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Out of the Closet and Onto the Shelves: A Tweetcap of Christie’s GLBTQ Presentation at TLA

Christie presented at TLA this past week with Peter Coyl from Dallas Public Library and David Levithan. Here’s a Tweetcap of their presentation.

#txla14 Come to room 202AB NOW to hear David Levithan, @mz_christie & @petercoyl discuss GLBT Lit pic.twitter.com/sCeWwpdrNP
— TeenLibrarianToolbox(@TLT16) April 10, 2014

First bk: BETTER NATE THAN EVER by Tim Federle#mglit Stonewall BkAward Boy wants to be in E T the musical. Funny bk, light accessible
— TeenLibrarianToolbox(@TLT16) April 10, 2014

FIVE SIX SEVEN NATE continues the story of Nate
— TeenLibrarianToolbox(@TLT16) April 10, 2014

Next bk: BRANDED BY THE PINK TRIANGLE by Ken Setterington. Looks at the Holocause& focuses on the persecution of GLBT during this time.
— TeenLibrarianToolbox(@TLT16) April 10, 2014

Next bk: FAT ANGIE by e. E. Charlton-Trujillo. Angie is dealing w/the loss of her sister. Grief, mental health issues, body issues, family
— TeenLibrarianToolbox(@TLT16) April 10, 2014

Next Bk: BEAUTIFUL MUSIC FOR UGLY CHILDREN by Kirsten Cronn-Mills. Transgender man. Radio show called the ugly children. Gabe/Elizabeth
— TeenLibrarianToolbox(@TLT16) April 10, 2014

Section in back of BEAUTIFUL MUSIC FOR UGLY CHILDREN on Trans Issues, great resources
— TeenLibrarianToolbox(@TLT16) April 10, 2014

Fluxxis doing really good books in GLBT issues @mz_christie says
— TeenLibrarianToolbox(@TLT16) April 10, 2014

Next bk: TWO BOYS KISSING by David Levithan. Narrated by “angels”/ghosts/Greek chorus that have died of AIDS who comment to characters
— TeenLibrarianToolbox(@TLT16) April 10, 2014

TWO BOYS KISSING based on part of two boys who for a short time held the Guinness World Record for kissing, they were making a statement
— TeenLibrarianToolbox(@TLT16) April 10, 2014

Next Bk: THE SUMMER PRINCE by AlayaDawn Johnson Set in futuristic Brazil, a Matriarchal society. Sexuality is fluid and accepted.
— TeenLibrarianToolbox(@TLT16) April 10, 2014

TWO BOYS KISSING: David said he really wanted to include the past and that sense of history.
— TeenLibrarianToolbox(@TLT16) April 10, 2014

Next Bk: RAPTURE PRACTICE by Aaron Hurtzler, based on his true story, very religious family, funny and heartbreaking
— TeenLibrarianToolbox(@TLT16) April 10, 2014

David Levithan: “Whenyou are living through the shitty parts, you have to find them funny & surreal to survive”
— TeenLibrarianToolbox(@TLT16) April 10, 2014

Next Bk: OPENLY STRAIGHT by Bill Koening. MC decides in new life to not be poster child for gay & hides it, big twist makes it interesting
— TeenLibrarianToolbox(@TLT16) April 10, 2014

David Levithan: talking about Glee, I just want Kurt to have 1 moment where he is not the gay one, it doesn’t have to define people
— TeenLibrarianToolbox(@TLT16) April 10, 2014

Next Bk: PROXY by Alex London, two guys but not a romance, one boy stands in proxy 4 the other & has to take punishments of the other
— TeenLibrarianToolbox(@TLT16) April 10, 2014

GUARDIAN coming out in May is sequel to PROXY
— TeenLibrarianToolbox(@TLT16) April 10, 2014

Next Bk: PANTOMIME by Laura Lam, important because (spoiler!) only yawith an intersex character
— TeenLibrarianToolbox(@TLT16) April 10, 2014

There were a few more Tweeted to me after this.

Next Bk: MARCO IMPOSSIBLE by Hannah MoskowitzMission Impossible hi jinks, funny, fast read, quirky character
— TeenLibrarianToolbox(@TLT16) April 10, 2014

Christie then went through and mentioned some GLBT lit in graphic novels

Next Bk: WONDERING SONS by Shimura Takako, graphic novel series, transgender issues, Japanese culture
— TeenLibrarianToolbox(@TLT16) April 10, 2014

New things coming in GN world: BATWOMAN series, coming back, lesbian
— TeenLibrarianToolbox(@TLT16) April 10, 2014

CONSTANTINE coming back, he is bisexual in the comics
— TeenLibrarianToolbox(@TLT16) April 10, 2014

YOUNG AVENGERS in Marvel has a gay couple, Marvel has lifted it’s ban on gay characters @mz_christie is saying
— TeenLibrarianToolbox(@TLT16) April 10, 2014

SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED and RETHINKING NORMAL are complimentary biographies on a couple transitioning, coming soon
— TeenLibrarianToolbox(@TLT16) April 10, 2014

David Levithan: books have to be both windows and mirrors, access points for all possible readers
— TeenLibrarianToolbox(@TLT16) April 10, 2014

Someone in the audience asked about GLBT lit for middle grades

Peter Coyl: not a lot of GLBT for MG, but it’s getting better and Rainbow List organizes by age
— TeenLibrarianToolbox(@TLT16) April 10, 2014

James Howe has also written some GLBT for MG readers
— TeenLibrarianToolbox(@TLT16) April 10, 2014

Someone asked about book challenges and David Levithan reminded us that we have to have the books that ALL kids need, not just the ones that make us feel safe in our jobs.

David Levithan: We can’t let the bkchallengers make the terms or frame the argument, we need to have the bkskids need
— TeenLibrarianToolbox(@TLT16) April 10, 2014

David Levithan: What’s the point of keeping urjob if you’re not going to do your job, don’t let bkchallengers make u forget why u r there
— TeenLibrarianToolbox(@TLT16) April 10, 2014

David Levithan: Every social change happens because people were brave to do it
— TeenLibrarianToolbox(@TLT16) April 10, 2014

Here is a look at some upcoming titles that were mentioned

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.

Graphic Novel Review: Drama by Raina Telgemeier

If you don’t have Eisner award winner Raina Telgemeier in your collection, you need to start.

Her newest work, Drama, brings us into the world of 7th grader Callie.  Deeply in love with the theater, Callie’s dream is to design sets for Broadway.  For now, however, she’ll settle for being on set crew for her school’s production of Moon Over Mississippi, and is determined to bring Broadway to Eucalyptus Middle School.  And on budget.  Yet things get complicated on stage and off when romances develop, misunderstandings blow up out of proportion, and a last minute crisis threatens the entire production.

Drama by Raina Telgemeier, published by Graphix in 2012. ISBN: 9780545326995

Review:

Drama is engaging from the first pages, and readers are grabbed from the beginning by Callie’s sense of humor and a sense of immediacy that reads exactly how a seventh grader takes EVERYTHING in their world.  Lost in her unrequited romance with Greg, Callie throws herself into her first passion: the theater.  Determined to take Moon over Mississippi to Broadway level (including a working cannon), Callie meets twin brothers Justin and Jesse, who seem to be polar opposites in every way.  Yet, will Jesse be the love Callie wants in her life?  And will the play even go on with the drama threatening the production?  Great for middle ages and up, and could be paired with Telgemeier’s other graphic novel, Smile, or theater fiction like Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen by Dyan Sheldon, or Pink by Lili Wilkinson4.5 out of 5 stars.  Goodreads currently lists Drama at 3.97 stars out of 5 as of February 20, 2013.  Drama is a 2013 Stonewall Children’s Award Honor Book and a 2013 Rainbow List Top 10 Book.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysWrqAMktc0]

SPOILER SPACE

I LOVED Drama.  Working day in and day out with middle school kids, Callie, Jesse and Justin could have been *my* kids- that’s how believable they were.  They have their own quirks and foibles, their own ways of acting out and reacting to situations makes them more believable.  Telgemeier’s drawings are something that I could never hope to aspire to, and have that art that draws readers of all ages and all genders in- I had my personal copy on my desk at work, and within minutes had a 21 year old “new adult,” a 12 year old, an 8 year old, and a 16 year old all want to know when I was getting it for the library or whether they could borrow my copy so they could read it.  

The romantic back-and-forth between the characters is extremely real, and for me the fact that no one is doing drugs, alcohol, or anything remotely off-kilter (aside from some possible grade cheating) is really refreshing in a graphic novel.  No one has super powers, or is solving crimes- these are real tweens and teens going through real issues.  They may be a bit more high strung than most, but I’m not sure about that.

The storyline of Justin and Jesse hits home especially hard for GLBTQ readers- Justin is completely out to his parents and friends, but it’s not until near the end of the book that anyone even suspects that Jesse is gay as well.  No one, not even Callie (who has every right to be when he deserts her at the prom), ends up mad at Jesse by the end of the book- they accept him for who he is, which is the way it should be.  

As for Callie, she is what I wish I had been like in school- she is such a strong female character with a huge sense of self that she could be someone to look up to for middle school girls.  She knows what she wants to be when she grows up, she sticks to her guns when she knows she’s right, she accomplishes everything she sets out to accomplish, and she doesn’t let her relationships (up or down) diminish her confidence in her identity.  

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For more theater productions gone out of control, check out No More Dead Dogs by Gordon Korman. And for more MG GNS, check out Cardboard by Doug Tennapel, Chickenhare by Chris Grine and Giants Beware by Rafael Rosado.