Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning Teen Literature: A Guide to Reading Interests

Article excerpt

Carlisle K. Webber, GAY, LESBIAN, BISEXUAL, TRANSGENDER AND QUESTIONING TEEN LITERATURE: A GUIDE TO READING INTERESTS. Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited, 2010. (Genreflecting advisory series.) 132p. indexes. $45.00, ISBN 978-1591585060.

This well-organized volume in the Genreflecting Advisory series, written by a former youth-services librarian, is a comprehensive guide to the reading needs of the teenaged GLBTQ community and to the current state of GLBTQ teen readership and culture, as well as to appropriate resources for this community. The book aims neither to be a critical queer theory text nor "a primer on library or educational services to GLBTQ teens" (p. xi), but to assist in collection development and reader's advisory, focusing mainly on fiction (while including some nonfiction) published in English in the past decade.

The text begins with definitions of the terms initialized in GLBTQ, relating to the reader issues of identity, relationships, and community and describing genre-specific terms that are used throughout. Webber also explains some special concerns that will be familiar to readers who do GLBTQ-related scholarship but that all librarians should rake note of: that people who are interested in GLBTQ materials are sometimes reluctant (for a multitude of reasons) to ask for materials; that GLBTQ materials have historically been underrepresented or misrepresented by libraries; and that many communities are resistant or even violently opposed to the GLBTQ community and the inclusion of its materials in libraries. Webber wants librarians to keep these concerns in mind when selecting GLBTQ materials.

The works of literature listed in this volume are organized not just by mainstream themes, but also by issues common to GLBTQ and GLBTQ-friendly readers; thus, we have, for instance, not only "Teen Romance," "Family," and "Abuse," but also "Coming Out," "Outcasts and Outsiders": Discrimination, Homophobia, and Bullying," and "GLBTQ Voices and Life Stories" as categories. Each listing is briefly annotated with salient plot points, as well as the assumed best audience (gay males, lesbians, etc. …