Rainbow Book List

The 2019 Rainbow Book List

Posted by: peshling on: January 28, 2019

The Rainbow Book List Committee is proud to announce the 2019 Rainbow Book List. The List is a curated bibliography highlighting books with significant gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or queer/questioning content, aimed at children and youth from birth to age 18. This List is intended to aid youth and those working with youth in selecting high-quality books published between July 2017 and December 2018.

As a committee, we evaluated over 400 books and selected 107 titles from over two dozen different publishers. Starred titles indicate the Rainbow Book List’s Top Ten choices, which are books that the committee considers to be of exceptional merit.

The committee members were overwhelmed by the explosion of content in all age groups. Realistic fiction dominated this year, as well as #ownvoices titles.

Now, without further ado, we present to you the 2019 Rainbow Book List!

Rainbow List 2019

Picture Books

Anderson, Airlie. Neither. 2018. 40p. Little Brown Books for Young Readers, $16.99 (9780316547697). Grades Pre-K to 2.
In the Land of This and That, where does Neither belong? Neither finds acceptance in The Land of All.

Bundo, Marlon and Twiss, Jill. A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo. 2018. 40p. Chronicle Books, $18.99 (9781452173801). Grades K and up.
Marlon Bundo is Bunny of the United States, living a comfy life in the White House. In this political satire for all ages, Marlon and newfound love Wesley work together with their animal friends to vote out The Stink Bug.

Cumming, Alan and Grant Shaffer. The Adventures of Honey & Leon. 2017. 48p. Random House Books for Young Readers, $17.99 (9780399557972). Grades Pre-K to 3.
Dogs Honey and Leon have a great life in New York—except that they are left behind when their dads travel. They secretly follow them on their next trip.

Finch, Michelle and Phoenix. Phoenix Goes to School. 2018. 40p. Jessica Kingsley Publishers, $15.95 (9781785928215). Grades K to 3.
Phoenix is a little worried about her first day of school; what if the other kids call her a boy or don’t understand her? Phoenix braves her first day and discovers a warm, accepting environment in the classroom.

Genhart, Michael. Love is Love. Sourcebooks Jabberwocky/Little Pickle Press, $18.99 (9781939775139). Grades Pre-K to 3.
A young narrator with two dads is teased for wearing a t-shirt with a rainbow heart. Colorful illustrations highlight a diverse community, affirming the power of love.

* Haack, Daniel and Lewis, Stevie. Prince & Knight. 2018. 40p. little bee books, $17.99 (9781499805529). Grades Pre-K to 3.
The Prince and the Knight meet when they have to defeat a terrifying dragon, and their friendship blossoms into love.

Jenkins, Steve and Derek Walter. The True Adventures of Esther the Wonder Pig. 2018. 40p. Little Brown Books for Young Readers, $17.99 (9780316554763). Grades Pre-K to 3.
Based on a true story, Esther is just a tiny piglet when her dads adopt her, but she turns out to be less of a mini pig and more of a huge pig. As she grows (and grows and grows), Esther shows her family how easy it is to fall in love.

Love, Jessica. Julián is a Mermaid. 2018. 40p. Candlewick, $16.99 (9780763690458). Grades Pre-K to 3.
This lushly-illustrated picture book tells the story of Julián who, with the help of his abuela, dresses up and joins the Coney Island Mermaid Parade.

Martínez, Ernesto J, Maya C. Gonzalez, and Feliciano J. G. Martínez. Cuando Amamos Cantamos/When We Love Someone We Sing to Them. 2018. 39p. Reflection Press, $19.95 (9781945289149).  Grades K and up.
Andrea asks his father to help him sing a love song for another boy. His father suggests that they create a new song that they can perform together.  

Pitman, Gayle E. A Church for All. 2018. 32p. Albert Whitman & Company, $16.99 (978080751179). Grades Pre-K to 3.
Inspired by a real San Francisco church, this story describes a welcoming, inclusive congregation using short rhymes and colorful, diverse illustrations.

* Pitman, Gayle E. Sewing the Rainbow. 2018. 32p. Magination Press, $16.95. (9781433829024). Grades Pre-K to 3.
Growing up, Gilbert Baker loved sewing and design. He left Kansas for the bright colors of San Francisco to pursue his dreams and went on to create an enduring symbol of the LGBTQIAP+ community.

Sanders, Rob. Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag. 2018. 48p. Random House Books for Young Readers, $17.99 (9780399555312). Grades 1-3.
As an elected official, Harvey Milk worked with his community in San Francisco to create a symbol for gay rights and continued fighting for equality until his assassination.

Scotto, Thomas. Jerome By Heart. 2018. 32p. Enchanted Lion Books, $16.95 (9781592702503) Grades Pre-K to 3.
Raphael enjoys his friendship with Jerome: they hold hands, share snacks, and do everything together. Not everyone understands their relationship, but Raphael doesn’t mind because he knows how he feels about Jerome.

Middle Grade Fiction

Bigelow, Lisa Jenn. Drum Roll, Please. 2018. 320p. Harper Collins. $16.99 (9780062791146). Grades 5 to 8.
Melly hopes that a week at music camp with her best friend Olivia will distract her from the sudden announcement of her parents’ divorce. Although disappointed when they’re not placed in the same band, they each discover unexpected feelings for their bandmates.

Herring Blake, Ashley. Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World. 2018. 320p. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, $16.99 (9780316515467). Grades 5 to 8.
Ivy Aberdeen’s house is destroyed by a tornado, leaving her to navigate a crush on a new friend during the turmoil that her family is thrown into as they try to put their lives back together.

* Callender, Kacen. Hurricane Child. 2018. 224p. Scholastic Press, $17.99 (9781338129304). Grades 5 to 8.
Caroline is alone: her mother has disappeared and her only friend is a spirit that no one else can see. Then she falls for new student Kalinda, who helps her track down her mother in the middle of a hurricane.

Donne, Elena Delle. Elle of the Ball. 2018. 160p. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. $16.99 (9781534412316). Grades 5 to 8.
Elle loves basketball but she doesn’t love the mandatory school dance coming up. She would rather dance with new girl Amanda than with the boys in her class.

Federle, Tim. Nate Expectations. 2018. 256p. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, $17.99 (9781481404139). Grades 6 and up.
When Nate’s Broadway show closes, he is forced to go back to his boring hometown for freshman year. But drama follows Nate wherever he goes, in the form of class projects, musical theater, and a cute boy.

Jantha, A.W. Hocus Pocus and the All New Sequel. Freeform, $12.99 (9781368020039). Grades 7 and up.
Poppy and her friends, including her crush Isabella, have just reawakened the Sanderson Sisters. (This book begins with a novelization of the original 1993 film.)

Wittlinger, Ellen. Saturdays with Hitchcock. 2018. 262p. Charlesbridge, $16.99 (9781580897754). Grades 5 to 8.
Maisie (or “Hitchcock,” as she’s known to her Uncle Walt) and her best friend Cyrus love seeing old movies on Saturdays. But when new boy Gary starts joining their outings, things change.

Young Adult Nonfiction

Bongiovanni, Archie and Tristan Jimerson. A Quick & Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns. 2018. 64p. Limerence, $7.99 (9781620104996). Grades 6 and up.
This comic by real-life friends Archie and Tristan offers readers a practical guide about how, when, and why to use gender neutral pronouns.

Johnson, Maureen, ed. How I Resist: Activism and Hope for the Next Generation. 2018. 224p. Wednesday Books, $18.99 (9781250168368). Grades 9 and up.
This personal, creative, and deeply hopeful book features words of wisdom and guidance from writers and artists like Alex Gino, Malinda Lo, Jacqueline Woodson, and many more.

MacCarald, Clara. Beating Bullying at Home and in Your Community. 2018. 64p. Rosen Young Adult, $34.45 (9781508174240). Grades 7 and up.
A straightforward guide that describes the types of bullying LGBTQIAP+ kids face as well as realistic responses.

Nicholson, Hope (ed). The Secret Loves of Geeks. 2018. 136p. Dark Horse Comics, $14.99 (9781506704739) Grades 9 and up.
A collection of essays, some illustrated and some not, about love–romantic, fandom, or both.

Young Adult Fiction

Albertalli, Becky. Leah on the Offbeat. 2018. 368p. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $17.99 (9780062643803). Grades 9 and up.
Leah Burke must navigate first love, her college search, and the unexpected implosion of her once-unshakable friend group. She’s also bisexual but she can’t find the right way to come out to her friends.

Albertalli, Becky and Adam Silvera. What If It’s Us. 2018. 448p. HarperTeen, $18.99 (9780062795250). Grades 9 and up.
Arthur wants to find a relationship and Ben wants to get over his ex.  After a serendipitous meeting they discover the reality of romance together.

Armentrout, Jennifer L. et al. Meet Cute. 2018. 320p. HMH Books for Young Readers, $17.99 (978-1328604286). Grades 7 and up.
A fun short story collection featuring a variety of romantic relationships.

Berube, Amelinda. The Dark Beneath the Ice. 2018. 336p. Sourcebooks Fire, $17.99 (9781492657071). Grades 9 and up.
Marianne begins to experience scary paranormal phenomena as her parents are undergoing a divorce. After an attempted exorcism with her new friend Rhiannon, Marianne is not sure that she and the people she loves will survive this haunting.

* Blake, Ashley Herring. Girl Made of Stars. 2018. 304p. HMH Books for Young Readers, $17.99 (978-1328778239). Grades 9 and up.
Mara is dealing with a difficult breakup with her ex-girlfriend when her twin brother is accused of rape by one of her best friends. She struggles with her own past trauma and pressure to maintain the status quo.

Booth, Molly. Nothing Happened. 2018. 336p. Disney Hyperion, $17.99 (9781484753026). Grades 9 and up.
In this retelling of Shakespeare’s comedy Much Ado About Nothing, camp counselors Bee and Ben snark and flirt while shy Hana and Claudia battle their own insecurities to try to get together.

Brennan, Sarah Rees. In Other Lands. 2017. 432p. Big Mouth House, $19.95 (978-1618731203). Grades 9 and up.
Elliot is recruited to a magical school in a magical land, and works to upend the system’s violent ways while navigating relationships with the classmates and creatures of this new place.

Callender, Kacen. This is Kind of an Epic Love Story. 2018. 304p. Balzer + Bray, $17.99 (9780062820228). Grades 10 and up.
Nathan and his ex-girlfriend have remained good friends even after their break-up. Their social group is complicated when Nate’s childhood friend (and secret crush) moves back to town.

Cameron, Sophie. Out of the Blue. 2018. 272p. Roaring Brook Press, $17.99 (9781250149916). Grades 7 and up.
Mysterious beings are falling from the sky to their deaths.  When Jaya finds one alive, she enlists new friends to help her keep the being safe.

Capetta, A. R. Echo After Echo. 2017. 432p. Candlewick, $17.99 (9780763691646). Grades 9 and up.
Zara moves to New York City, where she has the opportunity to play the role she’s always coveted. Unfortunately, not everyone is as excited about the production, as cast members begin to die under mysterious circumstances.

Carter, Brooke. Learning Seventeen. 2018. 134p. Orca, $9.95 (9781459815537). Grades 8 and up.
Jane rebels against the rules of religious reform school, where she is encouraged to suppress her sexuality. Ultimately, she finds love, acceptance, and family reconciliation.

Cherry, Alison, Lindsay Ribar, and Michelle Schusterman. The Pros of Cons. 2018. 341p. Point/Scholastic, $18.99 (9781338151725). Grades 7 and up.
Worlds collide when Phoebe’s school band competition, Vanessa’s fandom con, and the taxidermy convention Callie is attending with her father are all at the same hotel and convention center.

Cohn, Rachel and David Levithan. Sam and Ilsa’s Last Hurrah. 2018. 224p. Knopf Books for Young Readers, $17.99 (9780399553844). Grades 7 and up.
Twins Sam and Ilsa throw an intimate dinner party and each invite three guests—but the other does not know who has been invited.

Cotugno, Katie. Top Ten. 2017. 368p. Balzer + Bray, $17.99 (9780062418302). Grades 9 and up.
On graduation night, best friends Ryan and Gabby look back on the top ten memories of their high school friendships, fights, and romantic attractions.

Coulthurst, Audrey. Inkmistress. 2018. 400p. Balzer + Bray, $17.99 (978-0062433282). Grades 9 and up.
Asra’s power to change fate by writing in her blood sets off a chain of events that puts her in direct opposition to her love, Ina.

Farizan, Sara. Here to Stay. 2018. 272p. Algonquin Young Readers, $17.95 (9781616207007). Grades 9 and up.
After Iranian-Jordanian Bijan makes a game-winning basket, his new-found fame leads to unwanted attention. When an anonymous picture of him photoshopped to look like a terrorist goes viral, Bijan must figure out how to stand up for what is right—for himself and his friends.

Foody, Amanda. Ace of Shades. 2018. 416p. Harlequin Teen, $19.99 (978-1335692290). Grades 9 and up.
Enne searches for her mother in New Reynes, the “City of Sin,” using only a name her mother mentioned in her last letter: Levi, a young, charismatic street lord and con artist.

Forman, Gayle. I Have Lost My Way. 2018. 272p. Viking Books For Young Readers, $18.99 (9780425290774). Grades 9 and up.
Freya, Harun, and Nathaniel have all suffered significant loss. Their lives intersect in New York City one fateful day, and they work together to heal.

Gardner, Whitney. Chaotic Good. 2018. 256p. Knopf Books For Young Readers, $17.99 (9781524720803). Grades 7 and up.
Cameron uses her cosplay talents and her twin brother’s wardrobe to pass as a boy so she isn’t mocked by the employees at her local comic book shop. When her new alter ego is invited to join their D&D group, she is asked out by Why, who is gay.

Gilbert, Kelly Loy. Picture Us in the Light. 2018. 368p. Disney Hyperion, $17.99 (9781484726020). Grades 9 and up.
Danny expresses himself through his art. But his art won’t make it clear to him why his friend completed suicide, what his parents are hiding, and what’s going on with his best friend Harry.

Gonsalves, Florence. Love and Other Carnivorous Plants. 2018. 352p. Little Brown, $17.99 (978-0316436724). Grades 9 and up.
Danny and her best friend Sara have their lives all planned out. But those plans are derailed when Danny gets into Harvard for pre-med and secretly enters rehab for an eating disorder, where she discovers an attraction to a fellow patient.

Howard, Greg. Social Intercourse. 2018. 309p. Simon & Schuster, $18.99 (9781481497817). Grades 10 and up.
Beckett, an out and proud high schooler desperate to lose his virginity, and Jaxon, a popular jock with a cute girlfriend, discover their parents are dating and complicate things by falling for each other.

Hutchinson, Shaun David. The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza. 2018. 448p. Simon Pulse. $17.99 (9781481498548). Grades 9 and up.
Elena’s mother was a virgin when she was conceived. Now, as a teenager, Elena has healing powers, but every time she uses them other people disappear, and inanimate objects speak to her.

Ius, Dawn. Lizzie. 2018. 336p. Simon Pulse. $17.99 (9781481490764). Grades 7 and up.
In this imaginative modern retelling of Lizzie Borden’s story, Lizzie is shy, never been kissed, and controlled by her parents. When she meets Bridget, the family’s new maid, she quickly falls in love.

Jones, Adam Garnet. Fire Song. 2018. 232p. Annick Press, $18.95 (9781554519781). Grades 9 and up.
Shane’s life on the Anishinaabe reserve isn’t easy. After the recent suicide of his sister, he finds solace in his secret relationship with David.

* Kann, Claire. Let’s Talk About Love. 2018. 288p. Swoon Reads, $16.99 (9781250136121). Grades 9 and up.
Alice is asexual and biromantic, which is something she’s been dumped for in the past. She was not expecting to fall head over heels for Takumi, a fellow library employee.

Karcz, Lauren. The Gallery of Unfinished Girls. 2017. $17.99, HarperTeen (9780062467775). Grades 9 and up.
Mercedes Moreno hasn’t been able to paint in a year, her abuela is in a coma, and she has an unrequited crush on her best friend, Victoria. Her life takes an unexpected turn when she visits the Red Mangrove Estate: a magical space where art can be created but can never leave.

* Khorram, Adib. Darius the Great is Not Okay. 2018. 310p. Dial Books, $17.99 (9780525552963). Grades 7 and up.
Darius struggles with bullies, depression, and his weight. When he goes to Iran for the first time, Darius makes connections to his Persian heritage and forges a friendship with neighbor Sohrab.

Kisner, Adrienne. Dear Rachel Maddow. 2018. 263p. Feiwel and Friends, $17.99 (9781250146021). Grades 7 and up.
School doesn’t come naturally to Brynn Harper. After her brother’s drug-related death, she stops trying. Stuck in remedial courses and considering dropping out to escape an abusive household, Brynn discovers a spark of passion in an unlikely place: school politics.

Lawson, Richard. All We Can Do Is Wait. 2018. 288p. Razorbill, $17.99 (9780448494111). Grades 7 and up.
After a bridge collapses, teens bond in a hospital waiting area while dreading the fates of their loved ones.

Lee, C.B. Not Your Villain. 2017. 320p. Interlude Press, $16.99 (9781945053252). Grades 7 and up.
Bells is levelling up to superhero—if the bigger heroes don’t stand in his way, in this sequel to Not Your Sidekick.

Lee, Mackenzi. The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy. 2018. 450p. Katherine Tegen Books, $18.99 (9780062795328). Grades 7 and up.
Felicity Montague wants to become a doctor, but the men of 18th century Edinburgh and London won’t have her. She decides to appeal to her medical hero, but to do so she must reconcile with her childhood best friend, leading to adventures and intrigue across Europe.

Leno, Katrina. Summer of Salt. 2018. 256p. HarperTeen, $17.99 (9780062493620). Grades 6 and up.
The women in Georgina’s family have all inherited a special ability and she worries she has been passed over by the magic as she approaches her eighteenth birthday. Before she leaves her island home for college, a mystical tragedy about the death of a rare bird rips apart the town and her relationship with her twin sister. CW: rape.

Lo, Malinda. A Line in the Dark. 2017. 288p. Speak, $17.99 (9780735227439).  Grades 9 and up.
Jess has unrequited feelings for her best friend Angie, and struggles with jealousy when Angie starts up a relationship with rich girl Margot. Secrets and violence are hiding under the surface of all their lives.

Lukens, F.T. The Rules and Regulations for Mediating Myths and Magic. 2018. 304p. Interlude Press, $16.99 (9781945053245). Grades 9 and up.
Bridger needs to pay for college, but the unusual job he finds on Craigslist has him dealing with cranky unicorns, mermaids, and other mysterious creatures. On top of everything else, he must navigate the tricky process of coming out.

Lundin, Britta. Ship It. 2018. 384p. Freeform, $17.99 (9781368003131). Grades 9 and up.
Claire writes slash fiction based on her favorite TV show, Demon Heart, and she’s convinced that her ship should go canon. But when she confronts the show’s actors and producers at a convention, Claire risks losing everything she cares about, including her new romance with fellow fan, Tess.

Marsh, Sarah Glenn. Reign of the Fallen. 2018. 384p. Razorbill, $17.99 (9780448494395). Grades 7 and up.
Karthia is ruled by untouchable dead royals, and Odessa, a necromancer, must traverse the land of the dead and uncover the truth when a series of attacks reveal that whole kingdom is in jeopardy.

McLemore, Anna-Marie. Wild Beauty. 2017. 352p. Feiwel & Friends, $17.99 (9781250124555). Grades 7 and up.
The Nomeolvides women have lived in La Pradera for generations growing lush magical gardens, but their family is cursed – destined to lose anyone they love too deeply. When Estrella and her cousins realize they are all in love with the same girl, they make offerings to the land in an attempt to save her. The land responds with the appearance of a boy with no memories, whose past holds the key to generations of secrets and lies.

McNamara, Miriam. The Unbinding of Mary Reade. 2018. 280p. Sky Pony Press,  $16.99 (9781510727052). Grades 9 and up.
Mary Reade dresses as a man to sneak into a life of piracy but is stunned when she meets Anne Bonny, a pirate who is not afraid to hide her gender. Mary deals with her gender dysphoria, strong feelings for Anne, and sexual identity as she tries to survive.

Mele, Dana. People Like Us. 2018. 384p. Putnam, $17.99 (9781524741709). Grades 9 and up.
Running from a secret past, Kay has remade her life at posh Bates Academy. But when a student’s body is found in a nearby lake, Kay’s tragic past and ruthless methods make her a prime suspect in a murder – and the target of blackmail threatening to expose her past.

Miller, Linsey. Mask of Shadows. 2017. 352p. Sourcebooks Fire, $17.99 (9781492647492). Grades 9 and up.
Seeking revenge on the nobles responsible for the destruction of their people, genderfluid pickpocket Sal decides to audition for a position on the Queen’s Left Hand, Her Majesty’s royal assassins. The competition is fierce, and the body count is high.

Mitchell, Saundra. All Out: The No-Longer-Secret Stories of Queer Teens throughout the Ages. 2018. 241p. Harlequin Teen, $18.99 (9781335470454). Grades 7 and up.
Seventeen short historical fiction stories about queer experiences across many time periods and cultures.

Ness, Patrick. Release. 2017. 288p. Harper Teen, $17.99 (9780062403193). Grades 9 and up.
Adam Thorn is having the most unsettling, difficult day of his life, with relationships fracturing, a harrowing incident at work, and a showdown with his preacher father that changes everything. It’s a day of confrontation, running, sex, love, heartbreak, disturbing visions, and maybe even hope.

* Ngan, Natasha. Girls of Paper and Fire. 2018. 400p. JIMMY Patterson Books,  $18.99 (9780316561365) Grades 9 and up.
In a fantasy world where there are humans, demons, and human-demons, Lei is forcibly taken to become a concubine to the demon king. She must survive violence and rape with her fellow courtesans, who learn to reclaim themselves and fight for their freedom.

Nijkamp, Marieke. Before I Let Go. 2018. 368p. Sourcebooks Fire, $17.99 (9781492642282) Grades 9 and up.
Back in her small, strange hometown in Alaska, Corey is determined to find out what really happened to her best friend. But the whole town is pushing her away, which only makes her more determined to seek the truth.

Oshiro, Mark. Anger is a Gift. 2018. 464p. Tor Teen, $17.99 (9781250167026). Grades 9 and up.
When Moss was a child, his father was shot by the Oakland police. Now, as racial tensions are building in his high school, Moss falls for Javier. When Moss decides he wants to take a stand, he risks losing everything.

Patterson, Kaitlyn Sage. The Diminished. 2018. 454p. Harlequin Teen, $18.99 (9781335016416). Grades 7 and up.
In a world where babies are born in pairs, Bo is a singleborn, destined for the throne while Vi is “diminished,” her twin having died when they were very young. As their lives intersect, they will discover secrets that will change them both.

Poston, Ashley.  Heart of Iron. 2018. 480p. Balzer + Bray, $17.99 (9780062652850). Grades 9 and up.
Ana and her found family of thieves make a living doing whatever jobs they can get when Ana’s best friend D09 needs her help. In a desperate bid to save him, she meets a rich, spoiled Ironblood, and together they track down a ship that may have all the answers they need.

Redgate, Riley. Final Draft. 2018. 262p. Amulet, $17.99 (9781419728723). Grades 9 and up.
Laila loves writing sci-fi stories, but a demanding new creative writing teacher pushes her to work harder and do more. Caught between confusing crushes, a headstrong best friend, and demands of school and family, Laila struggles to figure it all out.

Roehrig, Caleb. White Rabbit. 2018. 336p. Feiwel and Friends, $17.99 (9781250085658). Grades 7 and up.
To save his sister, Rufus has to solve a murder, fast. Unfortunately, his ex-boyfriend decides to come along for the ride, and that’s only the first surprise.

* Rosen, L.C. Jack of Hearts (and Other Parts). 2018. 342p. Little, Brown, $17.99 (9780316480536). Grades 10 and up.
Jack is an unabashedly out, sex-positive high school junior living large in New York. When he reluctantly agrees to write a sex advice column for a friend’s blog, he also starts receiving “love letters” that become increasingly threatening in tone.

Rubin, Julia Lynn. Burro Hills. 2018. 244p. Diversion Books, $13.99 (9781635761948). Grades 9 and up.
Jack can no longer hide his sexuality when Connor comes to town. But is Connor a bad boy leading him astray or the guy of his dreams?

Shaw, Liane. Caterpillars Can’t Swim. 2018. 246p. Second Story Press, $13.95 (9781772600537). Grades 9 and up.
Ryan, a high school swimmer who uses a wheelchair, rescues Jack from drowning and the two become unlikely friends. Their friendship allows Jack to finally admit he’s gay and make strides toward self-acceptance despite the judgments of his community.

Sim, Tara. Chainbreaker. 2018. 488p. Sky Pony Press, $18.99 (9781510706194). Grades 9 and up.
In a reimagined world where time’s passing is dependent on the spirits that inhabit clock towers, mechanic Danny is sent to India to investigate a city whose tower was destroyed but time never stopped.

Spalding, Amy. The Summer of Jordi Perez (And the Best Burger in Los Angeles). 2018. 284p. Sky Pony Press, $16.99 (9780316515467). Grades 8 and up.
Body-positive Abby lands the internship of her dreams with a fashion boutique only to find out she has to share it with classmate Jordi Perez. She has to deal with her growing feelings for Jordi while also competing with her for a coveted paid position.

Spotswood, Jessica. The Last Summer of the Garrett Girls. 2018. 368p. Sourcebooks Fire, $10.99 (9781492622192) Grades 6 and up.
The Garrett girls have one last summer together in their small town. Oldest sister Des feels left behind, Bea may be changing her mind about her long-time boyfriend, Kat wants her ex back, and Vi has a thing for the girl next door.

* Stone, Nic. Odd One Out. 2018. 320p. Crown Books for Young Readers, $17.99 (9781101939536). Grades 9 to 12.
Coop has feelings for his lifelong bestie Jupiter, but knows nothing will ever happen between them because she is a lesbian. When Rae moves to town and joins their tight twosome, all their feelings collide in this messy, realistic story about falling in love, new romance, and friendship.

Surmelis, Angelo. The Dangerous Art of Blending In. 2018. 315p. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $17.99 (9780062659002). Grades 9 and up.
Evan returns from summer camp to discover his best friend Henry has become impossibly attractive. As his feelings for Henry grow more intense, Evan’s mother becomes more abusive, and he must find the courage to speak up.

Talley, Robin. Pulp. 2018. 416p. Harlequin Teen, $18.99 (9781335012906). Grades 9 and up.
In the present day, Abby is a high school senior dealing with lingering romantic feelings for her best friend/ex-girlfriend. In 1955, Janet must hide her relationship with her best friend Marie even though she knows there is nothing wrong with their love. Both Abby and Janet find solace in the lesbian pulp novels they read.

Trifonia, Melibia Obono. Translated by Lawrence Schimel. La Bastarda. 2018. 120p. The Feminist Press at CUNY, $15.95 (9781936932238). Grades 7 to 12.
Okomo has always been an outsider due to her mother’s death and her father’s rejection. When she starts spending time with village outcasts, she can no longer hide or deny who she is.

Watts, Julia. Quiver. 2018. 300p. Three Rooms Press, $15.95 (9781941110669). Grades 7 to 9.
Libby and Zo come from two very different worlds. Zo is a queer, genderfluid teen from Knoxville and Libby is the eldest of six siblings, living off the grid with her devout Quiverfull family. When Zo’s family move next door to Libby, the two slowly become friends, neither expecting how much the friendship will change their lives.

Wilde, Jen. The Brightsiders. 2018. 304p. Swoon Reads, $16.99. (9781250189714). Grades 9 and up.
Emmy King is a teenage rock star and lives like one, until a night out with her bandmates and her girlfriend ends with a car crash documented by the paparazzi. As she recovers from her public humiliation, she comes out as bisexual in front of her fans at a concert and she starts to have feelings for her genderfluid bandmate, Alfie.

Woodfolk, Ashley. The Beauty That Remains. 2018. 336p. Delacorte Press, $17.99, (9781524715878). Grades 9 and up.
Unexpected catastrophic loss brings together Autumn, Shay, and Logan: Autumn has lost her best friend, Shay has lost her twin sister, and Logan has lost his ex-boyfriend. Told in alternating perspectives, these three unite through a shared love of music.

Graphic Novels

Black, Holly, et al. Lumberjanes: Bonus Tracks. 2018. 128p. BOOM! Box, $14.99 (9781684152162). Grades 5 and up.
In this collection of one-shots and specials, the camp friends Lumberjanes embark on stand-alone adventures with magical creatures.

Chii. The Bride was a Boy. 2018. 158p. Seven Seas, $13.99 (9781626928886). Grades 7 and up.
This memoir shares Chii’s process of transition while focusing on her relationship and wedding in Japan.

DiMartino, Michael Dante & Irene Koh. Legend of Korra: Turf Wars Part One. 2017. 80p. Dark Horse Books, $9.99 (978150670015). Grades 4 to 8.
This comic based on the popular television show kicks off with Korra and Asami building their life together in a very changed world.

Ellis, Grace and Shae Beagle. Moonstruck, Vol. 1: Magic to Brew. 2018. 120p. Image Comics, $9.99 (9781534304772). Grades 7 and up.
Werewolf barista Julie must team up with her new girlfriend Selena (also a werewolf) and clairvoyant friend Cass to save their bubbly centaur friend, Chet, from the effects of a terrible spell.

Franklin, Tee and Jenn St-Onge. Bingo Love. 2018. 88p. Image Comics, $9.99 (9781534307506). Grades 9 and up.
In the 1960s South, teenagers Hazel and Mari meet and fall in love, but they are ultimately forced to part ways. Decades later, they meet again as grandmothers and rekindle their romance.

Grace, Sina & Vitti, Alessandro. Iceman, Vol. 1: Thawing Out. 2018. 136p. Marvel, $10.87 (9781302908799). Grades 9 and up.
Long-time X-Men member Bobby Drake, also known as Iceman, has always been quick to crack a joke–until a teen version of himself is brought to the future and comes out as gay. Now he has to deal with his sexuality, his family, and his exes.

Grace, Sina & Vitti, Alessandro. Iceman, Vol. 2: Absolute Zero. 2018. 112p. Marvel, $12.18 (9781302908805) Grades 9 and up.
Bobby Drake, aka Iceman, must contend with Wolverine’s son, a new love interest, his old team, and his parents discovering his time-displaced self.

Graley, Sarah. Kim Reaper Vol. 1: Grim Beginnings. $14.99, 112p. Oni Press, 2018. (9781620104552). Grades 9 and up.
When Becka finally works up the courage to ask out her university classmate, Kim, she has no idea that Kim has a part-time job helping the Grim Reaper.

Kaye, Julia. Super Late Bloomer: My Early Days in Transition. 2018. 160p. Andrews McMeel Publishing, $14.99 (9781449489625). Grades 9 and up.
Artist Julia Kaye chronicles her transition with charming, light-hearted, three-panel comic strips, originally published as a web series.

Larson, Hope, Jackie Ball and Noah Hayes. Goldie Vance Vol 3. 2017. 112p. BOOM! Box, $10.19 (9781684150533). Grades 6 and up.
Goldie’s detective skills are put to the test when she is forced to team up with her rival Sugar Maple to figure out who is sabotaging cars in the big race.

Larson, Hope, Jackie Ball and Elle Power. Goldie Vance Vol 4. 2018. 112p. BOOM! Box, $9.32 (9781684151400). Grades 7 and up.
Mysteries abound leading up to the St. Pascal Rockin’ the Beach Music Festival, but Goldie Vance is on the case.

Rivera, Gabby & Joe Quinones. America, Vol. 1: The Life and Times of America Chavez. 2017. 136p. Marvel, $17.99 (9781302908812). Grades 7 and up.
America Chavez, Young Avenger and leader of the Ultimates, heads off to Sotomayor University, but in the midst of intimidatingly huge class projects, there are Nazis to punch, entitled cyborgs to deprogram, and creepy fan cults to disband.

Rivera, Gabby & Joe Quinones. America, Vol 2: Fast and Fuertona. 2018. 136p. Marvel, $12.23 (9781302908829). Grades 7 and up.
America explores her family history and faces off against a new villain in her continuing adventures.

Rowell, Rainbow & Kris Anka. Runaways, Vol. 1: Find Your Way Home. 2018. 136p. Marvel, $12.23 (9781302908522). Grades 7 and up.
The author of Fangirl puts her spin on the new classic Marvel team of teens who discovered their parents were supervillains. Now a few years older, the team has split apart. But when one of their members is back from the dead, maybe it’s time for everyone to come back together.

Rowell, Rainbow & Kris Anka. Runaways, Vol. 2: Best Friends Forever. 2018. 136p. Marvel, $17.99 (9781302911973). Grades 7 and up.
Karolina’s girlfriend comes to visit, and everyone must adjust to life as a team again.

Sell, Chad et al,. Cardboard Kingdom. 2018. 288p. Knopf Books for Young Readers, $9.20 (9781524719388). Grades 4 and up.
Neighborhood kids use their imaginations and a bounty of cardboard to have the most exciting, heroic summer ever.

* Steele, Hamish. ​DeadEndia​: The Watcher’s Test. 2018. 240p. Nobrow, $14.95 (9781910620472). Grade 7 and up.
Barney’s folks kicked him out of the house when he came out as transgender. He lands a custodial job at Pollywood, a haunted amusement park named after a famous movie star, where he and his friends deal with demon possession, zombie cowboys, time travelers, and first love.

Tagame, Gengoroh. My Brother’s Husband, Vol. 2. 2018. 351p. Pantheon, $25.95 (9781101871539). Grades 7 and up.
Yaichi, a divorced Japanese father, must face the inherent prejudices of modern Japanese culture and his own feelings when Mike, the Canadian husband of Yaichi’s dead brother, comes to stay with Yaichi and his daughter for an extended visit.

Usdin, Carly and Vakueva, Nina. Heavy Vinyl. 2018. 112p. BOOM! Box, $14.99 (9781684151417). Grades 7 and up.
The new girl at Heavy Vinyl Records, Chris, doesn’t know that the manager and other employees double as a crime-battling, patriarchy-busting female fight club. When the lead singer of Chris’s favorite band goes missing, the group brings her in to help solve the mystery – and maybe even get the girl. Numbers 1, 2, 3, and 4 of the new comic book series.

Wang, Jen. ​​The Prince and the Dressmaker. 2018. 288p. First Second, $16.99 (9781626723634). Grades 7 and up.
Prince Sebastian hires talented dressmaker Frances to make gowns for the fabulously fashionable Lady Crystallia, his nighttime alter ego. While Frances loves designing dresses for Sebastian, she isn’t sure how long she can keep his secret.

8 Responses to "The 2019 Rainbow Book List"

[…] full Rainbow List is here. The Rainbow List Committee selected 107 titles from over two dozen different publishers out of […]

[…] youth from birth to age 18.” There is a list for each year from 2008 till the present and the 2019 Rainbow Book list includes over 107 […]

[…] committee work as part of the Rainbow Round Table of the American Library Association building the 2019 Rainbow Book List, which collected works for youth (birth-18) that display excellent representation of LGBTQ+ people […]

[…] The full 2019 Rainbow List can be found here. […]

[…] The full 2019 Rainbow List can be found here. […]

[…] The Rainbow Book List: Each year the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table of the American Library Association chooses a list of books with “significant and authentic GLBTQ content, which are recommended for people from birth through eighteen years of age”.  Explore their top ten list for this year, as well as the many other notable titles included on their site. […]

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