PROFESSIONAL READING

LGBTQAI+ Books for Children and Teens: Providing a Window for All

DORR, Christina & . 168p. appendix. glossary. illus. index. notes. ALA. May 2018. pap. $45. ISBN 9780838916490.
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OrangeReviewStarAt the heart of this guide is a leveled bibliography of LGBTQAI+ books, from classics to recent releases, for all ages. Short but thorough annotations indicate which gender identities and/or sexual orientations are represented. Additional resources such as author websites or interviews, along with awards, honors, and thoughtful, age-appropriate "conversation starters" are listed. Although the focus is on gender and sexuality, some discussion of publishing's racial diversity problem and its intersections with gender and sexuality would have been welcome. The middle grade and YA fiction that Dorr and Deskins recommend isn't as diverse as it could have been, and readers should seek out more titles about and by members of underrepresented groups (they'll find several of the blogs and websites listed in the appendix of additional resources helpful in this pursuit). Brief but vital front matter, such as an excellent foreword by scholar and librarian Jamie Campbell Naidoo, adds value. Citing powerful research and quotations from other advocates for diversity, the authors argue in their introduction that including LGBTQAI+ literature in libraries and curricula is part of taking a stand for basic human rights. A history of children's and YA LGBTQAI+ literature is followed by ways to address book challenges.
VERDICT Despite some limitations, this volume does a superb job on many fronts. An essential purchase for public and school libraries, especially given that few other selections on this topic exist.

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