Rainbow Book List

The 2023 Rainbow Book List

Posted by: Amanda Melili on: January 30, 2023

The 2023 Rainbow Book List Committee is honored to announce this year’s list. Composed of over 190 books for young readers from birth to age 18, the 2023 list represents an array of diverse stories and identities representing the LGBTQIA+ youth experience in books published from July 1, 2021 to December 31, 2022. 

The importance of this list (and others like it) cannot be understated, especially in a time when we are seeing a record number of efforts to ban both materials and support for LGBTQIA+ young people and their families. It is our hope that our efforts to identify appealing and high quality queer books for youth will help young people, librarians, educators, and caregivers of all kinds to connect our readers with information and stories that are critical to their well being and growth. The suppression of these books is a detriment to all youth, and we cannot ignore the damage these challenges are having on the young people in our society. We know that there are individuals who will try to censor these books, but we offer this carefully curated list to the multitude of youth advocates working in our communities to connect young readers to the books that they so desperately need. This collection of titles is an invitation for all readers to create a more welcoming future for everyone. 

It has been encouraging to see the increase in quality queer titles being published each year, and with that in mind, the 2023 committee has continued to offer two top ten lists. The Top Ten Titles for Young Readers are intended for young people from birth to middle school, and the Top Ten Titles for Teen Readers are for a young adult audience. Within the annotated list, an asterisk (*) indicates that a title has been selected for one of the top ten lists. 

On behalf of the 2023 Rainbow Book List Committee, thank you for your interest in this list. We hope that it will connect readers of all ages and identities to the queer voices and experiences that many are trying to silence. 

The Rainbow Book List is brought to you by the Rainbow Round Table of the American Library Association. This year’s committee researched and evaluated over 550 titles in order to find some of the best queer books written for children and teens.  Members of the 2023 Rainbow Book List are: Amanda Melilli (Chair), University of Nevada, Las Vegas -Teacher Development & Resources Library (NV), Karina Andrus, Fountaindale Public Library (IL), Mariel DePalma, Baldwin Public Library (NY), Jess Geiss, Stanislaus County Library (CA), Paige Harp, Missouri State University, Meyer Library -Educator Resources (MO), Hayley Morgenstern, New Orleans Public Library (LA), Cecilia Pasqualicchio, The Ocean County Library (NJ), Jennifer Powell, Arcadia Elementary, Tuscaloosa City Schools (AL), Molly Saunders, ALSO Youth (FL), Katy Schorling, Colorado State Penitentiary (CO), Isaiah West, Prince George’s County Memorial Library System (MD), Dawn Zimmerer, Madison County Library System (MS), Jenna Ingham (Administrative Assistant), Verona Public Library (NJ)

View the Full 2023 Rainbow Booklist (PDF)

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