LGBTQIA+ Pride Book for Kids +Teens
Updated: Nov 24
June is Pride Month when the LGBTQIA+ community and allies celebrate love for all. Many queer families and children use this time to be seen and accepted. We are sharing Pride books for kids and teens. Providing our children with diverse stories gives them an amazing opportunity to emotionally connect with people who may be similar or different from them.
Pride Books for Kids
We found these books to be joyous additions to story time with our children!
Be prepared for heartfelt conversations, an outpouring of empathy, and lots of giggles!
Plenty of Hugs by Fran Manushkin - A rhyming picture book about 2 mommies that spend the day with their toddler. A loving celebration of family!
Teo's Tutu by Maryann Jacobs Macias - A sweet story about a boy's first ballet recital. This book celebrates gender creativity, being yourself, and the joy of dance!
Pride Puppy by Robin Stevenson - Follow this family and their puppy through a vibrant day at the Pride parade. Lots of rainbow colors and giggles in this book.
Our Subway Baby by Peter Mercurio - The powerful picture book that tells the true story of how one baby found his way to a loving home from the NYC subway.
My Shadow is Purple by Scott Stuart - A heartwarming book that takes on the societal themes of masculinity and embraces the many experiences across the gender spectrum.
The Pronoun Book by Cassandra Jules Corrigan - Together we can learn about pronouns and why they are important through this powerful book about gender diversity and acceptance.
Worm Loves Worm by J.J. Austrian - Two worms meet and fall in love, but who wears the tux and who wears the dress? Worm Loves Worm is a creative take on love!
Stella Brings the Family by Miriam B. Schiffer - Stella celebrates the meaning of family with her two Dads during a Mother's Day celebration.
Love Makes a Family by Sophie Beer - A board book that is inclusive to everyone and shows that the main thing that makes up every family is love!
And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell - a true story of a nontraditional family that started at the penguin house in the Central Park Zoo.
Pink is For Boys by Robb Pearlman - These kids combat gender stereotypes and show that all the colors in the rainbow are for everyone to love!
There are so many great children's books that celebrate Pride. We will probably add to this list every year!
Next up are our middle-grade Pride books!
Middle-Grade Pride Books
Middle-grade years offer a lot of changes and the beginnings of more real-life plots and deeper meaningful connections with characters. There can be a lot of changes both inside and outside our bodies and reading these books can help kids process different feelings and emotions while offering them characters they can relate to. We hope these books help build compassion towards ourselves and others who may be different than us.
Melissa by Alex Gino - People see Melissa as a boy named George, but Melissa knows she’s a girl. She wants to play Charlotte in Charlotte’s Web but her teacher says that’s a girl part so she comes up with a plan to show the school exactly who she really is. Previously published as George.
Answers in the Pages by David Levithan - Parents at school are trying to ban a book with possibly gay characters. Donovan fights to keep that from happening in this timely novel that involves the twists and turns of trying to gain gay acceptance.
Hazel’s Theory of Evolution by Lisa Jane Bigelow - Hazel is a 13-year-old girl getting ready to go into 8th grade. This book embraces growing through tough times and examines topics such as miscarriage and what it means to be a good friend. It has a diverse cast of characters including Jewish, queer, and transgender. Hazel loves science so there are a lot of STEM references for science lovers too.
Small Town Pride by Phil Stamper - when this middle school boy comes out as gay and his dad hangs the pride flag outside their home, he quickly becomes the topic of discussion as people fear this pride may lead to *gasp* a pride parade. Through the eyes of the lovable character, we learn about some of the feelings 13-year-olds experience about their bodies, sexuality, and thoughts about love.
Snapdragon by Kat Leyh - a comic book style book with lots of inclusivity and trans positivity. This book reminds us that we aren’t always what society wants to typecast us as. It reminds you to believe in yourself and find joy in the weird and wonderful things that make us unique.
Ana on the Edge by AJ Sass. Ana is a figure skater and wearing princess costumes for her performances makes her uncomfortable. She befriends a trans boy and discovers she might be nonbinary. This is a good middle-grade book for learning to take up your own space and embrace who you are.
Ellen Outside the Lines by AJ Sass - A thirteen-year-old neurodivergent girl who only gets crushes on girls. When a new nonbinary classmate enters her world Ellen questions her binary view of the world. Ellen has to learn to embrace that not everything moves in straight lines.
This is our Rainbow: 16 Stories of Her, Him, Them, and Us - Insightful and diverse stories that celebrate LGBTQIA+. Celebrate humanity and who we choose to be and love. Each short story is heartwarming and brilliant.
Cattywampus by Ash Van Otterloo - a folksy magical book about two preteen girls from rival witch families who accidentally restart an old war. With an intersex character, it exposes the biases they face as well as some honest portrayals of poverty all wrapped up in the magical story.
The Civil War of Amos Abernathy by Michael Leali - A boy who loves history is trying to find out more about past LGBTQ historical figures. Amos works to shed more light on history that we forget and brings life to things like being black or being gay. This book works to make space for the anger and frustration that many feel while offering hope as Amos tries to change the world.
Drum Roll Please by Lisa Jenn Bigelow - Melly is a girl away at band camp and she’s put in situations that push her out of her comfort zone. We love that Melly doesn’t let anyone label her and she blooms into her own person through exposure to different music, developing a crush on a fellow camper, and dealing with emotions about her parents. Melly grows in really meaningful ways.
Another good musically inspired LGBTQ middle-grade book is In The Key of Us by Mariama J. Lockington.
The Science of Being Angry by Nicole Melleby - a deeper dive into the big feelings of an 11-year-old. Her moms don’t always say or do the right things. A middle-grade exploration of feelings, queerness, mental health, and family.
Pride Books for Teens and Young Adults
Please note: While we encourage embracing differences and providing empathy to those around us regardless of gender or sexual preferences, many of these books have some older themes and trigger warnings attached to many of them. Research accordingly, and if any of those make you uncomfortable, we encourage you to think about what your teen can handle, may be facing or seeing firsthand, or is ready for, and be prepared for the many different conversations these books may spark. Happy reading!
Teens and young adults, they want more sophisticated characters. Less in their face moral stories, but more connection and acceptance as they navigate the social waters of high school and beyond.
Dead and the Dark by Courtney Gould - a book about ghosts, queer girls, and the mystery of a young boy's disappearance. An ominous story where the truth is buried but how long can it stay that way? Another similar book is Burn the Bodies Down about a teen who unravels her family's hidden past.
Ophelia After All by Raquel Marie - Ophelia rediscovers herself in this YA contemporary book. A diverse cast of characters and coming of age story that pulls at the heartstrings!
The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon - An epic fantasy book with pirates, dragons, magic, and more. It follows 4 main points of view and several LGBTQA+ characters.
Horse Barbie by Geena Rocero - A brand new (May 2023) memoir about Geena, a trans pageant queen from the Philippines. This book discusses the risks of being honest, social acceptance, our views on beauty, pageants, and modeling as well as discrimination.
Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy - Ramona addresses the complexity of the heart. She thinks she's gay but then she discovers that love can be fluid which is pretty poetic since she's a teenage swimmer.
Loveless by Alice Oseman - Georgia doesn't understand why she doesn't have crushes until she discovers the A in LGBTQIA+ and proves that love and connection can come in many forms.
Pedro and Daniel by Frederico Erebia - This historical fiction is a story about two Mexican American brothers growing up in the 1970s. Both are gay and neurodivergent but have different struggles in life. You enter a giveaway to win a free copy of this book on Goodreads.
All The Things They Said We Couldn't Have by Tasha Oakes-Monger - a story of trans joy and community, but also the serious struggles of transphobia. Gives a light to trans people in a dark world but also can be used to enlighten cis people who want to learn more about being transgender.
Hijab Butch Blues by Lamya H. - A memoir about a young 14 Mulsim girl who has a crush on her female teacher. She is also grappling with family, displacement, migration, sexuality, and finding her community.
In the Lives of Puppets by TJ Klune - A fantasy book that is a retelling of Pinocchio but with robots and inspired by other stories such as Wizard of Oz and Wall-E. The primary theme is emotions; love, guilt, anxiety, empathy as well as forgiveness, and acceptance. Includes an asexual main character as well as a gay relationship.
Fine: a Comic About Gender by Rhea Ewing - short stories and interviews presented in graphic novel style. Focuses on gender roles, relationships, and sexuality while proving that there isn't one right way to look at something and that you are enough. A celebration of the transgender community.
Endpapers by Jennifer Savron - Gender identity exploration with a nonbinary main character who finds a gay love letter and is determined to track down its author in hopes it can help her understand and answer questions about herself as well.
There are so many good books out there, we had a hard time creating our list. Let us know your favorite picture or chapter books to read during Pride month!
Also, check out our Bookworm Bookmarks for helping encourage kids to get reading this summer!