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I need help finding information for a class project.

Hi, I am a first year graduate student at the University of Michigan. For one of my classes I have to write an article for possible publication in Library Media Connection. I would like to write my article on the importance of having non-traditional families showcased in children and YA fiction. I am looking for any information that could be used to research an article on this topic. I have done some preliminary searching on my own and am having a hard time finding any information. Mostly I have just been googling and trying to find scholarly articles that even touch on the subject. What I am hoping to find is statistical information on the number of books that feature a non-traditional family (single parent, divorced parent, same-sex, guardians, foster family, interracial families) in a positive light vs a negative spin. Also possible psychological applications on why it is important to children in these types of families to see books that show them, or any other publication that may touch on this subject. I would really appreciate any help you can provide me in helping to find this information. Thank you, Alicia


Thu, 2012-11-01 16:03

I can understand why statistics would be so hard to find because there are so many of them, but you can also search for popular current titles on Amazon by doing a search. Searching “Homosexuality in fiction for children” lists 99 titles for children and 342 for teens and breaks it down, giving the amount of books by age range, category of social situation, format, and new releases. “Single parent families in books for children” lists over 250 titles and breaks it down similarly. You can click on every title and get a synopsis of the book contents. Just using the subject heading “Single Parent Families-Juvenile Fiction” as a subject search in our public library catalog yields over 100 titles for children and 12 for teens. If you’d like to research titles and content this way, each title contains a brief summary after clicking on it. We have 46 titles with the subject search “Homosexuality-Fiction” when limited to teen materials and 4 when limited for children. “Stepfamilies-Fiction” displays 18 titles for teens and “Stepfamilies-Juvenile Fiction” displays 45 for children. For help on getting a list of these titles or on limiting to specific age groups, come in and ask a librarian to assist you. Two reference sources that list popular titles and give a brief synopsis are “Best Books for Children”, 8th ed. by Catherine Barr and John T. Gillespie and “A-Zoo Subject Access to Picture Books” by Caroline W. Lima and Rebecca L Thomas. In “Best Books for Children”, the topic “Single Parents-Fiction” lists two titles, and “Homosexuality” yields 4 titles. “A-Zoo..” has 5 titles in under “Family Life-Single Parent Families” and 28 under “Family Life-Stepfamilies”. Keep in mind that many of these books deal with the problems these untraditional relationships cause and are positive in that they illustrate how children or teens cope with difficult situations. For “Family Life Single Parents”, “A-Zoo” recommends: Papa’s Latke’s by Michelle Edwards, Something About Hensley’s by Patricia Polacco, Mama I’ll Give You the World by Roni Schotter, Red Blanket by Eliza Thomas and Father Like That by Charlotte Zolotow. “Best Books” recommendations for homosexuality are: Saturday is Pattyday by Leslea Newman, Sissy Duckling by Harvey Fierstein, Daddy’s Roomate by Michael Willhoite and Earthshine by Theresa Nelson. “Best Books for Children” on the topic of single parents lists “Raymond’s Perfect Present” by Therese On Louie and “Alice by Accident” by Lynne Reid Banks. Other books we are aware of that cover gay parenting are “Heather has Two Mommies” by Leslea Newman and “And Tango Makes 3” by Justin Richardson, as well as “Uncle Bobby’s Wedding” by Sarah S. Brannen and “Accidental Adventures of India McAllister” by Charlotte Agell. For non-fiction, we have “How it Feels to Have a Gay or Lesbian Parent: A Book by Kids for Kids of all Ages” by Judith E. Snow and “Families: Traditional and New Structures” by Paul McCaffrey. For additional titles, please call the Children’s Help Desk at the Canton Library. Thank you for your inquiry.