Earlier this summer, a few of my writing friends and I engaged in several #TwitterGames, in which we attempted to out-wit and encourage each other. One day's topic was #WritingCliches, especially in children's literature. Topic after topic was breached, and Kris Asselin and I went off on a particular tangent about parents in kidlit stories. I suggested #GayParents as a cliche, then clicked TWEET. Immediately, I realized gay parents are not a cliche. In fact, I could not think of one kidlit story with gay parents. And Kris put me in my place on the subject too :P
I quickly felt the urge to seek out titles that explored the existence of gay parents, seeing as I plan to be one someday as well as an English teacher who might want to showcase such a topic. Kris's friend supplied a list of titles*, which we used as a reference. I went straight to the website of my public library and searched for some of the titles. I became frustrated when none of the books on the list were at my library, except a few of the picture books. I received the books I reviewed through interlibrary loan which carried a one to two week wait and most of the books came from the east side of Michigan.
In the last month or so, we have been finding and reading a number of titles known for having gay parents. Some are meant to be recognized as such while others are more subtle. I chose to read Jack, by A.M. Homes, and Out of the Shadows, by Sue Hines. I am also highlighting the recently arrived picture book, titled Monday is One Day, written by Arthur Levine and illustrated by Julian Hector. I will add in a few other titles as they come across my desk via ILL. I can assure you that each book I read was touching and poignant in its own way and no two books were alike in nature or message. Together, this series has created a well-rounded impression within me and I look forward to sharing that with you.
AND I am not alone, Kris will be also be exploring other titles in the next two weeks and we invite you to join the discussion and let it be heard. You may take the banner above and let me know that you'd like to join via email and we will link to your blog on the day you're posting. Our schedule is to post Wed and Fri of this week and Mon, Wed, and Fri of next week.