Loyola University Chicago Libraries

Curriculum Collection at Lewis Library: LGBTQ Books

LGBTQ Books

Welcome to the Curriculum Collections' Guide to LGBTQ books for young readers and educators alike. Here you will find books broken down by reading level, character identity, and additional topics. Although we recognize that gender and sexuality exist on a spectrum, we have chosen categories that will be easy for children and teens to recognize: Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender/Gender Non-Conforming. Additional topics are broken down to include other character elements such as ethnicity, religion, interests, and issues featured in the books. Happy Reading! 


Contents
Picture Books
Chapter Books & Middle School
Young Adult - Gay
Young Adult - Lesbian
Young Adult - Trans/Gender-Non-Conforming
Stonewall Awards - Mike Morgan and Larry Romans Children’s and Young Adult Literature Award
Instructional Strategies: Gender and Sexual Identity
Non-fiction
Instructional Strategies: Multiculturalism

 


"It is not enough to simply teach children to read; we have to give them something worth reading. Something that will stretch their imaginations—something that will help them make sense of their own lives and encourage them to reach out toward people whose lives are quite different from their own." —Katherine Patterson

 

Picture Books

Nick was born in a boy's body, but has always felt like a girl inside. Nick's family supports him when he says he no longer wants to be called a boy or dress like a boy. Nick's parents find a group for families like theirs. With their support, Nick expresses a desire to be addressed as "she", and then to be named "Hope." Based on the author's experiences with her children.

Gloria and her two mothers join a parade celebrating Gay Pride Day.

When Heather goes to playgroup, at first she feels bad because she has two mothers and no father, but then she learns that there are lots of different kinds of families and the most important thing is that all the people love each other.

A brand new edition of the modern classic! When Heather goes to school for the first time, someone asks her about her daddy, but Heather doesn't have a daddy. Then something interesting happens. When Heather and her classmates all draw pictures of their families, not one drawing is the same.

The story of a transgender child who traces her early awareness that she is a girl in spite of male anatomy and the acceptance she finds through a wise doctor who explains her natural transgender status.

Three young children experience the joys and challenges of being raised by two mothers. 

Jacob, who likes to wear dresses at home, convinces his parents to let him wear a dress to school, too.

Jeremiah Nebula is a black boy who loves pink things and wants to travel to Mars. But in order to reach Mars he has to confront the large fears that stand between him and his goal.

A young boy faces adversity from classmates when he wears an orange dress at school.

Dyson loves pink, sparkly things. Sometimes he wears dresses. Sometimes he wears jeans. He likes to wear his princess tiara, even when climbing trees. He's a Princess Boy. 

At New York City's Central Park Zoo, two male penguins fall in love and start a family by taking turns sitting on an abandoned egg until it hatches.

Bailey longs to wear the beautiful dresses of her dreams but is ridiculed by her unsympathetic family which rejects her true perception of herself.

An illustrated celebration of Pride and its colorful history.

Chapter Books

India, an unusual nine-and-a-half-year-old living in small-town Maine, has a series of adventures which bring her closer to her artist-mother, strengthen her friendship with a neighbor boy, and help her to accept the man for whom her father moved away.

Twelve-year-old Kiran Sharma's a bit of an outcast: he likes ballet and playing with his mother's makeup. He also reveres his Indian heritage and convinces himself that the reason he's having trouble fitting in is because he's actually the 10th reincarnation of Krishnaji. He plans to come out to the world at the 1992 Martin Van Buren Elementary School talent show, and much of the book revels in his comical preparations as he creates his costume, plays the flute and practices his dance moves to a Whitney Houston song. But as the performance approaches, something strange happens: Kiran's skin begins to turn blue.

Dennis' life is boring and lonely. His mother left two years ago, his truck driver father is depressed, his brother is a bully and, worst of all, "no hugging" is one of their household rules. But one thing Dennis does have is soccer---he's the leading scorer on his team. Oh, and did we mention his secret passion for fashion?

Grayson, a transgender twelve-year-old, learns to accept her true identity and share it with the world.

Through an incident at school, a brother and sister and their gay dads help each other and those around them better understand the variety of families today. 

Lizzy McCann is a feisty 12 year old who lives with her mother and father in a fleabag hotel. A divorce leads to mother and daughter moving to upstate New York where living with her grandmother is a mixed blessing . This story demonstrates how to survive loss, puberty and first love.

Relates the adventures of a family with two fathers, four adopted boys, and a variety of pets as they make their way through a school year, Kindergarten through sixth grade, and deal with a grumpy new neighbor. 

Twelve-year-old June Farrell spends the summer at her Vermont home getting used to the woman her mother is planning to marry and practicing her pie-baking skills, as she hopes to win the blue ribbon at the fair.

A scrapbook-style novel that charts the friendship of Lydia Goldblatt and Julie Graham-Chang as they embark on a quest to study the behaviors and tastes of the popular girls so they can join their ranks in middle school. 

YA-Gay

Fifteen-year-old Ari Mendoza is an angry loner with a brother in prison, but when he meets Dante and they become friends, Ari starts to ask questions about himself, his parents, and his family that he has never asked before.

This is the story of Paul, a sophomore at a high school like no other: The cheerleaders ride Harleys, the homecoming queen used to be a guy named Daryl (she now prefers Infinite Darlene and is also the star quarterback), and the gay-straight alliance was formed to help the straight kids learn how to dance. 

Struggling with the aftermath of the September 11 attacks and sniper shootings throughout the Washington, D.C. area, Craig and Lio consider a romantic relationship that is complicated by Craig's ex-boyfriend, Lio's broken family, and the death of Lio's brother.

Thom Creed, the gay son of a disowned superhero, finds that he, too, has special powers and is asked to join the very League that rejected his father, and it is there that Thom finds other misfits whom he can finally trust. 

A story of first love, family, loss, and betrayal told from different points in time, and in separate voices, by artists Jude and her twin brother Noah.

Young immigrant Ray Liu is struggling to adjust to North American life. When his father discovers Ray has been cruising gay websites, the teen is kicked out of the family home. He heads to downtown Toronto, where the harsh reality of street life hits him.

Vincent Harris, the teenaged son of a Baptist minister, has always known he is gay and uses his faith to avoid any sinful thoughts or acts, but when his family moves to a new church in the late 1970s he meets Robert Ingle, falls in love, and begins to wonder if God is really asking him to repent and change.

As Bobby Framingham, quarterback of his high school football team, finally acknowledges to himself that he is gay, events start to spin out of control when his sexual orientation is revealed in the student newspaper and then in the local press, and he learns that his father has cancer. 

Sixteen-year-old Carlos Duarte is on the verge of realizing his dream of becoming a famous make-up artist, but first he must face his jealous boss at a Macy's cosmetics counter, his sister's abusive boyfriend, and his crush on a punk-rocker classmate. 

Moving from Long Island to Kansas after his mother dies, a teenager nicknamed Sprout deals with his father's drinking, his own sexuality, and a teacher who is determined to turn him into a winning essay writer.

One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, two teens—both named Will Grayson—are about to cross paths. As their worlds collide and intertwine, the Will Graysons find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, building toward romantic turns-of-heart and the epic production of history’s most fabulous high school musical.

YA-Lesbian

Astrid Jones copes with her small town's gossip and narrow-mindedness by staring at the sky and imagining that she's sending love to the passengers in the airplanes flying high over her backyard. Maybe they'll know what to do with it. Maybe it'll make them happy. Maybe they'll need it. Her mother doesn't want it, her father's always stoned, her perfect sister's too busy trying to fit in, and the people in her small town would never allow her to love the person she really wants to: another girl named Dee. There's no one Astrid feels she can talk to about this deep secret or the profound questions that she's trying to answer. But little does she know just how much sending her love--and asking the right questions--will affect thepassengers' lives, and her own, for the better.

School outsider Jesse, a lesbian, is having secret trysts with Emily, the popular student council vice president, but when they find themselves on opposite sides of a major issue and Jesse becomes more involved with a student activist, they are forced to make a difficult decision.

Laura, a seventeen-year-old Cuban American girl, is thrown out of her house when her mother discovers she is a lesbian, but after trying to change her heart and hide from the truth, Laura finally comes to terms with who she is and learns to love and respect herself.

Nicola Lancaster is spending her summer at the Siegel Institute, a hothouse of smart, intense teenagers. She soon falls in with Katrina (Manic Computer Chick), Isaac (Nice-Guy-Despite-Himself), Kevin (Inarticulate Composer) . . . and Battle, a beautiful blond dancer. The two become friends--and then, more than friends. What do you do when you think you're attracted to guys, and then you meet a girl who steals your heart? 

While working as a film production designer in Los Angeles, Emi finds a mysterious letter from a silver screen legend which leads Emi to Ava who is about to expand Emi's understanding of family, acceptance, and true romance.

Afraid that there is no way to be both gay and Jewish, Ellie Gold, an orthodox Jewish teenager feels forced to either alter her sexuality or leave her Jewish community until her mother and sister offer alternative concepts of God that help Ellie find a place for herself.

In Iran, where homosexuality is punishable by death, seventeen-year-olds Sahar and Nasrin love each other in secret until Nasrin's parents announce their daughter's arranged marriage and Sahar proposes a drastic solution. 

In the early 1990s, when gay teenager Cameron Post rebels against her conservative Montana ranch town and her family decides she needs to change her ways, she is sent to a gay conversion therapy center. 

Auditioning for a New York City performing arts high school could help Etta escape from her Nebraska all-girl school, where she is not gay enough for her former friends, not sick enough for her eating disorders group, and not thin enough for ballet, but it may also mean real friendships.

During the summer of 1926 in the lake resort town of Excelsior, Minnesota, sixteen-year-old Garnet, who dreams of indulging her passion for ornithology, is resigned to marrying a nice boy and settling into middle-class homemaking until she takes a liberating job in a hat shop and begins an intense, secret relationship with a daring and beautiful flapper.

A sixteen-year-old lesbian tries to get over a crush on her religious best friend by embarking on a "holy quest" with a couple of misfits who have invented a wacky, made-up faith called the Church of Blue.

High school junior Leila's Persian heritage already makes her different from her classmates at Armstead Academy, and if word got out that she liked girls life would be twice as hard, but when a new girl, Saskia, shows up, Leila starts to take risks she never thought she would, especially when it looks as if the attraction between them is mutual, so she struggles to sort out her growing feelings by confiding in her old friends

YA-Trans/Gender Non-Comforming

Gabe has always identified as a boy, but he was born with a girl's body. With his new public access radio show gaining in popularity, Gabe struggles with romance, friendships, and parents--all while trying to come out as transgendered.

They say that whoever you are it’s okay, you were born that way. Those words don’t comfort Emily, because she was born Christopher and her insides know that her outsides are all wrong.

Having faced teasing that turned into a brutal attack, Christianity expressed as persecution, and the loss of his only real friend when he could no longer keep his crush under wraps, seventeen-year-old Billy Bloom, a drag queen, decides the only to become fabulous again is to run for Homecoming Queen at his elite, private school near Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Told from three viewpoints, seventeen-year-old Brendan, a wrestler, struggles to come to terms with his place on the transgender spectrum while Vanessa, the girl he loves, and Angel, a transgender acquaintance, try to help.

When people look at George, they think they see a boy. But she knows she's not a boy. She knows she's a girl.

J, who feels like a boy mistakenly born as a girl, runs away from his best friend who has rejected him and the parents he thinks do not understand him when he finally decides that it is time to be who he really is. 

Grady, a transgendered high school student, yearns for acceptance by his classmates and family as he struggles to adjust to his new identity as a male.

Click, a straight-edge transgender kid, is searching for hir place within a pack of newly sober gender rebels in the dilapidated punk houses of Portland, Oregon, circa 2002.  Ze embarks on a dizzying whirlwind of leather, sex, hormones, house parties, and protests until hir gender fluidity takes an unexpected turn and the pack is sent reeling.

Stonewall Book Award

The first and most enduring award for GLBT books is the Stonewall Book Awards, sponsored by the American Library Association's Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table. Since Isabel Miller's Patience and Sarah received the first award in 1971, many other books have been honored for exceptional merit relating to the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender experience.

An illustrated celebration of Pride and its colorful history.

Author and photographer Susan Kuklin met and interviewed six transgender or gender-neutral young adults and used her considerable skills to represent them thoughtfully and respectfully before, during, and after their personal acknowledgment of gender preference. 

A story of first love, family, loss, and betrayal told from different points in time, and in separate voices, by artists Jude and her twin brother Noah.

A young boy faces adversity from classmates when he wears an orange dress at school.

Gabe has always identified as a boy, but he was born with a girl's body. With his new public access radio show gaining in popularity, Gabe struggles with romance, friendships, and parents--all while trying to come out as transgendered. 

Fat Angie's sister was captured in Iraq, she's the resident laughingstock at school, and her therapist tells her to count instead of eat. Can a daring new girl in her life really change anything?

Nate Foster has big dreams. His whole life, he’s wanted to star in a Broadway show. (Heck, he’d settle for seeing a Broadway show.) But how is Nate supposed to make his dreams come true when he’s stuck in Jankburg, Pennsylvania, where no one (except his best pal Libby) appreciates a good show tune? With Libby’s help, Nate plans a daring overnight escape to New York. There’s an open casting call for E.T.: The Musical, and Nate knows this could be the difference between small-town blues and big-time stardom.

Before the rise of the Nazi party, Germany, especially Berlin, was one of the most tolerant places for homosexuals in the world. But that all changed when the Nazis came to power. The pink triangle sewn onto prison uniforms became the symbol of the persecution of homosexuals, a persecution that would continue for many years after the war. A mix of historical research, first-person accounts and individual stories brings this time to life for young readers.

A chorus of men who died of AIDS observes and yearns to help a cross-section of today's gay teens who navigate new love, long-term relationships, coming out, self-acceptance, and more in a society that has changed in many ways

Fifteen-year-old Ari Mendoza is an angry loner with a brother in prison, but when he meets Dante and they become friends, Ari starts to ask questions about himself, his parents, and his family that he has never asked before.

Callie loves theater. And while she would totally try out for her middle school's production of Moon over Mississippi, she can't really sing. Instead she's the set designer for the drama department's stage crew, and this year she's determined to create a set worthy of Broadway on a middle-school budget. But how can she, when she doesn't know much about carpentry, ticket sales are down, and the crew members are having trouble working together? 

October Mourning, a novel in verse, is Lesléa Newman deeply felt response to the death of Matthew Shepard. Using her poetic imagination, the author creates fictitious monologues from various points of view, including the fence Matthew was tied to, the stars that watched over him, the deer that kept him company, and Matthew himself. 

A sixteen-year-old lesbian tries to get over a crush on her religious best friend by embarking on a "holy quest" with a couple of misfits who have invented a wacky, made-up faith called the Church of Blue.

Sixteen-year-old Carlos Duarte is on the verge of realizing his dream of becoming a famous make-up artist, but first he must face his jealous boss at a Macy's cosmetics counter, his sister's abusive boyfriend, and his crush on a punk-rocker classmate. 

Sixteen-year-old Ava does not know who she is or where she belongs, but when she tries out a new personality--and sexual orientation--at a different school, her edgy girlfriend, potential boyfriend, and others are hurt by her lack of honesty.

When eighteen-year-old best friends Evan and Davis of Madison, Wisconsin, join a community center group called "chasers" to gain acceptance and knowledge of gay history, there may be fatal consequences.

A + E 4EVER is a graphic novel set in that ambiguous crossroads where love and friendship, boy and girl, straight and gay meet. It goes where few books have ventured, into genderqueer life, where affections aren't black and white.

Young immigrant Ray Liu is struggling to adjust to North American life. When his father discovers Ray has been cruising gay websites, the teen is kicked out of the family home. He heads to downtown Toronto, where the harsh reality of street life hits him.

With his mother working long hours and in pain from a romantic break-up, eighteen-year-old Logan feels alone and unloved until a zany new student arrives at his small-town Missouri high school, keeping a big secret.

One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, two teens—both named Will Grayson—are about to cross paths. As their worlds collide and intertwine, the Will Graysons find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, building toward romantic turns-of-heart and the epic production of history’s most fabulous high school musical.

Tells, in two voices, of events leading up to a 1980 incident in which fourteen-year-old Jason, a gay youth surviving on the streets as a prostitute, and seventeen-year-old Doug, a hate-filled punk rocker, have a fateful meeting in a Los Angeles alley.

Fifteen-year-old Jamie is dismayed by his attraction to boys, and when a beautiful girl shows an interest in him, he is all the more intrigued by her father's work developing a drug called Rehomoline.

Dennis' life is boring and lonely. His mother left two years ago, his truck driver father is depressed, his brother is a bully and, worst of all, "no hugging" is one of their household rules. But one thing Dennis does have is soccer---he's the leading scorer on his team. Oh, and did we mention his secret passion for fashion?

The summer after graduating from an Iowa high school, eighteen-year-old Dade Hamilton watches his parents' marriage disintegrate, ends his long-term, secret relationship, comes out of the closet, and savors first love.

Bailey longs to wear the beautiful dresses of her dreams but is ridiculed by her unsympathetic family which rejects her true perception of herself.

The story of a toddler's daily activities with two loving fathers.

Milestones of gay and lesbian life in the United States are brought together in the first-ever nonfiction book on the topic published specifically for teens. 

A baby enjoys a number of fun activities with her two mothers.

Moving from Long Island to Kansas after his mother dies, a teenager nicknamed Sprout deals with his father's drinking, his own sexuality, and a teacher who is determined to turn him into a winning essay writer.

Instructional Strategies - Gender and Sexual Identity

Non-fiction

Instructional Strategies - Multicultural