June Book Display: LGBT Pride!

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One of my first projects here at my new library has been analyzing the YA fiction and nonfiction. Specifically, I’ve been weeding old titles that don’t circulate well and looking for collection gaps. One of the immediate gaps I noticed in my new collection was a lack of LGBT titles. With June being PRIDE month, I knew I wanted to do something about it.

So I went on a shopping spree and snagged some wonderful titles. I created a “PRIDE!” pennant banner and printed out LGBT triangles to hang in the window. Finally, I arranged the aforementioned titles and put them on display.

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I’m really pleased with how this display turned out. More importantly, I’m pleased that I can be an ally and promote diverse books. Next year, I’ll expand the display to include additional gender identities (asexual, pansexual, etc.) I want all of my teens to be able to have access to characters they can identify with.

I’ve included a list of some of my recommended titles below. Any others you think I should add? Comment and let me know!

LGBT READS

Lesbian:

Everything Leads to You

Ask the Passengers

Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel

Ash

A Love Story Starring my Dead Best Friend

The Miseducation of Cameron Post

Gay:

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Two Boys Kissing

Will Grayson, Will Grayson

Openly Straight

One Man Guy

Gone, Gone, Gone

 

Bi:

Grasshopper Jungle

Far From You

Empress of the World

Cut Both Ways

Fans of the Impossible Life

Boyfriends with Girlfriends

Not Otherwise Specified

Trans

Almost Perfect

Being Emily

I am J

Jumpstart the World

Beyond Magenta

Luna

We Need Diverse Books: The YA Holiday Edition

IMG_2895I was one of those kids who got bullied/excluded when I was little, which means, as an adult, I have a minor obsession with making sure everyone feels included.

So I was determined this holiday season to incorporate not just Christmas books but Hanukkah and Kwanzaa titles into my book display.

Surely, I thought, there would be a bevy of titles I could incorporate. After all, we have an unholy amount of picture books on the subject. There just had to be titles for teens as well, right?

Wrong.

After countless hours of searching the Internet, pestering Facebook friends, authors, and so on, I realized that there’s next to nothing available for non-Christian teens during the holidays.

It was baffling. I mean, it’s 2014 for goodness’ sake. But after sifting through dozens of (admittedly lovely) holiday titles, I only found two non-Christmas titles for teens: one for Hanukkah and one for Kwanzaa. I ended up having to add two middle grade titles – The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming and Feast of Lights – to my display just to balance things out.

Now I get it. We all have cultural biases. But we need to work to overcome those biases so no one is left out. Teens, just like children, need to see themselves and their traditions represented in the books they read. And diversity in books isn’t just something for our little ones: our middle and high schoolers need it as well.

So to all my author friends: Gimme some YA Hanukkah and Kwanzaa books. Stat.

For everyone else, here are the two diverse YA holiday titles I ended up going with:

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My True Love Gave to Me: 12 Holiday Stories

A beautiful, well thought out, much-needed addition to the YA holiday marketplace. As the publisher states, “Whether you celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah, Winter Solstice or Kwanzaa, there’s something here for everyone.”

 

 

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Listen for the Fig Tree by Sharon Belle Mathis

An older yet moving YA novel about a blind sixteen year-old, Muffin Johnson, who struggles with an alcoholic mother. Muffin is trying to find light in her dark world and Kwanzaa plays a role in that quest.

 

Any diverse YA holiday titles I’ve missed? Help a librarian out. Post them in the comments section below. Thanks and Happy Chrismakwanzikkah!