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15 LGBTQ+ Reads for Every Student

Turnitin Staff






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It’s June 2020, which means a few things… It’s summer vacation! It’s LGBTQ+ Pride Month! It’ distancing. If that calls for anything, it’s some good LGBTQ+ reads!

With summer camps canceled and stir-crazy kids already fed up after months stuck at home, everyone could use some fresh ideas. So, we put together a list of some of the best LGBTQ+ inclusive books from recent years. This list has something for every kid, from infant to high schooler. Read on for a collection of awesome LGBTQ+ books for students available now.

Baby’s First Words/Mis Primeras Palabras by Christiane Engel
(Age 0-4)
This bilingual board book introduces many words seen in the world of a multiracial family with two dads. The book was designed by a child development expert.

Pride Colors by Robin Stevenson
(Age 0-3)
This board book uses playful rhyming and bright photographs of real children and their LGBTQ+ families to introduce the colors of the rainbow, revealing the meaning of each color in the Pride flag.

What Makes a Baby by Cory Silverberg and Fiona Smyth
(Age 1-7)
This colorful and friendly book introduces readers to the basics of conception, gestation, and birth with incredibly inclusive language and illustrations. The information, tone, and illustrations make this a book that can grow with the child.

Julián Is a Mermaid by Jessica Love
(Age 3-8)
This vibrant, captivating celebration of self-love, individuality, and acceptance, winner of the 2019 Stonewall Book Award, is a must-read for all children.

Harriet Gets Carried Away by Jessie Sima
(Age 3-8)
This laugh-filled story comes from the author and illustrator of the bestseller, Not Quite Narwhal. Harriet loves costumes and she’s picked out her favorite one for her birthday party. When she gets caught up in a flock of penguins, she must find her way back to her dads in time for the party!

The Boy & the Bindi by Vivek Shraya and Rajni Perera
(Age 3-8)
When a five-year-old South Asian boy becomes fascinated with his mother's bindi and wishes to wear one himself, his mother lovingly agrees. She teaches him about the bindi’s cultural significance so that he can understand not only the power of the bindi, but also of being fully himself.

Princess Princess Ever After by Katie O’Neill
(Age 7-11)
This award-winning graphic novel, released in paperback this spring, is an empowering celebration of friendship, kindness, bravery, and girlhood.

Hurricane Child by Kacen Callender
(Age 8-12)
Caroline was born during a hurricane, which means she’s unlucky. Or she was unlucky, until Kalinda moved to town. This award-winning debut novel follows Caroline as she discovers her strength and her truth.

The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson
(Age 8-12)
Candice discovers a letter in her attic that reveals an old injustice and an unsolved mystery. With the help of her neighbor, Brandon, she sets out to solve the puzzle. This Coretta Scott King nominated novel takes on race, religion, and queerness as the pair hurry to find the answers while discovering the cruel realities of the Jim Crow era South.

The Witch Boy by Molly Knox Ostertag
(Age 8-12)
In Aster’s world, girls grow up to be witches and boys to be shapeshifters. But Aster is more interested in witchery. His passion could mean exile, but when a mysterious threat targets the other boys in his community, Aster knows exactly what to do.

Peasprout Chen Series: Book 1 and Book 2 by Henry Lien
(Age 10-14)
The Peasprout Chen series by Nebula Award nominee Lien follows Peasprout at Pearl Famous Academy of Skate and Sword as she trains in wu liu or martial arts figure skating. Tensions grow as Peasprout and her brother Cricket are distrusted as outsiders and blamed for vandalism on the school.

Not Your Sidekick Series by C.B. Lee
(Age 12-15)
Jessica Tran was just another superhero’s kid when she landed an internship with the most notorious supervillain in her hometown of Andover. This novel series turns the superhero trope on its ear with a fresh, clever, effortless voice that hits all the right notes.

The Grief Keeper by Alexandra Villasante
(Age 13+)
When Marisol dreamed of an American life for herself, she dreamed of a life like the characters of her favorite American TV show, not fleeing her home in El Salvador under threat of death and stealing across the US border. But when her world falls apart, she has no choice. The worst part is that it’s all her fault, because she fell for the wrong person.

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me by Mariko Tamaki and Rosemary Valero-O’Connell
(Age 14+)
This beautiful graphic novel offers an honest, nuanced take on friendships and romantic relationships in high school. This multi-award-winning book also opens the door to an important dialogue about harmful relationships, particularly for LGBTQ+ teens.

Anger is a Gift by Mark Oshiro
(Age 14+)
This incredible novel offers a heart wrenching and honest portrayal of being a black teenage boy in America today. This unflinching depiction of the criminalization of marginalized groups and the impact of bigotry is a must-read for teens and the adults who are responsible for their well-being.