Friday, July 6, 2018

LGBTQAI+ Books for Children and Teens: Providing a Window for All — help for librarians and teachers who want to include Queer books for their students and young patrons

LGBTQAI+ Books for Children and Teens: Providing a Window for All by Christina Dorr and Liz Deskins

Created by two Allies to the LGBTQ community, and with a foreword by openly Gay Dr. Jamie Campbell Naidoo, this excellent resource from the American Library Association's ALA Editions imprint empowers librarians and teachers to frame the inclusion of books with LGBTQAI+ characters and themes for children, tweens, and teens as a human rights issue.

The book is structured in three sections (lists of recommended picture books, middle grade titles, and YA books with LGBTQAI+ characters and themes), and each title includes its "awards and honors," "conversation starter" questions, and resource links.

The book also includes suggestions on how to best deal with stakeholders who disagree with the idea of including books for LGBTQAI+, and the authors make the very accurate distinction of how children's books with LGBTQAI+ characters aren't necessarily about sex, any more than children's books about cisgendered and heterosexual characters are!

From an interview with the authors:

Q: What advice can you offer libraries that are dealing with community objections to LGBTQAI+ books or outreach? Or who may be self-censoring to avoid potential conflicts?

A: Our job is not to only promote those books we like or find interesting; our job is to present a whole and balanced curated collection of materials. In this case, the issue is respect and basic human rights for everyone. Sexuality and gender identity are types of diversity, among many, but neither of these are the impetus of for this book, or the books we suggest. Everyone has a right to see themselves in a book, or their family, or their friends. And everyone has the right to be treated with understanding, empathy, and respect. Our book shares quality titles, conversation starters, and other resources that could assist in the defense of the book, if you should need it.

The book also has a resource list of five blogs with more information about LGBTQAI+ books for children and teens that includes this blog—thanks, Christina and Liz!

"LGBTQAI+ Books for Children and Teens" is a title I highly recommend, especially if you're trying to figure out how to best include queer books for your young readers.

Learn more about the book in this full interview with the authors here.

Add your review of "LGBTQAI+ Books for Children and Teens" in comments!

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