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Find more Rainbow List
The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table and the Social Responsibilities Round Table of the American Library Association are pleased to offer the 2019 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 2017 are noted; all others were published in 2018. Below are 10 exceptional choices from the list. For the complete list, visit https://glbtrt.ala.org/rainbowbooks/archives/1324.
Darius the Great Is Not Okay. By Adib Khorram. Dial, $17.99 (9780525552963).
Darius struggles with bullies, depression, and his weight. When he goes to Iran for the first time, Darius makes connections to his Persian heritage and forges a friendship with neighbor Sohrab. A 2019 Best Fiction for Young Adults, the 2019 Asian/Pacific American Award for Young Adult Literature winner, and the 2019 William C. Morris Award winner.
DeadEndia: The Watcher’s Test. By Hamish Steele. Illus. by the author. Nobrow, $14.95 (9781910620472).
Barney’s folks kicked him out of the house when he came out as transgender. He lands a custodial job at Pollywood, a haunted amusement park named after a famous movie star, where he and his friends deal with demon possession, zombie cowboys, time travelers, and first love.
Girl Made of Stars. By Ashley Herring Blake. HMH, $17.99 (9781328778239).
Mara is dealing with a difficult breakup with her girlfriend when her twin brother is accused of rape by one of her best friends. She struggles with her own past trauma and pressure to maintain the status quo.
Girls of Paper and Fire. By Natasha Ngan. Little, Brown/JIMMY Patterson, $18.99 (9780316561365).
In a fantasy world where there are humans, demons, and human-demons, Lei is forcibly taken to become a concubine to the demon king. She must survive violence and rape with her fellow courtesans, who learn to reclaim themselves and fight for their freedom.
Hurricane Child. By Kheryn Callender. Scholastic, $17.99 (9781338129304).
Caroline is alone: her mother has disappeared, and her only friend is a spirit that no one else can see. Then she falls for new student Kalinda, who helps her track down her mother in the middle of a hurricane. A 2019 Notable Children’s Book and a 2019 Stonewall Book Award winner.
Jack of Hearts (and Other Parts). By L. C. Rosen. Little, Brown, $17.99 (9780316480536).
Jack is an unabashedly out, sex-positive high-school junior living large in New York. When he reluctantly agrees to write a sex-advice column for a friend’s blog, he also starts receiving “love letters” that become increasingly threatening in tone.
Let’s Talk about Love. By Claire Kann. Feiwel and Friends/Swoon Reads, $16.99 (9781250136121).
Alice is asexual and biromantic, which is something she’s been dumped for in the past. She was not expecting to fall head over heels for Takumi, a fellow library employee.
Odd One Out. By Nic Stone. Crown, $17.99 (9781101939536).
Coop has feelings for his lifelong bestie, Jupiter, but knows nothing will ever happen between them because she is a lesbian. When Rae moves to town and joins their tight twosome, all their feelings collide in this messy, realistic story about falling in love, new romance, and friendship. A 2019 Best Fiction for Young Adults.
Prince & Knight. By Daniel Haack. Illus. by Stevie Lewis. little bee, $17.99 (9781499805529).
The Prince and the Knight meet when they have to defeat a terrifying dragon, and their friendship blossoms into love.
Sewing the Rainbow: The Story of Gilbert Baker and the Rainbow Flag. By Gayle E. Pitman. Illus. by Holly Clifton-Brown. Magination, $16.95 (9781433829024).
Growing up, Gilbert Baker loved sewing and design. He left Kansas for the bright colors of San Francisco to pursue his dreams and went on to create an enduring symbol of the LGBTQIAP+ community.
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