The Heart Has Its Reasons: Young Adult Literature with Gay/Lesbian/Queer Content 1969-2004by Christine A. Jenkins, Michael Cart
Society does not make it easy for young people, regardless of their sexual orientation, to find accurate, nonjudgmental information about homosexuality. It makes it even more difficult for young homosexuals to find positive role models in fiction either written or published expressly for them orif published for adultsrelevant to them and their lives.
Society does not make it easy for young people, regardless of their sexual orientation, to find accurate, nonjudgmental information about homosexuality. It makes it even more difficult for young homosexuals to find positive role models in fiction either written or published expressly for them orif published for adultsrelevant to them and their lives. The Heart Has Its Reasons examines these issues and critically evaluates the body of literature published for young adults that offers homosexual themes and characters. Cart and Jenkins chart the evolution of the field of YA literature having GLBTQ (gay/lesbian/bisexual, transgendered, and/or queer/questioning) content. They identify titles that are remarkable either for their excellence or failures, noting the stereotypic, wrongheaded, and outdated books as well as the accurate, thoughtful, and tactful titles. Useful criteria for evaluating books with GLBTQ content are provided. Books and resources of all types are reviewed based on a model that uses the category descriptors of Homosexual Visibility, Gay Assimilation, and Queer Consciousness/Community. An annotated bibliography and a number of author-title lists of books discussed in the text arranged by subject round out this valuable reference for teachers, librarians, parents, and young adults.
This terrific and long-overdue resource chronicles the development of GLBTQ-themed young adult literature over time and intersperses critical commentary with annotated bibliographies of related fiction. Cart and Jenkins use a three-part framework to describe the historical changes in content and the depiction of gays and lesbians in terms of what they call "homosexual visibility," "gay assimilation," and "queer consciousness/community." The authors take a historical approach and examine GLBTQ-themed young adult literature decade by decade, discussing pivotal works in detail, and conclude each chapter with an annotated bibliography and a list of notes or works cited. Well organized and easy to read, Heart is a valuable, semi-scholarly reference for both collection development and research.
Amy S. PatteeCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Meet the Author
Michael Cart is a past president of the Young Adult Library Services Association of the American Library Association and the current President of the Assembly on Adolescent Literature of the National Council of Teachers of English. He teaches young adult literature at UCLA, he is the former head of the Beverly Hills Public Library, and the author of several books on children's and young adult literature, as well as a young adult novel, My Father's Scar, a gay coming-of-age story selected as an ALA Best Book for Young Adults. Christine A. Jenkins is an Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
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