Celebrate LGBTQIA+ Voices

Celebrate LGBTQIA+ Voices

Celebrate LGBTQIA+ #OwnVoice stories! #OwnVoice stories are important because it allows children to see themselves in stories and know the person behind the words is similar to them. It means that not only is the story important, but also who tells that story. Enjoy these great titles!


Compiled by:
Ginny H.
Alan Cole is Not a Coward

Eric Bell
(Juvenile Fiction - J Bell)

Alan Cole can’t stand up to his cruel brother, Nathan. He can’t escape the wrath of his demanding father, who thinks he’s about as exceptional as a goldfish. And—scariest of all—he can’t let the cute boy across the cafeteria know he has a crush on him. But when Nathan discovers Alan’s secret, his older brother announces a high-stakes round of Cole vs. Cole. Each brother must complete seven nearly impossible tasks; whoever finishes the most wins the game. If Alan doesn’t want to be outed to all of Evergreen Middle School, he’s got to become the most well-known kid in school, get his first kiss, and stand up to Dad. Alan’s determined to prove—to Nathan, to the world, to himself—that this goldfish can learn to swim. Recommended for ages 9-12.


The Best At It

Maulik Pancholy
(Juvenile Fiction - J Panchol)

Rahul Kapoor is heading into seventh grade in a small town in Indiana. The start of middle school is making him feel increasingly anxious, so his favorite person in the whole world, his grandfather Bhai, gives him some well-meaning advice: Find one thing you're really good at. And become the BEST at it. Those four little words sear themselves into Rahul's brain. While he's not quite sure what that special thing is, he is convinced that once he finds it, bullies like Brent Mason will stop torturing him at school. And he won't be worried about staring too long at his classmate Justin Emery. With his best friend, Chelsea, by his side, Rahul is ready to crush this challenge. . . . But what if he discovers he isn't the best at anything? Recommended for ages 9-12.


The Best Man

Richard Peck
(Juvenile Fiction - J 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. Recommended for ages 9-12.


Better Nate Than Ever

Tim Federle
(Juvenile Fiction - J 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." Recommended for ages 9-12.


Drum Roll, Please

Lisa Jenn Bigelow
(Juvenile Fiction - J Bigelow)

Melly only joined the school band because her best friend, Olivia, begged her to. But to her surprise, quiet Melly loves playing the drums. It’s the only time she doesn’t feel like a mouse. Now she and Olivia are about to spend the next two weeks at Camp Rockaway, jamming under the stars in the Michigan woods. But this summer brings a lot of big changes for Melly: her parents split up, her best friend ditches her, and Melly finds herself unexpectedly falling for another girl at camp. To top it all off, Melly’s not sure she has what it takes to be a real rock n’ roll drummer. Will she be able to make music from all the noise in her heart? Recommended for ages 9-12.


George

Alex Gino
(Juvenile Fiction - J 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. Recommended for ages 9-12.


Hazel’s Theory of Evolution

Lisa Jenn Bigelow
(Juvenile Fiction - J 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? As Hazel struggles to cope, she'll come to realize that sometimes you have to look within yourself-- instead of the pages of a book-- to find the answer to life's most important questions. Recommended for ages 9-12.


Hurricane Child

Kacen Callender
(Juvenile Fiction - J Callend)

Twelve-year-old Caroline is a Hurricane Child, born on Water Island during a storm. Coming into this world during a hurricane is unlucky, and Caroline has had her share of bad luck already. She's hated by everyone in her small school, she can see things that no one else can see. And worst of all, her mother left home one day and never came back. With no friends and days filled with heartache, Caroline is determined to find her mother. Recommended for ages 9-12.


Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World

Ashley Herring Blake
(Juvenile Fiction - J Blake)

When a tornado rips through town, twelve-year-old Ivy Aberdeen's house is destroyed and her family of five is displaced. Ivy feels invisible and ignored in the aftermath of the storm--and what's worse, her notebook filled with secret drawings of girls holding hands has gone missing. Mysteriously, Ivy's drawings begin to reappear in her locker with notes from someone telling her to open up about her identity. Ivy thinks--and hopes--that this someone might be her classmate, another girl for whom Ivy has begun to develop a crush. Will Ivy find the strength and courage to follow her true feelings? Recommended for ages 9-12.


Jazz Jennings : Voice for LGBTQ Youth

Ellen Rodger
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 921 Jennings Rod)

A groundbreaking advocate for transgender youth and LGBTQ rights, Jazz Jennings is one of the first youth to speak publicly about her experiences as a transgender individual. A spokesperson, writer, and public figure, Jazz inspires all people to embrace themselves and be accepting of all people. Overcoming incredible struggles as a young transgender person, Jazz now uses her platform to make a difference in the LGBTQ community. A vocal advocate for equal rights, she co-founded the TransKids Purple Rainbow Foundation-all before the age of 15.  Recommended for ages 9-12.


Jo : An Adaptation of Little Women (sort of)

Kathleen Gros
(Juvenile Graphic Novel - J-GN Gros Gros)

With the start of eighth grade, Jo March decides it's time to get serious about her writing and joins the school newspaper. But even with her new friend Freddie cheering her on, becoming a hard-hitting journalist is a lot harder than Jo imagined. That's not all that's tough. Jo and her sisters--Meg, Beth, and Amy--are getting used to a new normal at home, with their dad deployed overseas and their mom, a nurse, working overtime. What does it take to figure out who you are? Jo March is about to find out. Recommended for ages 9-12.


Middle School’s a Drag, You Better Werk

Greg Howard
(Juvenile Fiction - J Howard)

Mikey is still looking for his million-dollar idea. Unfortunately, most of his ideas so far have failed. But Mikey is determined to keep at it. 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! Soon, Mikey has a whole roster of kid clients looking to hit it big or at least win the middle school talent show's hundred-dollar prize. As newly out Mikey prepares Julian for the gig of a lifetime, he realizes there's no rulebook for being gay--and if Julian can be openly gay at school, maybe Mikey can, too, and tell his crush, dreamy Colton Sanford, how he feels. Recommended for ages 9-12.


Princess Princess Ever After

Katie O’Neill
(Juvenile Graphic Novel - J-GN Oneill Princess Princess Ever After)

Princess Sadie is tired of princes trying to rescue her from her tower prison, but this new rescuer is different—she's a princess! Together, Sadie and Amira forge a strong friendship that soon turns to love as they struggle to overcome their pasts and recover Sadie's lost kingdom. Recommended for ages 9-12.


Snapdragon

Kat Leyh
(Juvenile Graphic Novel - J-GN Leyh Snapdragon)

Snap's town had a witch. At least, that's how the rumor goes. But in reality, Jacks is just a crocks-wearing, internet-savvy old lady who sells roadkill skeletons online--after doing a little ritual to put their spirits to rest. It's creepy, sure, but Snap thinks it's kind of cool, too. They make a deal: Jacks will teach Snap how to take care of the baby opossums that Snap rescued, and Snap will help Jacks with her work. But as Snap starts to get to know Jacks, she realizes that Jacks may in fact have real magic--and a connection with Snap's family's past. Recommended for ages 9-12.


Totally Joe

James Howe
(Juvenile Fiction - J Ho)

As a school assignment, a thirteen-year-old boy writes an alphabiography--life from A to Z--and explores issues of friendship, family, school, and the challenges of being a gay teenager. Recommended for ages 9-12.


Where the Heart Is

Johanna Knowles
(Juvenile Fiction - J 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. 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. Recommended for ages 9-12+.