Reading Is Fundamental: Gender and LGBTQ Books for Kids

By Quetzalli Cortez

For far too long, stories have been predominately about white, cis-het, people, making those who do not fit into this category feel left out. New books featuring more diverse characters give adults and kids alike the opportunity to finally see themselves in the stories they read. These books can help children understand their feelings, express themselves, and remind them that, however they choose to identify, they deserve respect.

  • It Feels Good to Be Yourself: A Book about Gender Identity

    2019 by Thorn, Theresa

    Different children explain their gender identities and show that it feels good to be yourself. Resources in the back of the book for children and adults offer ways to learn more about different gender identities. Ages 4-8

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  • When Aidan Became a Brother

    2019 by Lukoff, Kyle

    Transgender boy Aidan is excited for the arrival of his new sibling. Aidan wants to make sure that his sibling has the best life possible, where they can be whoever they want without judgement. Ages 4-8

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  • Pride Colors

    2019 by Stevenson, Robin

    A board book teaching children about the colors in the Pride flag and the significance of each color. The book reaffirms that, whoever the child grows up to be, their family will always love them. Ages 0-5

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  • Julián Is a Mermaid

    2018 by Love, Jessica

    After seeing three beautiful women on the subway, Julian is inspired to dress up ike them when he gets home. But what will abuelita think when she sees him all dressed up? Ages 4-8

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  • The Other Boy

    2016 by Hennessey, M. G.

    Shane is a transgender boy and is starting a new school in a new town. Shane is closeted at school, until someone finds out that he is transgender. Now Shane must deal with the reactions of his entire community while navigating his first crush, baseball rivalries, and his unsupportive father. Age 10+

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  • The Stonewall Riots: Coming out in the Streets

    2019 by Pitman, Gayle E.

    This book describes the history of the LGBT movement before the Stonewall riots, the riots themselves, and the aftermath. It includes interviews from witnesses, including a woman who was just 10 years old at the time. Age 10+

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  • George

    2015 by Gino, Alex

    Everyone thinks George is a boy, but she knows she is a girl. At first, George thinks that she'll keep this a secret forever, until her teacher announces that they will be doing a play of Charlotte's Web. Desperate to play Charlotte, George and her friend Kelly come up with a plan so she can play Charlotte, and so everyone will finally know who she is. Ages 8-12

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  • The Pants Project

    2017 by Clarke, Cat

    Liv is a closeted transgender kid. Because he was assigned female at birth, he is forced to wear skirts to school. Liv is now on a mission to change the school's policy so he can wear pants and change his life in the process. Ages 9-12

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  • The Letter Q: Queer Writers' Notes to Their Younger Selves


    Letters from various queer writers offer support and encouragement to readers in the face of prejudice. Age 14+

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