Portals to other worlds aren’t the futuristic technology we imagine them to be. In fact, they’re in every library, on every bookshelf, and in e-readers everywhere. This month, you may be seeking a portal that will take you to a land where you’re celebrated for who you are and who you love. Or, you may be following a friend into a portal that makes them feel at home.
Representation in middle-grade and young-adult literature has grown over the years, highlighting main characters, side characters, and self-discovery arcs in books of all kinds. One author that has taken it upon himself to make sure every reader knows they belong in his world is Rick Riordan, author of the Percy Jackson series (and more!).
Though his writing dreams started small and slow, he’s amassed an impressively large platform that he takes very seriously. When Riordan first opened Camp Half-Blood up to us demigods, it wasn’t the most diverse of places or casts. As time went on and the fanbase continued to share their own stories with the author, he realized the colorful array of readers that relied on the Percy books for one reason or another. What resulted was a variety of new and wonderful characters. If you were to compare The Lightning Thief to the incredible catalog at Rick Riordan Presents (his imprint with Disney-Hyperion Books), you’d be proud of how he’s embraced every kind of kid into his mythologically inclined worlds.
Riordan and Mark Oshiro’s newest book, The Sun and the Star, features Nico Di Angelo and his boyfriend, Will Solace. The well-beloved pair finally have their own story to tell! The novel takes them back down to Tartarus and an old friend named Bob, where sacrifice and danger are imminent. If you love Nico and Will as much as I do, you’ll be running to your nearest bookstore for a copy of your own!
There’s a vast world of portals where love is simply love, and adventure awaits. Go find the bookish escape that suits you!