Middle – High School Book List

Books with queer characters or themes can help young people and adults better understand the experience of queer persons. Adding these books to your classroom library or reading them with your students will often spark interesting classroom discussions.

This book list suggest age-appropriate books from a variety of perspectives.

The following post is also available as a pdf download.

The Misfits, James Howe, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, (2001) A group of students bring attention to the pervasive name-calling at their school. This book inspired the “No Name Calling Week” campaign across the nation.

From the Notebooks of Melanin Sun, Jacqueline Woodson, Puffin Books, (1995) A teenager reluctantly faces his mother’s new relationship with a white woman. This is a short, but powerful novel that explores issues of both orientation and race.

Deliever Us From Evie, M.E.Kerr, Harper Collins Publisher, (1994) Parr struggles to accept that his sister Evie is a lesbian. Things get more complicated when Evie dates the daughter of the richest man in town.

Rainbow Boy, Alex Sanchez, Simon & Schuster, (2001) The story of three teenage boys who are in various stages of accepting they may be gay. Some content for mature readers.

Luna, Julie Anne Peters, Little, Brown and Company, (2006) Although Regan desperately wants to support her older sibling who is transitioning from male to female, it isn’t always easy to help.

Coffee Will Make You Black, April Sinclair, Hyperion, (1994) A black, lesbian teenager learns the delicate balance between fitting in and being herself. Set in Chicago during the Civil Rights & Black Power movements.

Parrotfish, Ellen Wittlinger, Simon & Schuster Books, (2007) When Angela announces he is now Grady, his parents, sister and friends are far from supportive, but not entirely surprised.

Queer: The Ultimate LGBT Guide for Teens, Kathy Belge and Marke Bieschke, Zest Books (2011) This comprehensive resource is relevant for those who are already out and for people just starting to ask questions.

The resources below aren’t explicitly for teens, but may be helpful.

Transgender 101: A Simple Guide to a Complex Issue   Nicholas M. Teich, Columbia University Press, (2012)

The Transgender Child: A Handbook for Families and Professionals   Stephanie Brill and Rachel Pepper, Cleiss Press, Inc. (2008)

This post is also available as a pdf download.

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