Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Gay Pride Book List for Kids & Young Adults

This blog was compiled by Katie Diamond, Media Production Coordinator and Blake McCarty, Media Manager. The age recommendations are based on the guidelines of each book's publisher and existing age recommendations from the American Library Association.

With school officially over and summer in session, we think it’s a prime time for a new reading list. But this week, we wanted to feature more than a few beach reads and guilty pleasures—with New York City Pride this coming weekend, here are a few books to jump start a conversation with your family about gender, sexuality and diversity!

The Boy Who Cried Fabulous by Leslea Newman
Roger loves exploring the world around him—so much so that he can’t help but excitedly describe it! But his parents, teachers, and friends don’t initially understand why everything he sees is “fabulous.” With beautiful illustrations and an optimistic message, this story is perfect for any kid that marches to the beat of their own unique, fabulous drum. (For everyone 3+)
Backwards Day by S. Bear Bergman
In this colorfully illustrated story, Tenalp isn’t much different from Earth, with the biggest exception being Backwards Day, a day where everything is, well, backwards! Day is night, breakfast is dinner, boys are girls and girls are boys, until Andy wakes up one day and something isn’t right...or is it? (For everyone 4+)
The Sissy Duckling by Harvey Fierstein
Bright and upbeat, this picture book introduces kids to Elmer, a young duckling who is not like the other male ducklings. While the other ducklings box, Elmer bakes; while they build forts, Elmer builds sand castles. Elmer’s dad wants him to toughen up, but Elmer is a sissy—a sissy who proves that you don’t need to act tough to be a hero. (For everyone 5+)
Better Nate Than Ever by Tim Federle
For the performer in your life, check out this New York Times Editors’ Choice. Join Nate for a journey from Western Pennsylvania to New York City as he tries to achieve his life’s dream: Broadway! He’s not the most talented or the most popular, but with a little bit of luck—and his devoted friend, Libby—Nate pursues his dreams with hope, wit and a lot of heart. (For everyone 9+)
One In Every Crowd by Ivan E. Coyote
This tender-hearted collection of personal stories was inspired by the prolific author’s years as a tomboy, being an adult queer, and both the kindness and cruelty of family and strangers. Alternately funny and honest, his tales offer courage to anyone who’s ever felt different. (For everyone 10+)
Drama by Raina Telgemeier
Callie loves theater, but finds herself caught in the grips of lots of drama—both onstage and off! Can everyone work together? Can everyone control their crushes for one second so the show can go on? This graphic novel humorously explores friendship, crushes and the awkwardness of middle school. (For everyone 10+)
Boyfriends with Girlfriends by Alex Sanchez
Heralded as a contemporary teen romance with all the ups and downs, twists and turns of young love, this novel follows four teens—gay, straight and somewhere in between. With diverse characters and authentic dialogue, the book delicately explores sexuality, identity and labels from multiple perspectives. (For everyone 12+)
Ash by Malinda Lo
A finalist for the William C. Morris Young Adult Award, this dark retelling of the Cinderella story with a lesbian twist was called “somber and lovely” by The New York Times. (For Everyone 13+)
Luna by Julie Anne Peters
This groundbreaking novel is narrated by Regan, a teenage girl striving to understand and support her transgender sister. Consumed by worry for her sibling, Regan does all she can to share Liam’s struggle for self-identity and acceptance, sometimes at a cost to herself. Poignant and sensitive, this novel realistically explores one family’s journey in accepting Liam as he makes a full transition to Luna. (For everyone 14+)
Chulito, A Novel by Charles Rice-Gonzalez

Set in the South Bronx, this coming-of-age and coming out story centers on Chulito, a sexy, macho young man forced to face some tough questions when he shares a kiss with his childhood best friend, Carlos. This novel fearlessly tackles concepts of masculinity with both humor and heartbreak. (For everyone 15+)
For additional suggestions, check out these resources:
 Lambda Literary 
True Colorz 
American Library Association GLBT Resource for Children


  1. Don't forget GLSEN's book list which is available on their web site,, along with other educational resources! They are the best.

  2. That's a great resource. Thanks for adding it!

  3. hmmm... interesting!I'm gonna find these books on my favorite book store. I can't wait to read these. :p Theater plays for kids.