20 LGBTQ+ Pride Books for Students of All Ages

All children should feel represented by the books in your classroom library. It’s important to share diverse titles, so every student feels seen! In addition, exposing students to new points of view helps them to learn empathy. Provide your students with a window into the many different experiences within the LGBTQ+ community when you add the following titles to your classroom library!


Love, Violet cover image

Love, Violet
by Charlotte Sullivan Wild
Interest level: P-1

This is a touching picture book about friendship and the courage it takes to share your feelings. Only one person makes Violet’s heart skip. Of all the kids in Violet's class, only one leaves her speechless: Mira, the girl with the cheery laugh who races like the wind. If only they could adventure together! But every time Violet tries to tell Mira how she feels, Violet gets shy. As Valentine's Day approaches, Violet is determined to tell Mira just how special she is. 

 

True You cover image

True You: A Gender Journey
by Charlotte Sullivan Wild
Interest level: P-1

Girl, boy, neither, both or not sure. There are different ways to show and be who you are including how you feel, dress, act, play, learn and love. Who is the true you? With the permission of their parents, the children in this photographic picture book were recorded and transcribed. These powerful testimonials paired with a spare narrative and vibrant, joyful portraits offer up a humanizing and moving exploration of kids and how they feel about their true selves.

 

Kind Like Marsha cover image

Kind Like Marsha: Learning from LGBTQ+ Leaders
by Sarah Prager
Interest level: P-3

This book celebrates 14 amazing and inspirational LGBTQ+ people throughout history. With a focus on a positive personality attribute of each of the historical figures, readers will be encouraged to be brave like the Ugandan activist fighting for LGBTQ+ rights against all odds and to be kind like Marsha P. Johnson who took care of her trans community on the New York City streets.

 

Big Book of Pride Flags cover image

The Big Book of Pride Flags
by Jessica Kingsley Publishers, Eds.
Interest level: K-3

This book is the perfect resource for teaching children about LGBTQ+ identities and pride. With fun facts and simple explanations accompanying each beautifully illustrated flag, there's also a Reading Guide to encourage conversations and a Create Your Own Pride Flag design at the back.

 

Kapaemahu

Kapaemahu
by Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu and Dean Hamer
Interest level: K-3

This is an Indigenous legend about how four extraordinary individuals of dual male and female spirit, or Mahu, brought healing arts from Tahiti to Hawaii. In the 15th century, four Mahu sailed from Tahiti to Hawaii and share their gifts of science and healing with the people of Waikiki. The islanders return this gift with a monument of four boulders in their honor, which the Mahu imbue with healing powers before disappearing. As time passes, foreigners inhabit the island, and the once-sacred stones are forgotten until the 1960s. 

 

'Twas the Night Before Pride cover image

‘Twas the Night Before Pride
by Joanna McClintock
Interest level: K-3

A glittering celebration of queer families puts Pride gently in perspective by honoring those in the LBGTQ+ community who fought against injustice and inequality. This joyful picture book is an homage to a day of community and inclusion. On the night before Pride, families everywhere are preparing to take part. As one family packs snacks and makes signs, an older sibling shares the importance of the march with the newest member of the family. Reflecting on the day, the siblings agree that the best thing about Pride is getting to be yourself.

 

A Song for the Unsung cover image

A Song for the Unsung: Bayard Rustin, the Man Behind the 1963 March on Washington
by Carole Boston Weatherford
Interest level: 1-6

A richly illustrated picture book biography of Bayard Rustin, the gay Black man behind the March on Washington. On August 28, 1963, a quarter of a million activists and demonstrators from every corner of the United States convened for the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. It was there and then that they raised their voices in unison to call for racial and economic justice for all Black Americans, to call out inequities and to advance the Civil Rights Movement. 

 

Riley Reynolds series image

Riley Reynolds
by Jay Albee
Interest level: 2-4

In this 4-book series, Riley Reynolds loves crafting (and making messes), music (and playing it loud) and animals (from unicorns and dragons to fish and birds). They also love their family and friends. From making costumes to saving a park, Riley is always ready to help! Riley is nonbinary and loves that too, proving that you don't have to identify as a boy or girl. You can just be yourself and be happy! Riley shows that being true to yourself is the most important thing you can do.

 

The Beautiful Something Else cover image

The Beautiful Something Else
by Ash Van Otterloo
Interest level: 3-7

It's exhausting trying to be the perfect daughter. Still, getting good grades without making any waves may be the only way to distract from the fact that Sparrow Malone's mother is on the verge of falling apart. Which means no getting upset. No being weird. No standing out for the wrong reasons. But when Mom's attempts to cope spiral out of control, Sparrow is sent to live with Aunt Mags on a sprawling estate full of interesting, colorful new neighbors. For the first time, trying to fit in doesn't feel right anymore.

 

Pride in Sports cover image

Pride In Sports
by Emile Dufresne
Interest level: 3-7

Sometimes being who you are can be a hard thing to do. Learn about people from across the LGBTQ+ community who celebrate who they are and never stop fighting for what they believe. No matter who you are, inside or out, this book is here to teach you that you can be proud of who you are.

 

Small Town Pride cover image

Small Town Pride
by Phil Stamper
Interest level: 3-7

Jake is starting to enjoy life as his school's first openly gay kid. While his family and friends are accepting and supportive, the same can't be said about everyone in their small town of Barton Springs, Ohio. When Jake's dad hangs a comically large pride flag in their front yard in an overblown show of love, the mayor begins to receive complaints. A few people are even concerned the flag will lead to something truly outlandish: a pride parade. Except Jake doesn't think that's a ridiculous idea. Why can't they hold a pride festival in Barton Springs? 

 

The Stonewall Riots cover image

The Stonewall Riots: Making a Stand for LGBTQ Rights
by Archie Bongiovanni
Interest level: 4-8

In this graphic novel, experience the Stonewall Riots firsthand and meet iconic activists like Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera. Three teenagers, Natalia, Jax and Rashad are magically transported from their modern lives to the legendary Stonewall Inn in the summer of 1969. Escorted by Natalia's eccentric abuela (and her pet cockatiel, Rocky), the friends experience the police raid firsthand and are thrown into the infamous riots that made the struggle for LGBTQ rights front-page news.

 

When the Angels Left the Old County cover image

When the Angels Left the Old Country
by Sacha Lamb
Interest level: 7-12

Uriel the angel and Little Ash (short for Ashmedai) are the only two supernatural creatures in their shtetl. The angel and the demon have been studying together for centuries, but pogroms and the search for a new life have drawn all the young people from their village to America. When one of those young people goes missing, Uriel and Little Ash set off to find her. With cinematic sweep and tender observation, Sacha Lamb presents an original drama about individual purpose, the fluid nature of identity and the power of love to change and endure.

 

Blaine for the Win cover image

Blaine for the Win
by Robbie Couch
Interest level: 7-12

High school junior Blaine Bowers has it all: the perfect boyfriend, a pretty sweet gig as a muralist for local Windy City businesses, a loving family and awesome, talented friends. And he is absolutely 100% positive that the aforementioned perfect boyfriend, senior student council president and Mr. Popular of Wicker West High School, Joey, is going to invite Blaine to spend spring break with his family in beautiful, sunny Cabo San Lucas. Except Joey breaks up with him instead. In public. On their one-year anniversary. 

 

Kings, Queens and In-Betweens cover image

Kings, Queens and In-Betweens
by Tanya Boteju
Interest level: 7-12

Perpetually awkward Nima Kumara-Clark is bored with her insular community of Bridgeton, in love with her straight girlfriend and trying to move past her mother's unexpected departure. After a bewildering encounter at a local festival, Nima finds herself suddenly immersed in the drag scene on the other side of town. Macho drag kings, magical queens, new love interests and surprising allies propel Nima both painfully and hilariously closer to a self she never knew she could be.

 

Gearbreakers cover image

Gearbreakers
by Zoe Hana Mikuta
Interest level: 8-12

In an age of 100-foot-tall mechanical deities run by a tyrannical regime, two teenage girls on opposite sides of a war discover they are falling for each other while fighting for a common purpose.

 

Welcome to St. Hell cover image

Welcome to St. Hell: My Trans Teen Misadventures
by Lewis Hancox
Interest level: 9-12

Lewis has a few things to say to his younger teen self. He knows she hates her body. He knows she's really a he and will ultimately realize this, but she's going to go through a whole lot of mess to get to that point. Follow along as Lewis embarks on a hilarious, heartbreaking and healing path to make it past trauma, confusion, hurt and dubious fashion choices in order to become the man he was meant to be. It's a remarkable, groundbreaking graphic memoir from an unmistakably bold new voice in comics.

 

Aristotle and Dante cover image

Aristotle and Dante Dive Into the Waters of the World
by Benjamin Alire Saenz
Interest level: 9-12

Two boys in a border town fell in love. Now, they must discover what it means to stay in love and build a relationship in a world that challenges their very existence. Ari has spent all of high school burying who he really is, staying silent and invisible. He expected his senior year to be the same. But something in him cracked open when he fell in love with Dante, and he can't go back. Suddenly he finds himself reaching out to new friends, standing up to bullies of all kinds, and making his voice heard. The boys are determined to forge a path for themselves in a world that doesn't understand them. 

 

Fence: Striking Distane cover image

Fence: Striking Distance
by Sarah Rees Brennan 
Interest level: 9-12

Sixteen-year-old Nicholas Cox is the illegitimate son of a retired fencing champion who dreams of getting the proper training he could never afford. After earning a place on the elite Kings Row fencing team, Nicholas must prove himself to his rival and navigate the clashes, friendships and relationships among his teammates on the road to state championships. 

 

The Henna Wars

The Henna Wars
by Adiba Jaigirdar
Interest level: 9-12

When Nishat, an Irish girl of Bengali heritage, sees her old friend Flavia again, she feels attracted, but when they both enter a school contest as henna artists, their feelings for each other become more complicated.

 

What books with LGBTQ+ themes do your students love? Tell us in the comments below!

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