Editor's Pick

A first-of-its-kind book, Gay & Lesbian History for Kids, lays out the fight for LGBT right in its proper historical perspective


“This is an important resource that belongs in every collection.” – Booklist

For as long as there has been human civilization, LGBT people have played a part – from farmers to poets, generals to foot soldiers, peasants to queens and kings. Given today’s new headlines involving marriage equality and gender transitioning, it would be easy for children to assume that the campaign for LGBT equality is a 21st-century development, rather than the final act in a struggle that started well over 100 years ago.

Gay & Lesbian History for Kids: The Century-Long Struggle for LGBT Rights, with 21 Activities (ages 9+) by Jerome Pohlen helps young readers understand the rich history of LGBT people and put more recent events into context.

After providing a brief history up to 1900, each following chapter in the book discusses an era in the struggle for LGBT civil right from the 1920s to today. The history is told through personal stories and firsthand accounts of the movement’s key event, like the 1950’s “Lavender Scare,” the Stonewall Inn uprising, and the AIDS crisis. Readers will learn how many famous historical members of the LGBT community kept their sexual orientation a secret in order to avoid persecution; and they may be pleasantly surprised to discover just how may accomplished figure thought history – Leonardo Da Vinci, Jane Addams, Maurice Sendak – were also gay.

The book’s twenty-one activities help to enliven the history; kids can write a free verse poem like Walt Whitman, learn the Madison line dance, design a quilt panel, and write a song parody to learn about the spirited ways in which the LHNT community has purchased for positive social change. An eye-opening book for all young readers and a long overdue addition to the history shelves, Gay & Lesbian History for Kids creates historical significance for LGBT people in an approachable, kid-friendly format.

About the author
Jerome Pollen is a former elementary school science teacher, an engineer, an editor, and the author of Albert Einstein and Relativity for Kids. He lives in Chicago.

via press release