16 Best LGBT Books For Tweens Update 05/2022

Children’s and young adult books didn’t always show the faces and feelings of LGBTQIA+ families when they were younger. Only once more. There have been a lot of books written since Heather Has Two Mommies came out in 1989. They are for people of all ages, from babies to teens, as well as their parents. They fill in the gaps and help families learn more about each other.

They aren’t just for families with a direct connection to LGBTQIA+ issues. Everyone can benefit from the messages of unconditional love and acceptance that these books send, even if they have no connection to these issues.

Love Makes a Family by Sophie Beer

You don’t have to worry about how your family looks because love is what makes a family. Each page has pictures of different families doing fun things together, like baking a cake or finding a lost shoe. In this book, your child will be able to see and feel the love that your family has for each other.

Ages 0 to 3:

Families Belong by Dan Saks, illustrated by Brooke Smart

As a look at how unconditional love works in a family, Families Belong is sweet. Seeing families singing, reading, and having a picnic together makes you feel like you’re getting a warm hug. Whether you’re a child or an adult, you’ll love this one!

Ages 0 to 3:

My Two Moms and Me by Michael Joosten, illustrated by Izak Zenou

This cute board book shows a wide range of families with lesbian mothers going about their daily lives, such as playdates, pool dates, and bedtime reading. Heather Has Two Mommies was published in 2019 with art by a well-known fashion illustrator. It’s a good follow-up. Check out My Two Dads and Me by the same people!

Ages 0 to 3:

Daddy, Papa, and Me by Leslea Newman, illustrated by Carol Thompson

This author-illustrator duo also adds their own unique touch to the rainbow-family compilation with Daddy, Papa, and Me and Mommy, Mama, and Me like the author-illustrator duo above did. These board books are a must-have for every family. They have rhythmic text and cute pictures.

Ages 0 to 3:

The Adventures of Honey & Leon by Alan Cumming, illustrated by Grant Shaffer

Actor Alan Cumming and his wife, Grant Shaffer, came up with the idea to write about the adventures of their rescue dogs while their fathers were on the road with them. That’s what it turns out. Honey and Leon follow their dads around and help them at every turn. Honey and Leon Take the High Road is a sequel to Honey and Leon Take the High Road, which is set in Scotland.

Ages 3 to 7:

Julián Is a Mermaid by Jessica Love

This beautiful Stonewall Award-winning picture book is about Julián, a child who comes to understand their gender nonconformity after meeting three women dressed as shimmering mermaids and having a lot of fun. Dressing up as a mermaid would be fun for Julián, too. He wonders what his Abuela will think of it in this celebration of self-love and individuality.

4–8 years old

I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings, illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas

Jazz Jennings talks about how, even though she was being raised as a boy, she was really a girl. I Am Jazz is a must-read for kids and their families of all backgrounds. It’s about celebrating what makes us unique and respecting everyone else’s differences.

4–8 years old

I am Billie Jean King by Brad Meltzer, illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos

Learn about Billy Jean King and her journey to become a world-class tennis player and an advocate for women’s rights in this picture book biography. Girls, people who are part of the LGBTQIA+ community, and anyone who thinks the world doesn’t take them seriously and wants to prove them wrong should look up to her.

Ages 5 to 8:

Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag by Rob Sanders, illustrated by Steven Salerno

Young people can now learn about the history of the Gay Pride Flag, which was made by Harvey Milk and Gilbert Baker in 1978. Pride is more than just a history. It shows how the rainbow flag, a symbol of equality and inclusion, has spread across the world and will always be there.

Ages 5 to 8:

Stonewall: A Building, an Uprising, a Revolution by Rob Sanders, illustrated by Jamey Christoph

Rob Sanders, the author of Pride, has written another book about the history of the LGBTQ+ community. Stonewall is the moving story of the 1969 police raid and the protests that followed. This book is written by the Stonewall Inn itself. It’s easy to read and empowering, and it’s a must-have piece of pride history.

Ages 5 to 8:

The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher by Dana Alison Levy

The Fletchers aren’t any different from any other modern American family. They have four brothers, a lot of pets (some of which may be imaginary), soccer, plays, and annoying neighbors. Is it because the fathers are gay and a few of the brothers were given away? Background: This is a way to show people without telling them how many different ways there are to describe a family.

Ages 8 to 10:

Pride Parade Mad Libs by Brandon T. Snider

It’s never been easier to show your pride! It has 21 fill-in-the-blank games about Pride. Your tween will learn about Stonewall and the parade while having a good time.

(Age 8 to 12):

Zenobia July by Lisa Bunker

This is Zenobia July’s first time going to school as a girl. She is a hacker and a coder who is very talented. The last time she saw them, she had just lost her family of origin. She now has a family of her own in the LGBTQ+ community. If you want to know more about Bunker’s work, you can read Felix Yz. This is a story with many characters who are gay or gender-fluid.

(Age 10 and up)

The Whispers by Greg Howard

It’s a story about Riley, who is 11 years old and thinks that fairies called the whispers can make wishes come true. The Whispers is about Riley’s loss, friendship, and who she is. They set off on a journey to find the whispers and ask for Riley’s mom to come back, and maybe also for his crush Dylan to like him back, too!

(Age 10 and up)

Middle School’s a Drag, You Better Werk! by Greg Howard

Another excellent middle grade novel from the author of The Whispers, this book follows entrepreneurial 12-year-old Mikey Pruitt as he starts his own talent agency and represents clients in the leadup to the big talent show. Julian Vasquez, an eighth-grader who goes by the drag queen name Coco Caliente, is on his team. He helps Mikey see that he, too, can be gay at school.

(Age 10 and up)

To Night Owl From Dogfish by Holly Goldberg Sloan and Meg Wolitzer

Avery Bloom and Bett Devlin, who are both bookworms, start to become friends when their fathers fall in love and send them to sleepaway camp to get to know each other better. This book is written by two powerful authors, and it tells the story of their friendship. To Night Owl From Dogfish is both funny and heartwarming. It shows two modern families on their way to becoming one.

(Age 10 and up)

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