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August 2016 BOOKLIST
Find more Rainbow List
The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Round Table and the Social Responsibilities Round Table of the American Library Association are pleased to offer the 2010 Rainbow Project bibliography of recommended titles for youth from birth to age 18 that contain significant and authentic gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, queer, or questioning (GLBTQ) content. Titles published in late 2008 are noted; all others were published in 2009. Books marked with an asterisk (*) were found by the Rainbow Project to be of exceptional quality and impact, and are highly recommended.
Daddy, Papa, and Me. By Lesléa Newman. Illus. by Carol Thompson. Tricycle, $7.99 (9781582462622). PreS–K.Mommy, Mama, and Me. By Lesléa Newman. Illus. by Carol Thompson. Tricycle, $7.99 (9781582462639). PreS–K.
Same-sex parents use loving family activities to teach and play with their child in these board books.
For You and No One Else. By Edward Van de Vendel. Illus. by Martijn van der Linden. Lemniscaat/Boyds Mills, $16.95 (9781590786581). PreS–2.
Although Buck is crushed when his friend Sparklehart woos all the does with the seven-leaf clover that Buck gives him, he soon cheers up when he finds an even better gift and the courage to tell Sparklehart that this gift is “for you and no one else!”
Gertrude Is Gertrude Is Gertrude Is Gertrude. By Jonah Winter. Illus. by Calef Brown. Atheneum, $16.99 (9781416940883). Gr. 2–4.
In the early twentieth century, the Paris salon of Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas is host to frequent prominent guests, including Picasso and Matisse.
Hello My Name Is Bob. By Linas Alsenas. Scholastic, $16.99 (9780545052443). PreS–Gr. 2.
Bob, a self-described boring bear, begins comparing his own life to that of his adventurous penguin friend Jack but soon realizes that it is okay to be different.
In Our Mothers’ House. By Patricia Polacco. Illus. by the author. Philomel, $17.99 (9780399250767). Gr. 1–4.
Although Marmee, Meema, and their three kids have a happy home life with many similarities to their neighbor’s experiences—dinnertime, fooling around, getting ready for parties—some in their community can see only the differences that this family has.
Pink! By Lynne Rickards. Illus. by Margaret Chamberlain. Scholastic, $16.99 (9780545086080). PreS–Gr. 2.
Tired of rejection, Patrick the pink penguin tries unsuccessfully to live with the flamingos before he returns home to acceptance.
Almost Perfect. By Brian Katcher. Delacorte, $17.99 (9780385736640).
Beautiful newcomer Sage is perfect for Logan until he discovers that she is transgendered. A 2010 Best Book for Young Adults.
Angry Management. By Chris Crutcher. Greenwillow, $16.99 (9780060502478). Gr. 9–12.
Anger and rage, both internal and external, provide the common thread for three stories dealing with high-school injustice–being black, gay, overweight, or simply a high-school student.
* Ash. By Malinda Lo. Little, Brown, $16.99 (9780316040099). Gr. 8–11.
Torn between her emerging love for the king’s mysterious huntress and the ethereal draw of the world of the fairies, Ash discovers the strength of her own identity.
Bait. By Alex Sanchez. Simon & Schuster, $16.99 (9781416937722). Gr. 7–10.
Sexually abused San Diego teenager Diego, in trouble for his violent temper, finds understanding and reasons for self-acceptance in the wise and caring counsel of his gay parole officer, Mr. Vidas.
Blue Boy. By Rakesh Satyal. Kensington, $15 (9780758231369). Gr. 9–12.
Can Kiran Sharma, a sexually confused 12-year-old Indian American boy who secretly puts on his mother’s makeup, plays with dolls, and practices ballet, really be the reincarnation of the gender-bending Hindu god Krishna?
The Boy in the Dress. By David Walliams. Illus. by Quentin Blake. Razorbill, $15.99 (9781595142993).
Dennis finds his family, friends, and townspeople initially resistant to his desire to wear dresses, but they become his biggest fans on and off the soccer field.
Drama Queers! By Frank Anthony Polito. Kensington, $15 (9780758231642). Gr. 9–12.
Julliard, thespians, homecoming, and a certain gorgeous football player all come together as “Band Fag” Bradley Dayton is out to make his senior year his most exciting ever—even if his best friend, Jack, won’t admit that he, too, is gay.
Evil? By Timothy Carter. Flux, $9.95 (9780738715391). Gr. 9–12.
Being gay and summoning demons don’t provide Stuart with any problem in his small, conservative Canadian town, but everyone gets caught up in an anti-masturbation crusade when Stuart commits the sin of Onan.
* Finlater. By Shawn Stewart Ruff. 2008. Quote, $15.50 (9781604023954). Gr. 10–12.
This deeply affecting and openly sexual story of two boys in love—Cliffy Douglas and Noah Baumgarten—plays out among the disparities of their home life and background during 1970s homophobia and racial tension.
Freaks and Revelations. By Davida Willis Hurwin. Little, Brown, $16.99 (9780316049962). Gr. 10–12.
Actual events inspired this narrative of two teens—Jason, a gay 13-year-old surviving on the streets after being rejected by his family, and Doug, a 17-year-old skinhead punk rocker—as their lives intersect in a violent hate crime that forever changes them.
Hidden Voices: The Orphan Musicians of Venice. By Pat Lowery Collins. Candlewick, $17.99 (9780763639174). Gr. 8–10.
In a 1700s Venetian orphanage famous for its musical training, teenage Anetta suffers from her unrequited love for the ethereal Luisa.
* How Beautiful the Ordinary: Twelve Stories of Identity. Ed. by Michael Cart. HarperTeen, $16.99 (9780061154980). Gr. 9–12.
These tales relate not only the variety of identities in the GLBTQ community—gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, queer, and questioning—but also the variety of experiences of being human: love, regret, betrayal, discovery. (Note: As an ALA Rainbow Project committee member, Michael Cart recused himself from all discussion.)
Inferno. By Robin Stevenson. Orca, $12.95 (9781554690770). Gr. 9–12.
When Dante meets Parker, she thinks that she has found a soul mate but is instead drawn into a dangerous and destructive relationship.
* Into the Beautiful North. By Luis Alberto Urrea. Little, Brown, $24.99 (9780316025270). Gr. 9–12.
When all the young men and fathers leave the bucolic Sinaloa village of Tres Camarones to find jobs in the U.S., three young women and their gay friend Tacho sneak across the border to recruit seven police officers and soldiers (the Magnificent Seven!) who will return home and rescue them from the drug-dealing banditos who threaten their good life.
King of the Screwups. By K. L. Going. Harcourt, $17 (9780152062583). Gr. 7–12.
When Liam Geller screws up once too often, his father throws him out of the house, and Liam finds his true self when he goes to live with his father’s brother, “Aunt” Pete, a gay glam-rocker disc jockey living in a trailer in upstate New York.
Losers. By Matthue Roth. 2008. Scholastic/Push, $8.99 (9780545068932). Gr. 9–12.
Russian immigrant and freshman Jupiter navigates the high-school social world and works to improve his popularity while trying to connect with the cute girl at the record store and finding an unexpected friend in the school’s closeted bully.
Love Is the Higher Law. By David Levithan. Knopf, $15.99 (9780375834684); lib. ed., $18.99 (9780375934681). Gr. 8–12.
Three teenage New Yorkers—Claire, Peter, and Jasper—searching for the meaning of the 9/11 bombing find it in new friendships and the emerging romantic relationship between the two boys.
Magic and Misery. By Peter Marino. Holiday, $17.95 (9780823421336). Gr. 9–12.
With frank discussions of relationships and sex, heterosexual and homosexual, Toni Jo, who befriends new student Pan (short for Pansy) in the hopes that he will be her boyfriend, gives a humorous portrayal of high-school life.
The Mariposa Club. By Rigoberto González. Alyson, $14.95 (9781593501068). Gr. 8–11.
During their senior year, the Fierce Foursome—Maui, Trini, Isaac, and Lib—decide to leave their legacy by creating their high school’s first GLBT organization, an action that brings out both support and opposition from their families and their community.
In Mike We Trust. By P. E. Ryan. HarperTeen, $16.99 (9780060858131). Gr. 8–12.
Garth finds the confidence to come out to his mother when wheeling-and-dealing Uncle Mike, his late father’s identical twin, moves in and puts him to work as a budding con man.
Newsgirl. By Liza Ketchum. Viking, $16.99 (9780670011193). Gr. 4–6.
When ambitious and strong-willed Amelia moves to San Francisco in 1851 with her two mothers, she must masquerade as a boy to realize her dream of first hawking newspapers and then working as a reporter.
Punkzilla. By Adam Rapp. Candlewick, $16.99 (9780763630317). Gr. 10–12.
Fourteen-year-old Jamie (aka Punkzilla)—AWOL from military school—embarks on a cross-country odyssey to find his older brother, a dying gay playwright, and share with him his journal of his sometimes frightening, sometimes heartwarming adventures along the way.
Rage: A Love Story. By Julie Anne Peters. Knopf, $16.99 (9780375852091); lib. ed., $19.99 (9780375952098). Gr. 9–12.
When the wildly divergent lives of Johanna and Reeves collide, all the Romantic, Alluring, Gorgeous, and Exciting expectations turn to painful RAGE.
Say the Word. By Jeannine Garsee. Bloomsbury, $16.99 (9781599903330). Gr. 9–12.
The “perfect” Shawna Gallagher finds her life turned upside down when she turns 17, her estranged lesbian mother dies, and she discovers a family in the mother’s partner and two sons, a family that her controlling father tries to destroy.
Secrets of Truth and Beauty. By Megan Frazer. Disney/Hyperion, $15.99 (9781423117117). Gr. 9–12.
At age 7, Dara was a darling pageant winner; at 17, she has gained too much weight and anger, leading her to discover her runaway sister on a farm commune for lesbians and others rejected by their families, including a gay high school senior.
Sprout. By Dale Peck. Bloomsbury, $16.99 (9781599901602). Gr. 7–10.
It’s not easy having green hair in conservative Kansas, but teenage Sprout manages while also prepping for the Kansas State Essay Contest and falling in love with the intriguing new boy in school.
Tillmon County Fire. By Pamela Ehrenberg. Eerdmans, $9 (9780802853455). Gr. 9–12.
Eight teens give their perspectives about an anti-gay hate crime that ignites fear, homophobia, grief, and loss.
Tricks. By Ellen Hopkins. Simon & Schuster/Margaret K. McElderry, $18.99 (9781416950073). Gr. 10–12.
Five teens find themselves selling their bodies in Las Vegas due to circumstances and decisions, both within and well beyond their control.
The Vast Fields of Ordinary. By Nick Burd. Dial, $16.99 (9780803733404). Gr. 9–12.
During his last summer before college, Dade juggles his divorcing parents and dysfunctional closeted boyfriend until he meets Alex and gains the courage to declare his sexuality.
A Vigil for Joe Rose: Stories of Being Out in High School. By Michael Whatling. iUniverse, $15.95 (9781440178559). Gr. 9–12.
The fictional notebooks belonging to Joe Rose, a young gay man killed in 1989 by a gang of hateful young men, is the thread that stitches together the stories of seven out gay high-school students in Montreal.
Y Square Plus. By Judith Park. 2008. Yen, $10.99 (9780759529274). Gr. 9–12.
Yagate has his heart set on Ra-Myun, the man of his dreams, but when he discovers that Chana does too, he turns to his friend Yoshitaka to help him win Ra-Myun’s affections.
40 Stories Revealing the Personal, Social, and Religious Pain and Trauma of Growing Up Gay in America. Ed. by Mitchell Gold and Mindy Drucker. 2008. Greenleaf, $23.95 (9781929774104). Gr. 9–12.
Stories of coming out and finding acceptance from 40 Americans—many of them activists and politicians—show that attitude, not homosexuality, is the problem in our society.
My Life in Pansy Division. By Jon Ginoli. Cleis, $16.95 (9781573443432). Gr. 10–12.
As a founding member of the Pansy Division, the first out punk band to make it on the national scene, the author describes his coming-out experience and adventures in the homophobic music industry.
Dumbfounded. By Matt Rothschild. 2008. Crown, $23.95 (9780307405425). Gr. 9–12.
Left by his mother to grow up with his Jewish grandparents on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, Rothschild describes his childhood and teen years as he remained continually in trouble both at home and at school because of his extravagant behavior.
The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For. By Alison Bechdel. 2008. illus. Houghton, $25 (9780618968800). Gr. 10–12.
With the help of her extended family Mo, a neurotic lesbian, makes her way from youth to middle age through the countercultural adventures selected from comic strips published during the past 25 years.
Gringa: A Contradictory Girlhood. By Melissa Hart. Seal, $16.95 (9781580052948). Gr. 8–11.
Hart’s memoir shares her freedom ride as a young white girl who shifts between living with an angry well-to-do father, who has custody of her, and a homosexual mother, who seeks to belong to the Latino culture of 1970s Southern California.
The Meaning of Matthew:
My Son’s Murder in Laramie and a World Transformed. By Judy Shepard with Jon Barrett. Hudson/Penguin, $25.95 (9781594630576). Gr. 9–12.
Shepard offers her personal account of the heartrending and still relevant 1998 murder of her gay son, Matthew, in Laramie, Wyoming, a tragedy that inspired the powerful play The Laramie Project and led to federal antihate legislation.
A Pictorial History of Harvey Milk. Newmarket, $29.95 (9781557048295); paper, $19.95. (9781557048288). Gr. 8–11.
This illustrated companion book to the film Milk features archival materials about the life and murder of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay American to be voted into a major public office in the U.S.
A Guide to Transitioning for Transsexuals and Their Families. By Mara Drummond. Lulu.com, $16.50 (9780557052615). Gr. 10–12.
These practical, accessible definitions and descriptions of incongruent gender identity as well as the emotional, financial and physical implications of transitioning show the journey that transgendered people take.
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