Welcome to Family Equality’s Book Nook, a comprehensive list of the best LGBTQ+ books for the whole family!
Whether you’re searching for your child’s first picture book or a young adult novel that your tween will devour, Family Equality’s Book Nook is a list of our favorite books that represent diverse families in a loving and respectful way.
Check out the search portal below to discover what new LGBTQ+ books you need to add to your at-home, local, or school libraries!
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I Am J
J had always felt different. He was certain that eventually everyone would understand who he really was: a boy mistakenly born as a girl. Yet as he grew up, his body began to betray him; eventually J stopped praying to wake up a “real boy” and started covering up his body, keeping himself invisible—from his parents, from his friends, from the world. But after being deserted by the best friend he thought would always be by his side, J decides that he’s done hiding—it’s time to be who he really is. And this time he is determined not to give up, no matter the cost.
Keesha has found a safe place to live, and other kids gravitate to her house when they just can’t make it on their own. They are Stephie—pregnant, trying to make the right decisions for herself and those she cares about; Jason —Stephie’s boyfriend, torn between his responsibility to Stephie and the baby and the promise of a college basketball career; Dontay—in foster care while his parents are in prison, feeling unwanted both inside and outside the system; Carmen—arrested on a DUI charge, waiting in a juvenile detention center for a judge to hear her case; Harris— disowned by his father after disclosing that he’s gay, living in his car, and taking care of himself; Katie—angry at her mother’s loyalty to an abusive stepfather, losing herself in long hours of work and school.
King of the Screwups
Liam Geller is Mr. Popularity. Everybody loves him. He excels at sports; he knows exactly what clothes to wear; he always ends up with the most beautiful girls in school. But he’s got an uncanny ability to screw up in the very ways that tick off his father the most. When Liam finally kicked out of the house, his father’s brother takes him in. What could a teenage chick magnet possibly have in common with his gay, glam rocker, DJ uncle who lives in a trailer in upstate New York? A lot more than you’d think. And when Liam attempts to make himself over as a nerd in a desperate attempt to impress his father, it’s his “aunt” Pete and the guys in his band who convince Liam there’s much more to him than his father will ever see.
Kate and Lissa have been best friends for four years, but when they drunkenly kiss one night and Kate refuses to acknowledge Lissa’s presence anymore, all of that is out the window. Kissing Kate explores love, life, and the fact that sometimes, the right answers aren’t the first ones that come to your mind.
Julie Anne Peters
Regan has always supported her sibling, who lives as Liam by day but revels as Luna at night. But when Liam wants to live as Luna full-time, Regan isn’t sure she’s ready for everyone else to know. This beautiful exploration of life as a transgender teenager (and as the sibling of one) is told from Regan’s point of view, and leaves no emotional stone unturned.
Mama’s Boy, Preacher’s Son:Mama’s Boy, Preacher’s Son: A Memoir of Growing Up, Coming Out, and Changing America’s Schools A Memoir of Growing Up, Coming Out, and Changing America’s Schools
In this emotional memoir, Kevin Jennings explores not only his roots, growing up in the south and hearing slurs against his orientation more often than he heard his name, but also explores how those early days led to his anti-bullying activism in American schools.
My Most Excellent Year
Freshman year looks like it’s going to be the most complicated of all—T.C. is trying to make Alé fall in love with him, Alé is trying to avoid her diplomat father’s government life, and Augie is coming to terms with his sexuality—but if they play their cards right, ninth grade just might end up being the most excellent year.
Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List
Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Naomi and Ely’s best friendship could survive anything—except Bruce. When Naomi’s boyfriend decides he’d rather be with Ely instead, not only do the best friends have to face that conflict, but Naomi also has to battle her own feelings for Ely.
October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard
On the night of October 6, 1998, a gay twenty-one-year-old college student named Matthew Shepard was lured from a Wyoming bar by two young men, savagely beaten, tied to a remote fence, and left to die. October Mourning, a novel in verse, is her deeply felt response to the events of that tragic day. Using her poetic imagination, the author creates fictitious monologues from various points of view, including the fence Matthew was tied to, the stars that watched over him, the deer that kept him company, and Matthew himself. More than a decade later, this stunning cycle of sixty-eight poems serves as an illumination for readers too young to remember, and as a powerful, enduring tribute to Matthew Shepard’s life.
One Man Guy
Alek Khederian should have guessed something was wrong when his parents took him to a restaurant. Everyone knows that Armenians never eat out. Between bouts of interrogating the waitress and criticizing the menu, Alek’s parents announce that he’ll be attending summer school in order to bring up his grades. Alek is sure this experience will be the perfect hellish end to his hellish freshman year of high school. He never could’ve predicted that he’d meet someone like Ethan.
Ethan is everything Alek wishes he were: confident, free-spirited, and irreverent. He can’t believe a guy this cool wants to be his friend. And before long, it seems like Ethan wants to be more than friends. Alek has never thought about having a boyfriend—he’s barely ever had a girlfriend—but maybe it’s time to think again.
Support Family Equality when you buy your next LGBTQ+ book!
To support Family Equality while you build your LGBTQ+ family library, visit smile.amazon.com and log in using your Amazon credentials. Then search for Family Equality under “Or pick your own charitable organization” and click “Select.”
That’s it! Now every time you shop at smile.amazon.com, a portion of the price of your purchase will go to supporting LGBTQ+ families!
More Resources for LGBTQ+ Families
Once you put down your most recent purchase, check out all the other activities, resources, and programs we create to support and connect LGBTQ+ families like yours across the country!
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Have an LGBTQ+ book you’d like to submit to our list?
If you know about an LGBTQ+ book that isn’t on our list, but should be—let us know! Use the form below to contact a staff member, and we’ll be in touch about next steps.