The Rainbow Project, formed of members of the “Social Responsibilities Round Table” and the “Gay, Lesbian, Transgender and Queer Round Table of the American Library Association”, annually releases a “Rainbow List.” From 2008 they have released this list, which details, “quality books with significant and authentic GLBTQ content, which are recommended for people from birth through eighteen years of age.”
Last month the list for 2012 was released and included Takako Shimura‘s Wandering Son Volume 1 from Fantagraphics Books. This is the first manga to appear on the list, which shows the level of depth in the way it handles its subject matter.
The story depicts a young boy named Shuichi Nitori who wants to be a girl, and his friend Yoshino Takatsuki, a girl who wants to be a boy. The series deals with issues such as transsexualism, gender identity and the beginning of puberty. It has been well received by critics for its use of gender reversal as its core topic, but some suggest that the characters show emotional depth above their age.
There is also an anime adaptation of the series in Japan, but no English release has been confirmed.
The manga has also made it into the “American Library Association’s Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA)” division’s list as one of the top ten great graphic novels for teens in 2012 . On top of this, it’s also listed as one of MTV Geek’s best manga of 2011.
Fantagraphics Books released the second volume of Wandering Son in December 2011.