REAL PUBLIC LIBRARIAN

Monday, September 10, 2007

Gay teen fiction in libraries

Where to start when a young adult member requests gay YA fiction? Not that difficult. We already had copies of the series "Rainbow boys" which young people had discovered already. A quick Google search provided excellent lists: Great Gay Teen Books on the Alex Sanchez site; a very informative article in (where else?) Wikipedia; and for a foundation collection, Amazon.com's Top 5 Gay Teen-Life Novels. We actually had a few of the titles already, and put them into our regular YA collection in the main library where they have enjoyed the popularity expected of any new YA novel. You have to look pretty hard to note that the book is a "teen gay novel" - take for example, "Geography Club" - absolutely nowhere on the cover or blurb are the words "gay" or similar used. But the blurb outlines the story subtly. Does it matter if a teenage reader is somehow "ambushed" into reading a gay novel because it isn't emblazened on the cover? The novels are sensitive, well written, not at all sexual, and are only going to offend those who have perhaps a religious objection. The themes of love, fitting in, coming of age and understanding will be valid for straight and gay readers alike. Are we "condoning" a particular lifestyle by providing these books to young people? Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is no longer legal, so regardless of our personal opinion, there is really no good reason to take this stance. It is again up to parents to guide their offspring's reading.


BTW the specific request actually came from the Youth Library via a support group supported by the Youth Worker which demonstrates again the utility of our unique partnership between Youth Services and Library Services.

4 Comments:

  • Deb:

    Check out Worth the Trip. It's a great newish blog that I use for titles!

    http://worththetrip.wordpress.com

    By Blogger Stacy (my friends call me Stasia) Dillon, at 3:21 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Lapa, at 4:06 AM  

  • Stasia - thanks for that excellent link, links to other great stuff too - definately for sharing with the Rainbow Brigayde members!

    By Blogger Deb, at 1:59 PM  

  • I came upon a very nice novel called Sodom's x a song for the end by K.R.COLUMBUS a nice sci-fi novel . Mind you it has more than 2 gay young adults characters in it and they are all unique .
    check the plot - As predicted by Isaac Newton the second coming happened and as the world waited to see what was about to happen an appointed man was sent to meet God, hours later God had vanished and the man came out immortal; no apocalypse, no destruction and no salvation. This gave birth to a chain of holy wars that almost chattered Earth's civilizations and so giving birth to a mass colonization of planets to ensure peace by separation. Thousands of years later all was at peace by until Endings were born; humans connected to their planets in such a way that they are capable of destroying them should they wish it. Now Earth's Ending has been born and the day to pass judgment draws near.
    it can be found here

    http://www.lulu.com/content/paperback-book/sodoms-x--a-song-for-the-end-/7182389

    Apart from that it is very hard to find

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:55 PM  

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