Below is the new 2010 Rainbow Project list of Fiction for junior high and high school readers. We have a few, and I've ordered a few more. Check the local public library for anything that's not linked.
The Rainbow Project is a joint effort of the GLBT Round Table and the Social Responsibilities Round Table of the American Library association. In an effort to help young readers locate books that reflect gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender/questioning experiences, it creates an annual book list of recommended GLBTQ fiction and nonfiction titles for young readers from birth through age 18.
Burd, Nick. The Vast Fields of Ordinary. 2009. 309p. Dial/Penguin, $16.99. (9780803733404) Gr. 9+. During his last summer before college, Dade juggles his divorcing parents and dysfunctional closeted boyfriend until he meets Alex and gains the courage to declare his sexuality.
Carter, Timothy. Evil? 2009. 256p. Flux/Llewellyn, $9.95. (9780738715391). Gr. 9+. Being gay and summoning demons don’t provide Stuart with any problem in his small, conservative Canadian town, but everyone gets caught up in an anti-masturbation crusade when Stuart commits the sin of Onan.
Collins, Pat Lowery. Hidden Voices: The Orphan Musicians of Venice. Gr. 7+. In a 1700s Venetian orphanage famous for its musical training, teenage Anetta suffers from her unrequited love for the ethereal Luisa.
Crutcher, Chris. Angry Management. Gr. 7+. Anger and rage, both internal and external, provide the common thread for three stories dealing with high school injustice–being black, gay, overweight, or simply a high school student.
Ehrenberg, Pamela. Tillmon County Fire. Gr. 7+. Eight teens give their perspectives about an anti-gay hate crime that ignites fear, homophobia, grief, and loss.
Frazer, Megan. Secrets of Truth & Beauty. Gr. 9+. At age seven, Dara was a darling pageant winner; at 17, she has gained too much weight and anger, leading her to discover her runaway sister on a farm commune for lesbians and others rejected by their families, including a gay high school senior.
Garsee, Jeannine. Say the Word. Gr. 9+. The “perfect” Shawna Gallagher finds her life turned upside down when she turns 17, her estranged lesbian mother dies, and she discovers a family in the mother’s partner and two sons, a family that her controlling father tries to destroy.
Going, K.L. King of the Screwups. Gr. 7+. When Liam Geller screws up once too often, his father throws him out of the house, and Liam finds his true self when he goes to live with his father’s brother, “Aunt” Pete, a gay glam-rocker disc jockey living in a trailer in upstate New York.
González, Rigoberto. The Mariposa Club. Gr. 8+. During their senior year, the Fierce Foursome—Maui, Trini, Isaac, and Lib—decide to leave their legacy by creating their high school’s first LGBT organization, an action that brings out both support and opposition from their families and their community.
Hopkins, Ellen, Tricks. Gr. 9+. Five teens find themselves selling their bodies in Las Vegas due to circumstances and decisions, both within and well beyond their control.
* How Beautiful the Ordinary: Twelve Stories of Identity (ordered). Ed. Michael Cart. Gr. 9+. The tales in this collection present not only the variety of identities in the LGBTQ community—transgendered, lesbian, bisexual, questioning, and gay—but also the variety of experiences of being human—love, regret, betrayal, discovery.
Hurwin, Davida Wills. Freaks and Revelations. Gr. 10+. Actual events inspired this narrative of two teens—Jason, a gay thirteen-year-old surviving on the streets after being rejected by his family, and Doug, a seventeen-year-old skinhead punk rocker—as their lives intersect in a violent hate crime that forever changes them.
Katcher, Brian. Almost Perfect. Gr. 9+. Beautiful newcomer Sage is perfect for Logan until he discovers that she is transgendered.
Ketchum, Liza. Newsgirl. Gr. 5-8. When ambitious and strong-willed Amelia moves to San Francisco in 1851 with her two mothers, she must masquerade as a boy to realize her dream of first hawking newspapers and then working as a reporter.
Levithan, David. Love Is the Higher Law. Gr. 8+. Three teenage New Yorkers–Claire, Peter, and Jasper–searching for the meaning of the 9/11 bombing find it in new friendships and the emerging romantic relationship between the two boys.
* Lo, Malinda. Ash. Gr. 8+. Torn between her emerging love for the King’s mysterious huntress and the ethereal draw of the world of the fairies, Ash discovers the strength of her own identity.
Marino, Peter. Magic and Misery. Gr. 8+. With frank discussions of relationships and sex, heterosexual and homosexual, Toni Jo, who befriends new student Pan (short for Pansy) in the hopes that he will be her boyfriend, gives a humorous portrayal of high school life.
Park, Judith. YSquare Plus. Gr. 9+. Yagate has his heart set on Ra-Myun, the man of his dreams, but when he discovers that Chana does too, he turns to his friend Yoshitaka to help him win Ra-Myun’s affections.
Peck, Dale. Sprout, or My Salad Days, When I Was Green in Judgment. Gr. 7-10. It’s not easy having green hair in conservative Kansas, but teenage Sprout manages while also prepping for the Kansas State Essay Contest and falling in love with the intriguing new boy in school.
Peters, Julie Anne. Rage: A Love Story. Gr. 10+. When the wildly divergent lives of Johanna and Reeves collide, all the Romantic, Alluring, Gorgeous, and Exciting expectations turn to painful RAGE.
Polito, Frank Anthony. Drama Queers! Gr. 9+. Julliard, thespians, homecoming, and a certain gorgeous football player all come together as “Band Fag” Bradley Dayton is out to make his senior year his most exciting ever—even if his best friend Jack won’t admit that he, too, is gay.
Rapp, Adam. Punkzilla. Gr. 8+. Fourteen-year-old Jamie (aka Punkzilla)–AWOL from military school–embarks on a cross-country odyssey to find his older brother, a dying gay playwright, and share with him his journal of his sometimes frightening, sometimes heartwarming adventures along the way.
Roth, Matthue. Losers. Gr. 8-10. Russian immigrant and freshman Jupiter navigates the high school social world and works to improve his popularity while trying to connect with the cute girl at the record store and finding an unexpected friend in the school’s closeted bully.
Ruff, Shawn Stewart. Finlater. Gr. 10+. This deeply affecting and openly sexual story of two boys in love—Cliffy Douglas and Noah Baumgarten—plays out among the disparities of home life and background during the 1970s homophobia and racial tension.
Ryan, P. E. In Mike We Trust. Gr. 7-10. Garth finds the confidence to come out to his mother when wheeling-and-dealing Uncle Mike, his late father’s identical twin, moves in and puts him to work as a budding con man.
Sanchez, Alex. Bait (ordered). Gr. 7+. Sexually abused San Diego teenager Diego, in trouble for his violent temper, finds understanding and reasons for self-acceptance in the wise and caring counsel of his gay parole officer Mr. Vidas.
Satyal, Rakesh. Blue Boy. Gr. 9+. Can Kiran Sharma, a sexually confused twelve-year-old Indian American boy who secretly puts on his mother’s make-up, plays with dolls, and practices ballet, really be the reincarnation of the gender-bending Hindu god Krishna?
Stevenson, Robin. Inferno. Gr. 9+. When Dante meets Parker, she thinks that she has found a soul mate but is instead drawn into a dangerous and destructive relationship.
* Urrea, Luis Alberto. Into the Beautiful North.(ordered) Gr. 9+. When all the young men and fathers leave the bucolic Sinaloa village of Tres Camarones to find jobs in the United States, three young women and their gay friend Tacho sneak across the border to recruit seven police officers and soldiers (the Magnificent Seven!) who will return home and rescue them from the drug-dealing banditos who threaten their good life.
Whatling, Michael. A Vigil for Joe Rose: Stories of Being Out in High School. Gr. 9+. The fictional notebooks belonging to Joe Rose, a young gay man killed in 1989 by a gang of hateful young men, is the thread that stitches together the stories of seven out gay high school students in Montreal.