2009 Rainbow Book List Announced!

The 2008-09 Rainbow List is here! The Rainbow Project is a bibliography of recommended books dealing with GLBTQI topics for youths through 18 years. More information can be found on their blog: rainbowlist.wordpress.com, as well as their myspace page (myspace.com/rainbow_list) and on their facebook page (search:  rainbow list).


Picture Books

Uncle Bobby’s Wedding. by Sarah Brannen, 2008.

Putnam, $15.99. Pre-School-Grade 2.

Chloe’s concerns about her uncle’s upcoming wedding have nothing to do with the fact that his partner is male; instead, like a typical preschooler, she worries that she will lose her favorite uncle’s attention.


10,000 Dresses. by Marcus Ewert, Illus. by Rex Ray, 2008.

Seven Stories Press, $14.95. Pre-School-Grade 2.

Bailey dreams of wearing beautiful dresses, but her family disapproves of her understanding of her true self.


Middle/Early Young Adult Fiction

No Castles Here. by A.C.E. Bauer, October 2007.

Random House, $15.99. Grades 5-7.

A book of fairy tales, participation in a school chorus, and a gay Big Brother combine to give 11-year-old Augie the confidence he needs to become an activist.


After Tupac & D Foster. by Jacqueline Woodson, 2008.

Putnam, $15.99. Grades 5-8.

Eleven-year-old D Foster completes a trio of friends who share a passion for the music of Tupac Shakur as they deal with discrimination directed toward the gay brother of one of the trio.


Young Adult Fiction

Girl from Mars. by Tamara Bach, Trans. by Shelley Tanaka, 2008.

Groundwood Books, $12.95. Grades 7-10.

At fifteen, Miriam’s life in a small German town lacks excitement and meaning until she meets Laura and begins to discover how full her life already is.

Girl From Mars  

Debbie Harry Sings in French. by Meagan Brothers, 2008.

Henry Holt, $16.95. Grades 8-12.

Johnny is pretty sure he isn’t gay, but he’s not quite sure what it means that he wants to be Debbie Harry–to dress like her, have hair like hers, and to hang out with drag queens.

Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List. by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan, 2007.

Knopf, $8.99. Grades 9-12.

Witty, urbane Naomi, age 19, finally comes to terms with being hopelessly in love with her gay best friend, Ely, even after she learns he is sleeping with her boyfriend.


Down to the Bone. by Mayra Lazara Dole, 2008.

HarperTeen. $16.99. Grades 8-12.

After sixteen-year-old Laura is outed at school, kicked out of her home, and rejected by her girlfriend, she finds herself and her community in this hilarious debut novel with an all-Latino cast.


Big Big Sky. by Kristyn Dunnion, 2008.

Red Deer Press, $14.95. Grades 10-12.

When a pod of five young well-trained female warrior assassins starts falling apart, each must show her strength in the outside real world to avoid being captured and unplugged.


Suicide Notes. by Michael Thomas Ford, 2008.

HarperTeen, $16.99. Grades 9-11.

After he wakes up in a psychiatric hospital, 15-year-old Jeff describes the events that led up to his attempted suicide and how his life is changed during his 45-day stay.

Suicide Notes  

Fancy White Trash. by Marjetta Geerling, 2008.

Viking, $16.99. Grades 9-11.

Fifteen-year-old Abby struggles with her highly dysfunctional family while her best friend Cody deals with the challenges of coming out to himself and his friends.


Two Parties, One Tux, and a Very Short Film about the Grapes of Wrath. by Steven Goldman, 2008.

Bloomsbury, $16.99. Grades 8-10.

Eleventh-grader Mitchell’s life suddenly changes when his best friend David comes out of the closet.


Map of Ireland. Stephanie Grant, 2008.

Scribner, $22.00. Grades 10-12.

Ann’s junior year is complicated by the forced busing of Black children to her formerly all-white high school, forcing Ann to deal with her racist environment while coping with being a lesbian in an inter-racial relationship.


Nothing Pink. by Mark Hardy, 2008.

Front Street/Boyds Mills Press, $16.95. Grades 8-10.

Tormented with thoughts about his own homosexuality, Vincent, son of a Pentacostal preacher, fights his impulses until he meets Robert, a church friend, who is much more accepting.


Last Exit to Normal. by Michael Harmon, 2008.

Knopf, $15.99.Grades 9-11.

Ben and his two dads move to rural Montana where Ben absolutely does not fit in and finds it harder to deal with having two dads than he did in their previous urban home.


M+O 4EVR. by Tonya Cherie Hegamin, 2008.

Houghton Mifflin, $16.00. Grades 7-10.

After the death of Marianne, Opal’s best friend—and more–Opal deals with her loss through the life of Hannah, a runaway slave who died in 1842.


Another Kind of Cowboy. by Susan Juby, 2007.

HarperTeen, $16.99. Grades 8-10.

Sixteen, gay, and closeted, Alex has dreamed of riding dressage since childhood, although his father wants him to be a “real” cowboy.


My Most Excellent Year: A Novel of Love, Mary Poppins, & Fenway Park. by Steve Kluger, 2008.

Dial, $16.99. Grades 8-10.

Three high school friends, including a fun, proud, and just about out-of-the-closet gay young man, tell about their ’excellent’ ninth-grade year.


Out of the Pocket. by Bill Konigsberg, 2008.

Dutton, $16.99. Grades 9-11.

Bobby’s skills as a top high-school quarterback also serve him well off the field when he is outed in the school newspaper and deals with the consequences in an honest and realistic way.


How They Met, and Other Stories. by David Levithan, 2008.

Knopf, $16.99. Grades 9-11.

Find the answer to “what is love” in this diverse collection of short stories.


Gravity. by Leanne Lieberman, 2008.

Orca, $12.95. Grades 9-11.

Brought up as a strict Orthodox Jew to believe that homosexuality is an abomination, 15-year-old Ellie struggles with her sexual feelings for another girl.


My Tiki Girl. by Jennifer McMahon, 2008.

Dutton, $16.99. Grades 9-11.

After once-popular Maggie, 15, is left with an injured leg after a car accident that kills her mother, she finds solace with Dahlia, the new girl at school, and her unconventional family, including a mentally-ill mother.


Belinda’s Obsession. [Not Just Proms & Parties Series] by Patricia G. Penny, 2007.


Lobster Press, $7.95. Grades 7-10.

After she discovers that her mother is having an affair, Belinda’s obsession with saving her parents’ marriage damages her growing relationship with her last summer’s fling, Candace.


Sword Masters. by Selina Rosen, 2008.

Dragon Moon Press, $19.95. Grades 9-12.

Determined to avenge her father’s death, Tarius pretends to be male and non-Katabull to study with the Sword Masters but finds more than she bargained for when she falls in love with the headmaster’s daughter, Jena, who thinks that Tarius is a man.


Crossover. by Jeff Rud. 2008.

Orca, $9.95. Grades 7-10.

Sixteen-year-old Kyle gets caught in the middle between his basketball team and drama club when he opts to join both and re-establishes an old friendship with Luke, who is the frequent target of gay-baiting.


Entrances and Exits. [Drama series]. by Paul Ruditis, 2008.

Simon Pulse, $8.99.  Grades 7-10.

A first time director and high school junior, Bryan has to learn to cope with a temperamental playwright, the leading actress’s jealous boyfriend, competition from a new girl on the drama scene, and his yearnings for Drew, his ex-best friend who kissed him and then ran.


Skim. by Mariko and Jillian Tamaki, 2008.

Groundwood Books, $15.00. Grades 9-12.

Would-be Wiccan and goth Skim, aka Kimberly Keiko Cameron, is revealed in this graphic novel as a sometimes target for the popular students at her all-girls private school in Toronto, where she falls in love with her English teacher Ms. Archer.


What They Always Tell Us. by Martin Wilson, 2008.

Delacorte, $15.99. Grades 9-11.

Isolated and unsure of his place in his family and at school after an attempted suicide Alex is encouraged to try out for cross-country by his brother’s friend, Nathen, and discovers more than just a supportive teammate.


Love & Lies: Marisol’s Story. by Ellen Wittlinger, 2008.

Simon & Schuster, $16.00. Grades 9-11.

When Marisol takes a year off between high school and college to write a novel, she falls in love with her creative writing teacher, Olivia.


Young Adult Nonfiction

Gay America: Struggle for Equality. by Linas Alsenas, 2008.

Amulet/Abrams, $24.95. Grades 7-12.

The fascinating story of gay people throughout America’s history is told with clear text and lots of photography.


The Memoirs of a Beautiful Boy. by Robert Leleux, 2008.

St. Martin’s Press, $23.95.  Grades 10-12.

Hilarious stories of a comically dysfunctional family describe growing up gay in Texas.


Sex Variant Woman: The Life of Jeannette Howard Foster. by Joanne Passet, 2008.

Da Capo Press, $27.50. Grades 10-12.

Foster’s roller-coaster life and studies defined lesbian history in the twentieth century.


Two Truths and a Lie: A Memoir. by Scott Turner Schofield, 2008.

Homofactus Press, $15.00. Grades 11-12.

The fluidity of gender shines in these three performance scripts by a transgender man from the Deep South who describes growing up in a world of debutante balls and homecoming proms.


Awkward and Definition. by Ariel Schrag, 2008.

Touchstone (Simon & Schuster), $15.00. Grades 10-12.

Pen and ink comic drawings about Schrag’s early high school years illuminate her funny and touching journey toward a sexual identify amidst concerns about school, sex, drugs, and rock and roll.

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