Read Proud: LGBTQ Middle Grade Reads

Mk Staff Image

There have recently been more LGBTQ+ books geared towards middle grade students (think older elementary school and middle schoolers), and I couldn’t be more excited. As people start to explore their identities and “come out” at a younger age, it’s crucial that they see themselves reflected in the books they read.  I’ve rounded up some staff favorites below.

For those looking for in-person community, we also have regular Teen GSA (Gender & Sexuality Alliance) meetings at both the Main (Oakland) and Beechview Library locations.  Join a group of LGBTQIA teens and allies who are having fun, being supportive, learning about local resources, and striving to make our community stronger.  The group is open to ages 11-19. Check us out!

Ashes to Asheville

Twelve-year-old Fella is swept away on a wild road trip by her older sister Zany to fulfill their late mother’s dying wish.

Better Nate than Ever

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.”

George

When people look at George, they think they see a boy. But she knows she’s not a boy. She knows she’s a girl. George thinks she’ll have to keep this a secret forever. Then her teacher announces that their class play is going to be Charlotte’s Web. George really, really, REALLY wants to play Charlotte. But the teacher says she can’t even try out for the part . . . because she’s a boy. With the help of her best friend, Kelly, George comes up with a plan. Not just so she can be Charlotte — but so everyone can know who she is, once and for all.

The House You Pass on the Way

When fourteen-year-old Staggerlee, the daughter of a racially mixed marriage, spends a summer with her cousin Trout, she begins to question her sexuality to Trout and catches a glimpse of her possible future self.

Lily and Dunkin

Lily Jo McGrother, born Timothy McGrother, is a girl–but being a girl is not so easy when you look like a boy. Norbert Dorfman, nicknamed Dunkin Dorfman, is bipolar and has just moved from the 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.

The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher

The start of the school year is not going as the Fletcher brothers hoped. Each boy finds his plans for success veering off in unexpected and sometimes diastrous directions. And at home, their miserable new neighbor complains about everything. As the year continues, the boys learn the hard and often hilarious lesson that sometimes what you least expect is what you come to care about the most.

Not Your Sidekick

Despite her heroic lineage, Jessica is resigned to a life without superpowers and is merely looking to beef-up her college applications when she stumbles upon the perfect internship–only it turns out to be for the town’s most heinous supervillain. On the upside, she gets to work with her longtime secret crush, who Jess thinks may have a secret of her own.

The Other Boy

Twelve-year-old Shane Woods is just a regular boy. He loves pitching for his baseball team, working on his graphic novel, and hanging out with his best friend, Josh. But Shane is keeping something private, something that might make a difference to his friends and teammates, even Josh. And when a classmate threatens to reveal his secret, Shane’s whole world comes crashing down.

 

 

The Truth about Twinkie Pie

When twelve-year-old GiGi and her big sister DiDi move to Long Island from South Carolina for GiGi to attend a fancy new private school, GiGi has a new recipe for success and makes new friends, but then discovers a family secret that turns her life upside-down.