While we were at the Ontario Library Association Super Conference, one of the big themes I seemed to come across was the excitement surrounding books for LGBTQ readers. This is not a category that has been well stocked in the past, but it seems that more and more authors are writing for this group, and there are plenty of amazing books out there just waiting to hit library shelves.
If you’re not familiar with this acronym, LGBTQ stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transexual or Questioning. People want to see themselves in books, no matter who they are, what they believe in, or where they come from. Books in the LGBTQ category are popular and serve a great need for our readers, and it’s wonderful to see such great choices coming out of the publishing houses.
I attended a session devoted to the best LGBTQ Reading Recommendations for Teens, hosted by Dewey Divas and the Dudes…a wonderful group of people who keep librarians (and readers) up on all the latest and important happenings in the book world. They talked about their favourite books, both from the recent past and upcoming reads that they felt our readers would love to get their hands on, and I must admit, I came away from the session with a long list of books we’d be thrilled to have on our shelves.
ASK THE PASSENGERS by A. S. King was one of the trendier reads, about a teen named Astrid who copes with her small town’s narrow-mindedness by sending out wishes to all of the passengers in planes flying overhead.
BEAUTY QUEENS by Libba Bray has been a popular read on our shelves for the past few years. This witty read has lots to offer any reader, dealing with the tribulations of fifty beauty contestants who are stranded on an island after a plane crash. Fun!
Jandy Nelson’s I’LL GIVE YOU THE SUN has been a must-read for anyone interested in YA books. Nelson’s gorgeous writing deals with the sensitive subject matter in a way only she could, bringing a difficult topic to mainstream readers.
These are just a few of the suggestions for teen readers who might be looking for something beyond the traditional read. We’ll most likely be adding many from the list to our collection in the future. Are there any favourite LGBTQ reads for teens you’d suggest? Tell us about them!