9 Wonderful LGBT Books for Kids & Teens
Many members of the LGBTQIA+ community have known about their identity since childhood. Unfortunately, not much media aimed at children features characters who are anything other than straight and cis. However, this is starting to change. Shows like Steven Universe and The Loud House have brought gay and lesbian relationships into the realm of kids cartoons, and the books on this list give young readers a plethora of LGBT characters to relate to. When you click links from this website, we may receive advertising revenue to support our research. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.
9 Wonderful LGBT Books for Kids & Teens
|Title||Author||More by the Author|
|1.||George||Alex Gino||You Don't Know Everything, Jilly P!|
|2.||The Dangerous Art of Blending In||Angelo Surmelis||N/A|
|3.||Spinning||Tillie Walden||On a Sunbeam|
|4.||Star-Crossed||Barbara Dee||Truth or Dare|
|5.||The Tiger's Watch||Julia Ember||The Seafarer's Kiss|
|6.||Girl Mans Up||M-E Girard||N/A|
|7.||Weird Girl and What's His Name||Meagan Brothers||Supergirl Mixtapes|
|8.||Nothing Happened||Molly Booth||Saving Hamlet|
|9.||The Wicker King||K. Ancrum||The Weight of the Stars|
Walking in Your Truth as an LGBT Youth
Some people think that LGBT issues are too "adult" to be discussed with kids. But as society gets more accepting, it is more and more common to see all kinds of romantic couples and gender experiences being portrayed everywhere from picture books to cartoons. This representation is important, as it helps kids learn to be more accepting of others, and of themselves.
We've found nine fantastic books, listed here in no particular order, that tackle everything from gay and lesbian romance to gender identity. Some of these entries would be great additions to a middle school library, while others are aimed toward older teens.
#1 is a Scholastic Gold book called "George," written by Alex Gino. Everyone thinks that ten-year-old George is a boy, but she knows that she's really a girl. When she hears that her class will be putting on a production of "Charlotte's Web," she wants nothing more than to play Charlotte. But her teacher won't even let her audition for the part, because she's a boy. With the help of her friend Kelly, George hatches up a plan to not just land her dream role, but finally live as her true self.
With the help of her friend Kelly, George hatches up a plan to not just land her dream role, but finally live as her true self.
Coming in at #2 is "The Dangerous Art of Blending In," by Angelo Surmelis. The son of strict Greek immigrant parents, 17-year-old Evan Panos is struggling to fit in. The only person who makes him feel wanted is his best friend Henry. After a summer apart, the boys grow even closer to one another, and soon become more than just friends. This powerful coming-of-age story is based on the author's own childhood experiences.
#3 on our list is "Spinning" by Tillie Walden. This autobiographical graphic novel explores Tillie's life as a young figure skater. Waking up before dawn to take lessons in the morning, spending weekends taking part in competitions across the state. For ten years, this was her escape from school bullies and family troubles. But after some major life changes, including a new school and her first girlfriend, she starts to wonder whether all the work she's putting in is worth it.
Next up, at #4, we have "Star Crossed" by Barbara Dee, which focuses on a 12-year-old girl named Mattie. She is ecstatic to be acting in the school production of "Romeo and Juliet" alongside her crush, Gemma, who has been cast as Juliet. But being in middle school is complicated. Mattie is also smitten with a boy named Elijah and has plenty of other drama to deal with backstage. When a sudden emergency leads to Mattie filling in for the part of Romeo, her secret feelings are harder to hide than ever.
But being in middle school is complicated.
At #5 is "The Tiger's Watch," the first installment in Julia Ember's "Ashes of Gold" series. Tashi is a warrior spy who has a strong bond with their tiger, Katala. When their city is invaded, Tashi tries to escape, but is soon found by the enemy leader, Xian, a cold-hearted and ambitious commander. Romance blooms between the two, but their star-crossed love is not without casualties. Readers praise this YA fantasy for putting a genderfluid protagonist in the spotlight.
Coming in at #6 is Meagan Brothers' award-winning novel "Weird Girl and What's His Name." Living in a small town in North Carolina, teenagers Lula and Rory are able to be themselves when they're together. They share a love of sci-fi and fantasy and know all of each other's secrets. Or so Lula thinks. Suddenly, Rory is acting strange and distant, throwing Lula's life into disarray. She goes off on a metaphorical journey to discover her sexual orientation and a literal one to find her mother, who left her years ago.
#7 is a modern retelling of Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing." Molly Booth's "Nothing Happened" takes place at Camp Dogberry. Sisters Bee and Hana have lived at the camp, which their parents own, for their entire lives. Every summer brings a new wave of kids and plenty of drama. Bee has feelings for Ben, a counselor with whom she has a complicated past. Hana has a crush on a kindhearted girl named Claudia, but a jerk named John spreads a rumor about them that could ruin everything.
Every summer brings a new wave of kids and plenty of drama.
Next up, at #8, we have "Girl Mans Up," by M-E Girard. Pen is a Canadian girl whose short hair and androgynous clothes confuse and upset her parents, Portuguese immigrants with traditional values. On top of that, her friend Colby is a jerk who wants her to be "loyal" to him. Over the course of the story, Pen realizes that she needs to figure out how to deal with these difficult relationships without losing her sense of self.
Finally, at #9, we have K. Ancrum's YA thriller, "The Wicker King." August and Jack couldn't be more different. The former is a misfit with a dark past; the latter is a varsity athlete. Despite their differences, the two are close friends. So when Jack starts seeing disturbingly vivid hallucinations, August steps up to the plate and helps however he can. Accepting these visions as reality, he accompanies Jack on a quest to fulfill a mysterious prophecy. The author deftly tackles everything from mental illness to codependency to love.