LGBTQ

Rick
by Alex Gino

11 year-old Rick Ramsey has gone along with everybody, not making waves, even though he is increasingly uncomfortable with his father’s jokes about girls, and his best friend’s explicit talk about sex; but now in middle school he discovers the Rainbow Spectrum club, where kids of many genders and identities can express themselves–and maybe among them he can find new friends and discover his own identity, which may just be to opt out of sex altogether.

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.

One True Way
by Shannon Hitchcock

From the moment she met Samantha, star of the school basketball team, on her first day at Daniel Boone Middle School, Allison Drake felt she had found a friend, something she needs badly since her brother died and her father left–but as their friendship grows it begins to evolve into a deeper emotion, and in North Carolina in 1977, it is not easy to discover that you might be gay.

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–Bug is transgender.

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.

The Moon Within
by Aida Salazar

Eleven-year-old (nearly twelve) Celi Rivera, who is a mix of Black-Puerto Rican-Mexican Indian is uncomfortable about her approaching period, and the changes that are happening to her body; she is horrified that her mother wants to hold a traditional public moon ceremony to celebrate the occasion–until she finds out that her best friend Magda is contemplating an even more profound change of life.

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.

Where the Heart Is
by Jo Knowles

For thirteen-year-old Rachel, summer is meant to be a time of long days of swimming at the lake and hanging out with her best friend, Micah. And this year she has a summer job, taking care of the animals at the small hobby farm across the road. At home, though, things are complicated. Her parents seem more worried about money than usual; they’ve even started arguing about it. Fortunately, Micah is a constant, loyal, steadying presence. But Rachel knows he wants their relationship to be more than a friendship. Rachel almost wishes for that, too, but she just doesn’t feel “that way” about him. She isn’t sure she wants that kind of relationship with any boy– and wonders what that might mean.

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.

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

The Best Man
by Richard Peck

Archer has four important role models in his life–his dad, his grandfather, his uncle Paul, and his favorite teacher, Mr. McLeod. When Uncle Paul and Mr. McLeod get married, Archer’s sixth-grade year becomes one he’ll never forget.

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.

The Whispers
by Greg Howard

Eleven-year-old Riley’s mom has disappeared and Riley knows that if he leaves tributes for the whispers, magical fairies that grant wishes, his mom will come back to him.

Twelve-year-old Mikey Pruitt–president, founder, and CEO of Anything, Inc.–has always been an entrepreneur at heart. It isn’t until kid drag queen Coco Caliente, Mistress of Madness and Mayhem (aka eighth grader Julian Vasquez) walks into his office (aka his family’s storage/laundry room) looking for an agent that Mikey thinks he’s finally found his million-dollar idea, and the Anything Talent and Pizzazz Agency is born! Full of laughs, sass, and hijinks, this hilarious, heartfelt story shows that with a little effort and a lot of love, anything is possible.

Better Nate Than Ever
by Tim Federle

An eighth-grader who dreams of performing in a Broadway musical concocts a plan to run away to New York and audition for the role of Elliot in the musical version of “E.T.”

Gracefully Grayson
by Ami Polonsky

Grayson, a transgender twelve-year-old, learns to accept her true identity and share it with the world

King and the Dragonflies
by Kacen Kallender

In a small but turbulent Louisiana town, one boy’s grief takes him beyond the bayous of his backyard, to learn that there is no right way to be yourself.