About

I’m Thaddeus Andracki, and I am a middle school librarian at Rowley Library at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools.

My research and professional interests include criticism and analysis of literature for young people; comparative ethnic studies and queer studies; and digital cultures.

I’m also interested in running, baking, coffee, whimsy, plants, shiny things, affect theory, activism, and love as a hermeneutic of social change.

This site also contains my personal blog, which I don’t update particularly often. When I do, it’s primarily updates on professional activities or short thought pieces/essays on things I’m researching. So: children’s literature broadly conceived, queer theory, racial justice, and social justice in the information age.

The title of the blog is a more hopeful riff on the title of what is widely credited as the first modern American novel published for young people to deal with explicitly queer themes.

I’ll get there. It’ll be worth the trip.

3 responses to “About

  1. I am trying to obtain an accurate count of the number of children’s and young adult books with LGBT characters published from 2009 to 2014. Would adding up the books on the Rainbow Booklist for November for those years be an accurate number? If not, any advice would be appreciated! Thank you. Janis Harmon

    • Hi, Janis! Unfortunately, no the Rainbow List will not be an complete, accurate count. The Rainbow List highlights books that the committee thought were to be recommended with exceptional focus on LGBTQ experiences. The List often will not contain books with secondary characters, nor will the committee find every book with a queer protagonist useful for the List.

      The most comprehensive data for recent years that I’ve seen come from Malinda Lo, but she focuses mostly on mainstream publishers and does not include YA from smaller, LGBT-specific presses, which do a great deal of good work each year. Thomas Crisp and Christine Jenkins have both worked extensively with numbers in the past and may be good people to ask. However, I know that neither of their recent projects have been particularly about counting.

      With the veritable explosion of LGBTQ children’s and YA literature in past years—especially of books with a side character or two who’s queer—I think many people have found keeping track of this data unwieldy. I’m sorry I can’t be more helpful!

  2. I agree about the explosion of LGBTQ young adult fiction. In 2005, I started working with Gay & Lesbian Youth Services of Western New York on a resource library of fiction and non-fiction for school-age children and young adults. At that time, we were seeing an emergence of fiction with LGBTQ themes. Since that time, the pace of publication has accelerated, so that these books are now common-place….indeed so much so that the presence of an LGBTQ character is not even a major theme of the book. It now simply *is.* Fiction published 5 or 10 years ago focused on the coming out process, and while there is still some of that to be found, the sexuality of one of the main characters is not even seen as a issue of the novel. The coming out of these characters has often already occurred, or is of small notice…and the story deals with other things (fantasy, mystery, etc.). This is excellent progress, and is reflective of the issue of sexuality among teens in general…not the big deal that it used to be.I am not saying we don’t need more, or that it is never an issue in fiction; just that the publishing industry reflects the larger progress of society.

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