4 LGBTQ+ titles for more inclusive libraries

Reading recommendations from an advocate for LGBTQ+ youth
By: | July 1, 2019
Gettyimages.com: malerapaso

What LGBTQ+-themed books should students read? Michael Rady, of student advocacy organization GLSEN, recommends four titles that feature diverse forms of gender expression:

Grades K-2: Julian is a Mermaid by Jessica Love (Candlewick Press, 2019). After watching a parade, a boy wants to dress up as a mermaid and gets support from his grandmother.

Grades 3-6: Queer Heroes: Meet 52 LGBTQ Heroes From Past and Present! by Arabelle Sicardi (Wide Eyed Editions, 2019). Celebrates the accomplishments of 50 LGBTQ+ historical figures, such as Frida Kahlo, James Baldwin and Harvey Milk.

Middle school: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2012). A romance develops between two 15-year-old boys, one of whom is open about his homosexuality while the other is suppressing his identity.

High school: Branded by the Pink Triangle by Ken Setterington (Second Story Press, 2013). A non-fiction account of the persecution of LGBTQ+ people during the Holocaust.


Main story: How librarians make space for LGBTQ+ students