Hello, book enthusiasts! Curious about what’s new in the world of queer children’s literature? This is your go-to spot for the latest updates on queer kidlit releases! Every month this feature will include the latest queer inclusive stories – families of all kinds, breaking down gender stereotypes, and just being yourself, no strings attached.
Get those bookmarks ready, because it’s time to dive in!
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Our Wish for You: A Story About Open Adoption by Dan Moreno, Illustrated by Ryan O’Rourke
This moving picture book about open adoption shares all parents’ wish for a child’s life to be full of love and family.
One birth mother is pregnant with a baby and wants to find parents to adopt the child. Eventually she finds two dads who will be just the right parents, because they, too, share her same wishes of love and happiness for the baby. Author Dano Moreno drew from his and his husband’s experience with adopting their son to write a gentle, universal story about all the hopes, dreams, and wishes parents have for their children to live happy lives.
Sweet and tender, Our Wish For You is the perfect gift for growing families, baby showers, or adoption day celebrations.
Tourmaline by Davide Calì, Illustrated by Fatinha Ramos
Award-winning creators Davide Calì and Fatinha Ramos’s reimagined fairy tale picture book Tourmaline celebrates LGBTQ+ inclusivity and diversity.
When knight after knight tries to rescue the princess and fails, who will succeed in saving her?
Somewhere far away, a beautiful princess called Tourmaline is imprisoned in a tall tower. Only the bravest knight of all can free her. Knight after knight is sure that he’s the bravest, but they all fail in their quest. They get tangled up in the forest, lose their way in a cornfield, don’t want to get their cloak dirty, become distracted, or their horse lets them down.
Luckily there’s one fearless knight who doesn’t let anything daunt them.
We Are All Different: A Celebration of Diversity! by Tracey Turner, Illustrated by Åsa Gilland
Meet the children from one school, and their teachers, parents, and guardians. They have different kinds of families, likes and dislikes, cultures, ethnicities, abilities and disabilities… and A LOT in common!
There are BILLIONS of wonderful ways to be human―as many ways as there are people on planet Earth. We Are All Different is an inspiring celebration of the fact that all of us are individuals. Written by Tracey Turner, it has been created in collaboration with several Inclusion Ambassadors from the Inclusive Minds organization.
Good Books for Bad Children: The Genius of Ursula Nordstrom by Beth Kephart, Illustrated by Chloe Bristol
In this lively, lyrical picture book biography, meet the groundbreaking, outspoken, legendary editor of the best-loved books for children, and see how she inspired Maurice Sendak, Margaret Wise Brown, and others to create Where the Wild Things Are, Good Night Moon, and many more classics.
“Ursula Nordstrom was a grown-up who never forgot what it was to be a child.” The girl who’d always loved to read would grow up to work in the Department of Books for Boys and Girls at Harper & Brothers Publishers. Soon she was editing books by Margaret Wise Brown and E. B. White, discovering new talent like John Steptoe and Maurice Sendak, and reinventing what a book for children should be. “Children want to be seen,” she’d tell her writers. “Not good enough for you,” she’d scribble in the margins of their manuscripts, asking them to revise. Her favorite books of all? “Good books for bad children,” she’d say. And those books went on to win every award imaginable, including the Caldecott and Newbery Medals and the National Book Award.
You Do You-nicorn by Erin Vanessa
Be your own fabulous self in this affirming picture book complete with real paper unicorn horn pieces to punch out and assemble into a headband!
You Do You-nicorn is a sweet, funny story about inclusivity and staying true to yourself. A gender-fluid child shows their friends that they can be and do whatever they want and feel like–whether it’s playing the digeridoo-nicorn, painting a baboon-icorn, or changing their name to Ruth-icorn! Remember: Only YOU know how to do you! And you can feel like your own unicorn by assembling a sparkly unicorn headband with pieces included at the end of the book! .
To See Clearly: A Portrait of David Hockney by Evan Turk
From award-winning creator Evan Turk, a stirring picture book biography of world-famous artist David Hockney that celebrates seeing beauty everywhere
“It’s the very process of looking at something that makes it beautiful.” —David Hockney
Growing up under the gray skies of England during World War II, David Hockney used art to brighten his world. He discovered that the more he looked and drew, the more he could see beneath the surface to find beauty, possibility, and new perspectives. In the most ordinary things, whether a splash of water, a changing landscape, or the face of a friend, David always found something to love, uniquely capturing the vibrancy and life of his subjects.
Lyrically written with breathtaking, full-color illustrations by Evan Turk, To See Clearly tells the inspiring story of a groundbreaking artist who has shown the world a new way to see.
My Culture, My Gender, Me by Cassandra Jules Corrigan, Illustrated by Moe Butterfly
Gender diversity knows no borders…
Exploring identities that span the Indigenous Two Spirit people, the hijras of the Indian subcontinent, the mahu people of Hawaii, the female husbands of the Igbo tribe and many more, Cassandra Corrigan beautifully demonstrates that gender identities beyond the binary are a world-wide phenomenon.
This lovingly illustrated guide is an important testament that genders other than male and female have always existed – around the globe – and comes with additional materials to help children uncover the gender identities from their own cultures.
Perfect for parents, children, educators and professionals who work with gender-diverse children.
Sometimes I Cry by Jess Townes, Illustrated by Daniel Miyares
From Jess Townes with illustrations by Daniel Miyares, this poignant picture book deftly tackles the wide array of emotions experienced in childhood, and especially reminding readers that there’s nothing wrong with crying.
There are all sorts of feelings that can make us cry―from disappointment to joy, from grief to love. Sometimes I Cry offers a gentle and necessary affirmation of the emotional complexity of growing up. Powerful, poignant, and universally relevant, it is a triumph for readers of any age.
Deephaven by Ethan M. Aldridge
From Ethan M. Aldridge, bestselling creator of Estranged, comes a gothic middle grade prose novel that follows a nonbinary student who is drawn to their boarding school’s forbidden east wing, where something stalks the shadowy corridors. Perfect for fans of J. A. White and Mary Downing Hahn!
When Guinevere “Nev” Tallow receives an acceptance letter to the exclusive Deephaven Academy, they know it’s the fresh start that they’ve been looking for.
But things are strange from the moment they arrive—the house itself seems to breathe, students whisper secrets in dark corridors, and the entire east wing of the academy is locked away for reasons no one wants to explain. And Nev knows something ragged stalks the shadowy corridors, something that sobs quietly and scratches at the walls, waiting to be released.
With the help of another first-year student, Nev takes it upon themself to unravel the mysteries hidden in Deephaven’s halls. But will they risk their fresh start to bring the academy’s secret to light?
The Otherwoods by Justine Pucella Winans
The Otherwoods is calling. And it won’t be ignored.
Some would call River Rydell a ‘chosen one’: born with the ability to see monsters and travel to a terrifying spirit world called The Otherwoods, they have all the makings of a hero. But River just calls themself unlucky. After all, it’s not like anyone actually believes River can see these things-or that anyone even believes monsters exist in the first place. So the way River sees it, it’s better to keep their head down and ignore anything Otherwoods related.
But The Otherwoods won’t be ignored any longer.
When River’s only friend (and crush) Avery is kidnapped and dragged into The Otherwoods by monsters, River has no choice but to confront the world they’ve seen only in their nightmares-but reality turns out be more horrifying than they could have ever imagined. With only their cat for protection and a wayward teen spirit as their guide, River must face the monsters of The Otherwoods and their own fears to save Avery and become the hero they were (unfortunately) destined to be.
The Lonely Book by Meg Grehan
A warm and loving story about how a non-binary person comes to understand and accept themselves by an award-winning queer author.
Every morning, when Annie’s moms open up their bookshop, there’s a pile of books on the counter, waiting for the right reader to come and find them.
But one day, there’s a book nobody comes for. Nobody ever comes, and each day the book gets lonelier, and the bookshop becomes an unhappy place. Who can the book be for, and why don’t they come?
Eventually, the book finds the reader who needs it: Annie’s sister, Charlotte. Charlotte asks the family to call her Charlie now, and to use ‘they/them’ pronouns.
The bookshop cheers up. Customers start buying books again.
Alex Wise vs. the End of the World by Terry J. Benton-Walker
Alex Wise feels like his world is ending. His best friend, Loren, is leaving town for the summer, his former friend and maybe sort of crush Sky hasn’t spoken to him since he ditched Alex on first day of sixth grade, and now his mom is sending him and his annoying younger sister, Mags, on a cruise with the dad who abandoned them. And, as if things couldn’t get worse, a creepy shadow monster may or may not be stalking him.
But none of this could prepare Alex for the actual end of the world. Too bad that is exactly what’s coming, after the definitely-real Shadow Man kidnaps Mags and she is possessed by the ancient spirit of Death—one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Luckily (depending on who you ask), Alex is possessed as well by a powerful god who imbues Alex with their powers in an effort to stop the Horsemen…if he can figure out how to use them. So begins an epic battle between good and evil: Alex, Loren, a grumpy demi-god, and Alex’s fourth grade teacher vs. Death, Pestilence, Famine, War, and the waves of chaos and destruction they bring to LA and soon the rest of the globe. Just your average summer vacation.
Alex is more used to being left behind than leading the way, but now he’s the only one who can save his sister—and the world. That is, if he can unlock his new powers and see himself as the hero he is.
The Memory Thieves (The Conjureverse, 2) by Dhonielle Clayton
Eager to wield their stapiers for Marvel Combat, Ella, Brigit, and Jason are back for their second year at the Arcanum Training Institute. With Ella’s celebrity growing throughout the Marvellian world after thwarting the Ace of Anarchy’s diabolical plans, it’s proving hard for her to focus on her coursework. But back home in New Orleans the Conjure community isn’t too happy about her return to the skies for another year learning to become a Marveller. As if life wasn’t complicated enough, Ella soon discovers more dangerous secrets about the Conjure architect who built the school.
Before she can dig deeper, a mysterious magical illness sweeps through the Institute, and Ella lands at the top of the suspect list. Can Ella and her friends save themselves and the Marvellian world before chaos breaks loose?
Cross My Heart and Never Lie by Nora Dåsnes, Translated by Matt Bagguley
In this fresh, sensitive, diary-style graphic novel, 12-year-old Tuva’s questions about becoming a teenager are confusing—so when her first crush turns out to be on another girl, it feels absolutely wonderful–so why does it become so complicated?
Perfect for fans of The Girl from the Sea by Molly Knox Ostertag, HeartStopper by Alice Oseman, and Jen Wang’s The Dressmaker and the Prince.
Tuva is starting seventh grade, and her checklist of goals includes: writing out a diary, getting a trendy look, building the best fort in the woods with her BFFs, and much more. But when she starts school, nothing is how she hoped it would be.
Seventh grade has split her friends into rival factions: TEAM LINNEA and the girls who fall in love and TEAM BAO and the girls who NEVER fall in love. Linnea has a BOYFRIEND, Bao hates everything related to love. Worst of all, Linnea and Bao expect Tuva to choose a side!
In this delightfully hand-lettered coming-of-age graphic diary, Tuva gets caught between feeling like a kid and wanting to know HOW to become a teenager. Then Miriam shows up and suddenly Tuva feels as if she’s met her soulmate. Can you fall in love with a girl, keep it from your friends, and survive? For Tuva, it may be possible, but it’s definitely not easy.
The Problem with Gravity by Michelle Mohrweis
A heartfelt selection for STEAM, LGBTQ+, and neurodivergent readers, this companion novel to The Trouble with Robots charmingly explores first crushes.
Autistic seventh-grader Maggie Weir loves spacecraft, but aerospace engineering isn’t the only thing that gives her butterflies: she’s teamed up with the amazing, baton-twirling Tatum Jones for an engineering contest! It’s an out of this world chance for Maggie to tell Tatum, her long time crush, how she feels. Only, Tatum is distracted with her own troubles at home. Worse still, when Maggie learns that her dad wants to move to Houston, her whole universe gets shaken up! Now she has a big decision to make: does she stay with her mom and remain in Tatum’s orbit, or does she launch her dreams of visiting NASA by following her Dad? If the stars are meant to align between these two, they’ll both have to admit their feelings before Maggie leaves forever.
An easy-to-follow, dual perspective narrative that compassionately explores themes of separation, healthy friendship, and sibling rivalry. Another lovable cast of characters in the Barton Junior High universe!