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American Library Association’s Rainbow List Ranks Top LGBT Books For Kids

Poring over some 150 titles released between July 2011 and December 2012, the American Library Association’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table has announced its list of top LGBT titles aimed at children.

According to the website for the 2013 Rainbow List the 49 books chosen represent all reading levels from birth to 18, and run the gamut “from science fiction to gritty short stories, realistic fiction to graphic novels, and even a picture book bending gender roles.”

Below are the titles that made the Rainbow List’s top 10:

starting from here*Bigelow, Lisa Jenn.  Starting From Here.  2012.  292p.  Amazon Children’s Publishing, $16.99 (9780761462330).  Grades 9 & Up. Colby can’t seem to get any love.  Her mom died a few years ago, her trucker dad is always on the road and her girlfriend just dumped her for a guy.  When she rescues a stray dog who has been hit by a car, Colby starts to piece her life together with lots of help from her friends.

*Cronn-Mills, Kirstin.  Beautiful Music for Ugly Children.  2012.  288p.  Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd., $9.99 (9780738732510).  Grades 8 & Up.
Music geek Gabe has just come out to his family as transgender but is still known as Liz at school.  He uses his late-night community radio show to try on his male identity and encourage listeners to explore their own “b side.”  Will the show’s growing popularity expose his secret?

*Danforth, Emily M.  The Miseducation of Cameron Post.  2012.  480p.  Balzer + Bray, $17.99 (9780062020567).  Grades 9 & Up.
When Cam’s conservative aunt discovers her niece is a lesbian, she sends Cam to God’s Promise, a ask the passengerschurch camp that promises to “cure” young people of their homosexuality.  Cam’s engaging voice tells her story with wry humor, intelligence, and a strong sense of place in eastern Montana.

*King, A.S.  Ask the Passengers.  2012.  304p.  Little, Brown, $17.99 (9780316194686).  Grades 9 & Up.
There’s only one thing Astrid Jones can do when a growing attraction to her co-worker Dee becomes too big and too confusing: send her love to airplane passengers flying overhead while she tries to figure out who she is down here on the ground.

*Lo, Malinda.  Adaptation.  2012.  400p.  Little, Brown, $17.99 (9780316197960).  Grades 9 & Up.
Something strange has been going on with Reese Holloway since her car accident and her top secret medical treatment. But will she be allowed to figure it out, or will others take her apart to figure it out first?

*Miller, Madeline.  The Song of Achilles.  2012.  384p.  HarperCollins, $25.99 (9780062060617).  Grades 9 & Up.
letter qStirring and memorable, this novel is a reimagined retelling of the Homeric story of the love between Achilles and Patrocles.

*Moon, Sarah, editor.  The Letter Q:  Queer Writers’ Notes to Their Younger Selves.  2012.  288p.  Scholastic, $17.99 (9780545399326).  Grades 6 & Up.
Looking back on what they wished they knew when they were younger, 64 of today’s award winning GLBTQ authors write and illustrate letters to their former selves in a way to reach out to those who are in the shoes they once filled.

*Rice-Gonzalez, Charles.  Chulito:  a Novel.  2011.  275p.  Magnus Books, $14.95 (9781936833030).  Grades 10 & Up.
After sharing a secret with his best friend, a Latino teen’s ideas about what it really means to be a man are challenged.  Should he play “straight” and keep his standing among his peers in the  neighborhood, or come out and be his true self?

*Saenz, Benjamin Alire.  Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe.  2012.  368p.  Simon & Schuster, $16.99 (9781442408920).  Grades 9-12.
Dante and Aristotle are opposites in almost every way but, nevertheless, the two boys are best friends, almost like two halves making a whole.  Saenz’ lyrical novel examines the bonds of friendship and the uncertainties and saving graces of love.

*Telgemeier, Raina.  Drama.  2012.  240p.  Scholastic Graphix, $23.99 (9780545326988).  Grades 6 & Up.
Callie is a passionate theater geek who plunges into her middle school’s production of “Moon Over Mississippi” with enthusiasm for all things theater: sets, props, lighting – you name it, she’s on it.  When twins Justin and Jesse join the cast, Callie quickly develops a crush on one, a friendship with the other, who is gay.

View the full 2013 Rainbow List on the GLBTRT website.

  • 2 Comments
    • technicolornina
      technicolornina

      Seriously, nothing for young children? None of these help me with my five-year-old niece.

      Jan 28, 2013 at 2:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ingrid
      Ingrid

      @technicolornina: Yes, Technicolor, seriously. This is what won for *this* year, not the best LGBTQ books of all time. This is just what was exceptional this past year.
      For a five year old you can try: The Family Book by Todd Parr, Asha’s Mums by Rosamund Elwin, Mom and Mum are Getting Married by Ken Setterington, And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell, How My Family Came to Be: Daddy, Papa and Me by Andrew R. Aldrich, or try visiting your local library and asking the librarian for suggestions.

      Jan 28, 2013 at 3:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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