There’s a Book About That! GLBT Resources for the Whole Family
One of my favorite things about working in bookselling and publishing has always been the idea that if there’s something happening out in the world, there’s a book about it! There are always questions….Lately there’s been quite a lot of discussion in the world and on the news about GLBT issues, specifically Gay Marriage. Here at RAoR we thought it was a good time to share our own list of books that deal with GLBT issues and families, and a few titles from other publishers too, including Gay Marriage and many other questions as well, providing resources for you and your families.
Donovan’s Big Day by Leslea Newman, illustrated by Mike Dutton
Donovan’s two moms are getting married and he has a big job–ring bearer. This celebration of a happy day seen through a child’s eyes shows that love and family are what really matters and every family is special.
Another thoroughly charming look at same sex marriage is seen in:
King and King by Linda De Haan
Who doesn’t love a Royal Wedding? These quotes sum up the message of this book nicely.
“Progressive . . . inclusive . . . exuberant collage-flecked art.”
—San Francisco Chronicle
“A great book to teach young readers about same-sex couples.”
—Philadelphia Gay News
“[A] modern tale of happily-ever-after.” —NAPRA Review
And you can visit the happy couple in a lovely sequel King and King and Family by Linda de Haan. in which they share their happiness and commitment with their children.
Bookseller Kate Reynolds highly recommends these books for families too:
Each shows a child and the two parents and talks about which parent does what (bakes cakes, fixes things that break, give kisses goodnight (both, of course)). Each kid is opposite gender of parents, which is a nice touch . . . .
For older readers and parents too:
Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan
This adorable romantic comedy by esteemed author Levithan was the first book I ever read to feature gay characters in such a casual, positive way, not as the center of an “issue book.” In this high school, gay and straight kids happily co-exist, parents are supportive, and the homecoming queen is named Daryl (now going by Infinite Darlene). Levithan is a wonderfully engaging writer and this book will make you smile. It’s the perfect pick for teens who love “Glee.” - Erin
Almost Perfect by Brian Katcher
With gay marriage in the news almost daily, it seems that the majority of America has accepted homosexuality into the mainstream. Transgender issues are still largely misunderstood, though, which makes Almost Perfect a great tool for educators, parents and teens. Logan, of small-town Missouri, is as average a guy as you can expect when his assumptions are suddenly called into question by his new girlfriend. As is the case with most of us, Logan isn’t perfect and his path to understanding is not a “straight” one, but his need to re-examine his own beliefs and sexuality will help those reading it explore their own feelings and attitudes. Winner of the 2011 Stonewall Children’s and Young Adult Literature Award, Almost Perfect is a great read for those new to transgender issues or anyone looking for a great teen read.-Deanna
Last Exit to Normal by Michael Harmon
Michael Harmon’s voice is as authentic, and raw, as anyone writing fiction today. His protagonists are teenagers, but his books speak to adults as well. Harmon’s strong writing grabs you from the first paragraph. This story of a 17 year old boy dealing with his father’s recent “coming out”, and the ensuing events in his new small-town home, make for a reading experience that will keep you turning pages… AND bring you back to all his other books. -Alan
A story collection with a ton of great authors, edited by Marion Dane Bauer. get your hands on this and read the title story, it’s so good!-Heather
I am J by Cris Beam
Features a trans main character. -Heather
Of All the Stupid Things by Alexandra Diaz
Tara hears a rumor that her perfect boyfriend may be involved with a male cheerleader, could he be gay, or bi? Let the drama begin. But then new girl Riley comes to her school, and Tara can’t stop thinking about her. In a wonderfully well paced, realistic love story we learn that love and friendship can survive, however the road may be a little rocky along the way.-Kate
You Are My Only by Beth Kephart
Fourteen-year-old Sophie lives a sheltered life, she’s “home schooled” by her Mom, has never known her Dad and she and her Mom have had to pick up and move, often, to avoid the “No Good”. I was hooked from the first chapter. Sophie’s chapters alternate with the story of Emmy, a young mother whose child has disappeared. As these two stories unfold, as each character finds people who can help them Sophie and Emmy learn to deal with their losses and to trust and love again. One of the loveliest parts of this story is the two Aunts of the boy next door, their devotion to him and to eachother is remarkable.-Kate
Other favorite GLBT titles to read and share are Julie Anne Peters Keeping You a Secret about how parents can react, good and bad, when a child comes out, Rage: A Love Story that deals with emotional and physical abuse and Luna about a transgender teen.
Other resources for those of you looking for more titles on these topics are:
Random House Children’s Books has a downloadable resource & discussion guide avaialable at:
The Stonewall Awards website. The first and most enduring award for GLBT books is the Stonewall Book Awards, sponsored by the American Library Association’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table.
And for teens, be sure to check out Lee Wind’s LGBTQ website: “I’m Here. I’m Queer. What the Hell Do I Read?”
Thanks for joining us at RAoR today, and if you know of more resources on this topic please share them in our comments section.