't think this retelling works very well. The teen characters aren't engaging or relatable, their time travel story doesn't integrate well, and the history itself feels clunky and weird. I also didn't find the art to be particularly expressive. The faces look... lumpy? I'm still glad the book exists as an option, and I hope it finds its audience, but I have a hard time act I really wanted to like this book, especially because I've liked some of the creator's other work a great deal, but I just don't think this retelling works very well. The teen characters aren't engaging or relatable, their time travel story doesn't integrate well, and the history itself feels clunky and weird. I also didn't find the art to be particularly expressive. The faces look... lumpy? I'm still glad the book exists as an option, and I hope it finds its audience, but I have a hard time actively recommending it.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lavabearian (Jessica)

    I appreciate the historical focus and the time travel vehicle, but I think that readers will want more details and elaboration on such an important time in history. I appreciated how the young people helping to move uncover a picture that is the impetus of the whole experience. Our older generation is a vault of information and experiences that maybe just need a photograph reminder to tell their stories.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    I LOVE THAT THIS BOOK EMPHASIZES INTERSECTIONAL ACTIVISM. We are none of us free until we are all free. This book was fucking AWESOME and I'm buying a copy for myself when it comes out. Thank you to NetGalley and First Second Books for my free eARC! I LOVE THAT THIS BOOK EMPHASIZES INTERSECTIONAL ACTIVISM. We are none of us free until we are all free. This book was fucking AWESOME and I'm buying a copy for myself when it comes out. Thank you to NetGalley and First Second Books for my free eARC!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kyrie

    It was a little preachy but interesting. It tells the story of the Stonewall riots, and also of LGBT battles over the years. Some of it was especially sad as we're in a "two steps back" phase of the fight. It was a little preachy but interesting. It tells the story of the Stonewall riots, and also of LGBT battles over the years. Some of it was especially sad as we're in a "two steps back" phase of the fight.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    A pretty good way to introduce Stonewall and the fight for rights that came before and after. Not perfect, but fairly accessible, which I appreciate.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ashley Holbert

    This may be a juvenile graphic novel, but the content inside is so important to our history. I learned new things , and gained a new sense of what happened that might.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Artnoose McMoose

    This kids’ series about historic events takes some young adult and a grandma back to the evening of the Stonewall Riots to tell its story.

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