Teen Librarian Toolbox
Inside Teen Librarian Toolbox

Take 5: New GLBT Titles

The Rainbow Committee is a group of readers and librarians who read and read and read all year long to put together a list of outstanding titles that focus on GLBTQ themes for kids and teens.  Unlike some of the award committees that work in super secret, the Rainbow Committee has a blog that keeps you updated.  You can view it here.  Taking a look at some of the current nominations, here are 5 2013 titles that you’ll want to check out if you are looking for new books that focus on GLBTQ issues.

Farizan, Sara. If You Could Be Mine. Algonquin Young Readers, 2013. 256 p. $16.99 (ISBN 9781616202514). Grades 9-12.

Iran is a dangerous place for two teenage girls in love.

Federle, Tim. Better Nate Than Ever. Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2013. 275 p. $16.99 (ISBN 9781442446892). Grades 4 and up.

How is Nate supposed to make his one dream – to star in a Broadway show – come true when he is stuck in Jankburg, Penssylvania?  The answer may involve an open casting call for E.T. The Musical.

Johnson, Alaya Dawn. The Summer Prince. Arthur A. Levine Books, 2013. 304p. $17.99 (ISBN 9780545520775). Grades 9-12.

Love, death, technology and art all come together in this heart stopping tale set in a futuristic Brazil.

Lam, Laura. Pantomime. Osprey Publishing, 2013. 400 p. $9.99 (ISBN 9781908844378). Grades 9-12.

R. H. Ragona’s Circus of Magic  is a place of magic.  A great place for Gene and Micah to hide, and to hide their secrets.

Moynihan, Lindsay. The Waiting Tree. Amazon Children’s Publishing, 2013. 218 p. $17.99. (ISBN 9781477816349). Ages 14 and up.

Simon Peter wants to stand up for the truth of who he is, but it is hard to do in when his entire church and eldest brother have ostracized him. Note: One of the few books that talks about the controversial conversion (aka “reparative”) therapy which some states are now seeking to outlaw.

Now it’s your turn: What 2013 titles would you add to the list?  Tell us in the comments.

Guest Blog: Stonewall Book Awards by Peter Coyl

Looking to add children’s and young adult GLBTQ literature to your collection? Start with the Stonewall Book Award’s Mike Morgan and Larry RomansChildren’s and Young Adult Literature prize.  Added in 2010 to the first and most enduring awards for GLBTQ books, the Stonewall Book Awards, it is now one of three awards annually given by the Gay,Lesbian, Bisexual Transgender Round Table of the American Library Association.  The Stonewall Book Awards are awarded for books exhibiting exceptional merit relating to the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender experience.  While many of the titles selected often appear on the Rainbow Book List, the Stonewall Book Awards are an official award of ALA, which means that the winners and nominees have the right to carry the official seal on the cover.


Every year, the Stonewall Committee of fourteen members including the chair read through hundreds of newly published books.  The committee is charged with selecting the best in three areas:  Literature (adult materials), Non-Fiction (adult materials), and Children’s and Young Adult Literature.  As such, the committee must read all types of materials, not just youth and young adult materials.  You need to have the time to read and critically analyze all the materials that come in, as well as participate in the substantive discussion of all the titles that are considered for nomination.

To volunteer to serve on the committee starts with a fairly easy process:  fill out the ALA committee volunteerform.  A list of all the GLBTRT committees is available here, and the instructions for the form can be found online.  Once you’ve filled out the form, appointments will be made by the Chair and Chair Elect of GLBTRT, and notifications will be made in a timely manner.  Since the Stonewall Awards are part of GLBTRT and not YALSA, you will have to hold an active membership in GLBTRT to qualify for service.
Once appointed and the committee is full, then the real work begins.  The committee Chairperson assigns specific publishers to each committee member, and throughout the year as the committee finds books that would fit the qualifications for the list (through reviews, publisher’s catalogs, ARCs, or other means), they fill out a spreadsheet and then committee members request those titles from the publishers they are responsible for contacting.  By the time the Stonewall Committee meets at the ALA Midwinter Meeting (this year in Seattle), we will have discussed hundreds of titles and narrowed down the field to the top 15 in EACH category.
During ALA Midwinter, the Stonewall Committee meets behind closed doors to discuss the 15 top titles in each of the three categories.  During these sessions, the 15 are narrowed down through discussions and debate, and a winner and four honor books are picked in each category.  The winner of the Stonewall Book Award’s Mike Morgan and Larry Romans Children’s and Young Adult Literature prize is announced during the Youth Media Awards on Monday morning, alongside the Newbery, Caldecott and Printz awards, making it an exciting time for committee members.
The amount of material published relating to the GLBT community has expanded in recent years, but there is not a lot comparatively speaking so the number of books considered for the Children and Young Adult Literature Award is significantly less than for adults.  However, there is more published every year, and hopefully more and more will be published in light of the recent strides across the country.  It makes for very interesting discussions to compare the adult materials to the young adult materials, especially in light of where different libraries catalog things.  I have a specialization in Youth and Children’s Services, but I still find the adult materials fascinating.
If you are going to the ALA Midwinter Meeting, then I highly suggest attending the Youth Media Awards on Monday, 28 for the announcement of the Stonewall Book Award’s Mike Morgan and Larry Miller Children’s and Young Adult Literature.  If you are in or around the Dallas Fort Worth area, I’ll be giving three presentations about the winners and honor books the following weeks:

       Wednesday, February 6, 7-8 p.m., Oak Lawn Branch Library (4100 Cedar Springs Road, Dallas, Texas, 214-670-1359

Thursday, February 7, 7-8 p.m., Audelia Road Branch Library (10045 Audelia Road, Dallas, Texas, 214-670-1350

Saturday, February 9, 5-6 p.m., North Oak Cliff Branch Library (302 West Tenth Street, Dallas, Texas, 214-670-7555


I’ll also be presenting at the Texas Library Association on Friday, April 26, at a presentation entitled Out of the Closet and Onto the Shelves: GLBT Literature Today, along with Rainbow Project incoming chair and TLT blogger Christie Gibrich and other members of the GLBTRT in Texas, and Tim Federle, author of the forthcoming book Better Nate than Ever.
Peter Coyl is a Manager with the Dallas Public Library and occasionally blogs at http.www.adventuresofaguybrarian.com. He currently serves on the Stonewall Award committee through June 2014. He can be emailed at peterdcoyl@gmail.com.

My Cybils 2012 Wishlist (and what I’ve reviewed so far)

This year, I am excited (and honored) to be a first round panelist (judge) for the Science Fiction and Fantasy panel of the 2012 Cybils.  The Cybils are the Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers’ Literary Awards.

They are taking public nominations for awards through October 15th.  You can nominate a title published between last year’s awards (late October 2011) and this year’s (October 1, 2012) by filling out a simple form.

I was pretty excited to see that I had read and reviewed a few of the books nominated already:
Adaptation by Malinda Lo
BZRK by Michael Grant
Every Day by David Levithan
Every Other Day by Jenny Lynn Barnes
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
Seraphina by Rachel Harman
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Starters by Lissa Price
This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers
Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson
Unwholly by Neal Shusterman
Velveteen by Daniel Marks
The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe
You can find the complete list of Young Adult nominations here
And you can read all of the TLT book reviews here

My Wish List

I am surprised, however, to see that some of my favorite titles haven’t been nominated yet – including Timepiece by Myra McEntire and Ashes/Shadows by Ilsa J. Bick.  I also really enjoyed Fracture by Megan Miranda earlier this year and hope it will receive a nomination. Also missing? Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross, an interesting world where people are living twisted version of the fairy tales, and Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin, a post apocalyptic tale where people live in fear every day of the plague. I imagine any moment now Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter will appear on the list. And, speaking of zombies, there is a good chance that Rot & Ruin book 3: Flesh and Bone by Jonathan Maberry will probably be nomianted soon; I am surprised it hasn’t yet given the popularity of both zombies and this series. And finally, I think that Magisterium by Jeff Hirsch will definitely be nominated sometime soon – this book steps into the worlds of both Science Fiction AND Fantasy.  Edited to add: I also think that Through to You by Emily Hainsworth is worthy of a nomination and I hope that one pops up.  It was a very emotional read.

I was excited because I was going to nominate Human.4 (or its sequel The Future We Left Behind) by Mike Lancaster in the Middle Grade category, but it looks like it misses the publication cut off date.  It also looks like Crewel by Gennifer Albin will miss it this year as well.

Well, I guess I better get reading.

The 2012 Printz Award Winners

Sometime this week I think they announced the Oscar nominees, but what is even more important is that Monday at ALA Midwinter they announced the Michael L. Printz Award winners.  The Printz Award is awarded yearly for excellence in young adult literature.  These are the best of the best as chosen by a committee of young adult librarians who spend the year reading everything.  This year there was one main award winner and four honor books chosen.  You can get complete information about the titles at the ALA Youth Media Awards website.

This year’s winner is Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley.  This is his first novel and he is also the winner of the William C. Morris award which honors the work of an author previously unpublished.

Please feel free to use the following graphic on your websites or in your teen area to help get the word out to your teens about the 2012 Printz Award Winners.