Here are the Best LGBTQ YA and Kids’ Books of 2022, According to ALA’s Rainbow Round Table

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Always books. Never boring.

The Rainbow Round Table is part of the American Library Association. It started in 1970, and every year, it awards both the Stonewall Awards and the Rainbow Book List. The Rainbow Book list is in recognition of exceptional LGBTQ children’s and teen’s books of the previous year. It also provides an annotated list of notable LGBTQ kids’ and YA books of the previous year. For 2022, the full list includes 190 titles, selected from the 550 eligible books published last year.

In the introduction to the list, The Rainbow Round Table acknowledges the censorship queer books have seen recently:

The importance of this list (and others like it) cannot be understated, especially in a time when we are seeing a record number of efforts to ban both materials and support for LGBTQIA+ young people and their families.

It is our hope that our efforts to identify appealing and high quality queer books for youth will help young people, librarians, educators, and caregivers of all kinds to connect our readers with information and stories that are critical to their well being and growth. The suppression of these books is a detriment to all youth, and we cannot ignore the damage these challenges are having on the young people in our society.

We know that there are individuals who will try to censor these books, but we offer this carefully curated list to the multitude of youth advocates working in our communities to connect young readers to the books that they so desperately need. This collection of titles is an invitation for all readers to create a more welcoming future for everyone. 

Here are their picks for the top ten LGBTQ books for kids and for teens from 2022.

2023 Rainbow Book List

Bathe the Cat by Alice B. McGinty and David Roberts

Mama and Mommy and Me in the Middle by Nina LaCour and illustrated by Kaylani Juanita

A Song for the Unsung by Carole Boston Weatherford and Rob Sanders, and illustrated by Byron McCray

Artie and the Wolf Moon by Olivia Stephens

The Civil War of Amos Abernathy by Michael Leali

Different Kinds of Fruit by Kyle Lukoff

Ellen Outside the Lines by A. J. Sass

Moonflower by Kacen Callender

Tiger Honor by Yoon Ha Lee

You Only Live Once, David Bravo by Mark Oshiro

The City Beautiful by Aden Polydoros

The Honeys by Ryan La Sala

Just Ash by Sol Santana

Loveless by Alice Oseman

The Many Half-Lived Lives of Sam Sylvester by Maya MacGregor

Nothing Burns as Bright as You by Ashley Woodfolk

Queer Ducks (And Other Animals) by Eliot Schrefer and illustrated by Jules Zuckerberg

The Summer of Bitter and Sweet by Jen Ferguson

The Sunbearer Trials by Aiden Thomas

When You Call My Name by Tucker Shaw

2023 Stonewall Award Winners

the covers of Love, Violet and When the Angels Left the Old Country

In case you missed it, here are the Stonewall Award winners:

Children:Β Love, VioletΒ by Charlotte Sullivan Wild and illustrated by Charlene Chua

Young Adult:Β When the Angels Left the Old CountryΒ by Sacha LambΒ 

Check out the full Rainbow Book List, with descriptions of 190 LGBTQ children’s and teen’s books, at the ALA Round Table website.

Find more news and stories of interest from the book world in Breaking in Books.