2021 Rainbow Book List

After a slight delay due to a longer-than-usual list, the 2021 Rainbow Book List is finally here! Congratulations to the books that made the listand their creators, of course.

According to the list’s introduction, this year’s committee evaluated close to 600 eligible titles and selected a total of 129 titles. If that doesn’t seem like a lot to you, consider that when I served on the 2018 Rainbow Book List Committee we evaluated over 260 titles and selected 48.

Mombian has been tracking the numbers since Rainbow List started and posted this great graphic on Twitter. Be sure to check out the full post, too.

The jump in publishing over the last few years is amazing (not to mention necessary). But, make no mistake, there is still work to do with regard to representation.

One very cool thing this committee did that no other has done before is to create two Top 10 lists, one for young readers (which the list defines as “preschool through middle grade”) and one for teens. Since it is so long, the list itself is subdivided into all sorts of categories. Well done, committee!

Here is their surprise announcement via Twitter:

Because I was on Caldecott, I haven’t personally read all the titles on the list. But I am thrilled to see The Magic Fish by Trung Le Nguyen and All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson on the list because I thought they were both strong Stonewall Book Award contendersand, for that matter, for other Youth Media Awards as well.

The Stonewall Book Award winners are automatically added to the Rainbow Book List each year, so we’ll never know if any of those titles were originally left out. But it is interesting to note that only You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson, which was an Honor Book, made either Top 10.

If you have thoughts on the 2021 Rainbow Book List, share them below. This will be our last post for a while as we read and relax in preparation for the next awards season.

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