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Kids, Middle Grade and Teen Books with Transgender, Non-Binary and Gender Expansive Characters

The books listed offer a way to affirm, learn, and start important conversations about celebrating individuality. 

Picture Books and Board Books

Cover of Born Ready: The True Story
Charnelle Pinkney Barlow

Five-year-old Penelope loves skateboarding, ninjas, and learning about math and science at school, but he hates that other people see him as a girl. When Penelope’s mother notices that something is wrong, he tells her that he is really a boy, and she helps him make sure that everyone else understands that too. But one thing he doesn’t want to change is his name– he is a boy named Penelope! Based on the true story of author Jodie Patterson’s transgender son, Born Ready tells a powerful and uplifting story about having the courage to be who you truly are. Grades Pre-K-4

Cover of Sam is My Sister
MacKenzie Haley

Siblings Evan, Sam, and Finn love nothing more than playing and exploring together, but when Sam starts wanting to check out princess books from the library, wear dresses, and have long hair, Evan and Finn aren’t sure how to feel. But with love and support from their parents and one another, Evan, Sam, and Finn come to understand that Sam is still the same person, and the three siblings can still play together like they did before. Sam is My Sister is a great choice for helping children understand and support their transitioning sibling. 
Grades K-3

Cover of What are Your Words?: A Bo
Anne Passchier

What are Your Words? introduces children to the concept of pronouns through a gentle story about a child named Ari, their Uncle Lior, and all of their friends and neighbors enjoying a neighborhood party. Ari, whose pronouns change day-to-day, is having trouble deciding what words to use today, but with time, patience, and some help from their Uncle Lior, they just might figure it out. Grades K-3

Cover of I am Jazz
Jessica Herthel and
Jazz Jennings
Shelagh McNicholas

This book presents the story of a transgender child who traces her early awareness that she is a girl in spite of male anatomy and the acceptance she finds through a wise doctor who explains her natural transgender status. Grades K - 5

Cover of When Aidan Became a Brothe
Kaylani Juanita

Aidan, a transgender boy, experiences complicated emotions as he and his parents prepare for the arrival of a new baby. Grades Pre-K-2

Cover of My Rainbow
DeShanna Neal
Trinity Neal
Art Twink

A dedicated mom puts love into action as she creates the perfect rainbow-colored wig for her transgender daughter, based on the real-life experience of mother-daughter advocate duo Trinity and DeShanna Neal.

Cover of Sparkle Boy
Maria Mola

Three-year-old Casey wants what his older sister, Jessie, has--a shimmery skirt, glittery painted nails, and a sparkly bracelet--but Jessie does not approve. After two boys tease Casey about his appearance, Jessie evolves to a place of acceptance and celebration of her gender creative younger brother. Grades Pre-K-2

Cover of The Boy & the Bindi
Vivek Shraya
Rajni Perera

 A young boy becomes fascinated with his mother's bindi, the red dot commonly worn by South Asian women to indicate the point at which creation begins, and wishes to have one of his own.  His mother agrees to it, and teaches him about its cultural significance, allowing the boy to discover the magic of the bindi, which in turn gives him permission to be more fully himself. Grades Pre-K - 2

Cover of  Clive and His Babies

Meet Clive -- and his imagination! Clive loves his dolls. He enjoys playing with them, and sharing them with his friends. A gentle, affectionate book, celebrating diversity and challenging gender stereotypes. Grades Pre-K

Cover of Rosa Loves Cars

Join Rosa and her friends as they play with their toy trucks and cars. Grades Pre-K

Cover of It Feels Good to Be Yourse
Noah Grigni

This sweet, straightforward exploration of gender identity will give children a fuller understanding of themselves and others. With child-friendly language and vibrant art, It Feels Good to Be Yourself provides young readers and parents alike with the vocabulary to discuss this important topic with sensitivity. Grades Pre-K –3

Cover of Julián at the Wedding

Julián and his friend Marisol are in a wedding– or, as Julián puts it, “a party for love”! When they sneak away from the wedding to play and end up in an unexpected situation, they are reminded why it is so good to have friends. Sparse text gives Jessica Love’s stunning ink and watercolor illustrations room to shine in this vibrant follow-up to 2018’s Julián is a Mermaid. Pre-K-3

Cover of My Maddy
Gayle E.
Violet Tobacco

In this sweet and simple story, a child reflects on things that are not quite one thing or the other, but somewhere in between, like sporks, the color hazel, spring and fall– and their Maddy, who is not a girl or a boy, but is a very loving parent. Includes an author’s note with information about transgender, non-binary, and gender-expansive identities, as well as ways to support a child with a transgender parent. K-3

Cover of From the Stars in the Sky
Kai Cheng
Wai-Yant Li and Kai Yun Ching

A magical gender variant child brings transformation and change to the world around them thanks to their mother's enduring love. Grades Pre-K-3

Cover of Calvin
JR Ford and
Vanessa Ford
Kayla Harren

A transgender boy prepares for the first day of school and introduces himself to his family and friends for the first time. Grades Pre-K-2

Cover of Payden's Pronoun Party
Xochitl Cornejo

Payden has always used he/him pronouns, until one day Payden realizes those words might not fit. Payden's parents promise to throw a big party to introduce whatever pronouns Payden chooses--but which pronouns are the best match? On a colorful quest, Payden talks to friends about a rainbow of possibilities: he, she, they, ze, and so many more! The right pronouns are just waiting to be tried on. Put on your party hats and learn about the magical variety of pronouns in this thoughtful story that imagines a world of unquestioning support for gender exploration, celebrates all the different ways a person can present, and provides a blueprint for people of any age who are pondering what gender means to them. Grades Pre-K-4

Cover of My Paati's Saris
Jyoti Rajan
Art Twink

A Tamil boy explores his love for his grandmother and her colorful sari collection in this tale of expressing your true self. Grades Pre-K-3

Cover of Good Dream Dragon
Courtney Dawson

A bedtime book about a nonbinary child who uses the power of imagination to overcome sleep anxiety. Grades Pre-K-2



Cover of Not He or She, I'm Me
Kah Yangni

A child gets ready for a wonderful day. They gleefully get dressed, hug their parents, go to school, and play with friends. All the while, unapologetically reminding themselves that they are and can only be themselves. The nonbinary experience is brightly illustrated as we follow our main character through their typical day. The story's bouncy and fun refrain reminds all readers of gender-neutral pronouns and affirms the identities of nonbinary children - encouraging readers to practice empathy for themselves and others.

Cover of The Good Hair Day
J Yang

With the help from his loving and observant family, a little boy gets a birthday present that gives him the confidence to be himself and let his hair down.

Cover of Molly's Tuxedo
Gillian Reid

Molly's school picture day is coming up, and she wants to have a perfect portrait taken to hang on their wall. Her mom has picked out a nice dress for her, but Molly knows from experience that dresses are trouble. They have tight places and hard-to-reach zippers, and worst of all, no pockets! Luckily, she has the perfect thing to save picture day--her brother's old tuxedo! But Mom doesn't want her to wear a tuxedo in the photo; she thinks Molly looks best in the dress. Can Molly find the courage to follow her heart and get her mom to realize just how awesome she'd look in a tux?

Cover of The Kid with Big, Big Idea
Britney Winn
Jacob Souva

A story about a nonbinary kid who is constantly coming up with bigger and better ideas for every problem or opportunity they encounter.

Cover of Fluffy and the Stars
Roza Nozari

In this heartfelt picture book imagining what happens when a beloved pet dies, a nonbinary child copes with grief and the loss of their best friend.

Upper Elementary and Middle School

Cover of Zenobia July

Zenobia July, an excellent coder and hacker, investigates a mystery while wrestling with the challenges of a new school, a new family, and presenting her true gender for the first time. Grades 5-9

Cover of  The Pants Project

Eleven-year-old Liv fights to change the middle school dress code requiring girls to wear a skirt and, along the way, finds the courage to tell his moms he is meant to be a boy. Grades 3-6

Cover of Lily and Dunkin

Lily Jo McGrother, born Timothy McGrother, is a girl. But being a girl is not so easy when you look like a boy. Especially when you're in the eighth-grade. Norbert Dorfman, nicknamed Dunkin Dorfman, is bipolar and has just moved from the New Jersey town he's called home for the past thirteen years. This would be hard enough, but the fact that he is also hiding from a painful secret makes it even worse. One summer morning, Lily Jo McGrother meets Dunkin Dorfman, and their lives forever change.

Cover of Rick

Eleven-year-old Rick Ramsey has generally gone along with everybody, just 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.

Cover of The Gender Wheel

The book offers a body-positive, queer-centric framework to expand the way we think and talk about gender. Grades 2–5

Cover of Ciel
Second Story Press

Ciel, a gender non-conforming transgender kid with a popular YouTube channel, navigates high school, friendship and a long-distance relationship. Grades 4-8

Cover of Not Your Sidekick

Welcome to Andover, where superpowers are common-but not for Jessica Tran. Despite her heroic lineage, Jess is resigned to a life without superpowers when an internship for Andover's resident super villain allows her to work alongside her longtime crush Abby and helps her unravel a plot larger than heroes and villains altogether. Grades 5-8

Cover of Gracefully Grayson

Grayson Sender has been holding onto a secret for what seems like forever: "he" is a girl on the inside, stuck in the wrong gender's body. The weight of this secret is crushing, but sharing it would mean facing ridicule, scorn, rejection, or worse. Despite the risks, Grayson's true self itches to break free. Will new strength from an unexpected friendship and a caring teacher's wisdom be enough to help Grayson step into the spotlight she was born to inhabit? Grades 5-7

Cover of The Moon Within
Joe Cepeda

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. Grades 4-7

Cover of Snapdragon
Kat Leyh

There’s a witch in Snap’s town! At least, that’s what Snap thinks until she ventures onto the witch’s property to look for her lost dog, and finds out that the “witch” is actually just a strange old woman named Jacks who rescues injured animals and reassembles the skeletons of roadkill to sell on the internet. As the two work together, Snap gets to know Jacks, and also learns more about herself, her friend Lulu, and her family’s history, and that maybe her town does have a witch, after all. Grades 4-8

Cover of Obie is Man Enough

Written by transgender swimmer and activist Schuyler Bailar, Obie is Man Enough tells the story of seventh-grader, competitive swimmer, and transgender boy Obie Chang. Despite his supportive family and teachers, getting kicked off of his swim team by a transphobic coach and losing one of his closest childhood friends make the beginning of Obie’s transition rocky to say the least. Soon, however, Obie finds a new swim team and new friends who love him for who he is, and might even have his first crush! Most important of all, he begins to understand his place in the world and love himself for who he is. Grades 5-8

Cover of This Is Our Rainbow: 16 St
Katherine Locke and Nicole
Melleby (editors)

The first LGBTQA+ anthology for middle-graders featuring stories for every letter of the acronym, including realistic, fantasy, and sci-fi stories by well-loved authors. Grades 5-8

Cover of Different Kinds of Fruit

When Annabelle learns that her father shares something big--and surprising--in common with her new nonbinary friend, she begins to see herself, and her family, in a whole new light. Grades 4-7

Cover of Camp QUILTBAG

After a bit of a rocky start at Camp QUILTBAG, an inclusive retreat for queer and trans kids, Abigail and Kai make a pact to help each other find their footing, all while navigating crushes, their queer identities, and a competition pitting cabin against cabin.

Cover of Green

Middle-grade superstar author Alex Gino returns to the world they began with Melissa and Rick with Green, the story of a non-binary middle-schooler named Green who comes into their own in no small part by fighting for gender-free casting in their school's production of The Wizard of Oz

Cover of Jude Saves the World

Twelve-year-old Jude Winters is dealing with ADHD while trying to figure out how to tell their old-fashioned grandparents about their nonbinary status--but now they have another problem: Stevie, a previously popular girl at school has been ostracized because she has a crush on another girl, and Jude wants to help her cope as well.