Books by Theme

LGBTQ Books for Kids

Stella Brings the Family book cover

These fiction and nonfiction picture books for young readers explore families, experiences, and the social history of the LGBTQ community. These stories and histories are for all readers, not just for children and families with a close connection to LGBTQ issues. At the heart of all these books is a message of unconditional love and acceptance. 

 

A Church for All book cover

A Church for All

By: Gayle E. Pitman
Illustrated by: Laure Fournier
Genre: Nonfiction
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Inspired by the Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco, this picture book celebrates a church whose doors are open to all. On Sunday morning, we gather together. We are every color. Every age. Rich and poor. Our church is open, affirming, and accepting. We believe in love instead of hate. There’s room for everyone! This book celebrates a spiritual community that embraces all people ― no matter their age, race, class, gender identity, or sexual orientation―in love and faith.

A Plan for Pops book cover

A Plan for Pops

By: Heather Smith
Illustrated by: Brooke Kerrigan
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

A positive and realistic story about familiy, community, and dealing with a disability, that features an elderly, interracial gay male couple. Lou spends every Saturday with Grandad and Pops. They walk to the library hand in hand, like a chain of paper dolls. But everything changes one Saturday when Pops has a fall and learns that he will need to use a wheelchair, not just for now, but for always. Lou comes up with a loving plan to help Pops cope with his new life. 

Annie's Plaid Shirt book cover

Annie’s Plaid Shirt

By: Stacy B. Davids
Illustrated by: Rachael Balsaitis
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Annie loves her plaid shirt and wears it everywhere. But one day her mom tells Annie that she must wear a dress to her uncle’s wedding. Annie protests, but her mom insists and buys her a fancy new dress anyway. Annie is miserable — she feels weird in dresses. Why can’t her mom understand? Then Annie has an idea. But will her mom agree? The story deals with gender identification in a positive and creative way, teaching tolerance and a celebration of differences.

Be Who You Are book cover

Be Who You Are

By: Todd Parr
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

"Be who you are! Be proud of where you're from. Be a different color. Speak your language. Wear everything you need to be you."  "Be your own family" is illustrated with a spaceship filled with individuals of different colors, genders, and species (there is a dog included), all with alien horns. A simple message is repeated with new examples on each spread. This colorful, energetic book reminds kids that their unique traits are what make them so special and encourages readers to embrace them all. See also It's Okay to Be Different by the same author.

Call Me Max book cover

Call Me Max

By: Kyle Lukoff
Illustrated by: Luciano Lozano
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

When Max starts school, the teacher hesitates to call out the name on the attendance sheet. Something doesn’t seem to fit. Max lets her know the name he wants to be called by ― a boy’s name. This begins Max’s journey as he makes new friends and reveals his feelings about his identity to his parents. Written with warmth and sensitivity by trans writer Kyle Lukoff, this book is a sweet and age-appropriate introduction to what it means to be transgender. This is the first book in the Max and Friends series.

Families

Families

By: Sheila M. Kelly, Shelley Rotner
Genre: Nonfiction
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Some kids are adopted, others live with one parent, other children live with two moms or two dads; still others live with a mom and dad. Lots of different families are celebrated through a simple text and full-color photographs.

Families, Families, Families! book cover

Families, Families, Families!

By: Suzanne Lang
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Imagine a house with many rooms, whose walls each have a different color or wallpaper, accenting a family portrait hanging there. Moms, dads, sisters, brothers — and even Great Aunt Sue — appear in dozens of combinations, demonstrating all kinds of nontraditional families! Silly animals are cleverly depicted in framed portraits, and offer a warm celebration of family love. Each portrait features a gently rhyming line: "Some children live with their father. / Some children have two mothers. /Some children are adopted. /Some have stepsisters and — brothers." 

Harriet Gets Carried Away book cover

Harriet Gets Carried Away

By: Jessie Sima
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

A young girl in a penguin costume sets off to pick out some birthday hats and gets a little carried away. Harriet lives in the big city with her two dads. On the day of her birthday party, Harriet puts on her special errand-running Penguin costume, and she and her dads head to the store to pick up party supplies. But when she encounters a group of real penguins Harriet gets a little carried away, and before she realizes her mistake she's on a hot air balloon heading to Antarctica.

 

I Am Jazz book cover

I Am Jazz

By: Jazz Jennings, Jessica Herthel
Illustrated by: Shelagh McNicholas
Genre: Biography, Nonfiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

The story of a transgender child based on the real-life experience of Jazz Jennings, who has become a spokesperson for transkids everywhere. From a very young age, Jazz knew that she had a girl’s brain in a boy’s body. She loved pink and dressing up as a mermaid and didn't feel like herself in boys’ clothing. This confused her family, until they took her to a doctor who said that Jazz was transgender and that she was born that way. Jazz tells her story in a simple, clear way for young readers, their parents, and teachers.

It Feels Good to Be Yourself: A Book About Gender Identity book cover

It Feels Good to Be Yourself: A Book About Gender Identity

By: Theresa Thorn
Illustrated by: Noah Grigni
Genre: Nonfiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

A picture book that introduces the concept of gender identity to young readers. Some people are boys. Some people are girls. Some people are both, neither, or somewhere in between. This straightforward exploration of gender identity will give children a fuller understanding of themselves and others. With child-friendly language and vibrant art, this book provides young readers and parents alike with the vocabulary to discuss this topic with sensitivity.

Julián Is a Mermaid book cover

Julián Is a Mermaid

By: Jessica Love
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Young Julián lives with his abuela and is obsessed with mermaids. He imagines taking off his clothes, growing a tail, and swimming freely through the blue-tinted water with swirls of fish and stingrays. After spying some women on a train dressed as mermaids, Julián later tells his abuela, "I am also a mermaid," then proceeds to wrap a curtain around his waist as a "tail." Ferns in his hair complete the fantastical look, and when his grandmother catches him — is he in trouble? Not at all! In fact, she takes Julián to a festival where people are dressed as fantastically as Julián. 

Kapaemahu

Kapaemahu

By: Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu
Illustrated by: Daniel Sousa
Genre: Fairytales, Folk Tales, and Tall Tales, Myths and Legends
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

An Indigenous legend about how four extraordinary individuals of dual male and female spirit, or Mahu, brought healing arts from Tahiti to Hawaii. In the 15th century, four Mahu sail from Tahiti to Hawaii and share their gifts of science and healing with the people of Waikiki. The islanders return this gift with a monument of four boulders in their honor, which the Mahu imbue with healing powers before disappearing.

Love Is Love

Love Is Love

By: Michael Genhart
Illustrated by: Ken Min
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

When a boy confides in his friend about bullies saying he doesn't have a real family, he discovers that his friend's parents ― a mom and a dad ― and his two dads are actually very much alike. This book is a great way to gently discuss discrimination with kids. This sweet and straightforward story shows that gay families and straight families and everything in between are all different kinds of normal. What makes a family real is the love that is shared.

Love Makes a Family book cover

Love Makes a Family

By: Sophie Beer
Age Level: 0-3
Reading Level: Pre-Reader

Love is baking a special cake. Love is lending a helping hand. Love is reading one more book. In this exuberant board book, many different families are shown in happy activity, from an early-morning wake-up to a kiss before bed. Whether a child has two moms, two dads, one parent, or one of each, this simple preschool read-aloud demonstrates that what's most important in each family's life is the love the family members share.

Maiden & Princess book cover

Maiden & Princess

By: Daniel Haack, Isabel Galupo
Illustrated by: Becca Human
Genre: Fairytales, Folk Tales, and Tall Tales, Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

A kingdom is in search of a princess for its prince. A warrior maiden who fights alongside and is friends with the prince reluctantly attends the matchmaker ball with encouragement from her mother that she may find her perfect match, "the one," among the guests. She does indeed find the love of her life, not in the prince but in his sister, the princess. A multicultural, modern fairytale that gently affirms all kinds of love. 

Me, My Dad and the End of the Rainbow book cover

Me, My Dad and the End of the Rainbow

By: Benjamin Dean
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

A joyful and thoughtful celebration of family, identity and inclusivity. Things aren't going great for Archie Albright. His dad's acting weird, his mum too, and all he wants is for everything to go back to normal, to three months before when his parents were happy and still lived together. When Archie sees a colorful, crumpled flyer fall out of Dad's pocket, he thinks he may have found the answer. Only problem? The answer might just lie at the end of the rainbow, an adventure away. 

Mommy, Mama, and Me book cover

Mommy, Mama, and Me

By: Leslea Newman
Illustrated by: Carol Thompson
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Rhythmic text and illustrations with universal appeal show a toddler spending the day with its mommies. From hide-and-seek to dress-up, then bath time and a kiss goodnight, there's no limit to what a loving family can do together. Share the loving bond between same-sex parents and their children in this hearttwearming story of family. See also Daddy, Papa, and Me by the same creators.

My Rainbow book cover

My Rainbow

By: DeShanna Neal, Trinity Neal
Illustrated by: Art Wink
Genre: Biography, Nonfiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

A dedicated mom puts love into action as she creates the perfect rainbow-colored wig for her transgender daughter, based on the real-life experience of mother-daughter advocate duo Trinity and DeShanna. One day, Trinity expressed that she needed long hair to feel like herself. The family took a trip to the beauty store, but none of the wigs seemed just right ... so Mom crafted a vibrant wig perfect for her daughter. 

My Two Moms and Me book cover

My Two Moms and Me

By: Michael Joosten
Illustrated by: Izak Zenou
Age Level: 0-3
Reading Level: Pre-Reader

Families with same-sex parents are celebrated in this board book that follows busy moms and their kids throughout their day — eating breakfast, going on a playdate, heading to the pool for a swim, and settling back in at night with a bedtime story and a good-night lullaby. See also My Two Dads and Me by the same creators.

Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag

Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag

By: Rob Sanders
Illustrated by: Steven Salerno
Genre: Biography, Nonfiction
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Have you ever wondered where the rainbow flag comes from? It all began with the first openly gay elected official, Harvey Milk. His life and how the rainbow flag came to be and to express both hope and pride are briefly presented in accessible language and animated illustrations. Photographs of Milk and additional biographical sketch conclude the book.

Ritu Weds Chandni book cover

Ritu Weds Chandni

By: Ameya Narvankar
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Ayesha is excited to attend her cousin Ritu's wedding. She can't wait to dance at the baraat ceremony! But not everyone is happy that Ritu is marrying her girlfriend Chandni. Some have even vowed to stop the celebrations. Will Ayesha be able to save her cousin's big day? Centering Ayesha's love for her cousin as much as it showcases Ritu and Chandni's love for each other, this story celebrates the power of young voices to stand up against prejudice and bigotry.

Stella Brings the Family cover

Stella Brings the Family

By: Miriam B. Schiffer
Illustrated by: Holly Clifton-Brown
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Stella's class is having a Mother's Day celebration, but what's a girl with two daddies to do? It's not that she doesn't have someone who helps her with her homework, or tucks her in at night. Stella has her Papa and Daddy who take care of her, and a whole gaggle of other loved ones who make her feel special and supported every day. She just doesn't have a mom to invite to the party. Fortunately, Stella finds a unique solution to her party problem in this sweet story about love, acceptance, and the true meaning of family.

Stonewall: A Building. An Uprising. A Revolution book cover

Stonewall: A Building. An Uprising. A Revolution

By: Rob Sanders
Illustrated by: Jamey Christoph
Genre: Nonfiction
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

A powerful true story that introduces young readers to the history of the Stonewall Inn and its role in the LGBTQ+ civil rights movement. The 1969 raid of the inn empowered members of the LGBTQ+ community to protest and demand their equal rights as citizens of the United States. 

The Family Book

The Family Book

By: Todd Parr
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

What does the U.S. Census count? Among other things it counts families! Each is different but they are also alike in many ways. A variety of families and their pets are introduced in boldly colored, child-like illustrations and lighthearted glimpse at different kinds of families who all celebrate, laugh, and love.

The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher book cover

The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher

By: Dana Alison Levy
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Meet the Fletchers. Their year will be filled with new schools, old friends, a grouchy neighbor, hungry skunks, leaking ice rinks, school plays, wet cats, and scary tales told in the dark! This is a funny and compassionate middle-grade family story featuring gay parents and interracial families that is never about either issue. See the second book in the series, The Family Fletcher Takes Rock Island.

This Day in June book cover

This Day in June

By: Gayle E. Pitman
Illustrated by: Kristyna Litten
Genre: Nonfiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level:

Filled with saturated colors and vivid illustrations, this picture book uses rhyming couplets to convey the fun and exuberant feelings assocated with a pride parade for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people and families ... "Rainbow arches/Joyful marches/Motors roaring/Spirits soaring." The diversity shown at the pride parade is realistic; both homosexual and heterosexual people, young and old, are depicted as well as individuals, couples, and families. A reading guide provides explanations for the images and text and a "Note to Parents and Caregivers" offers suggestions for talking to children about LGBT families. 

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