WEBSITE OF THE MONTH
“I’m Here. I’m Queer. What the Hell Do I Read Next?” www.leewind.org/
Lee Wind is an educator and publisher, specializing in books on LGBTQ issues for teens. His blog reviews books for this underserved group, and librarians can use his blog to find book recommendations. He also discusses politics and other issues that relate to LGBTQ youth and adults, but much of that is also book related. For example, recent posts discuss how a library’s Banned Books reading lists and displays need to include books for youth with LBGTQ content since these books are regularly challenged.
On the left side of the blog is a lengthy list of books with “Gay Teen Characters/Themes,” and if you click on a title, you can read Wind’s review and comments from others. The reviews are relatively brief, (just a few paragraphs at most) so you can skim them to see if the book would be a good fit for your patron. Below that list are similar lists focusing on Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, Gender Nonconforming characters, and books with LGBTQ parental figures and general content.
Other features on the blog include a list of picture books, graphic novels, poetry, nonfiction, and other books that have LBGTQ content. Even two easy readers are listed. These lists will be invaluable to all librarians serving youth and families.
Like most blogs, you can “subscribe” and get emailed updates every time there is a new posting. Wind has been blogging for nine years and has won several awards; his blog also has several short training videos on gender that would really be helpful for staff development on this issue. Obviously, those of us serving communities in the Bay Area can appreciate this, but there are LGBTQ youth in all our communities, even small rural areas, so avail yourself of this blog to make sure you have these materials in your library.
Penny Peck, San Jose State University iSchool