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Gay and Lesbian Themes and Topics
in Selected Children's and Young Adult Books

Compiled by Kathleen T. Horning
© 2009 Cooperative Children's Book Center; updated annually

This bibliography was designed to provide librarians, teachers, parents and others with suggested books for children and teens that provide information about or reflect the lives of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning (GLBTQ) youth and gay- or lesbian-parented families.

The books in the bibliography are divided into four broad categories, most of which are divided by format (non-fiction, picture books, fiction):

• General Books about Gay Issues
• Gay and Lesbian Parents/Alternative Families*
• GLBTQ Teens
• Sex and Gender Identity

*This category includes books that reflect gay and lesbian family life, and books that reflect family differences in general and may resonate more deeply with children who live in gay- or lesbian-parented families. It also includes books that aren't specifically about gay- or lesbian-parented families but featuring characters and situations that are open to interpretation.

Interested in additional titles? Check out the annual Rainbow List, created by the American Library Association's Rainbow Project.

Click on underlined book titles to see the CCBC review of the book, and/or the cover image.
Complete list of CCBC bibliographies

General Books about GLBTQ Issues: Non-Fiction

    Alsenas, Linas . Gay America: Struggle for Equality. Amulet, 2008. 160 pages. Age 12 and older

    Bausum, Ann. Stonewall: Breaking Out in the Fight for Gay Rights. Viking, 2015. 120 pages. Age 13 and older

    Galas, Judith C.. Gay Rights. Lucent, 1996. 112 pages. Ages 14-18

    Hyde, Margaret O. and Elizabeth Forsyth . Know About Gays and Lesbians. Millbrook Press, 1994. 96 pages. Ages 14-18

    Krakow, Kari. The Harvey Milk Story. Illustrated by David Gardner. Two Lives Publishing, 2002. 32 pages. Ages 6 - 10

    Levithan, David and Billy Merrill, editors . Full Spectrum: A New Generation of Writing About Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, and Other Identities. Alfred A. Knopf, 2006. 272 pages. Ages 13 and older

    Marcus, Eric. What If Someone I Know Is Gay? Answers to Questions About What It Means to be Gay or Lesbian. Simon Pulse, 2007. 183 pages. Ages 12 and older

    Rench, Janice E.. Understanding Sexual Identity: A Book For Gay Teens and Their Friends. Lerner, 1990. 56 pages. Ages 14-18

    Sutton, Roger. Hearing Us Out: Voices From the Gay and Lesbian Community. Photographed by Lisa Ebright. Little, Brown, 1994. 128 pages. Ages 14-18

    Winick, Judd. Pedro and Me: Friendship. Loss, and What I Learned. Henry Holt, 2000. 187 pages. Ages 12 - 18

General Books about GLBTQ Issues: Fiction

    Brothers, Meagan. Debbie Harry Sings in French. Henry Holt, 2008. 240 pages. Ages 13 and up

    Trueman, Terry. 7 Days at the Hot Corner. HarperTempest / HarperCollins, 2007. 150 pages. Ages 12 and older

    Vigna, Judith. My Two Uncles. Albert Whitman, 1995. 32 pages. Ages 4-8

Gay and Lesbian Parents/Alternative Families: Non-Fiction

    Combs, Bobbie. 1, 2, 3: A Family Counting Book. Illustrated by Danamarie Hosler. Two Lives, 2001. 29 pages. Ages 2-5

    Combs, Bobbie . ABC: A Family Alphabet Book. Illustrated by Desiree Keane and Brian Rappa. Two Lives, 2001. 32 pages. Ages 2-5

    Greenberg, Keith Elliot. Zack's Story: Growing Up With Same Sex Parents. Photographed by Carol Halebian. Lerner, 1996. 32 pages. Ages 5-9

    Heron, Ann and Meredith Maran . How Would You Feel If Your Dad Was Gay?. Illustrated by Kris Kovick. Alyson Wonderland, 1991. 32 pages. Ages 9-12

    Jenness, Aylette. Families: A Celebration of Diversity, Commitment, and Love. Houghton Mifflin, 1990. 48 pages. Ages 5-12

    Kuklin, Susan. Families. Hyperion, 2005. 36 pages. Ages 7-11

    Miller, Deborah A. . Coping When A Parent Is Gay. Rosen, 1993. 140 pages. Ages 9-12

Gay and Lesbian Parents/Alternative Families: Picture Books

    Brannen, Sarah S. . Uncle Bobby's Wedding. Putnam, 2008. 32 pages. Ages 5-8

    Caines, Jeannette. Just Us Women. Illustrated by Pat Cummings. Harper, 1982. 32 pages. Ages 4-6

    De Veaux, Alexiz. An Enchanted Hair Tale. Illustrated by Cheryl Hanna. Harper & Row, 1987. 40 pages. Ages 5 - 10

    DeHaan, Linda. King & King. Illustrated by Stern Nijland. Tricycle Press, 2002. 32 pages. Ages 5-7

    DeHaan, Linda. King & King & Family. Illustrated by Stern Nijland. Tricycle Press, 2004. 32 pages. Ages 5-8

    Elwin, Rosamund and Michele Paulse . Asha's Mums. Illustrated by Dawn Lee. Women's Press, 1990. 24 pages. Ages 4-8

    Garden, Nancy. Molly's Family. Illustrated by Sharon Wooding. Farrar Straus Giroux, 2004. 32 pages. Ages 5-8

    Kasza, Keiko. A Mother for Choco. Putnam, 1992.

    Levine, Arthur A. Monday Is One Day. Illustrated by Julian Hector. Scholastic Press, 2011. 28 pages. Ages 2-4

    Lindenbaum, Pija. Elsie-Marie and her Seven Little Daddies. Translated by Gabrielle Charbonnet. Henry Holt, 1991. 32 pages. Ages 4-8

    Lindenbaum, Pija. Mini Mia and Her Darling Uncle. Translated by Elisabeth Kallick Dyssegaard. U.S. edition: R&S Books, 2007. 40 pages. Ages 3-6

    Loewen, Iris. My Mom Is So Unusual. Illustrated by Alan Pakarnyk. Pemmican, 1986. 24 pages.

    Newman, Leslea. Felicia's Favorite Story. Illustrated by Alan Pakarnyk. Two Lives, 2002. 24 pages. Ages 2-5

    Newman, Leslea. Heather Has Two Mommies. Illustrated by Diana Souza. Alyson Wonderland, 1990. 36 pages. Ages 5-9

    Newman, Lesléa. Daddy, Papa, and Me. Illustrated by Carol Thompson. Tricycle Press, 2009. 16 pages. Ages birth - 3

    Newman, Lesléa. Mommy, Mama, and Me. Illustrated by Carol Thompson. Tricycle Press, 2009. 16 pages. Ages birth - 3

    Oelschlager, Vanita. A Tale of Two Daddies. Illustrated by Kristin Blackwood and Mike Blanc. VanitaBooks, 2010. 40 pages. Ages 3 - 8

    Polacco, Patricia. In Our Mothers' House. Philomel, 2009. 48 pages. Ages 6-10

    Richardson, Justin and Peter Parnell . And Tango Makes Three. Illustrated by Henry Cole. Simon & Schuster, 2005. 32 pages. Ages 3-6

    Vigna, Judith. My Two Uncles. Albert Whitman, 1995. 32 pages. Ages 4-8

    Warhola, James. Uncle Andy's: A Faabbbulous Visit with Andy Warhol. Putnam, 2003. 32 pages. Ages 6-10

    Willhoite, Michael. Daddy's Roommate. Alyson Wonderland, 1990. 32 pages. Ages 5-9

    Williams, Vera B. . Three Days on a River in a Red Canoe. Greenwillow, 1981. 32 pages. Ages 4-9

Gay and Lesbian Parents/Alternative Families: Fiction

    Freymann-Weyr, Garret. My Heartbeat. Houghton Mifflin, 2002. 154 pages. Ages 13 and up

    Homes, A.M.. Jack. Macmillan, 1989. 220 pages. Ages 12 and older

    Ignatow, Amy. The Popularity Papers:
    Research for the Social Improvement and General Betterment of Lydia Goldblatt & Julie Graham-Chang
    . Abrams, 2010. 204 pages. Ages 8-11

    Koertge, Ron . The Arizona Kid. Joy Street/Little, Brown, 1988. 228 pages. Ages 14 and up

    Levy, Dana Alison. The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher. Delacorte, 2014. 260 pages. Ages 7-10

    Newman, Lesléa. Heather Has Two Mommies (new edition). Illustrated by Laura Cornell. Candlewick Press, 2015. 32 pages. Ages 3–6

    Peters, Julie Anne. Between Mom and Jo. Little, Brown, 2006. 232 pages. Ages 13 and up

    Shannon, George. Unlived Affections. Alyson Publications, 1995. 93 pages.

    Woodson, Jacqueline. After Tupac and D Foster. Putnam, 2008. 153 pages. Ages 10-14

GLBTQ Children and Teens: Non-Fiction

    Andrews, Arin and Joshua Lyon . Some Assembly Required: The Not-So-Secret Life of a Transgender Teen. Simon & Schuster, 2014. 248 pages. Ages 12 and Older

    Bass, Ellen and Kate Kaufman . Free Your Mind: The Book for Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Youth - and Their Allies. HarperCollins, 1996. 417 pages.

    Ford, Michael Thomas. Outspoken: Role Models from the Lesbian and Gay Community. Morrow, 1998. 240 pages. Ages 14-18

    Fricke, Aaron. Reflections of a Rock Lobster: Reflections of Growing Up Gay. Alyson, 1995. 124 pages.

    Herron, Ann. Two Teenagers in Twenty: Writings by Gay and Lesbian Youth. Alyson, 1995. Ages 13 and up

    Kuklin, Susan. Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out. Candlewick Press, 2014. 182 pages. Age 12 and older

    Mastoon, Adam . The Shared Heart: Portraits and Stories Celebrating Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Young People. Photographed by Adam Mastoon. Morrow, 1997. 87 pages. Ages 15-18

    Pollack, Rachel and Cheryl Schwartz . The Journey Out: A Guide for and about Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Teens. Viking, 1995. 148 pages. Ages 14-18

    Schrag, Ariel. Definition. SLG, 1997. 88 pages.

    Stewart, Gail B.. Gay & Lesbian Youth. Photographed by Natasha Frost. Lucent, 1997. 112 pages. Ages 11-18

    Thrash, Maggie. Honor Girl. Candlewick Press, 2015. 267 pages. Age 13 and older

GLBTQ Children and Teens: Fiction

    Bantle, Lee. David Inside Out. Christy Ottaviano Books / Henry Holt, 2009. 184 pages. Ages 15 and older

    Beam, Cris. I Am J. Little, Brown, 2011. 326 pages. Age 13 and older

    Bennet L., Singer. Growing Up Gay/Growing Up Lesbian: A Literary Anthology. New Press, 1993. 317 pages.

    Block, Francesca Lia. Weetzie Bat. Charlotte Zolotow Book/Harper & Row, 1989. 88 pages. Ages 13 and older

    Bray, Libba. Beauty Queens. Scholastic Press, 2011. 396 pages. Age 13 and older

    Brooks, Kevin. Black Rabbit Summer. U.S. edition: The Chicken House / Scholastic, 2008. 488 pages. Age 13 and older

    Buckell, editor, Tobias S. and Joe Monti, editor . Diverse Energies. Tu Books, 2012. 314 pages. Age 12 and older

    Cameron, Peter. Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You. Frances Foster Books / Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007. 229 pages. Ages 14 and up

    Cart, Michael. How Beautiful the Ordinary. HarperTeen / HarperCollins, 2009. 350 pages. Ages 15 and older

    Carter, Timothy. Evil?. Flux, 2009. 264 pages. Ages 14 and older

    Chambers, Aidan. Dance On My Grave: A Life and Death in Four Parts, One Hundred and Seventeen Bits, Six Running Reports and Two Press Clippings, with a Few Jokes, a Puzzle or Three, Some Footnotes, and a Fiasco Now and Then to Help the Story Along. Charlotte Zolotow/Harper, 1982. 251 pages. Ages 14 and up

    Cohn, Rachel and David Levithan . Naomi and Ely's No-Kiss List. Alfred A. Knopf, 2007. 230 pages. Ages 14 and older

    Danforth, Emily M. . The Miseducation of Cameron Post. Balzer + Bray / HarperCollins, 2012. 470 pages. Age 14 and older

    Dole, Mayra Lazara. Down to the Bone. HarperTeen / HarperCollins, 2008. 367 pages. Age 14 and older

    Farizan, Sara. If You Could Be Mine. Algonquin, 2013. 248 pages. Age 13 and older

    Farizan, Sara. Tell Me Again How a Crush Should feel. Algonquin, 2014. 296 pages. Ages 13 and Older

    Federle, Tim. Five, Six, Seven, Nate!. Simon & Schuster, 2014. 293 pages. Ages 8-11

    Felin, M. Sindy . Touching Snow. Atheneum, 2007. 234 pages. Ages 13 and up

    Garden, Nancy. Annie on My Mind. Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1981. 234 pages. Ages 12-15

    Garden, Nancy. Hear Us Out! Lesbian and Gay Stories of Struggle, Progress and Hope, 1950 to the Present. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007. 227 pages. Age 12 and older

    George, Madeleine. The Difference Between You and Me. Viking, 2012. 256 pages. Age 12 and older

    Goldman, Steven. Two Parties, One Tux, and a Very Short Film about the Grapes of Wrath. Bloomsbury, 2008. 307 pages. Age 14 and older

    Goode, Laura. Sister Mischief. Candlewick Press, 2011. 367 pages. Age 14 and older

    Green, John and David Levithan . Will Grayson, Will Grayson. Penguin, 2010. 304 pages. Age 14 and older

    Griffin, Molly Beth. Silhouette of a Sparrow. Milkweed Editions, 2012. 189 pages. Age 13 and older

    Hartinger, Brent. Geography Club. HarperCollins, 2003. 226 pages. Ages 13 and up

    Hartinger, Brent. The Order of the Poison Oak. HarperTempest, 2005. 211 pages. Ages 12-18

    Hartinger, Brent . Split Screen. HarperTempest / HarperCollins, 2007. 288 pages. Ages 12-16

    Hegamin, Tonya Cheri. M+O 4evr. Houghton Mifflin, 2008. 165 pages. Age 14 and older

    Howe, James . Totally Joe. Ginee Seo Books / Atheneum, 2005. 189 pages. Ages 10-14

    Hurwin, Davida Wills. Freaks and Revelations. Little, Brown, 2009. 234 pages. Ages 14 and older

    Kerr, M.E.. Deliver Us From Evie. HarperCollins, 1994. 177 pages. Ages 14 and up

    King, A. S. . Ask the Passengers. Little, Brown, 2012. 292 pages. Age 13 and older

    Kluger, Steve. My Most Excellent Year: A Novel of Love, Mary Poppins, and Fenway Park. Dial, 2008. 416 pages.

    Knowles, Jo. See You at Harry's. Candlewick Press, 2012. 310 pages. Ages 11-14

    Kokie, E. M. . Personal Effects. Candlewick Press, 2012. 341 pages. Age 14 and older

    Konigsberg, Bill. Openly Straight. Arthur A. Levine Books, 2013. 320 pages. Age 14 and older

    Konigsberg, Bill. The Porcupine of Truth. Arthur A. Levine Books / Scholastic, 2015. 325 pages. Age 14 and older

    Konigsberg, Bill. Out of the Pocket. Dutton, 2008. 264 pages. Age 13 and older

    LaRochelle, David. Absolutely, Positively, Not . . .. Arthur A. Levine Books / Scholastic Press, 2005. 224 pages. Ages 12 and older

    Levithan, David. Boy Meets Boy. Alfred A. Knopf, 2003. 185 pages. Ages 12 - 15

    Levithan, David. How They Met and Other Stories. Knopf, 2008. 244 pages. Age 13 and older

    Lo, Malindo. Ash. Little, Brown, 2009. 264 pages. Ages 13 and older

    Magoon, Kekla. 37 Things I Love (in No Particular Order). Henry Holt, 2012. 224 pages. Age 12 and older

    Malloy, Brian. Twelve Long Months. Scholastic, 2007. 320 pages. Ages 14-18

    Medina, Nico. The Straight Road to Kylie. Simon Pulse, 2007. 320 pages. Ages 14-18

    Newman, Lesléa. October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard. Candlewick Press, 2012. 128 pages. Age 13 and older

    Peck, Dale. Sprout. Bloomsbury, 2009. 277 pages. Ages 13 and older

    Peters, Julie Ann. Far From Xanadu. Megan Tingley Books / Little, Brown, 2005. 282 pages. Ages 13-17

    Peters, Julie Ann. grl2grl: Short Fictions. Megan Tingley Books / Little, Brown, 2007. 151 pages. Ages 14 and up

    Peters, Julie Anne. Keeping You a Secret. A Megan Tingley Book / Little, Brown, 2003. 250 pages. Ages 14 - 16

    Peters, Julie Anne. Luna. Megan Tingley Books / Little Brown, 2004. 247 pages. Ages 14-17

    Polonsky, Ami. Gracefully Grayson. Disney Hyperion, 2014. 243 pages. Ages 10-13

    Rowell, Rainbow. Carry On. St. Martin's Griffin, 2015. 528 pages. Age 12 and older

    Ruditis, Paul . The Four Dorothys. Simon Pulse, 2007. 243 pages. Ages 12-16

    Ryan, Sara. Empress of the World. Viking, 2001. 213 pages. Ages 14 and older

    Ryan, P.E.. Saints of Augustine. HarperTeen / HarperCollins, 2007. 308 pages. Ages 14 and up

    Sáenz, Benjamin Alire. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. Simon & Schuster, 2012. 359 pages pages. Age 14 and older

    Sanchez, Alex. Rainbow Boys. Simon & Schuster, 2001. 233 pages. Ages 15-18

    Sanchez, Alex . Rainbow High. Simon & Schuster, 2003. 247 pages. Ages 14-18

    Sanchez, Alex . So Hard To Say. Simon & Schuster, 2004. 230 pages. Ages 12-15

    Schmatz, Pat. Lizard Radio. Candlewick Press, 2015. 280 pages. Age 13 and older

    Silvera, Adam. More Happy Than Not. Soho Teen / Soho Press, 2015. 295 pages. Age 14 and older

    Smith, Andrew. Grasshopper Jungle. Dutton, 2014. 388 pages. 14 and older

    St. James, James. Freak Show. Dutton, 2007. 298 pages. Age 13 and older

    Tamaki, Mariko . Skim. Illustrated by Jillian Tamaki. Groundwood Books / House of Anansi Press, 2008. 141 pages. 14 and up

    Trueman, Terry. 7 Days at the Hot Corner. HarperTempest / HarperCollins, 2007. 150 pages. Ages 12 and older

    van Dijk, Lutz. Damned Strong Love: The True Story of Willi G. and Stefan K.: A Novel. Translated by Elizabeth D. Crawford, from the German. U.S. edition: Henry Holt, 1995. 138 pages. Ages 14-18

    Wilson, Martin. What They Always Tell Us. Delacorte Press, 2008. 293 pages. Age 14 and older

    Wittlinger, Ellen. Love & Lies: Marisol's Story. Simon & Schuster, 2008. 256 pages. Age 14 and older

    Wittlinger, Ellen. Parrotfish. Simon & Schuster, 2007. 294 pages. Ages 14 and up

    Wolff, Virginia Euwer. True Believer. Atheneum, 2001. 264 pages. Ages 13 - 16

    Woodson, Jacqueline. After Tupac and D Foster. Putnam, 2008. 153 pages. Ages 10-14

    Wyeth, Sharon Dennis. Orphea Proud. Delacorte Press, 2004. 208 pages. Ages 14-17

    Yamanaka, Lois-Ann. Name Me Nobody. Hyperion, 1999. 229 pages. Ages 13 and up

Sex and Gender Identity

    Baldacchino, Christine. Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress . Illustrated by Isabelle Malenfant. A Groundwood Book / House of Anansi Press, 2014. 32 pages. Ages 3-8

    Cole, Joanna. Asking About Sex and Growing Up: A Question and Answer Book for Boys and Girls. Illustrated by Alan Tiegreen. Morrow, 1988. 90 pages.

    DePaola, Tomie. Oliver Button Is A Sissy. Harcourt, 1979. 48 pages.

    DiPucchio, Kelly . Gaston. Illustrated by Christian Robinson. Atheneum, 2014. 32 pages. Ages 4-8

    Fierstein, Harvey. The Sissy Duckling. Illustrated by Henry Cole. Simon & Schuster, 2002. 40 pages. Ages 5-7

    Gino, Alex. George. Scholastic Press, 2015. 240 pages. Ages 8-11

    Harris, Robie. It's So Amazing! A Book About Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies, and Families. Illustrated by Michael Emberly. Candlewick, 1999. 81 pages. Ages 7-10

    Harris, Robie. It's Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex & Sexual Health. Illustrated by Michael Emberley. Candlewick, 1994. 89 pages. Ages 9-12

    Herthel, Jessica and Jazz Jennings . I Am Jazz. Illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas. Dial, 2014. 24 pages. Ages 3-9

    Hoffman, Sarah and Ian Hoffman . Jacob's New Dress. Illustrated by Chris Case. Albert Whitman, 2014. 32 pages. Ages 3-8

    Huser, Glen. Stitches. Groundwood / Douglas & McIntyre, 2003. 198 pages. Ages 12 - 15

    Jukes, Mavis. It's A Girl Thing: How to Stay Healthy, Safe, and in Charge. Illustrated by Debbie Tilley. Alfred A. Knopf, 1996. 135 pages. Ages 9-16

    Kilodavis, Cheryl. My Princess Boy. Illustrated by Suzanne DeSimone. Simon & Schuster, 2011. 36 pages. Ages 3-7

    Silverberg, Cory. Sex Is a Funny Word: A Book About Bodies, Feelings, and YOU. Illustrated by Fiona Smyth. Seven Stories Press, 2015. 159 pages. Ages 8-13

    U'Ren, Andrea. Pugdog. Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2001. 32 pages. Ages 4-8

    Walliams, David. The Boy in the Dress. Illustrated by Quentin Blake. U.S. edition: Razorbill, 2009. 240 pages. Ages 9 - 13

This list may be reproduced and distributed by educational and/or nonprofit organizations so long as credit is given to the Cooperative Children's Book Center, School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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