Are the Kids All Right? The Representation of LGBTQ Characters in Children’s and Young Adult Literature
Author: B.J Epstein
Are the Kids All Right by B.J. Epstein is the first survey of English-language children’s literature that feature lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or otherwise queer characters. It explores how LGBTQ characters are portrayed and what this says about contemporary society.
The author covers picture books, middle-grade books, young adult fiction and includes an annotated bibliography.
Epstein explores why sex, sexuality and gender non-conformity is something that many writers and publishers of children’s and young adult lit appear to shy away from. She passionately demonstrates that the information children get from literature matters, and that so called ‘difficult’ topics can be communicated in entertaining and informative ways.
‘Literature representing LGBTQ experiences will be part of any inclusive school curriculum. Of course. Epstein takes that crucial next step, though, and establishes some criteria for selecting and using these books. She weaves her own opinions in with those of other experts, comments from authors, and the voices of the characters themselves. From picture books to young adult literature, she helps us understand the value of these works, but also reveals some of the unintended messages teachers might want to avoid or compensate for. This book will be a good place to start for anyone new to LGBTQ children’s literature or food for thought for the experienced practitioner.’ Renée DePalma Ungaro.