Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Trim: 6 x 9
978-1-4422-7806-6 • Paperback • March 2018 • $53.00 • (£41.00)
978-1-4422-7807-3 • eBook • March 2018 • $47.50 • (£37.00)
Christine A. Jenkins is associate professor in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She holds a PhD and MS in library and information studies and an MA in children’s literature. Jenkins is recipient of several teaching awards and has a decade of experience as a school librarian/media specialist. She is co-editor of the Handbook of Research on Children’s and Young Adult Literature (2011), and co-author (with Michael Cart) of Top 250 LGBTQ Books for Teens (2015).
Michael Cart is a columnist and reviewer for ALA's Booklist magazine, and has also written countless articles that have appeared in The New York Times, Parents Magazine, American Libraries, School Library Journal, and elsewhere. The former president of both YALSA and ALAN, Cart is the recipient of the 2000 Grolier Award and the first recipient in 2008 of the YALSA/Greenwood Publishing Group Service to Young Adults Award. He appointed and chaired the Task Force that created the Michael L. Printz Award and subsequently chaired the 2006 Printz Committee. He is the author or editor of more than twenty books, including Young Adult Literature: From Romance to Realism, Third Edition (2016).
Jenkins and Cart are co-authors of The Heart Has Its Reasons: Young Adult Literature with Gay/Lesbian/Queer Content, 1969-2004 (Scarecrow Press, 2006).
With this expanded, updated version of The Heart Has Its Reasons (CH, Sep'06, 44-0157), Jenkins (Univ. of Illinois) and Cart (reviewer and editor) present a thorough overview of fiction and nonfiction for and about LGBTQ+ young people, focusing on work in English mostly set in North America. In part 1, the authors provide a chronological survey of the fiction in six chapters, from gay-themed adult novels of the 1940s through YA fiction as recent as 2016. Each chapter sorts the literature reviewed into three broad categories: “Homosexual Visibility,” or stories about coming out; “Gay Assimilation,” stories that include LGBTQ+ characters whose orientation is not the focus of the plot; and “Queer Consciousness/Community.” Part 2 covers bisexual, transgender, and intersex inclusion; graphic novels; and nonfiction. Jenkins and Cart are, respectively, a lesbian and a gay man, and they are also engaging writers and discerning readers. Their enthusiasm for the literature is contagious. This book will make an excellent companion to Caren Town’s LGBTQ Young Adult Fiction: A Critical Survey, 1970s–2010s (CH, Dec'17, 55-1280). Town’s study delves more deeply into queer and literary theory, but the present volume describes and analyzes a longer list of books.Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals; general readers.— Choice Reviews
If you want a reference work in the field of LGBTQ+ titles for young adults, look no further than this trove of information, insight, and history presented through the lens of changing perspectives regarding LGBTQ+ persons. . . . Insightfully and intelligently written—not to mention engrossing—this is a must-have tool for public and secondary-school libraries, both as a source of selection guidance and as an aid to readers’ advisory.— Booklist
Representing the Rainbow in Young Adult Literature offers a comprehensive look at books for teens that discuss sexuality and gender issues…. This work offers a guide to the content of these books, helping readers make collection development decisions that will result in shelving books with positive role models and accurate depictions free of stereotypes and myths…. It is fascinating to observe the development of LGBTQ+ literature throughout the years, as both quality and quantity gradually improve…. Representing the Rainbow in Young Adult Literature is an essential reference for those maintaining a collection in which they hope to include the best books about LGBTQ+ characters…. It is an excellent reference tool for anyone who is doing collection development or who wants a detailed history of young adult literature covering LGBTQ+ issues.— VOYA
Starred Review: Each chapter discusses a mix of broad themes and trends relevant to each decade and insightfully analyzes significant titles—with enough summary that librarians need not have read the books discussed to understand their importance . . . An essential update for scholars. The bibliographies will invaluably help round out LGBTQ+ collections.
— Library Journal, Starred Review
As scholars and critics who have been working on this material for some time, with Cart being widely acknowledged as one of the real national experts in queer literature for children and adolescents, both authors admirably document the scope and power of "queer" texts for the young. . . Representing the Rainbow is for now a crucial contribution to our understanding of the diversity and strength of our young adult literature that tackles identities and intimacies beyond the heteronormative.
— Children's Literature Association Quarterly
Representing the Rainbow gives readers a sense of where LGBTQ+ YAL has come from, and a sense of hope about where it is going. The Heart Has its Reasons has already made an important contribution to the study of young adult literature, and I expect this updated and expanded book will do so again.
— The Lion and the Unicorn
Representing the Rainbow is successful in what it sets out to do, which is to map, rather than mine, the territory of LGBTQ+ writing for young people. In doing so, it provides a necessary and enriching chronicle for readers with professional and casual interests alike.
— International Research in Children’s Literature
This well-researched and necessary volume demonstrates that the work of Jenkins and Cart is both integral to the continuation of research into LGBTQ+ subjects in YA literature and an inspiration to future—more complex and nuanced—interrogation of texts for young readers. . . educators, librarians, scholars, and others who engage with this text will finish the final pages much more informed and critically aware of LGBTQ+ literature for young readers.
— Jeunesse: Young People, Texts, Cultures