Book Review: LGBTQIA+ Books for Children and Teens, Second Edition by Kathleen Breitenbach and Liz Deskins
Books for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, asexual, and intersex readers and their allies continue to thrive and evolve in reflection of the variety of families and individual identities today. Deemed “an essential purchase” in a starred review by School Library Journal, this matchless guide returns in an updated edition. The authors highlight the best in LGBTQIA+ lit for young people while also addressing urgent topics such as the rise in book challenges. Offering library workers and teachers the information and tools they need to build a diverse, inclusive collection and confidently share it with the patrons they support, this resource
- provides hundreds of annotated book entries, complete with author and illustrator, publisher, date of publication, descriptions of each book’s LGBTQIA+ representation, and helpful prompts to foster discussion;
- surveys the current censorship push against books with LGBTQIA+ topics, themes, and characters, discussing its effect on young people and how to deal with objections and book challenges head on;
- includes interviews with noted authors that explain not only why they write for children, but what they feel librarians and teachers should understand when working with queer children and their classmates;
- spotlights picture books for young children that depict kids, parents, and families with a variety of gender and sexual dynamics;
- introduces books for middle-grade readers, focusing on titles with young people who are questioning and finding themselves while searching for where they belong;
- shares books for teens that range from stories touching on mental health and other issues that develop as youth start high school to others that explore housing insecurity and other concerns that impact older teens; and
- shares ideas for programming and marketing, advice on outreach to stakeholders, and best practices for supporting LGBTQIA+ students.
Truly an essential purchase.
This guide updates its first edition and focuses on books from the past four years. How wonderful that in just four years there were enough LGBTQIA+ books to require an updated edition! The authors still mention some classic touchstones and provide a brief overview of the early years of significant queer books. Extremely up-to-the-minute, the book begins by looking at recent bans and challenges and look at the objections and the effects on books and readers. The book covers picture books, chapter books, middle grade, and YA. Each chapter offers a special focus to mention to, such as diverse families or homelessness. Authors and librarians are quoted throughout. The books talked about and annotated in each section are also broken down into lists of ways to display these titles throughout the year (for instance, during Black History Month or Native American Heritage Month). Annotations include any awards and honors and offer a few conversation starters for each title. Chapters finish with ideas for projects, activities, and programs for each age group. A final chapter addresses what teachers and librarians can do to support queer students and includes a list of ways to promote queer literature in schools. The book includes recommended resources, authors and illustrators to know, and a glossary.
Thorough and easy to use, this guide should be something read by anyone working with (or raising!) children of any age. A superb crash course in the past few years of books featuring LGBTQIA+ stories. Don’t miss this one.
Review copy courtesy of the publisher
Publisher: American Library Association
Publication date: 06/15/2023
Edition description: Second Edition
Filed under: Book Reviews
About Amanda MacGregor
Amanda MacGregor works in an elementary library, loves dogs, and can be found on Twitter @CiteSomething.
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