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Discussions of gender and sexuality have become part of mainstream conversations and are being reflected in the work of more and more writers of fiction, particularly in literature aimed at young adult audiences. But young readers, regardless of their sexual orientation, don’t always know what books offer well-rounded portrayals of queer characters and situations. Fortunately, finding positive role models in fiction that features LGBTQ+ themes has become less problematic, though not without its challenges.

In Representing the Rainbow in Young Adult Literature: LGBTQ+ Content since 1969, Christine Jenkins and Michael Cart provide an overview of the literary landscape. An expanded version of The Heart Has Its Reasons, this volume charts the evolution of YA literature that features characters and themes which resonate not only with LGBTQ+ readers but with their allies as well. In this resource, Jenkins and Cart identify titles that are notable either for their excellence—accurate, thoughtful, and tactful depictions—or deficiencies—books that are wrongheaded, stereotypical, or outdated. Each chapter has been significantly updated, and this edition also includes new chapters on bisexual, transgender, and intersex issues and characters, as well as chapters on comics, graphic novels, and works of nonfiction.

This book also features an annotated bibliography and a number of author-title lists of books discussed in the text that will aid teachers, librarians, parents, and teen readers. Encompassing a wider array of sexual identities, Representing the Rainbow in Young Adult Literature is an invaluable resource for young people eager to read about books relevant to them and their lives.
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