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Reading the Rainbow: My Year on ALA’s Rainbow Book List Committee

May 30, 2017

I know I haven’t written in an exceptionally long time, but that’s partially because I’ve been really sick. We’re still not exactly sure what’s wrong with me, but the main symptoms are nowhere near as bad as they have been, so I’m back to being out of bed for the most part. While I’m not back to work yet, I can tolerate the computer much longer than I have been in the past few months, so I’d like to do SOMETHING productive.

It did take me a while to get back to the blog, though, because I’ve lent my craptop out and the 2008 one did not want to load the new WordPress posting area. It still doesn’t, but it turns out there’s a simple workaround for that. (Go to My Sites–>WP Admin–>Posts–>Add New.)

Meanwhile, I’ve been doing short bursts of reading when I can handle it. Almost every book I’ve read so far this year has had LGBTQIA+ content because I’m now a member of ALA’s Rainbow Book List committee! I was put on at the last minute, so I didn’t think it was going to happen, but there was a space and I was recommended (thank you!), so here I am, getting dozens of books delivered to my house and trying to read just enough that I don’t make myself feel worse.

The Rainbow Book List committee reads and votes on books geared from birth to young adult, with concessions made toward books that are adult but have crossover appeal. We then create a bibliography that will aid librarians, teachers, and anyone else who wants to use them in finding quality content in LGBTQIA+ literature.

Unlike previous years, this committee is only serving a one-year tenure. I’m not exactly sure why, since I came in late. We are all new to the committee, which can make it a bit difficult at times, but we’re doing our best and giving our all.

For the rest of the year, I will be discussing some of the books I’ve been sent and why I am or will not vote for them. You’ll be hearing about some of the best, and worst, queer books out there. From board books to non-fiction to my intense love of Seanan McGuire’s upcoming Down Among the Sticks and Bones, I may not talk about them all, but I’m going to try to get to quite a few that have made impressions on me.

As always, books that link to Amazon may be referral links, which means I benefit only if you decide to purchase the book. I have been blogging about books for years now and, after conducting an informal poll a few years ago, decided that this is a good way for me to be compensated for the work I do on the blog. I will always be clear and up front about how I may make money on this blog. (If you are wondering if this is a good way to make money, so far the answer has been “HA.”)

I look forward to telling you about some really amazing books this year.

-Alana- (rhymes with banana, if you’re American)

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