This guide offers resources pertinent to librarians, university students, researchers, and others interested in the field regarding the history and importance of LGBTQIA+ representation in children's and middle grade literature. The focus of this subject is the "windows and mirrors" argument in youth literature: that books should act as windows for children to see into others' realities and gain perspectives different from their own, as well as mirrors to see their own identities reflected back at them. Users of this guide will find helpful databases, journals, websites, relevant awards, and articles pertaining to the subject matter.
This research guide is not an exhaustive list of sources; rather, it is meant to be a starting point and provide resources for the user to continue their research. The subject of LGBTQIA+ representation in children's literature is an ongoing, evolving subject. As new works are published, the field changes, and as such, some resources may become increasingly relevant, while others may become extraneous.
Most searches for this subject matter contained certain key phrases. For resources that were more broad- for example, the University Libraries Primo search tool, the search terms included "LGBTQ" and "children's literature OR children's books OR picture books." The use of Boolean operators was prevalent in obtaining more filtered search results. For resources that already covered one aspect of the search- for example, the Children's Literature Journal- only one search term was used: "LGBTQ."
Boolean Operators: A Short Guide
Boolean operators ("AND", "OR", and "NOT") are used in searches to combine or exclude key words and phrases from your search. Using Boolean operators will return more filtered, useful results. Boolean operators can be used with any search engine, database, or journal.
AND: combines phrases and key words. The search will return results with both (or all) search terms included. (Example: a search for "children's picture books AND LGBTQ" will return results containing both of these phrases, and will exclude results that contain only one term or the other.)
OR: useful for synonyms of terms- searches resources containing either search term. The search will return results with ANY of the search terms. (Example: a search for "children's picture books OR children's books" will return results containing either phrase or both phrases. Results containing one or the other will be included.)
NOT: excludes phrases and key words. The search will return results without the terms following the operator. (Example: a search for "children's picture books NOT LGBTQ" will return results containing "children's picture books" and will exclude results containing both "children's picture books" and "LGBTQ.")