Monday, May 23, 2016

Genre fiction for LGBT-Q young adults -- Not just reading from the Rainbow list

I'm returning to a high school library this year and one of the things that I wanted to do was to increase the number of LGBT-Q titles available for students.  So I wrote a small grant and won it and then went to my student LGBT-Q affinity group and asked for help.  I thought that we'd just wind up pulling from the ALA's Rainbow List. 

The president is a big reader and her biggest frustration was that so much of what is available is geared towards the "coming out" stories.  She's a reader of fantasy and mystery and sci-fi and just wanted to be able to read books with diverse characters in them.

So the public librarian, local bookstore buyer and I made it our mission to find more good genre fiction.  Malinda Lo, author and blogger (and many other things) was particularly useful.  Here is part 5 of her five part series on avoiding the LGBT-Q stereotypes in YA fiction. 

And here are two books (one is Lo's Cinderella variant!) that I bought and enjoyed recently!

AshAsh by Malinda Lo

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A Cinderella tale with a sweet and different ending. Any YA who is into fairy tale variants will love this one. Ash is our unhappy Cinderella who is not chasing after the prince but her step sister definitely is. He will choose to marry someone before the year is out and Ana is determined that it should be her.

Ash's own life is complicated by the fact that a fairy named Sidhean may have claimed her for his own. Meanwhile she finds the King's lead huntress, Kaisa, to be fascinating. In this Kingdom, the lead hunter is always a woman but that seems to be the only way in which the kingdom departs from the regular fairy tale stereotypes.

I'm going to make sure that I read more Malinda Lo. Very satisfying.

UnbecomingUnbecoming by Jenny Downham

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It all begins when Katie's mum is called to the hospital to pick up a grandmother that Katie has never met. There's a reason why grandmother Mary and mother Caroline are estranged and it has a lot to do with family secrets that are starting to unravel.

But Mary is suffering from dementia and her secrets are locked away in a mind that is beginning to fail her. Mom and Katie have secrets of their own. Katie has just tried to kiss her best friend and the girl is no longer talking to her because of it. Does Katie like girls? She's not so sure.

All three storylines weave together in a complicated way. All three women are sympathetic even though they aren't always kind to one another. The secrets kept me guessing and that made the reading move fast.

View all my reviews

View all my reviews

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Studying for the National Board - Component 1 for Library Media - 2016 edition

I will be spending this year and next year attempting to become National Board certified as a Library Media Specialist.  I've just finished submitting Component 2 and piloting Component 4 and now it is on to studying for the Component 1.  The content test.

How does one study for a content test on being a school librarian?

The following links are my attempt to study for it.