The Rainbow Book List has announced their 2019 picks. The list focuses on books wit significant LGBTQ content for children and youth, ages birth to 18. The list includes 107 titles and also has a top ten selected that follows:
Darius the Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram
Deadendia: The Watcher’s Test by Hamish Steele
Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake
Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan
Hurricane Child by Kheryn Callender
Jack of Hearts (and Other Parts) by L.C. Rosen
Let’s Talk about Love by Claire Kann
Odd One Out by Nic Stone
Prince & Knight by Daniel Haack, illustrated by Stevie Lewis
Sewing the Rainbow: The Story of Gilbert Baker and the Rainbow Flag by Gayle E. Pitman
Let ‘Er Buck!: George Fletcher, the People’s Champion by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, illustrated by Gordon C. James (9781541541801)
George Fletcher moved to Pendleton, Oregon, a place where there weren’t a lot of African-Americans. He made friends with the children from the Umatilla Indian Reservation and learned how to train horses with gentleness. George started riding in competitions at age 16, though he was often shut out of competitions because of the color of his skin or judged unfairly. He got his chance to really show off his skill at the 1911 Pendleton Round-Up, the biggest rodeo in the Northwest. He made the top three finalists for the Saddle Bronc Championship. He outrode the other two competitors, and when the white person was named champion the crowd booed. One man in the crowd decided it wasn’t alright and sold small pieces of George’s hat to the crowd for $5 each. He turned the money over to George and it ended up being more than the grand prize. George was crowned the “People’s Champion” that day.
Nelson writes with a lovely western twang in this nonfiction picture book. She captures the spirit of the west in the words she uses and in particular in her metaphors. George took to the ways of the Umatilla tribes “like a wet kitten to a warm brick.” Ranching suited George “like made-to-measure boots.” These are just two examples of the vivid way that Nelson uses language to firmly place her book in its setting. She also creates a compelling portrait of Fletcher and faces the inherent racism of the system head on.
The illustrations by James are full of color and motion. Created with oil on board, they are a stunning mix of movement, depth and history. One can almost see the action playing out from the lines he uses. Stunning
A strong picture book about racism, horses, rodeos and heroism. Appropriate for ages 4-8.
Reviewed from e-galley provided by Carolrhoda Books.