2016 Rainbow List

The Rainbow Book List Committee has announced their 2016 Rainbow List.

The Rainbow List is a bibliography of books with significant gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or queer/questioning content, and which are aimed at youth, birth through age 18. The list is intended to aid youth in selecting high-quality books that were published between July 2014 and December 2015. The list also is intended to aid as a collection development or readers’ advisory tool for librarians serving children and young adults.

The committee members evaluated over 250 books from small, independent, and large publishers, and selected 40 books from 27 publishers for the 2016 Rainbow List. The list also includes three additional books selected by the Stonewall Book Awards Committee as Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children’s & Young Adult Award or Honor Books. The final list includes over 40 titles and of these the committee selected a top 10.

The final list includes over 40 titles and of these the committee selected a top ten, which are indicated on the list with an asterix (*). Here are just a few of the top ten titles as selected by the Rainbow Book List Committee (prices listed are in American dollars):

*Polonsky, Ami. Gracefully Grayson. 2014. 243p. Hyperion, $16.99 (9781423185277). Gr. 4-7.

Twelve-year-old Grayson, through a school play, finds the courage to reveal a deep truth: in spite of being seen as a boy, she knows for a fact that she’s a girl.  

*Selznick, Brian. The Marvels. 2015. 667p. Scholastic, $32.99 (9780545448680). Gr. 5-8.

In black-and-white pencil illustrations, Selznick depicts three generations of actors descending from the sole survivor of a legendary shipwreck. As that story closes, another unfolds in prose as young Joseph discovers his connection to the actors and his family history, and he embraces his uncle’s life story as it affects and changes his own.

*Silverberg, Cory. Sex is a Funny Word: A Book about Bodies, Feelings, and YOU. Written by Cory Silverberg; illus. by Fiona Smyth. 2015. 159p. Seven Stories, $23.95 (9781609806064). Gr. 3-6.

For children with questions about bodies, gender, touch, sex, and love, this all-inclusive book guides the conversation between children and trusted adults in an accessible graphic format. Gentle, intelligent humor brings home the message of respect, trust, joy, and justice for everyone’s body. Stonewall Book Awards–Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children’s & Young Adult Award Honor Book.

*Albertalli, Becky. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. 2015. 320p. Balzer + Bray, $17.99 (9780062348678). Gr. 8-12.

Closeted high schooler Simon Spier is being blackmailed—either help Martin Addison get together with the girl of his dreams (Simon’s good friend) or Simon’s sexuality and email romance with mystery classmate “Blue” will be made public.  Follow Simon as he comes out, handles his bully, and navigates how to be with “Blue” in real life. 

*Mesrobian, Carrie. Cut Both Ways. 2015. 352p. HarperCollins, $17.99 (9780062349880). Gr. 9-12.

Seventeen-year-old Will believes he is adept at straddling two worlds. He lives with his affluent mother in the suburbs where he makes out with his gay best friend; he lives with his struggling father in the city where he hooks up with a girl from school. When his worlds collide, he is cut both ways. 

Be sure to check the Rainbow Book List website to see the entire list.

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