Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The GLBTQ Middle Grade Bookshelf!

Middle School. Junior High. Can you imagine the Gay Pride flag flying proudly over the middle school YOU went to?

6th, 7th, and 8th grade can be tough.

Especially with no books to read about anyone else like you. Anyone who thinks they might be Gay. Or Lesbian. Or Bi. Or doesn't really act like a boy "should." Or a girl "should." Or whose parent, or family member, or friend, is GLBTQ.

But wait!

There ARE some books out there... And here's a list to get you started:

Books About & Where the Kid is Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning or Gender Non-Conforming:

House of Hades (part of Rick Riordan's NYTimes Bestselling series)

Better Nate Than Ever

Five, Six, Seven, Nate!

The Boy In The Dress

Letters In The Attic

My Most Excellent Year: A Novel of Love, Mary Poppins, and Fenway Park

If You Believe In Mermaids... Don't Tell

From Alice To Zen and Everyone In Between

50 Ways of Saying Fabulous

The Boys and The Bees

The Misfits

Totally Joe

Choir Boy

Blue Boy

Wandering Son, book 1

Wandering Son, book 2

Drama (graphic novel)

Marco Impossible 

So Hard To Say

Sam & Aaron (a wordless online graphic short story that’s free)

Gracefully Grayson

Jacob, King of Portalia


Freak Camp

Learning To Kiss Girls


The Other Boy

Lily and Dunkin

Books About & Where someone in the Kid's life is GLBTQ

The Popularity Papers (series)

No Big Deal

Box Girl

The Manny Files

Hit The Road, Manny

Holly's Secret

Luv Ya Bunches *

My Mixed-Up Berry Blue Summer

The Skull Of Truth

Sonny's House Of Spies

Royally Jacked (a.k.a. Royally Crushed)

The Terrible Thing That Happened To Barnaby Brocket

Double Play

Best Friend Next Door

Two Weeks With The Queen

Riding The Rainbow

The Marvels

The Lotterys Plus One

(*5th grade characters, one of whom has Two Moms, so it's elementary school, really. And, controversy aside, it's not really ABOUT the Two Moms.)

Did I miss any YOU know of? Help me make this GLBTQ Middle Grade Bookshelf comprehensive!

And hey, now you have over 25 books to check out!

Namaste and Happy Reading,

**last update: May 2017**


Stacy Dillon said...

Thanks for this list, Lee. We can put it to good use!

Doret said...

Slob by Ellen Potter.

The main character's little sister is a member of Girls Who Are Boys (GWAB) They go by boys names, wear boys clothes with short hair and fight gender conformity

Mama Librarian said...

How about Waiting for Normal? The main character befriends an older gay couple who run a restaurant near her trailer.

Stacy Dillon said...

I just blogged about Ignatow's The Popularity Papers (due out in March). Julia's family is made up of two dads. No big deal, just a fact.

Anne E. Johnson said...

Hi, Lee. I see this Middle-grade thread hasn't been updated in a while. Two more recent ones I can think of that include LGBTQ characters in the kids' life are "Waiting for Normal" by Leslie Connor and "The Name of This Book Is Secret" by Pseudonymus Bosch.

Anonymous said...

'So Hard To Say' by Alex Sanchez is about 8th graders, so fits in with the books for younger readers. 'Double Play' by Sara Cassidy has lesbian parents of middle schoolers. 'Eagle Kite' by Paula Fox has a gay father with AIDs (older book).

Lee Wind, M.Ed. said...

Hi Anonymous Oct 29, 2013 4:05pm,
I'd already posted on "So Hard To Say" but hadn't included it here in this list - great catch! "Eagle Kite" is about a freshman in high school, so I think it's better left in the LGBTQ parent/caretaker category. And I hadn't heard of 'Double Play' - I'll be blogging about it soon. Thanks very much for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Morris Gleitzman's 'Two Weeks With The Queen'. Wonderful, wonderful book. (The queen of the title is Colin's gay friend Ted, far and away the most sane adult character in the book.)

Anonymous said...

All of these books sound interesting, except for "Wandering Son", which I've already read, and enjoyed immensely. Just to let you know, Wandering Son is (as of June 2014) now up to six volumes. Keep up the great work!

Anonymous said...

Where are the middle grade novels for trans BOYS? I only see those for kids transitioning to female.

Lee Wind, M.Ed. said...

Hi Anonymous Jan 16, 2016 -- that's a really good point. I don't know of any... yet. Let's put out the call and see if anyone knows of some. (And if not, maybe we'll get some authors to write 'em!)
Thanks for sharing honestly!

Unknown said...

There is a new book Called "The Art of Being Normal" by Lisa Williamson about both a trans boy and a trans girl that is so great. It is set to pub in June/July of 2016 but I read an eGalley and it is my new favorite.

Anonymous said...

A few other recommendations for the middle grade bookshelf are:

George by Alex Gino (lovely, heartwarming story about a young trans girl who yearns to play Charlotte in her school's production of Charlotte's Web)

The Other Boy by MG Hennessey (a trans boys journey toward acceptance)

The Lotterys Plus One by Emma Donaghue (this book is coming out early 2017, and I can't recommend it enough -- it is SUCH a joyful read and deals with very realistic family conflict. Sumac, the narrator, is the 5th of 8 adopted kids who are being co-parented by two sets of queer couples to form a big "multi-culti" group family. All the queer parents have fun nicknames -- Popcorn and Papadum, MaxiMum and CardaMom. When Popcorn's estranged conservative father starts having difficulty caring for himself at home, he is brought -- begrudgingly -- into what he considers a wild and crazy household. Will the kids ever grow to appreciate grumpy grandpa? Will he ever warm up to this strange new world and embrace them as his family? One of the younger siblings in the family is trans. Lots of great diversity in this one!)

Ms. Yingling said...

A couple to add if you think they are good. This list is very helpful.
Hitchcock, Shannon. One True Way (March 2018)
Barakiva, Michael. One Man Guy
Dee, Barbara. Star-Crossed
Petro-Roy, Jan. P.S. I Miss You
Wittlinger, Ellen. Saturdays with Hitchock

Anonymous said...

A new F to M trans title for middle schoolers is 'The Pants Project' by Cat Clarke. Liv is going to a new school that requires girls to wear skirts, and Liv hasn't yet managed to tell his two moms that he's a boy.

I also adored 'Star-Crossed' by Barbara Dee.

Unknown said...

Check out A Home for Goddesses and Dogs by Leslie Connor. It is about a girl who moves in with her aunt and her aunt's wife after her mother dies. Also includes a questioning character.

Also check out The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson. One of the main child characters is gay.

Both of these books are gears toward upper elementary to middle school.