Bisexual Visibility Day: A Booklist

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Happy Bisexual Visibility Day! To celebrate, here is a booklist of bisexual books and authors.

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LGBTQ+ Graphic Novels for Tweens and Younger Tweens

I love graphic novels and I’ll never pass up an opportunity to promote them, because, despite what some snooty parents and teachers have told me at the library, graphic novels are real books, thank you very much, and can make for perfect summer reading fare. Here are just a handful on fantastic graphic novels to put on your reading list this summer.

Princess Princess Ever After

This utterly adorable graphic novel puts a much-needed spin on the traditional fairy tale by having the princess in distress be rescued by, and fall in love with, a fellow princess. Sweet, gentle, and perfect for princess-loving readers everywhere.

Lumberjanes

Friendship to the max! A group of awesome girls at a summer camp are determined to have the best summer ever….even if it means fighting some pretty strange supernatural creatures or embarking on crazy quests! There’s an wonderful range of identities in this series, and the stories are artwork are fantastic. Lumberjanes is a whole lot of fun, and deserves all the hype it’s been getting on the interwebs.

Goldie Vance

I’ve shared my love of lesbian teenage sleuth Goldie Vance before, so her appearance on this list should come as no surprise. Readers who enjoy a good mystery will enjoy this fresh series inspired by classic teen detectives like Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden.

Skim

Being a teenager can be rough, especially when you don’t feel like you can be yourself, or that you even know yourself, for that matter. This period of realization, identity and crisis is explored in beautiful detail in the story of “Skim”, the name taken on by Japanese-Canadian “not slim” Wiccan high schooler Kim, who’s struggling to find herself, a process made even more complicated when she begins to develop feelings for a teacher.

Wandering Son

This manga series looks at the experiences of two children whose gender identities and expression challenge the more conservative cultural and social expectations of their community. Shuichi Nitori and Yoshino Takatsuki are two Japanese school children who struggle with their identities – one is a boy who feels like a girl, and the other is a girl who feels like a boy.

Interestingly, manga and anime featuring lesbian or gay romantic stories (百合 or やおい) is extremely common in Japan – as I’ve mentioned before, the first time I ever saw a lesbian couple on TV was in the anime Sailor Moon. While many of these series are targeted towards straight audiences and capitalize on the thrill of the forbidden “love that dare not speak its name”,  they can offer a means for creators and readers to push back against the prevalence of homophobia in society, and can even provide a lifeline for queer and questioning teens in a culture that is reluctant to even accept their existence. Shimura is noted for creating works that eschew the melodrama common in 百合 in favour of real stories – her series Sweet Blue Flowers, for example, was said to be “one of the most realistic portrayals of a young woman in love with another woman”.

Now these are just a few of the many incredible graphic novels for tweens and younger teens that include LGBTQ+ characters and content. What are some of your favourites??

This post was original posted on The Book Wars.

LGBTQ+ Parents in Kids’ Books

Today I’m going to be sharing a handful of great books featuring children growing up with LGBTQ+ parents/caregivers. In particular, I’m looking for books that aren’t primarily about having two mums or two dads, but that feature same-sex parents as part of a larger story.

Here we go!

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The Popularity Papers – Amy Ignatow

This sweet series is perfect for fans of Diary of a Wimpy Kid and other heavily illustrated books. One of the series’ main characters, Julie Graham-Chang, is the adopted daughter of an incredibly loving and supportive pair of daddies, Papa Dad and Daddy.

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Harriet Gets Carried Away – Jessie Sima

Harriet loves costumes, and she never misses an opportunity to get dressed up. But while dressed as a penguin to help her daddies prepare for a birthday party, Harriet gets swept up by a flock of real penguins! Sweet, silly, and charmingly illustrated.

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The Purim Superhero – Elizabeth Kushner

Purim is coming, and Nate can’t decide on a costume! He really wants to dress up as an alien, but all his friends are going as aliens. Should Nate follow his own path, or fit in with everyone else? With the help of his two dads, Nate finds just the solution, and becomes the Purim superhero! Special note – the author is actually a fellow librarian and Vancouver resident!

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Baby’s First Words – Stella Blackstone, Sunny Scribens

This vocabulary primer follows a sweet baby and her two daddies as they go through their busy day. Great illustrations, lots of early vocabulary, and a loving two-daddy family.

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Freckleface Strawberry series – Julianne Moore

Freckleface Strawberry and her best friend, Windy Pants Patrick, are totally different. She short, he’s tall. She’s a girl, he’s a boy. She has a mom and a dad, he has two moms. They’re just too different to be friends….right? Wrong! These two discover that best friends don’t have to have everything in common to like each other.

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My Mixed-Up Berry Blue Summer – Jennifer Ganari

June is a master pie maker, and she’s determined to win this year’s Champlain Valley Fair pie competition. But when June’s mother’s girlfriend moves in, and the family starts receiving bullying and backlash that threatens their business, June won’t give up on her dreams, or her loving family.

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The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher – Dana Alison Levy

Two patient daddies, four active, lovable boys, countless crazy adventures! This is a charming family story that fans of Beverly Cleary’s Quimby family will love.

Are there any great books with LGBTQ+ parents that I should check out? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

National Indigenous Peoples Day: A Book List

Celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day by reading some of these Indigenous LGBTQ2S authors!

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This Wound is a World by Billy-Ray Belcourt

Part manifesto, part memoir, This Wound is a World is an invitation to “cut a hole in the sky to world inside.” Billy-Ray Belcourt issues a call to turn to love and sex to understand how Indigenous peoples shoulder sadness and pain like theirs without giving up on the future. His poems upset genre and play with form, scavenging for a decolonial kind of heaven where “everyone is at least a little gay.”

Bad Indians: A Tribal Memoir by Deborah A. Miranda

This book leads readers through a troubled past using the author’s family circle as a touch point and resource for discovery. Personal and strong, these stories present an evocative new view of the shaping of California and the lives of Indians during the Mission period in California. The result is a work of literary art that is wise, angry and playful all at once.

Kiss of the Fur Queen by Tomson Highway

Born into a magical Cree world in snowy northern Manitoba, Champion and Ooneemeetoo Okimasis are all too soon torn from their family and thrust into the hostile world of a Catholic residential school. Their language is forbidden, their names are changed to Jeremiah and Gabriel, and both boys are abused by priests.

As young men, estranged from their own people and alienated from the culture imposed upon them, the Okimasis brothers fight to survive. Wherever they go, the Fur Queen–a wily, shape-shifting trickster–watches over them with a protective eye. For Jeremiah and Gabriel are destined to be artists. Through music and dance they soar.

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Walking with Ghosts: Poems by Qwo-Li Driskill

Written from a contemporary Cherokee, Queer and mixed-race experience, these poems confront a legacy of land-theft, genocide, and forced removal, and resist ongoing attacks on both Indigenous and Gay/ Lesbian/ Bisexual /Transgender communities. Tender, startling, confrontational and erotic, this book honors the dead and brings the survivors back home.

Not Vanishing by Chrystos

Passionate, vital poetry by acclaimed Native American writer and activist Chrystos addresses self-esteem and survival, the loving of women, and pride in her heritage.

The Way of Thorn and Thunder by Daniel Heath Justice

Taking fantasy literature beyond the stereotypes, Daniel Heath Justice’s acclaimed Thorn and Thunder novels are set in a world resembling eighteenth-century North America. The original trilogy is available here for the first time as a fully revised one-volume novel. The story of the struggle for the green world of the Everland, home of the forest-dwelling Kyn, is an adventure tale that bends genre and gender.

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Passage by Gwen Benaway

In her second collection of poetry, Passage, Gwen Benaway examines what it means to experience violence and speaks to the burden of survival. Traveling to Northern Ontario and across the Great Lakes, Passage is a poetic voyage through divorce, family violence, legacy of colonization, and the affirmation of a new sexuality and gender. Previously published as a man, Passage is the poet’s first collection written as a transwoman. Striking and raw in sparse lines, the collection showcases a vital Two Spirited identity that transects borders of race, gender, and experience. In Passage, the poet seeks to reconcile herself to the land, the history of her ancestors, and her separation from her partner and family by invoking the beauty and power of her ancestral waterways. Building on the legacy of other ground-breaking Indigenous poets like Gregory Scofield and Queer poets like Tim Dlugos, Benaway’s work is deeply personal and devastating in sharp, clear lines. Passage is a book burning with a beautiful intensity and reveals Benaway as one of the most powerful emerging poets writing in Indigenous poetics today.

Jonny Appleseed by Joshua Whitehead

“You’re gonna need a rock and a whole lotta medicine” is a mantra that Jonny Appleseed, a young Two-Spirit/Indigiqueer, repeats to himself in this vivid and utterly compelling novel. Off the reserve and trying to find ways to live and love in the big city, Jonny becomes a cybersex worker who fetishizes himself in order to make a living. Self-ordained as an NDN glitter princess, Jonny has one week before he must return to the “rez,” and his former life, to attend the funeral of his stepfather. The next seven days are like a fevered dream: stories of love, trauma, sex, kinship, ambition, and the heartbreaking recollection of his beloved kokum (grandmother). Jonny’s world is a series of breakages, appendages, and linkages–and as he goes through the motions of preparing to return home, he learns how to put together the pieces of his life. Jonny Appleseed is a unique, shattering vision of Indigenous life, full of grit, glitter, and dreams.

A Two-Spirit Journey: The Autobiography of a Lesbian Ojibwa-Cree Elder by Ma-Nee Chacaby

A Two-Spirit Journey is Ma-Nee Chacaby’s extraordinary account of her life as an Ojibwa-Cree lesbian. From her early, often harrowing memories of life and abuse in a remote Ojibwa community riven by poverty and alcoholism, Chacaby’s story is one of enduring and ultimately overcoming the social, economic, and health legacies of colonialism.

As a child, Chacaby learned spiritual and cultural traditions from her Cree grandmother and trapping, hunting, and bush survival skills from her Ojibwa stepfather. She also suffered physical and sexual abuse by different adults, and by her teen years she was alcoholic herself. At twenty, Chacaby moved to Thunder Bay with her children to escape an abusive marriage. Abuse, compounded by racism, continued, but Chacaby found supports to help herself and others. Over the following decades, she achieved sobriety; trained and worked as an alcoholism counselor; raised her children and fostered many others; learned to live with visual impairment; and came out as a lesbian. In 2013, Chacaby led the first gay pride parade in her adopted city, Thunder Bay, Ontario.

Ma-Nee Chacaby has emerged from hardship grounded in faith, compassion, humor, and resilience. Her memoir provides unprecedented insights into the challenges still faced by many Indigenous people.

2018 Rainbow Book List

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The American Library Association’s GLBT Roundtable has released its annual Rainbow List. The list is “curated bibliography highlighting books with significant gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or queer/questioning content, aimed at children and youth from birth to age 18.” All books on the list were published between July 2016 and December 2017.

For the full list, see under the cut.

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2018 Rainbow Book List Nominees

Every year the Rainbow Book List Committee of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table of the American Library Association puts out a bibliography of “quality books with significant and authentic GLBTQ content, which are recommended for people from birth through eighteen years of age”. On November 1st the committee released the nominees list for the 2018 Rainbow Book List, compiled from suggestions by the public. The final list, including the committee members Top 10, will be announced in February 2018.

The goal of the Rainbow Book List is to provide youth with a list of high quality LGBTQ+ books and to aid library staff in collection development.

2018’s nominee list sees authors April Daniels, Adam Silvera, and Robin Talley each nominated twice. We also have Canadian representation in Emma Donoghue, Carrie Mac, and Sara O’Leary.

Visit the GLBT Roudtable’s website to view the full nominee list.