June is Pride Month, a time to celebrate and elevate LGBTQ+ kids! Is your reading library bursting with pride? Keep reading for recommendations for every age.
Pride Colors by Robin Stevenson
★ “Awash in messages of love and the celebration of individuality, this dual concept book highlights LGBTQIA+ families in a positive, glittery light. A rare treat for both Pride Day and everyday sharing.” —School Library Journal, starred review
Bedtime, Not Playtime! by Lawrence Schimel and Elīna Brasliņa
A young girl is getting ready for bed when her puppy tries to play. First Rex brings his ball over, but she ignores him. Then he crashes story time, but she still doesn’t give in! Finally, as a last resort, Rex steals her teddy and the chase is on! Under the table, over the chair, her daddies give chase and, at last, rescue the bear. Now it’s really time for bed!
Early One Morning by Lawrence Schimel and Elīna Brasliņa
A young boy is awake before his moms and sister. It’s too early to make a sound…but what’s that noise?! Two rumbling tummies need to be fed! Letting themselves into the kitchen, the boy and his cat finish their breakfast just in time to say “Good morning” when the rest of the family wakes up.
Pride Puppy! by Robin Stevenson and Julie McLaughlin
★ “[A] sheer delight and will be a welcome addition to shelves everywhere. Highly—and proudly—recommended.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
A Plan for Pops by Heather Smith and Brooke Kerrigan
“The bond between Lou and [their] loving grandparents shines through in this unique story. The matter-of-factness of their relationship is worth noting, as this type of representation for same-sex couples will help children appreciate the diversity that exists in many families, without overstating it.” —Resource Links
Riley Can’t Stop Crying by Stéphanie Boulay and Agathe Bray-Bourret
★ “Boulay brings immense tenderness to both [Regina] and Riley’s journeys of discovery…Bray-Bourret’s quirky illustrations offer energy and lightness that balance the serious subject matter of gender identity.” —Quill & Quire, starred review
Genius Jolene by Sara Cassidy and Charlene Chua
On her annual trip in her father’s 18-wheeler, Jolene is ready for some new adventures.
Eight-year-old Jolene is headed to Los Angeles on a six-day road trip to deliver some newsprint with her dad. Just like last year, they tell each other stories and listen to music. They also keep up their favorite tradition: critiquing one type of food at every stop. This time it’s onion rings.
But this year is also different. Unlike last year, Jolene’s parents are no longer together. They split up when her father came out as gay. These are big changes for Jolene, but she is spunky and smart and has a good heart. She’s ready to stand up for what’s right—both on and off the road.
Jordan and Max, Showtime by Suzanne Sutherland and Michelle Simpson
Jordan had a tough time with the other kids at his old school.
So, on his first day at Massey Elementary, he has a plan: to be absolutely invisible. His new classmates don’t need to know that his grandmother is his best friend or that they put on shows together dressing up in elaborate costumes each night in their apartment. When he’s forced to pair up with Max, a loud-mouthed loner with a love for Hawaiian shirts, Jordan’s cover of invisibility threatens to be blown completely. But with the help of his partner’s unique artistic vision, Jordan begins to see that his sparkling secret deserves to be revealed.
On the Line by Paul Coccia and Eric Walters
“The pairing of superstar author Eric Walters with relative newcomer Paul Coccia is nothing short of brilliant. The result is a thoughtful, engaging story of basketball, cars, trucks, friends and family and what happens in a small town when it is revealed that someone is gay. This is a heartfelt story that is sure to appeal to Walters’s fans and will propel Coccia to a wider audience. Very highly recommended.” —Ken Setterington, author of the Stonewall Honor Book Branded by the Pink Triangle and Righting Canada’s Wrongs: The LGBT Purge and the fight for equal rights in Canada
Guardians of Porthaven by Shane Arbuthnott
“Uses a science fiction setting and superhero characters to comment on societal issues of wealth, privilege, and abuse of power, making for an enjoyable and thought-provoking read. Fans of comic book heroes and science fiction will enjoy. Highly Recommended.” —CM: Canadian Review of Materials
My Life as a Diamond by Jenny Manzer
“A great novel for elementary grades to learn more about gender, identity, and transgender issues…Filled with lots of baseball lingo and references, this is the perfect book for a die-hard baseball fan.” —Resource Links
Growing Up Trans: In Our Own Words edited by Dr. Lindsay Herriot and Kate Fry
“This book is exactly what the world needs right now. We’ve heard from doctors, we’ve heard from parents, we’ve heard from teachers. It’s time we hand over the mic to trans kids themselves. And this book does that so beautifully. It’s a tome full of inspiring resilience and determination. It’s a perfect ‘it gets better’ collection.” —Justin Tindall, MPH, It Gets Better Project
Pride: The Celebration and the Struggle by Robin Stevenson
★ “An indispensable and celebratory primer on the ongoing fight for LGBTQ+ rights. An excellent resource that is as thorough as it is visually appealing.” —School Library Journal, starred review
Naked: Not Your Average Sex Encyclopedia by Myriam Daguzan Bernier and Cécile Gariépy
★ “What makes this sex-ed title stand out is the up-to-the-minute dialogue around age-old concerns combined with discussions about broader concepts…Gariépy’s radiant, curvy, stylized digital graphics are a perfect fit for the body-positive text…Non-judgemental, trustworthy, and savvy, Bernier is the counsellor we all wished we had access to in high school.” —Quill & Quire, starred review
Sink or Swim by Tash McAdam
Bruised and battling hypothermia, Bass and Rosie must seek shelter and work together to survive until they can be rescued. If they can be rescued.
Sixteen-year-old shy, socially awkward trans teen Bass reluctantly skips school and goes on a boat trip with his adventure-seeking girlfriend, Rosie. When a sudden storm smashes their boat on a rocky shore off a deserted island, Bass and Rosie struggle to make it to safety. After a horrible night, Rosie, an experienced climber, decides to scale a steep cliff to find help. She falls and injures herself badly. Now Bass has to find the strength and courage to swim around a dangerous headland and make his way back to civilization before it’s too late.
Blood Sport by Tash McAdam
★ “This book checks all the boxes of a hi-lo text. It has an exciting hook, a modern teen worldview, and is at a lower reading level…A must-buy for libraries looking for diverse and compelling hi-lo books.” —School Library Journal, starred review
Hey Jude by Star Spider
★“An emotionally layered book with accurate insight into mental illness, ideal for reluctant readers.” —Kirkus Reviews