Recommended Books for LGBTQ+ Inclusive Libraries

There are SO many good books with LGBTQ characters, I found it hard to choose just a few! And there are more coming out every year (I can’t keep up, which is a really good thing! When I was a teen, it was all too easy to keep up. There were only about six.) Anyway, here are some that I really enjoyed reading. I included my own books too, because– well, I enjoyed writing them! If you want more suggestions, the GAY YA master list, the ALA’s annual Rainbow List, and I’m Here. I’m Queer. What the Hell Do I Read? are all good places to browse! If you are looking for something in particular, feel free to ask me. And if you find one you really love that isn’t on my list, please write and tell me! I’m always looking for more good books to read.

For Teens:

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets Of The Universe, by Benjamin Alire Saenz

Meet Cute. Short fiction by Dhonielle Clayton, Meredith Russo, Ibi Zoboi and others.

We Are Okay, and Everything Leads To You, by Nina Lacour

The Lies We Tell Ourselves, and What We Left Behind, by Robin Talley

Simon and the Homosapiens Agenda, by Becky Albertalli

Lizard Radio, by Pat Schmatz

Not Otherwise Specified, by Hannah Moskowitz

If I Was Your Girl, by Meredith Russo

None of the Above, by I.W. Gregorio

Swimming In the Monsoon Sea, by Shyam Selvadurai

(You) Set Me on Fire, and Saving Montgomery Sole, by Mariko Tamaki

Gravity, by Leanne Liebermann

Way to Go, and Tag Along, by Tom Ryan

Symptoms of Being Human, by Jeff Garvin

Fans of the Impossible Life, by Kate Scalza

More Happy Than Not, History is All You Left Me, and They Both Die at the End, by Adam Silvera

Let’s Talk About Love, by Claire Kann

Release, and More Than This, by Patrick Ness

When the Moon Was Ours, and Wild Beauty, by Anna Marie McLemore

Ash, as well as Adaptation and its sequel, Inheritance, by Malinda Lo

You Know Me Well, by David Levithan and Nina LaCouer

If You Could Be Mine, by Sara Farizan

Tell Me Again How A Crush Should Feel, by Sara Farizan

Radical, by E.M. Kokie

Girl Mans Up, by M.E. Girard

I’ll Give You the Sun, by Jandy Nelson

Fat Angie, by E.E. Trujillo

Grasshopper Jungle, by Andrew Smith

The Miseducation of Cameron Post, by Emily M. Danforth

10 Things I Can See From Here, by Carrie Mac

Under Threat, Inferno and Big Guy, by Robin Stevenson

The Fashion Committee, and Another Kind of Cowboy, by Susan Juby

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, by Mackenzie Lee

The Scorpion Rules, and Swan Riders, by Erin Bow

Carry On, by Rainbow Rowell

Tash Hearts Tolstoy, by Kathryn Ormsbee

Little and Lion, by Brandy Colbert


For Middle Grade Readers:

There are still not nearly enough middle grade books with LGBTQ characters, but there are some really good ones- and more coming out all the time. Here are a few to check out:

George, by Alex Gino

StarCrossed, by Barbara Dee

Lumberjanes, by Grace Ellis, Noelle Stevenson, and Shannon Watters

Totally Joe, by James Howe

Better Nate Than Ever and its sequel Five, Six, Seven Nate! by Tim Federle

Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard #2: The Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan (2016 Stonewall Book Award)

Drama, by Raina Telgemeier

From The Notebooks of Melanin Sun, by Jacqueline Woodson

Days that End in Y, by Vicki Vansickle

Pride: Celebrating Diversity and Community, by Robin Stevenson (free online Teachers’ Guide:


For Little Ones: 

Books for the youngest readers include those that feature LGBTQ characters, as well as many that carry a strong message of acceptance and support for all kinds of families, and for all kinds of gender expression and gender creativity.

It’s Okay to be Different, and The Family Book, by Todd Parr

This Day in June, by Gayle Pitman

Daddy, Papa and Me, by Leslea Newman and Carol Thompson

Mama, Mommy and Me, by Leslea Newman and Carol Thompson

King & King, by Linda De Haan and illustrated by Stern Nijland

Worm Loves Worm, by J. J. Austrian and illustrated by Mike Curato

Morris Micklewhite And The Tangerine Dress Hardcover, by Christine Baldacchino and illustrated by Isabelle Malenfant

Red: A Crayon’s Story, by Michael Hall

Flamingo Rampant: picture books for gender-independent kids: