I <3 lists

As we head toward the end of the year, I’m inundated with lists. End of the year listsessential of the last 25 years list, graphic novel suggestions for non fans, and so forth. (OK, so that last list is from last year, but it’s a great list! I used it as my primer this year to get in to reading graphic novels).

Two of the better lists I’ve seen this year involve issues that are rarely address in books, particularly in YA literature.

10 LGBT Teen Novels that Tackle Teen Suicide & Bullying
This year is the year people are finally standing up and saying they refuse to be bullied any more. Dan Savage became a voice for every terrified LGBT teen who feared being attacked in the hallways at school. He created his It Gets Better Project to remind kids that this time in their lives is short lived and it DOES get better after graduation so don’t give up now. Lambda Literary put together a list of book that tackle the issue of bullying and unfortunately, teen suicide, in relation to queer identified kids. I have to admit I’ve only read one off the list, but the story descriptions are compelling because the scenarios could happen (and are happening) anywhere. I’m making it a point to tackle more of them in the upcoming year.

Body Positivity and Fat Acceptance in YA Lit
Angie, at FatGirlReading, recently put together a literature review for a young adult literature symposium that included books that cover body positivity and fat acceptance. While the idea for body positivity has been around for decades, I think it’s an issue that has been finding its way in to mainstream media. While American’s waistlines are growing, there are less examples that reflect those individuals in the media. While places like Marie Claire are questioning why it should even exist (Eeeewwww fat people kiss! And date! Who wants to see that??!), there are more and more people who are desperate to see examples of people just like them doing exactly what they want to do. That’s why Angie’s list is fantastic. She breaks down novels in to categories like positive works, those that have good intentions, and those that are flat out problematic. Just because a book has a fat character in it, doesn’t mean it’s a good example.

Both of these lists are necessary as the teenage years are so traumatic for some. Those kids need to see they are not alone. And these lists give them a multitude of examples of people just like them.

About indie librarian

a recently MLS librarian's observations
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