LGBTQIA+ Reading List

A Reading List to Inform and Inspire Young People on Different Identities

This reading list was compiled by Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots Youth Council – US member Everett N. When thinking about his next Roots & Shoots project, Everett considered his experience growing up with a lack of LGBTQIA+ representation in books and other media.

I wanted to focus on a project that was directly impacting me and my community, I looked at different things happening around me and problems that were facing different communities in my area and decided I wanted to take action.

Everett N. Jane Goodall's Roots & Shoots Youth Council - US
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Learn more about how you can take action with the LGBTQA+ community with our partners, Born This Way Foundation.

Get direct support and counseling at The Trevor Project.

Hey! I'm in this Book!

With mental health being drastically worse for members of the queer community, being able to read a book where they feel represented or their family is being represented is important. Everett choose to take action by creating his project, Hey! I'm in this book!, which focuses on bringing stories about LGBTQIA+ youth and families to young people in his community.
Learn More about Everett's Project

Books for Elementary-Aged People

What Are Your Words?: A Book About Pronouns by Katherine Locke An introduction for young people on how to respectfully ask others for their pronouns.
Call Me Max by Kyle Lukoff A thoughtful children’s book about a kid finding their identity as a transgender boy.
Love Makes a Family by Sophie Beer A story that celebrates the diversity of families and how ultimately, they share the same foundation- LOVE!
Worm Loves Worm by J.J. Austrian A love story about two worms that want to get married and break the traditional barriers in their community.
It Feels Good to Be Yourself by Theresa Thorn Great introduction to young children about the diversity within gender identity.
Sparkle Boy by Lesléa Newman A story about how gender is not reflected by what children play with or how they want to dress.
They, She, He, Me, Free to Be! by Maya and Matthew Gonzalez This book serves as a fantastic resource for teaching young kids about pronouns!
A Family is a Family is a Family by Sara O’Leary Story about how families can look so many different ways and how children view the importance of the relationships with people around them!
What Riley Wore by Elana Arnold Fantastic book about a young kiddo that chooses to wear everything that represents themselves without pressure from what people of a certain gender should or shouldn’t look like.
Julián Is a Mermaid by Jessica Love Costumed mermaids on public transportation sparks a young boy to discover his unique and creative individuality!
Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag by Rob Sanders The story of how the pride flag came to be!

LGBTQA+ Reading List 6

Books for Middle School-Aged People

Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens by Tanya Boteju This book tells the story of a young girl, Nima, who is going through rough times at home, finds herself discovering the drag scene in a different part of the city.
Hurricane Child by Kheryn Callender A young girl from the Virgin Islands develops a friendship with a girl that just moved to her school from Barbados. They go on many adventures to find internal strength and eventually develop a love for each other.
Darius the Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram A truly beautiful book following the intersections of culture, relationships, and mental health.
Redwood and Ponytail by K.A. Holt A coming-of-age story about two girls who become close friends while navigating middle school.
Beyond the Gender Binary by Alok Vaid-Menon The author paints a beautiful illustration in this book that gender is something that is flexible and is a wide array of colors.
Queer: The Ultimate LGBT Guide for Teens by Marke Bieschke and Kathy Belge A book to help teens in the LGBT+ community navigate conversations with loved ones to advice on how to deal with homophobia.
The Best at It by Maulik Pancholy As a teen Indian American, young Rahul struggles to find his identity amid the difficulties of middle school.
Martin McLean, Middle School Queen by Alyssa Zaczek Middle school brings many challenges for Martin to find his true identity, while at home he is surrounded by expressive personalities.
Two Weeks with the Queen by Morris Gleitzman Colin’s brother becomes very sick, so he is sent to stay with his extended family in England and try to find a cure to save him.
The Boy in the Dress by David Walliams This book tells the story of two teen brothers whose parents' divorce when they were young and their situation living with their father after.
Better Nate Than Ever by Tim Federle The author tells the story of a boy and a dream to make it big on Broadway in New York City and he will do anything it takes to make it happen.

Find more books with this list of US-based bookstores owned by LGBTQ+ community members.

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