Representing the Rainbow in Young Adult Literature: LGBTQ+ Content since 1969

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Rowman & Littlefield, Mar 20, 2018 - Literary Criticism - 310 pages
Discussions of gender and sexuality have become part of mainstream conversations and are being reflected in the work of more and more writers of fiction, particularly in literature aimed at young adult audiences. But young readers, regardless of their sexual orientation, don’t always know what books offer well-rounded portrayals of queer characters and situations. Fortunately, finding positive role models in fiction that features LGBTQ+ themes has become less problematic, though not without its challenges.

In Representing the Rainbow in Young Adult Literature: LGBTQ+ Content since 1969, Christine Jenkins and Michael Cart provide an overview of the literary landscape. An expanded version of The Heart Has Its Reasons, this volume charts the evolution of YA literature that features characters and themes which resonate not only with LGBTQ+ readers but with their allies as well. In this resource, Jenkins and Cart identify titles that are notable either for their excellence—accurate, thoughtful, and tactful depictions—or deficiencies—books that are wrongheaded, stereotypical, or outdated. Each chapter has been significantly updated, and this edition also includes new chapters on bisexual, transgender, and intersex issues and characters, as well as chapters on comics, graphic novels, and works of nonfiction.

This book also features an annotated bibliography and a number of author-title lists of books discussed in the text that will aid teachers, librarians, parents, and teen readers. Encompassing a wider array of sexual identities, Representing the Rainbow in Young Adult Literature is an invaluable resource for young people eager to read about books relevant to them and their lives.


Breaking Down the Barriers
Appendix A
Appendix B
Appendix C
Appendix D
About the Authors

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About the author (2018)

Christine A. Jenkins is associate professor in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She holds a PhD and MS in library and information studies and an MA in children’s literature. Jenkins is recipient of several teaching awards and has a decade of experience as a school librarian/media specialist. She is co-editor of the Handbook of Research on Children’s and Young Adult Literature (2011), and co-author (with Michael Cart) of Top 250 LGBTQ Books for Teens (2015).

Michael Cart is a columnist and reviewer for ALA's Booklist magazine, and has also written countless articles that have appeared in The New York Times, Parents Magazine, American Libraries, School Library Journal, and elsewhere. The former president of both YALSA and ALAN, Cart is the recipient of the 2000 Grolier Award and the first recipient in 2008 of the YALSA/Greenwood Publishing Group Service to Young Adults Award. He appointed and chaired the Task Force that created the Michael L. Printz Award and subsequently chaired the 2006 Printz Committee. He is the author or editor of more than twenty books, including Young Adult Literature: From Romance to Realism, Third Edition (2016).

Jenkins and Cart are co-authors of The Heart Has Its Reasons: Young Adult Literature with Gay/Lesbian/Queer Content, 1969-2004 (Scarecrow Press, 2006).

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