As Pride month begins in Ireland and across the world, Children’s Books Ireland is launching their Pride Reading Guide 2023, filled with hundreds of new and well-loved stories celebrating queer love, joy and identity.
LGBTQ+ books for young people have made headlines in recent months, something which is covered in some depth in a new documentary on RTÉ’s Prime Time (Tuesday, 6 June at 9.35pm). With recent research from BelongTo Ireland finding that 76 per cent of LGBTQ+ students feel unsafe at school, the value of these stories and their capacity to build not only understanding, but empathy and solidarity in their readers, cannot be overstated.
The Pride Reading Guide 2023, supported by An Post, features 100 reviews of excellent books for children and young people. A ‘read also’ recommendation is attached to each review, encouraging readers to explore further based on the titles they’ve enjoyed. Each of these 200 excellent books was chosen for their portrayal of the rich diversity of LGBTQ+ experiences.
The books featured include favourites such as Elmer (David McKee) Fred Gets Dressed (Peter Brown) and Heartstopper (Alice Oseman), alongside new Irish titles such as Mr Wolf Goes to the Ball (Tatyana Feeney), Croí an Teaghlaigh an Grá (Sophie Beer agus Gillian Nic Ionmhain, aistrithe Ag Shanna Ní Rabhartaigh), The Dos and Donuts of Love (Adiba Jaigirdar) and Glórtha Aiteacha \ Queer Voices (ShoutOut).
Elaina Ryan, CEO of Children’s Books Ireland, said: “Now, more than ever, it is critical that we continue to review and recommend books that foster a spirit of inclusion and empathy, including those with LGBTQ+ themes and by LGBTQ+ authors – not just for LGBTQ+ children and young people, but for everyone.
“The Pride Reading Guide 2023 is a ringing endorsement of the positive change that’s occurred within the publishing industry in recent years, and we welcome the opportunity to celebrate and raise awareness of these brilliant books.”