Diverse Characters

Grandad's pride book cover

Grandad's pride

Harry Woodgate

jE Woodgate
Picture Books, LGBTQ+, Diverse Characters, Kids

"After Milly discovers a pride flag in Grandad's attic, this adorable pair are motivated by the past to start a pride parade in their small town. Activism and celebration go hand in hand as the town gathers to help build a world where everyone is proud to be themselves"--

Angie's picture

Harry Woodgate continues the story of Grandad's Camper in their second picture, Grandad's Pride. Grandad and Milly are back for another adventure, this time honoring the past and celebrating the future with a pride parade in their community. Woodgate's artwork is vibrant and colorful, making the characters bright and heartwarming. -Angie

Pet book cover


Emezi, Akwaeke, author.

Diverse Characters, LGBTQ+, Dystopian, Fantasy

There are no monsters anymore. In the city of Lucille, Jam and her best friend, Redemption, have grown up with this lesson all their life. Then Jam meets Pet, a creature made of horns and colors and claws, who emerges from one of her mother's paintings and a drop of Jam's blood. Pet has come to hunt a monster-- and the shadow of something grim lurks in Redemption's house. How do you save the world from monsters if no one will admit they exist? -- adapted from jacket

Bailey's picture

This book features a non-verbal teen who lives in a world where there are no more monsters--until her mother's painting comes alive and tells her that's a lie. This is fast-paced, whimsical, and emotional, with a healthy of balance of some dark themes alongside radical depictions of trans joy and autistic joy. -Bailey

Ellen outside the lines book cover

Ellen outside the lines

Sass, A. J., author.

jFICTION Sass, A. J.
Diverse Characters, LGBTQ+

"Ellen, an autistic thirteen-year-old, navigates a new city, shifting friendships, a growing crush, and her queer and Jewish identities while on a class trip to Barcelona, Spain"--

Bailey's picture

This middle grade novel is such a charming, wholesome book that perfectly captures the inner struggles of so many autistic teens: the desire to be seen as "normal" as peers, even when the energy to do so it is to the individual's detriment. Reading about Ellen making new friends and exploring a new place is so much fun to encounter for kids, and was so delightful to read as an adult. -Bailey

Tumble book cover


Celia C. Pérez

jFICTION Perez Celia
Kids, Diverse Characters

Before she decides whether to accept her stepfather's proposal of adoption, twelve-year-old Adela Ramírez reaches out to her estranged biological father--who is in the midst of a career comeback as a luchador--and the eccentric extended family of wrestlers she has never met, bringing Adela closer to understanding the expansive definition of family.

Anne W's picture

This is a super-fun read about an eccentric family of luchadors (Mexican-style pro wrestlers) set in New Mexico. The book is heartwarming without the ending being pat or too neat and tidy, which I appreciated. Also clear-eyed from a kid's perspective about the failures and shortcomings of adults in your life, though overall showing the centrality of family and how important it is for them to have your back (in and out of the wrestling ring!). -Anne W

Autism in heels : the untold story of a female life on the spectrum book cover

Autism in heels : the untold story of a female life on the spectrum

Jennifer Cook O'Toole

618.9285882 /O'Toole
Diverse Characters, Memoir, Nonfiction

"Autism in Heels, an intimate memoir, reveals the woman inside one of autism's most prominent figures, Jennifer O'Toole. At the age of thirty-five, Jennifer was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, and for the first time in her life, things made sense. Now, Jennifer exposes the constant struggle between carefully crafted persona and authentic existence, editing the autism script with wit, candor, passion, and power. Her journey is one of reverse-self-discovery not only as an Aspie but--more importantly--as a thoroughly modern woman. Beyond being a memoir, Autism in Heels is a love letter to all women. It's a conversation starter. A game changer. And a firsthand account of what it is to walk in Jennifer's shoes (especially those iconic red stilettos). Whether it's bad perms or body image, sexuality or self-esteem, Jennifer's is as much a human journey as one on the spectrum. Because autism "looks a bit different in pink," most girls and women who fit the profile are not identified, facing years of avoidable anxiety, eating disorders, volatile relationships, self-harm, and stunted independence. Jennifer has been there, too. Autism in Heels takes that message to the mainstream."--Page [2] of cover.

Hanna's picture

This book let me see a different side of Autism. The author is an adult woman with a psychology degree who can quote scientific studies as well as she can reflect on her own autistic childhood. It was eye-opening, to say the least. -Hanna

Red at the bone book cover

Red at the bone

Jacqueline Woodson

FICTION Woodson, Jacqueline
Black Lives Matter, Black History, Literary Fiction, Diverse Characters

"Two familes from different social classes are joined together by an unexpected pregnancy and the child that it produces. As the book opens in 2001, it is the evening of sixteen-year-old Melody's coming of age ceremony in her grandparents' Brooklyn brownstone. Watched lovingly by her relatives and friends, making her entrance to the music of Prince, she wears a special custom-made dress. But the event is not without poignancy. Sixteen years earlier, that very dress was measured and sewn for a different wearer: Melody's mother, for her own ceremony-- a celebration that ultimately never took place"--Adapted from jacket.

Heidi K's picture

This was a beautiful read. It packs so many different feelings, perspectives, and atmospheres into one relatively short book. This is not one to miss! -Heidi K

Miss Quinces book cover

Miss Quinces

Kat Fajardo

Diverse Characters, Graphic Novels

"Sue just wants to spend the summer reading and making comics at sleepaway camp with her friends, but instead she gets stuck going to Honduras to visit relatives with her parents and two sisters. They live way out in the country, which means no texting, no cable, and no Internet! The trip takes a turn for the worse when Sue's mother announces that they'll be having a surprise quinceera for Sue, which is the last thing she wants. She can't imagine wearing a big, floofy, colorful dress! What is Sue going to do? And how will she survive all this "quality" time with her rambunctious family?"--

Mari's picture

Fans of Raina Telgemeier and Victoria Jamieson will love this funny coming-of-age story about family, friendship and expressing your true self! -Mari

Miss Rita, mystery reader book cover

Miss Rita, mystery reader

Sam (Fashion designer) Donovan

jE Donovan
Picture Books, LGBTQ+, Diverse Characters

"Daddy is the Mystery Reader at Tori's school today, and he's coming dressed as Miss Rita! Tori helps Daddy gloss, glitter, glamour, and glimmer to get ready. It takes time-because sparkle is serious business! Tori loves helping Daddy become Miss Rita. But will the other kids at school love Miss Rita like Tori does? Luckily, a last-minute idea helps Daddy and Tori find a way to make story time sparkle for everyone. This heartwarming and relatable family story celebrates drag queens, reading, and self-acceptance, teaching every kid to let their sparkle shine! And it includes back matter providing an overview of drag performance"--

Angie's picture

A great read together story that is reassuring to kids whose families may not fit gender norms or who might be navigating their own feelings about gender identity and affirmation. There is plenty of sparkle and fun to engage all ages throughout the story. The author note at the end is in inclusive language, talkable and presented in an approachable way to learn more about gender and drag queens. -Angie

Akiko on the Planet Smoo book cover

Akiko on the Planet Smoo

Mark Crilley

Diverse Characters, Adventure, Early Chapter Books, Fantasy

Akiko Series, Book 1 When this fourth-grader comes home from school one day, she finds an envelope waiting for her with no stamp and no return address. The message inside reads Dear Akiko: We are coming to get you. Meet us outside your bedroom window tonight at 8:00. Don't forget your toothbrush. How could anyone meet her outside her window? She lives on the 17th floor, for goodness sake. But that evening, as Akiko is preparing to study for tomorrow's geography test, she finds a small spacecraft hovering outside her window with two odd little men inside. They have been sent to whisk Akiko off to the Planet Smoo where she will lead a team enlisted to find the King of Smoo's kidnapped son, Prince Froptoppit. Akiko, the leader of a rescue mission? She's too timid to be on the school's safety patrol! So begins Akiko's adventure across the land of Smoo to find a prince and become a leader.

Alexander's picture

Added by Alexander

Loveless book cover


Alice Oseman

Diverse Characters, LGBTQ+, Young Adult

(A) Georgia has parents who are still in love, two sets of grandparents that are still together, and a brother who married his girlfriend, but at eighteen she has never even kissed someone (not even her lesbian best friend, Felipa) or particularly even wanted to; at the prom afterparty she is surrounded by couples making out, and she really does not know what is wrong--but in college she comes to understand herself as asexual/aromantic, and to capture the part of her identity that has always eluded her.

Alexander's picture

Added by Alexander