Rainbow Book List

The 2022 Rainbow Book List

Posted by: Kathleen Breitenbach on: February 17, 2022

The Rainbow Book List, now in its 15th year, is an annual annotated bibliography consisting of quality LGBTQIA+ literature intended for readers from birth to age 18. This resource guide is meant to assist librarians, educators, parents, and others to ensure that everyone from babies and children to tweens and teens have access to selecting quality books with significant content regarding inclusion of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, and all that extends throughout the Rainbow spectrum.

The 2022 Rainbow Book List compiles some of the best LGBTQIA+ titles published in the USA and Canada between July 1, 2020 and December 31, 2021. This year’s committee evaluated close to 450 eligible titles and selected a total of 122 titles. 

At a time when so many books are being challenged and banned, we are amazed and forever grateful to authors who continue to write these necessary stories. Each year, the committee notices that the level of diversity among book content and authorship is increasing, and this year was no different. We are thrilled to be able to provide a list of book titles that truly represents where LGBTQIA youth lives and literature are today. We hope that readers see reflections of themselves in these works and windows into the lives of others. 

For the second year in a row, we have created two Top Ten lists. The Top 10 lists are repeated by age, one intended for preschool through middle grade; the other intended for teen readers. An asterisk (*) indicates that title has been selected for one of the two Top 10 lists.The Rainbow Book List is brought to you by the Rainbow Round Table of the American Library Association. Members of the 2022 Rainbow Book List are: Roz Posley (Chair), National Cathedral School (DC); Amanda Melilli, UNLV Teacher Development & Resources Library (NV); Caitlin Young, New Orleans Public Library (LA); Mariel Depalma, Baldwin Public Library (NY); Jessica Geiss, Stanislaus County Library (CA); Cecilia Pasqualicchio, The Ocean County Library (NJ); Katy Schorling, Colorado Department of Corrections Librarian (CO); Isaiah West, Prince Georges County Memorial Library System (MD); Hayley Morgenstern, New Orleans Public Library (LA); Caitlin Young, New Orleans Public Library (LA); Paige Harp, Missouri State Library, MO; Dawn Zimmerer, Madison County Library System (MS); Karina Andrus, Fountaindale Public Library Districts (IL); and Ashley Vassar Balay (Administrative Assistant), Licking County Library (OH). 

2022 Rainbow Booklist Top Ten Titles for Young Readers

2022 Top Ten Young Readers

2022 Rainbow Booklist Top Ten Titles for Young Adults

2022 Top 10 YA

Picture Books Non-Fiction 

Stinson, Kathy and Melissa Cho (illustrator). The Bare Naked Book. 2021. 36p. Annick Press, $17.95 (9781773214726). Ages 3-5. Non-fiction Picture Book. A classic body book with updated text and illustrations from the 1986 original to reflect current, inclusive, and empowering understandings of gender, sex, and bodies.

Davids, Sharice, Nancy K. Mays and Joshua Mangeshig Pawis-Steckley (illustrator). Sharice’s Big Voice: A Native Kid Becomes a Congresswoman. 2021. HarperCollins, $17.99 (9780062979667). Ages 4-8. Historical Non-Fiction. An autobiographical picture book following the journey of Sharice Davids as she grows up, discovers her voice and campaigns to become one of the first Native American congresswomen, and the first LGBTQ representative from Kansas.

Sanders, Rob and Robbie Cathro (illustrator). Two Grooms on a Cake: the story of America’s first gay wedding. 2021. 40p. Little Bee Books, $17.99 (9781499809565). Ages 6-9. Historical Non-Fiction. In this telling of a little known history, we see the historic marriage between Jack Baker and Michael McConnell. Jack and Michael were married in 1971, making them the first same-sex couple in America to legally be wed. This picture book follows their struggles and triumphs while showing their love for one another.

Picture Books Fiction

Peter, Gareth. Adventures With My Daddies. 2021. 32p. Peachtree Publishing Company, $16.99 (9781682632819). Ages 4-8. Picture Book. Written in rhyming text, Adventures With My Daddies follows a young girl and her daddies going on adventures through the stories they read. Within these stories, the family can go sailing, travel to space, and even meet dinosaurs! But Daddies’ favorite story is the story of how they adopted their daughter. A sweet story that explores the beauty of family in all its forms.

*Feder, Tyler. Bodies Are Cool. 2021.32p. Dial Books, $17.99 (9780593112625). Ages 3-5. Picture Book. A rhyming celebration of body positivity featuring detailed and inclusive illustrations. Perfect for a fun and inclusive read aloud!

Patterson, Jodie. Born Ready: The True Story of a Boy Named Penelope. 2021. 40p. Crown Books for Young Readers, $17.99 (9780593123638). Ages 4-8. Picture Book. Penelope knows how to show off his ninja skills, Penelope knows how to show his talent for skateboarding, but Penelope doesn’t know how to show his family that he is really a boy. After acting out to be seen and heard, his Mama knows something is up. Through using his voice, Penelope is able to tell his family and the people in his life that he is a boy and he shows that he loves living as his true self.

*Ford, Vanessa and JR. Calvin. 2021. 32p. G. P. Putnam’s Book for Young Readers, $16.99 (9780593108673). Ages 4-8. Juvenile Fiction. Calvin has always known he is a boy, but his family still thinks he’s a girl. Before a summer trip to his grandparents, Calvin finally tells his family who he truly is, and after he is introduced to his grandparents by his true name, they spend the rest of the trip helping him find the clothing to match. Despite the support of his family, Calvin is still worried about going back to school, but when he gets there, he is happily surprised to find his new name everywhere, even being used by his friends and teachers!

Brockington, Ryan and Isaac Webster. Daddy and Dada. 2021. 32p. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, $16.99 (9780316427029). Ages 4-8. Fiction Picture Book. Real life couple, Ryan Brockington and Isaac Webster offer a celebration of family. The story follows their daughter Rumi as she introduces the reader to her family and explores all the beautiful ways families can be different.

Brown, Peter. Fred Gets Dressed. 2021, 48p. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, $9.99 (9780316200646). Ages 3-6. Picture Book. Fred loves being naked. But when he decides to play dress up in his parents closet, he realizes his dad’s clothes don’t fit like his mom’s do. When his family discovers him, they all have fun dressing up together.

*Woodgate, Harry. Grandad’s Camper. 2021. 32p. Little Bee Books, $17.99 (9781499811933). Ages 3-6. Realistic Fiction. A little girl’s curiosity sends Grandad down memory lane by talking about all of the adventures he and Gramps went on before Gramps died. Their grandaughter hatches a plan to make grandad feel adventurous again and celebrate his husband’s life.

McNamara, Margaret. The Little Library. 2021. 40p. Schwartz & Wade, $17.99 (9780525578338). Ages 4-8. Picture Book. When the new school library opens, everyone is excited except for Jake whose embarrassed about being a slow and careful reader. Librarian Beck, the new librarian, notices Jake’s attention to building, and finds him the perfect book.

Karlsson, Adria. My Sister Daisy. 2021. 32p. Capstone Press, $17.99 (9781684463848). Ages 5-7. Picture Book. Daisy and her older sibling have always played together and been the best of friends. However when Daisy gets to kindergarten, things change when Daisy shares her real identity with her sibling.

Stevenson, Robin and Julie McLaughlin (illustrator). Pride Puppy. 2021. 32p. Orca Book Publishers, $19.95 (9781459824843). Ages 3-5. Picture Book. A rhyming alphabet book following a young child and their family searching for their lost dog at a pride parade. Detailed illustrations on each page correspond to the letters of the alphabet.

Haack, Daniel. Prince & Knight: Tale of the Shadow King. 2021. 40p. Little Bee Books, $16.99 (9781499811216). Ages 4-8. Picture Book. Prince and Knight are living in wedded bliss in their prosperous kingdom, when the Shadow King sends a dark fog that spreads over the land and blocks out the sun. The couple must embark on a perilous quest to defeat the Shadow King and save their Kingdom; but the Shadow King may not be who they expect.

Rhodes-Carter, Ashley. Sam is My Sister. 2021. 32p. Albert Whitman & Company, $16.99 (9780807506516). Ages 4-7. Picture Book. Evan, Sam, and Finn love to go on imaginary adventures to the moon together. However, things change when Sam starts wearing dresses and growing out her hair. Evan and Finn learn that even though Sam is now their sister, she is still the same, adventurous Sam.

*Locke, Katherine and Anne Passchier (illustrator). What Are Your WordsA Book About Pronouns. 2021. 40p. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, $17.99 (9780316542067). Ages 4-8. Picture Book. Ari uses different pronouns, so when Uncle Lior comes to visit, he always asks “what are your words?” Throughout their day we meet a whole neighborhood of people with diverse interests, characteristics, and pronouns. A celebratory introduction to the pronouns for readers of all ages.

Juvenile Fiction

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.