Associate Professor Emerita Christine A. Jenkins and Michael Cart have authored a new comprehensive history of young adult literature featuring LGBTQ+ themes. Their book, Representing the Rainbow in Young Adult Literature: LGBTQ+ Content Since 1969, was recently published by Rowman & Littlefield.
The book builds on their earlier work, The Heart Has Its Reasons (2006), a historical analysis of the early years of young adult (YA) fiction with LGBTQ+ content, a text that was included on VOYA’s Five-Foot Bookshelf of Essential Reading for Professionals Who Serve Teens.
Jenkins and Cart's new title provides an overview of this rapidly expanding body of literature within the context of the young adult (YA) literary landscape. In addition to a decade-by-decade analysis of YA fiction, this edition also includes chapters on bisexual, transgender, and intersex issues and characters, as well as chapters on comics, graphic novels, and works of nonfiction.
According to the publisher, "this volume charts the evolution of YA literature that features characters and themes which resonate not only with LGBTQ+ readers but with their allies as well. In this resource, Jenkins and Cart identify titles that are notable either for their excellence—accurate, thoughtful, and nuanced depictions—or deficiencies—books that are wrongheaded, stereotypical, or outdated. Encompassing a wide range of gender and sexual identities, Representing the Rainbow in Young Adult Literature is an invaluable resource for young people eager to read about books relevant to them and their lives."
Before retiring from the iSchool in 2015, Jenkins taught courses on literature for young adults and children, gendered perspectives in LIS, reading and readers, and the history of children's books. She is the recipient of several teaching awards and has a decade of experience as a school librarian/media specialist. She is coeditor of the Handbook of Research on Children's and Young Adult Literature (2011) and coauthor (with Michael Cart) of Top 250 LGBTQ Books for Teens (2015). She holds a master's and PhD in library and information studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a master's in English/children's literature from Eastern Michigan University.