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LGBTQ+ for Middle School and Teen Readers

A mix of new and popular titles that amplify young LGBTQ+ voices and experiences. 

Middle School

Cover of Hazel’s Theory of Evolut
Lisa Jenn
Bigelow
Harper
2019

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? 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.

Cover of The Mighty Heart of Sunny
Ashley Herring
Blake
Little, Brown and Company
2019

Twelve-year-old Sunny St. James must navigate heart surgery, reconnections with a lost mother, the betrayal of a former best friend, first kisses, and emerging feelings for another girl.

Cover of Hurricane Child
Kacen
Callender
Scholastic Press
2018

Born on Water Island in the Virgin Islands during a hurricane, which is considered bad luck, 12-year-old Caroline falls in love with another girl--and together they set out in a hurricane to find Caroline's missing mother.

Cover of Better Nate Than Ever (Nat
Tim
Federle
Scott M. Fischer
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
2013

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."

Cover of Rick
Alex
Gino
Scholastic Press
2020

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 Best At It
Maulik
Pancholy
Balzer + Bray
2019

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. This is a story about friendship, family, and the courage it takes to live your truth.

Cover of Goldie Vance: The Hotel Wh
Lilliam
Rivera
Elle Power
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
2020

In early 1960s Florida, sixteen-year-old Goldie, an aspiring detective at the Crossed Palms Resort Hotel, investigates when a diamond-encrusted swim cap goes missing during the filming of a movie at the resort.

Cover of  The Derby Daredevils: Ken
Kit
Rosewater
Sophie Esabasse
Amulet Books
2020

Best friends Kenzie "Kenzilla" and Shelly "Bombshell" dream of becoming roller derby superstars one day, but when a junior league forms and they must recruit teammates, will their friendship survive?

Cover of Drama
Raina
Telgemeier
Graphix
2012

Callie rides an emotional roller coaster while serving on the stage crew for a middle school production of 'Moon Over Mississippi,' as various relationships start and end, and others never quite get going.

Cover of Martin McLean, Middle Scho
Alyssa
Zaczek
Sterling
2020

Seventh-grader Martin McLean has trouble expressing himself except at Mathletes competitions and, now, as a female impersonator but his first-ever drag show falls on the same night as an important Mathletes tournament.

High School

Cover of Summer Bird Blue
Akemi Dawn
Bowman
Simon Pulse
2018

After her sister and songwriting partner, Lee, dies in an automobile accident, seventeen-year-old Rumi is sent to Hawaii with an aunt she barely knows while she and her mother grieve separately.

Cover of Felix Ever After
Kacen
Callender
Balzer + Bray
2020

Felix Love, a transgender seventeen-year-old, attempts to get revenge by catfishing his anonymous bully, but lands in a quasi-love triangle with his former enemy and his best friend.

Cover of I Wish You All the Best
Mason
Deaver
PUSH
2019

When Ben De Backer comes out to their parents as nonbinary, they're thrown out of their house and forced to move in with their estranged older sister, Hannah, and her husband, Thomas. Ben's attempts to survive the last half of senior year unnoticed are thwarted when Nathan Allan, a funny and charismatic student, decides to take Ben under his wing. As Ben and Nathan's friendship grows, their feelings for each other begin to change, and what started as a disastrous turn of events looks like it might just be a chance to start a happier new life.

Cover of Henna Wars
Adiba
Jaigirdar
Page Street Publishing Co
2020

Nishat doesn't want to lose her family, but she also doesn't want to hide who she is, and it only gets harder once a childhood friend walks back into her life. Flávia is beautiful and charismatic, and Nishat falls for her instantly. When a school competition invites students to create their own businesses, both Flávia and Nishat decide to showcase their talent as henna artists. As the competition heats up, Nishat has a decision to make: stay in the closet for her family, or put aside her differences with Flávia and give their relationship a chance.

Cover of All Boys Aren’t Blue : A
George M.
Johnson
Farrar Straus Giroux
2020

In a series of personal essays, prominent journalist and LGBTQIA+ activist George M. Johnson explores his childhood, adolescence, and college years in New Jersey and Virginia. From the memories of getting his teeth kicked out by bullies at age five, to flea marketing with his loving grandmother, to his first sexual relationships, this young-adult memoir weaves together the trials and triumphs faced by Black queer boys.

Cover of You Should See Me in a Cro
Leah
Johnson
Scholastic Press
2020

Liz Lighty has always done her best to avoid the spotlight in her small, wealthy, and prom-obsessed midwestern high school, after all, her family is black and rather poor, especially since her mother died. She concentrates on her grades and her musical ability in the hopes that it will win her a scholarship to an elite college. When the scholarship falls through she is forced to turn to her school's scholarship for prom king and queen, which plunges her into the gauntlet of social media which she hates and leads her to discoveries about her own identity and the value of true friendships.

Cover of Fire Song
Adam Garnet
Jones
Annick Press Ltd
2018

How can Shane reconcile his feelings for David with his desire for a better life? Shane is still reeling from the suicide of his kid sister, Destiny. He tries to share his grief with his girlfriend, Tara, but she's too concerned with her own needs to offer him much comfort. Shane's rocky road to finding himself takes many twists and turns, but ultimately ends with him on a path that doesn't always offer easy answers. Adapted from the award-winning film.

Cover of If It Makes You Happy
Claire
Kann
Swoon Reads
2019

When Winnie is crowned Summer Queen in the small town of Misty Haven, she has to balance her new responsibilities with her friendships, a new romance, and her job at her granny's diner.

Cover of Reverie
Ryan
La Sala
Sourcebooks Fire
2020

While recovering from an attack that leaves him without his memory, gay teenager Kane Montgomery stumbles into a world where dreams known as reveries take on a life of their own, and it is up to Kane and a few unlikely allies to stop them before they spillover into the waking world.

Cover of All Out: The No Longer Sec
Saundra
Mitchell (editor)
Harlequin Teen
2018

Take a journey through time and genres and discover a past where queer figures live, love, and shape the world around them. Seventeen of the best young adult authors across the queer spectrum have come together to create a collection of beautifully written diverse historical fiction for teens.

Cover of Like a Love Story
Abdi
Nazemian
Balzer + Bray
2019

It's 1989 in New York City, and for three teens, Reza, Judy and Art, the world is changing. They fall in and out love and find their voices as activists during the height of the AIDS crisis. This is a bighearted, sprawling epic about friendship and love and the revolutionary act of living life to the fullest in the face of impossible odds.

Cover of Juliet Takes a Break
Gabby
Rivera
Dial Books
2019

Juliet, a self-identified queer, Bronx-born Puerto Rican-American, comes out to her family to disastrous results the night before flying to Portland to intern with her feminist author icon--whom Juliet soon realizes has a problematic definition of feminism that excludes women of color. 

Cover of Aristotle and Dante Discov
Benjamin Alire
Sáena
Simon & Schuster
2012

Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime.

Cover of The Grief Keeper
Alexandra
Villasante
G. P. Putnam’s Sons
2019

The Grief Keeper is a tender tale that explores the heartbreak and consequences of when both love and human beings are branded illegal.

Teen Graphic Novels

Cover of Flamer
Mike
Curato
Henry Holt and Company
2020

It's the summer between middle school and high school, and Aiden Navarro is away at camp. Everyone's going through changes--but for Aiden, the stakes feel higher. As he navigates friendships, deals with bullies, and spends time with Elias (a boy he can't stop thinking about), he finds himself on a path of self-discovery and acceptance.

Cover of Bingo Love
Tee
Franklin
Genevieve FT
Image Comics
2018

Take a trip through time with Hazel Johnson and Mari McCray as they fall in love at church bingo in 1963, break up because of pressure from their families, and reunite nearly fifty years later. 

Cover of Identity: A Story of Trans
Corey Maison and
Zuiker Anthony
Ahmara Smith
Zuiker PR
2019

What does someone do when they're born as one gender, but feel themselves to be another? With this graphic novel, Maison boldly shares her story of transitioning, so that other kids with gender dysphoria and related conditions will no longer feel so isolated, hopeless, or lost.

Cover of Heartstopper
Alice
Oseman
Graphix
2020, c 2018

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.

Cover of Bloom
Kevin
Panetta
Savanna Ganucheau
First Second
2019

Now that high school is over, Ari is dying to move to the big city with his ultra-hip band--if he can just persuade his dad to let him quit his job at their struggling family bakery. Though he loved working there as a kid, Ari cannot fathom a life wasting away over rising dough and hot ovens. But while interviewing candidates for his replacement, Ari meets Hector, an easygoing guy who loves baking as much as Ari wants to escape it. As they become closer over batches of bread, love is ready to bloom . . . that is, if Ari doesn't ruin everything.

Cover of Juliet Takes a Breath
Gabby
Rivera
Celia Moscote
Boom Box
2020

Gabby Rivera adapts her bestselling novel alongside artist Celia Moscote in an unforgettable queer coming-of-age story exploring race, identity and what it means to be true to your amazing self. Even when the rest of the world doesn't understand.

Cover of You Brought Me the Ocean
Alex
Sanchez
Julie Maroh
DC Comics
2020

Jake Hyde yearns for the ocean and is determined to leave his hometown in New Mexico for a college on the coast, and while his family and friends encourage him to stay, he must deal with his secrets of being gay and some strange new blue markings on his skin giving him a glow when he touches water.

Cover of Surviving the City: From t
Tasha
Spillett-Sumner
Natasha Donovan
HighWater Press
2020

With nowhere else to go, Dez is living in a group home. On top of everything else, Dez is navigating her identity as a Two-Spirit person alongside a new relationship. Unfortunately, Miikwan doesn't really understand what her best friend is going through. Will Dez be comfortable expressing her full identity? And will her community be able to celebrate her for who she is?

Cover of Lumberjanes : Beware the K
Noelle Stevenson and
Grace Ellis
Brooke Allen
Boom! Box
2015

Five best friends spending the summer at Lumberjane scout camp defeating yetis, three-eyed wolves, and giant falcons: what's not to love? There are 16 volumes plus bonus editions. 

Cover of Laura Dean Keeps Breaking
Mariko
Tamaki
Rosemary Valero-O'Connell
First Second
2019

Laura Dean, the most popular girl in high school, was Frederica Riley's dream girl: charming, confident, and SO cute. There's just one problem: Laura Dean is maybe not the greatest girlfriend. This graphic novel asks readers to consider what happens when we ditch the toxic relationships we crave to embrace the healthy ones we need.

Cover of Magic Fish
Le Nguyen
Trung
RH Graphic
2020

Tié̂n still enjoys reading his favorite stories with his parents from the books he borrows from the local library. It's hard enough trying to communicate with your parents as a kid, but for Tié̂n, he doesn't even have the right words because his parents are struggling with their English. Is there a Vietnamese word for what he's going through? Is there a way to tell them he's gay?

Cover of The Prince and the Dressma
Jen
Wang
First Second
2018

Prince Sebastian is looking for a bride or rather, his parents are looking for one for him. Sebastian is too busy hiding his secret life from everyone. At night he puts on daring dresses and takes Paris by storm as the fabulous Lady Crystallia the hottest fashion icon in the world capital of fashion!