I give History Comics: The Stonewall Riots: Making a Stand for LGBTQ Rights by Archie Bongiovanni 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 to 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, stay “closeted” to the world. The other movements before, during and after Stonewall was also a nice touch (1969 was not the start of fighting, even the late 1950s saw their share). The extras of the book are just as important as the actual text and story.
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 and really is an all-ages book (publisher says 9 to 13). However, the younger reader might not do well with the riot scenes (while tastefully done, they might not be for the sensitive reader). And the language used is age appropriate and “correct” (I expected to see “homo” or “faggots” or “queers” but homosexual, or gays are used instead. Even when slurs are meant).
The story itself is simple, three teens from today and one of their grandmothers travel back in time to show how things were different, how things would lead to the rights queer people have today. After learning the grandmother had a girlfriend before meeting her husband, the kids are transported back to 1969 try and behave as they would today. One selfish, not seeing how the past allowed the future and how it mirrors movements today for other minorities; the difficulties of no internet or cell phones; one not wanting to hide her trans identity; one trying to be safe in an unsafe situation.
But the situation itself was, of course, less than simple, and that unfolds with the illustrations of A. Andrews. They are the foundation that holds the text. They are dark, with browns, oranges, and muted reds. They are simple, but detailed, but do not draw your focus away from the story but enhance it.