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Last Updated: June 2, 2023

The Best at It by Maulik Pancholy

The Best at It
by Maulik Pancholy

Twelve-year-old Rahul Kapoor, an Indian-American boy growing up in small-town Indiana, struggles to come to terms with his identity, including that he may be gay. (Gay)

Hazel’s Theory of Evolution By Lisa Jenn Bigelow

Hazel’s Theory of Evolution
by Lisa Jenn Bigelow

Hazel knows a lot about the world. That’s because when she’s not hanging with her best friend, taking care of her dog, or helping care for the goats on her family’s farm, she loves reading through dusty encyclopedias. But even Hazel doesn’t have answers for the questions awaiting her as she enters eighth grade. What if no one at her new school gets her, and she doesn’t make any friends? What’s going to happen to one of her moms, who’s pregnant again after having two miscarriages? Why does everything have to change when life was already perfectly fine? (Asexual)

Hurricane Child by Kacen Callender

Hurricane Child
by Kacen Callender

Born on Water Island in the Virgin Islands during a hurricane, which is considered bad luck, twelve-year-old Caroline falls in love with another girl–and together they set out in a hurricane to find Caroline’s missing mother. (Lesbian)

The Insiders by Mark Oshiro

The Insiders
by Mark Oshiro

This magical middle grade debut from award-winning Oshiro stars a queer boy who stumbles upon a magical closet while running away from homophobic bullies, only to find that it’s a queer Narnia of sorts, accessible to two other queer kids at different schools facing the same issue. There, they find safety and companionship. If you cried upon simply reading the premise of this book, you are not alone. (Gay)

Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World by Ashley Herring Blake

Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World
by Ashley Herring Blake

Twelve-year-old Ivy Aberdeen’s house is destroyed in a tornado, and in the aftermath of the storm, she begins to develop feelings for another girl at school. (Lesbian)

Melissa by Alex Gino

by Alex Gino

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. George thinks she’ll have to keep this a secret forever. Then her teacher announces that their class play is going to be Charlotte’s Web. George really, really, REALLY wants to play Charlotte. But the teacher says she can’t even try out for the part … because she’s a boy. With the help of her best friend, Kelly, George comes up with a plan. Not just so she can be Charlotte — but so everyone can know who she is, once and for all. (Trans Girl)

This is Your Rainbow cover

This Is Our Rainbow: 16 Stories of Her, Him, Them, and Us
edited by Katherine Locke and Nicole Melleby

The whole rainbow! Featuring contributions from Eric Bell, Katherine Locke and A.J. Sass, this first LGBTQA+ anthology for middle-grade readers presents stories of queer fantasy, historical and contemporary stories for every letter of the acronym. (All)

Tiger Honor By Yoon Ha Le

Tiger Honor
by Yoon Ha Lee

Thirteen-year-old nonbinary tiger spirit Sebin must decide where their loyalties lie when their traitorous uncle hijacks the battle cruiser that happens to be Sebin’s first assignment in the Cadet Program. (Non-Binary)

Too Bright to See by Kyle Lukoff

Too Bright to See
by Kyle Lukoff

It’s the summer before middle school and 11 year-old Bug’s best friend Moira has decided the two of them need to use the next few months to prepare. For Moira, this means figuring out the right clothes to wear, learning how to put on makeup, and deciding which boys are cuter in their yearbook photos than in real life. But none of this is all that appealing to Bug, who doesn’t particularly want to spend more time trying to understand how to be a girl. Besides, there’s something more important to worry about: a ghost is haunting Bug’s eerie old house in rural Vermont…and maybe haunting Bug in particular. As Bug begins to untangle the mystery of who this ghost is and what they’re trying to say, an altogether different truth comes to light. (Trans Boy)

Zenobia July by Lisa Bunker

Zenobia July
by Lisa Bunker

Zenobia July is starting a new life. She used to live in Arizona with her father; now she’s in Maine with her aunts. She used to spend most of her time behind a computer screen, improving her impressive coding and hacking skills; now she’s coming out of her shell and discovering a community of friends at Monarch Middle School. People used to tell her she was a boy; now she’s able to live openly as the girl she always knew she was. When someone anonymously posts hateful memes on her school’s website, Zenobia knows she’s the one with the abilities to solve the mystery, all while wrestling with the challenges of a new school, a new family, and coming to grips with presenting her true gender for the first time. (Trans Girl)

The Deep & Dark Blue by Niki Smith

The Deep & Dark Blue
by Niki Smith

After a terrible political coup usurps their noble house, Hawke and Grayson flee to stay alive and assume new identities, Hanna and Grayce. Desperation and chance lead them to the Communion of Blue, an order of magical women who spin the threads of reality to their will. As the twins learn more about the Communion, and themselves, they begin to hatch a plan to avenge their family and retake their royal home. While Hawke wants to return to his old life, Grayce struggles to keep the threads of her new life from unraveling, and realizes she wants to stay in the one place that will allow her to finally live as a girl. (Trans Girl)

Heartstopper By Alice Oseman

by Alice Oseman

Boy meets boy. Boys become friends. Boys fall in love. A sweet and charming coming-of-age story that explores friendship, love, and coming out. Shy and softhearted Charlie Spring sits next to rugby player Nick Nelson in class one morning. A warm and intimate friendship follows, and that soon develops into something more for Charlie, who doesn’t think he has a chance. But Nick is struggling with feelings of his own, and as the two grow closer and take on the ups and downs of high school, they come to understand the surprising and delightful ways in which love works. (Gay)

Ana on the Edge By A.J. Sass

Ana on the Edge
by A.J. Sass

Ana loves competitive ice-skating, but she does not love that next season’s program will force her to don princess attire for her costume. She doesn’t realize why the very idea makes her so uncomfortable in her own skin, though, until she meets Hayden, a trans boy who’s new to the rink and mistakenly thinks she’s a boy too. When Ana lets him believe it, it starts her down a path to realizing that she’s nonbinary and that she may have to fight to make her own space on the ice. (Non-Binary)

Cattywampus By Ash Van Otterloo

by Ash Van Otterloo

Magic is strictly forbidden in the McGill house, but Delpha McGill has found the family book of spells and plans to use it to make things a little easier for herself and her mother. Katybird Hearn comes from a rival family of witches, but her magic has been slow to emerge and she thinks a spell book is just what she needs to help things along–and when a quarrel between the two unleashes a graveyard full of angry zombies the two girls must work together to save Howler’s Hollow, and themselves. (Intersex, Lesbian)

The Ship We Built By Lexie Bean

The Ship We Built
by Lexie Bean

Rowan has too many secrets to write down in the pages of a diary. And if he did, he wouldn’t want anyone he knows to read them. He understands who he is and what he likes, but it’s not safe for others to find out. Now the kids at school say Rowan’s too different to spend time with. He’s not the right kind of girl, and he’s not the right kind of boy. His mom ignores him. And at night, his dad hurts him in ways he’s not ready to talk about yet. But Rowan discovers another way to share his secrets: letters. Letters he attaches to balloons and releases into the universe, hoping someone new will read them and understand. But when he befriends a classmate who knows what it’s like to be lonely and scared, even at home, Rowan realizes that there might already be a person he can trust right by his side. (Trans Boy)