Read With Pride!: LGBTQIA-Inclusive Books for 3rd-6th Grade Readers

In honor of Pride Month, pick up these titles that include LGBTQIA characters with a message of acceptance and positivity. Whether explicitly focused on the age-appropriate exploration of LGBTQIA issues, or simply including representation of LGBTQIA characters as a matter of course, what these books have in common is that they're all great stories you'll love!

One true way

Shannon Hitchcock

jFICTION Hitchcoc Shannon
Historical Fiction, LGBTQ+, Kids

From the moment she met Samantha, star of the school basketball team, on her first day at Daniel Boone Middle School, Allison Drake felt she had found a friend, something she needs badly since her brother died and her father left--but as their friendship grows it begins to evolve into a deeper emotion, and in North Carolina in 1977, it is not easy to discover that you might be gay.


Alex Gino

Kids, LGBTQ+, Fiction

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.


Raina Telgemeier

Fiction, LGBTQ+, Graphic Novels, Kids

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.


Alex Gino

Fiction, LGBTQ+, Kids

Knowing herself to be a girl despite her outwardly male appearance, George is denied a female role in the class play before teaming up with a friend to reveal her true self.

To Night Owl from Dogfish

Holly Goldberg Sloan

LGBTQ+, Fiction, Kids

Unhappy about being sent to the same summer camp after their fathers start dating, Bett and Avery, eleven, eventually begin scheming to get the couple back together after a break-up. Told entirely through emails.

Lily and Dunkin

Donna Gephart

Fiction, LGBTQ+, Kids

"Lily Jo McGrother, born Timothy McGrother, is a girl. But being a girl is not so easy when you look like a boy. Especially when you're in the eighth-grade. Norbert Dorfman, nicknamed Dunkin Dorfman, is bipolar and has just moved from the New Jersey town he's called home for the past thirteen years. This would be hard enough, but the fact that he is also hiding from a painful secret makes it even worse. One summer morning, Lily Jo McGrother meets Dunkin Dorfman, and their lives forever change"--

Love, Penelope

Joanne Rocklin

jFICTION Rocklin Joanne
Fiction, LGBTQ+, Kids

Fifth-grader Penny writes a series of letters to her future sibling, including facts about their Oakland, California, home, questions about whether their moms will ever marry, and especially that he or she is loved.

Princess Princess ever after

Katie (Cartoonist) O'Neill

Fiction, LGBTQ+, Historical Fiction, Graphic Novels, Kids

When the heroic princess Amira rescues the kind-hearted princess Sadie from her tower prison, neither expects to find a true friend in the bargain. Yet as they adventure across the kingdom, they discover that they bring out the very best in the other person. They'll need to join forces and use all the know-how, kindness, and bravery they have in order to defeat their greatest foe yet: a jealous sorceress with a dire grudge against Sadie. Join Sadie and Amira, two very different princesses with very different strengths, on their journey to figure out what happily ever after really means and how they can find it with each other.


Barbara Dee

jFICTION Dee Barbara
LGBTQ+, Fiction, Romance, Kids

When Mattie is cast as Romeo in an eighth-grade play, she is confused to find herself increasingly attracted to Gemma, a new classmate who is playing Juliet.

The best man

Richard Peck

Fiction, LGBTQ+, Kids

"Archer has four important role models in his life--his dad, his grandfather, his uncle Paul, and his favorite teacher, Mr. McLeod. When Uncle Paul and Mr. McLeod get married, Archer's sixth-grade year becomes one he'll never forget"--

The mighty heart of Sunny St. James

Ashley Herring Blake

Fiction, Kids, LGBTQ+

"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"--

Ivy Aberdeen's letter to the world

Ashley Herring Blake

Fiction, LGBTQ+, Kids

"Twelve-year-old Ivy Aberdeen's house is destroyed in a tornado, and in the aftermath of the storm, she begins to develop feelings for another girl at school"--

P.S. I miss you

Jen Petro-Roy

jFICTION Petro-Roy Jen
Fiction, LGBTQ+, Kids

Forbidden to contact her pregnant sister after her strict Catholic parents send her to stay with a great-aunt, Evie secretly sends her letters, writing about their family, her life, and the new girl in school, June, who may be more than a friend.

The misadventures of the family Fletcher

Dana Levy

Fiction, LGBTQ+, Humor, Kids

Relates the adventures of a family with two fathers, four adopted boys, and a variety of pets as they make their way through a school year, Kindergarten through sixth grade, and deal with a grumpy new neighbor.

The other boy

M. G Hennessey

jFICTION Hennesse M. G.
Fiction, LGBTQ+, Kids

Hiding his transgender identity behind a veneer of an everyday student who loves baseball and working on his graphic novel, Shane is threatened with exposure by a classmate and begins a painful journey toward acceptance and empathy.

Lumberjanes: unicorn power!

Mariko Tamaki

Fiction, Fantasy, LGBTQ+, Kids

"Welcome to Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet's Camp for Hardcore Lady Types. The five scouts of Roanoke cabin--Jo, April, Molly, Mal, and Ripley--love their summers at camp. They get to hang out with their best friends, earn Lumberjane scout badges, annoy their no-nonsense counselor Jen. and go on supernatural adventures. That last one? A pretty normal occurrence at Miss Qiunzella's, where the woods contain endless mysteries. Today is no exception. When challenge-loving April leads the girls on a hike up the TALLEST mountain they've ever seen, things don't go quite as planned. For one, they didn't expect to trespass into the lands of the ancient Cloud People, and did anyone happen to read those ominous signs some unknown person posted at the bottom of the mountain? Also, unicorns"--

Felix Yz

Lisa Bunker

jFICTION Bunker Lisa
Fiction, Science Fiction, LGBTQ+, Kids

Thirteen-year-old Felix Yz chronicles the final month before an experimental procedure meant to separate him from the fourth-dimensional creature, Zyx, with whom he was accidentally fused as a young child.

The Pants Project

Cat Clarke

jFICTION Clarke Cat
Fiction, Kids, LGBTQ+

Eleven-year-old Liv fights to change the middle school dress code requiring girls to wear a skirt and, along the way, finds the courage to tell his moms he is meant to be a boy.

Alan Cole doesn't dance

Eric Bell

jFICTION Bell Eric
Fiction, Kids, LGBTQ+

Alan Cole has a problem: Ron McCaughlin. Ever since Alan revealed he's gay, Ron has been bullying Alan with relentless fury. Alan can't tell his parents why he's really coming home with bruises--because they still don't know the truth about him. Yet buoyed by the support of his classmates and with his friends Zack and Madison by his side, Alan thinks he can withstand the bullying and--just maybe--break through to Ron. But all things come to a head when Alan's father asks that he take June Harrison to the upcoming Winter Dance. Never mind that Alan has two left feet, does not like girls, and might be developing feelings for a new boy at school. This resounding tale about friendship, family, and the many meanings of bravery will leave readers rooting for Alan and his gang of proud misfits once more.

Alan Cole is not a coward

Eric Bell

jFICTION Bell Eric
Fiction, Kids, LGBTQ+

Hoping to keep his older brother Nathan silent about his secret crush on another boy at their school, twelve-year-old Alan agrees to a ruthless sibling competition involving nearly impossible tasks--from standing up to their demanding father to getting a first kiss.

The moon within

Aida Salazar

Fiction, Kids, LGBTQ+

Eleven-year-old (nearly twelve) Celi Rivera, who is a mix of Black-Puerto Rican-Indigenous Mexican is secretive about her approaching period, and the changes that are happening to her body; she is horrified that her mother wants to hold a traditional public moon ceremony to celebrate the occasion; she must choose loyalty to her life-long best friend who is contemplating an even more profound change of life or the boy she likes.

Go with the flow

Karen Schneemann

Fiction, Graphic Novels, Kids

The list of things that will not change

Rebecca Stead

Fiction, LGBTQ+, Kids

Despite her parents' divorce, her father's coming out as gay, and his plans to marry his boyfriend, ten-year-old Bea is reassured by her parents' unconditional love, excited about getting a stepsister, and haunted by something she did last summer at her father's lake house.

The stars beneath our feet

David Barclay Moore

Fiction, Kids, LGBTQ+

Unable to celebrate the holidays in the wake of his older brother's death in a gang-related shooting, Lolly Rachpaul struggles to avoid being forced into a gang himself while constructing a fantastically creative LEGO city at the Harlem community center.

The best at it

Maulik Pancholy

Fiction, LGBTQ+, Kids

Twelve-year-old Rahul Kapoor, an Indian-American boy growing up in small-town Indiana, struggles to come to terms with his identity, including that he may be gay.

Drum roll, please

Lisa Jenn Bigelow

jFICTION Bigelow Lisa
Fiction, Kids, LGBTQ+

Find the confidence to rock out to your own beat in this big-hearted middle grade novel. Not to be missed by fans of Raina Telgemeier's Drama and Tim Federle's Better Nate Than Ever ! Melly only joined the school band because her best friend, Olivia, begged her to. But to her surprise, quiet Melly loves playing the drums. It's the only time she doesn't feel like a mouse. Now she and Olivia are about to spend the next two weeks at Camp Rockaway, jamming under the stars in the Michigan woods. But this summer brings a lot of big changes for Melly: her parents split up, her best friend ditches her, and Melly finds herself unexpectedly falling for another girl at camp. To top it all off, Melly's not sure she has what it takes to be a real rock 'n' roll drummer. Will she be able to make music from all the noise in her heart?

Better Nate than ever

Tim Federle

jFICTION Federle Tim
Fiction, Kids, LGBTQ+

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."

Birdie and me

J. M. M. Nuanez

Fiction, LGBTQ+, Kids

"Ever since their free-spirited mama died ten months ago, twelve-year-old Jack and her gender creative nine-year-old brother, Birdie, have been living with their fun-loving Uncle Carl, but now their conservative Uncle Patrick insists on being their guardian which forces all four of them to confront grief, prejudice, and loss, all while exploring what 'home' really means"--

Martin McLean, middle school queen

Alyssa Zaczek

Fiction, LGBTQ+, Kids

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.

Hurricane child

Kheryn Callender

jFICTION Callende Kheryn
Fiction, Adventure, LGBTQ+, Kids

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

The Stonewall Riots : coming out in the streets

Gayle E. Pitman

j306.76 Pitman
Kids, LGBTQ+, Nonfiction, History

"This book is about the Stonewall Riots, a series of spontaneous, often violent demonstrations by members of the gay (LGBTQ+) community in reaction to a police raid that took place in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. The Riots are attributed as the spark that ignited the LGBTQ+ Movement. The author describes American gay history leading up to the Riots, the Riots themselves, and the aftermath, and includes her interviews of people involved or witnesses, including a woman who was ten at the time. Profusely illustrated, the book includes contemporary photos, newspaper clippings among other period objects. A timely and necessary read, The Stonewall Riots helps readers to understand the history and legacy of the LGBTQ+ movement"--

Pride : celebrating diversity & community

Robin Stevenson

j306.76 Stevenson
LGBTQ+, Kids, Nonfiction

"This work of nonfiction for middle readers examines what -- and why -- gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people and their supporters celebrate on Pride Day every June"--Title page verso.

King and the dragonflies

Kacen Callender

jFICTION Callende Kacen
Fiction, Mystery, LGBTQ+, Kids

"In a small but turbulent Louisiana town, one boy's grief takes him beyond the bayous of his backyard, to learn that there is no right way to be yourself"--

A high five for Glenn Burke

Phil Bildner

Fiction, Historical Fiction, LGBTQ+, Kids

After researching Glenn Burke, the first major league baseball player to come out as gay, sixth-grader Silas Wade slowly comes out to his best friend Zoey, then his coach, with unexpected consequences.

Dear Sweet Pea

Julie Murphy

Fiction, Kids, LGBTQ+

"Thirteen-year-old Patricia, widely known as Sweet Pea, navigates her parents' unconventional divorce and finds herself in the unlikely role of her town's advice columnist"--