Lizzie Hall, Librarian at Bishop’s Stortford College Prep School, writes about the magic of storytelling…
Dear reader. As we continue to celebrate Pride this month, representation and visibility are so important.
Reading stories with relatable and relatable characters is so empowering for young people in marginalized communities.
Here are some of the best LGBTQIA+ fiction books for children and young adults…
Proud of Me by Sarah Hagger-Holt
Becky and Josh are almost twins, with two moms and the same anonymous donor dad.
Josh can’t wait until he’s 18, the legal age when he can finally contact his donor, and he’ll do anything to find out more, even if it means lying.
Becky can’t stop thinking about her new friend, Carli. Could her feelings for Carli be a sign of something more?
Becky and Josh both want their parents to be proud of them, but right now they’re having a hard time accepting themselves.
Benjamin Dean’s Secret Sunshine Project
Bea’s family is happy. Like, really happy. Like, a little rude but also cute happy.
So when they visit London Pride together and have the ultimate day, Bea doesn’t think her family could be any happier.
But a year later, a gray cloud follows Bea’s family. Dad passed away and, without him, they have no choice but to pack up and move to the countryside to live with Gran.
With Bea’s big sister, Riley, taking the news hard, Bea will do anything to cheer her up. So, with the help of new friends, The Secret Sunshine Project is formed – Bea’s plan to bring Pride back to the countryside and a smile on Riley’s face.
There is only one very small problem: the mayor of the village. A grumpy old woman on a mission to make it rain on Bea’s parade. . .
Favorite Alice Oseman
Charlie and Nick go to the same school, but they’ve never met – until the day they are forced to sit together.
They quickly become friends and soon Charlie falls in love with Nick, even though he doesn’t think he stands a chance.
But love works in surprising ways, and Nick is more interested in Charlie than either of them thought.
Only on the Weekend by Dean Atta
Fifteen-year-old Mack is a hopeless romantic – he blames the movies he grew up watching. He has loved Karim for as long as he can remember and is overjoyed when Karim becomes his boyfriend – it’s like love.
But when Mack’s father gets a job on a film in Scotland, Mack has to move and soon he discovers how painful love can be.
It’s horrible to be so far from Karim, but the worst part is that Karim doesn’t make the effort to come. Love shouldn’t just be on weekends.
When Mack meets actor Finlay on a film set, he experiences something powerful, a feeling of love at first sight. How long until he tells Karim – and when will his old life and his new life collide?
Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli
When it comes to drumming, Leah Burke is usually on the beat – but real life isn’t always so rhythmic.
The only child of a single mother and her life is less privileged than that of her friends.
Her mother knows she’s bisexual, but Leah hasn’t worked up the courage to tell her friends. Not even his openly gay best friend, Simon.
Prom and college are on the horizon and tensions are high. Can Leah still hit the right note when the people she loves are fighting?
And how can she cope knowing that she might love one of her friends more than she ever wanted to?
Dreadnought by April Daniels
Danny Tozer has a problem: she has just inherited the powers of Dreadnought, the greatest superhero in the world.
Until Dreadnought fell from the sky and died right in front of her, Danny was trying to keep people from finding out that she was transgender.
But before he expired, Dreadnought gave him his mantle, and those second-hand superpowers transformed Danny’s body into what she always thought it should be. Now, we no longer hide that she is a girl.
It should be the happiest time of his life, but Danny’s first few weeks in a body that suits him are more difficult and complicated than she could have imagined.
Between his father’s dangerous obsession with “curing” his childhood, his best friend suddenly acting like he has the right to date her, and his fellow superheroes vying for his place in their ranks, Danny feels like a be in over his head.
She doesn’t have time to adapt. Dreadnought’s killer – a cyborg named Utopia – still haunts the streets of New Port City, threatening destruction.
If Danny can’t sort through the confusion of coming out, harness his powers, and stop Utopia in time, humanity faces extinction.
You should see me in a crown by Leah Johnson
Liz always believed she was too dark, too poor, and too clumsy to shine in her wealthy, prom-obsessed small town. But Liz has an escape plan to attend an elite university, play in their world-famous orchestra, and become a doctor.
But when the financial aid she had been counting on unexpectedly fails, Liz’s plans crumble – until she remembers her school’s scholarship for prom king and queen.
There’s nothing Liz wants to do less than endure a gauntlet of social media trolls, mean competitors, and humiliating public events, but, despite her devastating fear of the spotlight, she’s willing to do anything. it takes to get to college. The only thing that makes it half bearable is the new girl at school, Mack. She’s smart, funny, and just as foreign as Liz.
But Mack is also in the running for the queen. Will falling for the competition take Liz away from her dreams or make them come true?
gay clubs! by Simon James Green
Barney is a shoo-in to be the president of his school’s LGBTQ+ society in the club’s next election. But when the vote is open to the entire student body, the whole school begins to pay attention.
How far will the contestants go to win? Buckle up for serious shadow, scandals and sordid shenanigans. It’s not long until it’s National Coming Out Day – for all the secrets!
But when the group faces an unexpected threat – and a great opportunity – can the club members put politics aside and stick together?
Ophelia After All by Raquel Marie
Ophelia Rojas knows what she loves: her best friends, Cuban food, the rose garden and boys – way too many boys.
Her friends and parents laugh at her endless stream of crushes, but Ophelia is a romantic at heart. She couldn’t change, even if she wanted to.
So when she finds herself thinking more about the pretty, quiet Talia Sanchez than the loss of a perfect prom with her ex-boyfriend, seeds of doubt take root in Ophelia’s firm image of ‘herself.
Add to that the impending end of high school and the fracturing of his once solid group of friends, and things spiral a little out of control.
But the course of love – and of sexuality – has never gone smoothly. As her secrets begin to unfold, Ophelia must make a choice between clinging to the fantastical version of herself she’s always imagined or upending everyone’s expectations to rediscover who she really is, after all.