New and forthcoming books for children and teens featuring LGBTQ characters look beyond the traditional coming-out narrative. Our extensive selection of titles includes a wide range of voices and genres, including a contemporary coming-of-age tale in verse, a futuristic fantasy, a magical realist graphic novel, historical picture books, and many others.
Aalfred and Aalbert
Morag Hood. Peachtree, Sept. Ages 4–8.
Aalfred and Aalbert are two aardvarks who are seeking companions but never get the chance to meet. Luckily, with the help of a matchmaking pal, their paths cross in an unexpected way.
The Bravest Knight Who Ever Lived
Daniel Errico, illus. by Shiloh Penfield. Schiffer, Apr. Ages 5–6.
What happens when a knight-in-training follows his heart and chooses the boy instead of the girl at the end of his journey?
Hannah Carmona Dias, illus. by Brenda Figueroa. Cardinal Rule, Apr. Ages 5–7.
Playing football and dress-up are both activities Travis enjoys doing, in this empowering story about challenging social norms and revealing one’s true self.
M.L. Webb. Quirk, Oct. Ages 4–8.
In this LGBTQ-themed alphabet book, four friends try on different identities while playing with makeup and costumes.
Alan Cumming, illus. by Grant Shaffer. Random House, Apr. Ages 3–7.
The globe-trotting canines are off to the Scottish Highlands for a new adventure in this #OwnVoices picture book by actor Cumming and illustrated by Shaffer, his husband.
Ho’onani: Hula Warrior
Heather Gale, illus. by Mika Song. Tundra, Oct. Ages 4–8.
Based on a true story that first appeared in the documentary A Place in the Middle, Ho’oani celebrates the value of all gender identities, acceptance, and Hawaiian culture.
Theresa Thorn, illus. by Noah Grigni. Holt, June. Ages 4–8.
Some people are boys. Some people are girls. Some people are both, neither, or somewhere in between. It Feels Good to Be Yourself provides young readers and parents with a fuller understanding of gender identity.
Sarah Hoffman and Ian Hoffman, illus by Chris Case. Magination, May. Ages 5–8.
When Jacob and his classmate Sophie are chased out of the bathroom because of the unconventional way they dress, the kids lead change at their school by inspiring empathy for all forms of gender expression.
Daniel Haack and Isabel Galupo, illus. by Becca Human. Little Bee, Apr. Ages 4–8.
Published in partnership with GLAAD to foster LGBTQ inclusivity and acceptance, this modern fairy tale features a strong, brave maiden who attends the prince’s royal ball, but ends up finding true love with a princess.
Mel and Mo’s Marvelous Balancing Act
Nicola Winstanley, illus. by Marianne Ferrer. Annick, Oct. Ages 4–7.
Winstanley takes on the concepts of balance, compromise, and complementary differences through a set of gender-fluid twins.
Bao Phi, illus. by Basia Tran. Capstone Editions, Sept. Ages 6–8.
Thuy feels “double different” because of her two mothers and her Vietnamese-American identity.
Little Bee, May. Ages 2–5.
Published in partnership with GLAAD, this board book aims to promote tolerance by teaching toddlers about the meaning of each color of the pride flag.
A Plan for Pops
Heather Smith, illus. by Brooke Kerrigan. Orca, Feb. Ages 3–5.
Lou spends every Saturday with Grandad and Pops. But when Pops has a fall confining him to a wheelchair, he keeps himself in his room. With help from Grandad, Lou comes up with a plan to cheer up Grandad’s husband.
Robin Stevenson. Orca, Mar. Ages up to 2.
Stevenson offers a photographic celebration of diverse families and the deep unconditional love of a parent or caregiver for a child.
Rob Sanders, illus. by Jamey Christoph. Random House, Apr. Ages 5–9.
This historical picture book commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall, narrated by New York City's Stonewall Inn, the site of the pivotal LGBTQ protest in the name of civil rights.
Elana K. Arnold, illus. by Linda Davick. S&S/Beach Lane, Aug. Ages up to 8.
Gender-creative Riley knows just what to wear for every occasion, regardless of expectations.
The Best at It
Maulik Pancholy. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, Sept. Ages 8–12.
When Rahul Kapoor is anxious about starting middle school, his grandfather gives him the advice to find something he is good at, and become the best at it. Convinced that once he finds that talent, bullies will stop torturing him and his worries about staring too long at his male classmate will dissapear, Rahul is ready for the challenge.
The Fever King
Victoria Lee. Skyscape, Mar. Ages 7–12.
This science fiction/fantasy tale, set in a world where magic is a virus, features a cast of queer characters and a Jewish-Latinx protagonist who is an activist for immigrants.
Ginny Rorby. Tor/Starscape, Oct. Ages 10–14.
After her father leaves and her mother dies, Finch is stuck living with her stepfather and his new wife. Though mostly kind, they don’t accept that Finch identifies as a girl, even though she was born in a boy’s body.
Nicole Melleby. Algonquin, May. Ages 9–12.
In this middle grade novel, a preteen girl is determined to understand her father despite his bipolar disorder, while she also comes to important realizations about her sexual orientation.
Aida Salazar. Scholastic/Levine, Feb. Ages 8–12.
Told in verse, Celi Rivera’s coming of age story pivots around questions about her changing body, her first attraction to a boy, her best friend’s gender-fluidity, and her mother’s insistence she have a moon ceremony to commemorate her first period.
Redwood + Ponytail
K.A. Holt. Chronicle, Oct. Ages 10–14.
This novel-in-verse, told in alternating female voices, features a cheerleader named Kate and a jock named Tam discovering their feelings for one another.
Melanie Gillman. Lerner/Graphic Universe, Sept. Ages 12–13.
Cartoonist Gillman presents a queer western adventure following Flor and Grace, a Latinx outlaw and a trans runaway, as they team up to thwart a Confederate plot in the New Mexico Territory.
Gayle E. Pitman. Abrams, May. Ages 10–up.
Pitman presents the history leading up to the Stonewall Riots, the demonstrations themselves, and the aftermath, incorporating period photos, newspaper clippings, and the author’s interviews with people who were there.
What Was Stonewall?
Nico Medina, illus. by Jake Murray. Penguin Workshop, Mar. Ages 8–12.
Readers will learn about the history of LGBTQ rights and how a spontaneous protest outside of a New York City bar 50 years ago sparked a social movement across America.
Lisa Bunker. Viking, May. Ages 10–up.
Zenobia July is ready for a change. Between moving to Maine and coming out of her shell, she can now live openly as the girl she always knew she was. But when hateful, transphobic memes are posted on the school website, Zenobia knows she must be the one to catch the culprit.
Are You Listening?
Tillie Walden. First Second, Sept. Ages 14–up.
Graphic novelist Walden, who won an Eisner Award for the 2017 memoir Spinning, weaves a story of two young women’s shared love, loss, and recovery from trauma, which unfolds through a magical realist journey.
Meredith Russo. Flatiron, May. Ages 13–18.
Ever since they were born in the same hospital on the same day, Morgan and Eric have been inseparable. But on their 13th birthday, Morgan’s frustration that no one sees her for who she truly is bubbles over. Over the six years that follow, their relationship changes shape as Morgan embarks on the process of coming out as trans.
Shaun David Hutchinson. Simon Pulse, May. Ages 14–up.
Author Hutchinson reflects on what led him to attempt suicide in his teens when society told him that being gay was wrong, and what has helped him truly believe that it does get better.
By Any Means Necessary
Candice Montgomery. Page Street Kids, Oct. Ages 16–up.
On the day Torrey starts college, he receives a call about his uncle’s bee farm foreclosure. Precariously balancing college and texting his love interest Gabriel while fighting for his uncle’s legacy, Torrey finds himself in a struggle between family and future.
Caleb Roehrig. Feiwel and Friends, Jan. Ages 13–18.
By day, Margo Manning is a teenage socialite. By night, she is a high-stakes burglar with a team of flamboyant young men. But when Margo’s personal life takes a dark turn landing her and her crew in deadly peril, the thieves must draw on their special skills to survive.
Christine Lynn Herman. Disney-Hyperion, Apr. Ages 12–18.
In Herman’s paranormal debut, which features queer characters, three teens, each with something to prove, are thrown together after one of them accidentally unleashes a monster trapped in the Gray—a lifeless dimension meant to imprison the monster—unearthing truths about themselves and their abilities.
Aimee Herman. Three Rooms, May. Ages 16–up.
A teenage girl grapples with the suicide of a classmate and her mother’s depression, while discovering her own gender and sexual identity.
e.E. Charlton-Trujillo. Candlewick, Mar.
In this follow-up to the Stonewall Book Award–winning Fat Angie, Charlton-Trujillo’s heroine embarks on a road trip in honor of her sister, who died in Iraq. Angie is especially eager to leave home after her mother threatens to send her to a treatment center to “cure” her queerness.
Gender Identity: The Ultimate Teen Guide (Second Edition)
Cynthia L. Winfield. Rowman & Littlefield, July. Ages 12–17.
This updated guide examines the meanings behind the terms “sex” and “gender,” while encouraging readers to think outside the box about gender roles.
Alexandra Villasante. Putnam, June. Ages 12–up.
Debut novelist Villasante uses speculative fiction to tackle timely issues surrounding immigration, depression, and LGBTQ discrimination. Sisters Marisol and Gabi seek refuge in a future U.S. after fleeing persecution in their home country.
Jennifer Dugan. Putnam, Apr. Ages 12–up.
Dugan’s debut coming-of-age queer romance set at an amusement park features teens who find love—and themselves—in surprising places.
I’m a Gay Wizard
V.S. Santoni. Wattpad, Oct. Ages 14–up.
Originating from Wattpad, this story follows a gay teen and his trans best friend who suddenly find themselves at the Marduk Institute, a school for wayward wizards, and the demons they battle along the way.
Lillian Clark. Knopf, Feb. Ages 12–up.
Nari, a digital hacker, Reese, an asexual/aromantic artist, Santiago, a talented diver, and Bellamy, a physics genius, are all set to take the next step in their lives after high school. But when Bellamy finds out that her estranged father is a billionaire and her student loans are denied, Nari hatches a plan to steal the money from Bellamy’s father.
In Case You’re Curious: Questions about Sex from Young People with Answers from the Experts Planned Parenthood, edited by Alison Macklin. Viva Editions, Sept. Ages 12–up.
In Case You’re Curious is an educational book providing answers to some of the most frequently asked questions by young people about birth control, development, sexually transmitted diseases, and more.
Keep This to Yourself
Tom Ryan. Albert Whitman, May. Ages 12–up.
It’s been a year since the Catalog Killer murdered Mac Bell’s best friend, Connor. But when Mac finds a cryptic message from Connor, Mac must uncover the truth while struggling to come to terms with his true feelings about the boy.
Tanya Boteju. Simon Pulse, May. Ages 12–up.
In love with her straight girlfriend and trying to move past her mother’s sudden absence, Nina finds herself suddenly immersed in the drag scene on the other side of town.
Ellen T. Crenshaw, illus. by Colleen A.F. Venable. First Second, Mar. Ages 14–18.
High school is everything Mads hoped it would be. She has her best friend, Cat, minor league baseball games with her faher, and has managed to avoid getting kissed by the boy next door. Then she figures out that her dad is hiding something big and the only person she wants to kiss is Cat.
Mariko Tamaki, illus. by Rosemary Valero-O’Connell. First Second, May. Ages 14–18.
Reeling from her latest breakup with Laura Dean, Reddy is introduced to Seek-Her, a mysterious medium who leaves Freddy with the words “break up with her.” But Laura Dean keeps coming back and Freddy has to wonder if Laura Dean is the real problem.
Abdi Nazemian. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, June. Ages 13–up.
The AIDS crisis is in full effect in 1989 New York City. Reza has just moved to the city and is terrified someone will guess the truth he can barely acknowledge himself: that he is gay. When he meets Judy and her best friend Art, Reza and Judy start dating while Reza and Art grow closer.
Loki: Where Mischief Lies
Mackenzi Lee. Disney/Marvel, Sept. Ages 12–up.
Lee delves into the backstory of the misunderstood trickster god of Asgard, who identifies as pansexual and gender-fluid, in the first of three YA novels that explore popular characters in the Marvel Universe.
The Lonesome Era
Jon Allen. Iron Circus, Oct. Ages 15–up.
In this darkly funny graphic novel set against the backdrop of a decaying Rust Belt town populated by animal characters, Camden tries to conceal an unreciprocated crush on his best friend, the troublemaking Jeremiah.
Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy. Little, Brown/Patterson, Mar. Ages 13–up.
Collaborating couple Capetta and McCarthy team up for a gender-bent LGBTQ retelling of the King Arthur legend, in which a diverse cast of characters launches a crusade against the nefarious Mercer Corporation.
Hal Schrieve. Seven Stories/Triangle Square, Mar. 12–up.
In this queer YA murder-mystery fantasy novel, zombie-witch Z and Muslim werewolf Aysel fight discrimination and repression in mid-’90s Salem, Ore., while trying to make it through ninth grade.
Queer: The Ultimate LGBTQ Guide for Teens (2nd Edition)
Kathy Belge and Marke Bieschke. Zest, June. Ages 12–up.
Belge and Bieschke’s updated guide helps LGBTQ teens come out to friends and family, navigate their social life, figure out if a crush is also queer, and challenge bigotry and homophobia. The book includes personal stories from the authors and sidebars on queer history.
Wesley Chu and Cassandra Clare. S&S/McElderry, Apr. Ages 14–up.
Science fiction writer Chu partners with Clare on a spin-off of the latter’s Shadowhunters fantasy series that explores the relationship between Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood—who are frequently “shipped” by fans as Malec—as they tour the world together.
Ryan La Sala. Sourcebooks Fire, Jan. Ages 14–up.
Inception meets The Magicians in this #OwnVoices fantasy debut that follows Kane, a gay teenager piecing his life back together after an accident robs him of his memories, all while a drag queen sorceress attempts to unravel his reality.
Something Like Gravity
Amber Smith. S&S/McElderry, June. Ages 14–up.
Smith’s novel stars a transgender boy who falls in love for the first time.
Technically, You Started It
Lana Wood Johnson. Scholastic Press, June. Ages 12–up.
This #OwnVoices debut with a demisexual main character explores friendship, sexual orientation, mental health, and falling in love through a series of text messages.
The Truth Is
NoNieqa Ramos. Lerner/Carolrhoda Lab, Sept. Ages 13–14.
Verdad doesn’t have time for love. But when she meets Danny, a new guy at school who happens to be trans, she suddenly has to deal with her mother’s disapproval of her relationship, as well as her own prejudices and questions about her identity.
Wayward Son (Simon Snow #2)
Rainbow Rowell. Wednesday, Sept. Ages 13–18.
In the sequel to Carry On, itself a spin-off of Rowell’s Fangirl, Simon Snow, the Chosen One, has saved the day and fallen in love with former nemesis Baz, but his life after the hero’s journey is just beginning.
Tehlor Kay Mejia. HarperCollins/Tegen, Feb. Ages 14–up.
Society wife-in-training Dani starts to question her role in the polarized Medio when she is recruited by rebel spies and develops an attraction to her biggest rival, Carmen, in a novel that kicks off a debut fantasy duology.
We Are Lost and Found
Helene Dunbar. Sourcebooks Fire, Sept. Ages 14–up.
Set in 1980s New York City, this story follows three best friends as they struggle to navigate sexuality, love, friendships, family drama, and the looming threat of AIDS.
Wild and Crooked
Leah Thomas. Bloomsbury, June. Ages 14–up.
The deepening friendship between Kalyn, a lesbian, and Gus, who is pansexual, is thrown into peril as secrets emerge about a long-ago crime committed in their small town.