* Indicates these titles were found to be exceptional and highly recommended.
*Agell, Charlotte. The Accidental Adventures of India McAllister. 2010. 160p. Henry Holt & Co. (9780805089028). Gr 5-8. An illustrated diary-like account of things that India McAllister loves like her dog Tofu, her best friend, Colby, and other things... well, she’s not so sure about, like Amanda the Rodent and Richard, her dad’s boyfriend.
Beale, Elaine. Another Life Altogether. 2010. 416p. Spiegel & Grau. (978-0385530040). Gr 9+. Due to challenges at home, Jessie’s family decides to move to Yorkshire for a "new start", and she struggles to fit in and find her own voice in her new town. On top of all this, she must also figure out her confusing new crushes.
Bergman, S. Bear. The Nearest Exit May Be Behind You. 2009. Arsenal Pulp Press. (978-1551522647). Gr. 10+. A collection of personal essays from a transmasculine perspective, featuring topics such as coming out, family, identity and religion.
Boyd, Maria. Will. 2010. 304p. Knopf Books for Young Readers. (978-0375862090). GR 9-12. High school jock and all-around popular guy Will Armstrong moons a bus full of girls and is assigned community service which includes joining the school band and helping out with the musical. While serving his time, he is befriended by a gay boy and is forced to reconsider his own stereotypical views of what it means to be a man.
Cohn, Rachel. Very LeFreak. 2010. 320p. Knopf Books for Young Readers. (978-0375857584). Gr 9+. With a playlist for every moment, and the need for her tech buzzing in her veins, can Very unplug enough to discover what her heart really wants before it’s too late and take a chance at real love?
Cruse, Howard. Stuck Rubber Baby. 2010. 224p. DC Comics. (978-1401227135). Gr 10+. While fighting for civil rights in the 1960s South, Toland fights the realization that he is gay, and has to deal with the idea and the change in his own thoughts and personal identity.
de Rossi, Portia. Unbearable Lightness. 2010. 320p. Atria. (978-1439177785). Gr 9+. Coming to terms with coming out and the damaging perceptions of commercial beauty, she shares her story of recovery from her eating disorder and her self-acceptance.
Diaz, Alexandra. Of All The Stupid Things. 2009. 272p. EgmontUSA. (978-1606840344). Gr 10+. When Tara learns that her boyfriend may be gay, she is devastated. But then—when she finds herself attracted to a new girl, Riley—she is forced to examine her own sexuality.
Diersch, Sandra. Out. 2010. 136p. Lorimer. (978-1552774229). Gr 9+. Canadian teenager Alex must confront his latent homophobia when his younger brother comes out to him.
* Eagland, Jane. Wildthorn. 2010. 352p. Houghton Mifflin Books for Children. (978-0547370170). Gr 9+. Louisa Cosgrove, a high-spirited young lady in nineteenth century England, loves her cousin Grace and longs to be a doctor. A plot devised by someone close to her puts her in an insane asylum, doubting her own identity.
Fakhrid-Deen, Tina with COLAGE. Let’s Get this Straight: The Ultimate Handbook for Youth with LGBTQ Parents. 2010. 208p. Seal Press. (978-1580053334). Gr 6+. Reaching out through the voices of youth in GLBTQ households, this handbook gives kids the tools to deal with the uniqueness of living with LGBTQ parents, including how to deal with the bigotry and hatred of others, overcoming discrimination, and building self-esteem.
* Green, John and David Levithan. Will Grayson, Will Grayson. 2010. 304p. Dutton Juvenile. (978-0525421580). Gr 9+. On a cold Chicago night, two sixteen-year-olds—one gay and one not—meet and discover they have one big thing in common, their name. From then on, their lives, their friends and their loves intertwine and culminate in the staging of one of the funniest high school musicals ever.
Hodel, Page. Monday Hearts for Madalene. 2010. 112p. Stewart, Tabori & Chang. (978-1584797784). Gr 7-12. Whether spoken, written or shared in beautiful heart-shaped collages, Page Hodel reminds us love begets love and she lets her hearts tell her story.
* Horner, Emily. A Love Story Starring My Dead Best Friend. 2010. 272p. Dial. (978-0803734203). Gr 9+. Following the death of her best friend Julia, Cass finds herself involved in a project to produce the musical Julia wrote. Betrayed loyalties and school bullies set Cass off on a journey where she finds self-awareness and acceptance.
Hyde, Catherine Ryan. Jumpstart the World. 2010. 192p. Knopf Books for Young Readers. (978-0375866654). Gr 9+. Teenage Ellie falls in love with her next-door neighbor Frank, and then, to her dismay, discovers that he is transgender.
* Ignatow, Amy. The Popularity Papers: Research for the Social Improvement and General Betterment of Lydia Goldblatt and Julie Graham-Chang. 2010. 208p. Amulet Books. (978-0810984219). Gr 6-8. Best friends, Julie and Lydia, try to determine the secrets to popularity and record their observations and schemes in a secret notebook. The result is a hilarious, delightfully illustrated guide to surviving middle school and figuring out what friendship really means.
* Kemp, Anna. Dogs Don’t Do Ballet. 2010. 32p. Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing. (978-1416998396). Pre-K -2. Girl loves dog, dog loves girl, and they both love ballet. Will the unlikely ballerina ever get his moment on the stage?
Klise, James. Love Drugged. 2010. 312p. Flux. (978-0738721750). Gr 10+. What if there were a drug that could "cure" homosexuality? Deeply closeted teen Jamie is about to find out what could happen! This is a fast-paced novel with an intriguing premise.
* Lowrey, Sassafras. Kicked Out. 2010. 224p. Homofactus Press. (978-0978597368). Gr 9+. Homeless lgbt-q youth share their stories of surviving on the streets and finding places of sanctuary in creating their own chosen families and community.
Lurie, April. The Less Dead. 2010. 240p. Delacorte Books for Young Readers. (978-0385736756). Gr 9+. When Noah’s friend Will is murdered by a killer targeting homeless gay teens, Noah sets out to find the murderer.
Martin, Ricky. Me. 2010. 304p. Celebra Hardcover. (978-0451234155). Gr 9+. Not the usual celebrity biography with glamour shots, Martin instead keeps it real and shares his experience of coming out as gay Latino and the importance of self-acceptance and community service.
* McCaughrean, Geraldine. The Death-Defying Pepper Roux. 2010. 336p. HarperCollins. (978-0061836657). Gr. 5-8. Embarked on a dangerous voyage on the high seas, fourteen-year-old Pepper is befriended by a kindhearted, cross-dressing steward with the improbable name of Duchesse. Adventures abound!
Poole, Eric. Where’s My Wand?: One Boy’s Magical Triumph Over Alienation and Shag Carpeting. 2010. 272p. Einhorn/Putnam. (978-0399156557). Gr 9+. Poole’s witty memoir of growing up as a gay, Bewitched-obsessed boy in 1970s St. Louis recalls David Sedaris’ unfailingly funny takes on family wackiness.
Rainfield, Cheryl. Scars. 2010. 250p. Westside Books. (978-1934813324). Gr 9+. Fifteen-year-old Kendra is a budding artist who has far too many secrets. Not only does she cut herself, she is grappling with her childhood sexual abuse and her burgeoning sexuality.
Rucka, Greg. Art by J.H. Williams III; color by Dave Stewart; letters by Todd Klein. Batwoman: Elegy. 2010. 192p. DC Comics. (978-1401226923). Gr 10+. As Batwoman, Kate must battle the most dangerous criminals in Gotham while as Kate Kane, Batwoman must deal with coming to grips with her own sexual identity and fight her own personal war while dealing with the new super-criminal Alice, who’s determined to take her down.
* Sheng, Jeff. Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. 2010. 40p. Jeff Sheng Studios. (978-0984447411). Gr 9+. A poignant photographic essay dedicated to the brave LGBTQ military personnel who serve under "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell". Each person’s face is artfully hidden, helping to express their feelings of isolation and loneliness.
Shrya, Vivek. God Loves Hair. Self-published, 2010. 90p. (978-0986551208). Gr 10+. Vignettes tell the tale of Vivek, a young man who struggles with his sexuality, preferring to wear his mother’s beautiful sari and lipstick. He endures physical, emotional and verbal abuse in school, only to be saved by his faith... when things are bad during the week, he knows that Sunday will come and no matter what, his gods love him and appreciate all that he is.
Skeers, Linda. Tutus Aren’t My Style. 2010. 32p. Dial. (978-0803732124). Gr 1-2. Tomboy Emma is dismayed when she receives a gift from her favorite uncle and opens it to discover a frilly pink tutu. Ultimately, she discovers that there are lots of different ways to be a ballerina and that her uncle really does know her after all.
Soehnlein, K.M. Robin and Ruby. 2010. 288p. Kensington Publishing Corporation. (978-0758232182). Gr 10+. Aspiring actor Robin has just left his lover, Peter, when his sister, Ruby, goes missing. Robin searches for her, accompanied by his long-time friend, George, to whom, Robin discovers, he is becoming romantically attracted.
Stuart, Sebastian. The Hour Between. 2010. 260p. Alyson Books. (978-1593501266). Gr 10+. Arthur McDougal’s friendship with the charming but troubled Katrina Felt at the Spooner School for the disciplinary challenged helps him come to terms with his sexuality.
* Various Authors. The Gallup’s Modern Guide to Gay, Lesbian & Transgender Life (Series, 15 titles). 2010. Mason Crest Publishers. Gr 7+. A series of informative non-fiction titles which discuss celebrations and challenges of living as an lgbt person.
Wilson, Jacqueline. Kiss. 2010. 256p. Roaring Book Press. (978-1596432420). Gr 6-9. Sylvie has always imagined spending her life with her best friend, Carl, first as a couple and then as husband and wife. As she realizes Carl is gay and will never really become her boyfriend, she must reconsider her feelings and her friendship with him.
Alsenas, Linas. Hello My Name Is Bob. 2009. unp. Scholastic, $16.99. (9780545052443). Gr. PreK-2. Bob, a self described boring bear, begins comparing his own life to that of his adventurous Penguin friend Jack but soon realizes that it is okay to be different.
* Newman, Lesléa. Daddy, Papa, and Me. Il. Carol Thompson. 2008 (Dec.). unp. Tricycle Press/Ten Speed, $7.99 (9781582462622). Gr. Pre-K., and Mommy, Mama, and Me. Il. Carol Thompson. 2008 (Dec.). unp. Tricycle Press/Ten Speed, $7.99 (9781582462639). Gr. Pre-K. Same-sex parents use loving family activities to teach and play with their child in these “board books.”
Polacco, Patricia. In Our Mothers’ House. 2009. unp. Philomel, $17.99. (9780399250767). Gr. K-3. Although Marmee , Meema, and their three kids have a happy home life with many similarities to their neighbor’s experiences—dinnertime, fooling around, getting ready for parties—some in their community can see only the differences that this family has.
Rickards, Lynne. Pink! Il. Margaret Chamberlain. 2009. unp. Chicken House/Scholastic, $16.99. (9780545086080). Gr. PreK-2. Tired of rejection, Patrick the pink penguin tries unsuccessfully to live with the flamingos before he returns home to acceptance.
Van de Vendel, Edward. For You and No One Else. Il. Martijn van der Linden. 2009. unp. Lemniscaat/Boyds Mills Press, $16.95. (9781590786581). Gr. PreK-2. Although Buck is crushed when his friend Sparklehart woos all the does with the seven-leaf clover that Buck gives him, he soon cheers up when he finds an even better gift and the courage to tell Sparklehart that this gift is “for you and no one else!”
Winter, Jonah. Gertrude Is Gertrude Is Gertrude Is Gertrude. Il. Calef Brown. 2009. unp. Atheneum/Simon & Schuster, $16.99 (9781416940883). Gr. PreK-3. In the early twentieth century, the Paris salon of Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas is host to frequent prominent guests, including Picasso and Matisse.
Burd, Nick. The Vast Fields of Ordinary. 2009. 309p. Dial/Penguin, $16.99. (9780803733404) Gr. 9+. During his last summer before college, Dade juggles his divorcing parents and dysfunctional closeted boyfriend until he meets Alex and gains the courage to declare his sexuality.
Carter, Timothy. Evil? 2009. 256p. Flux/Llewellyn, $9.95. (9780738715391). Gr. 9+. Being gay and summoning demons don’t provide Stuart with any problem in his small, conservative Canadian town, but everyone gets caught up in an anti-masturbation crusade when Stuart commits the sin of Onan.
Collins, Pat Lowery. Hidden Voices: The Orphan Musicians of Venice. 2009. 345p. Candlewick, $17.99. (9780763639174). Gr. 7+. In a 1700s Venetian orphanage famous for its musical training, teenage Anetta suffers from her unrequited love for the ethereal Luisa.
Crutcher, Chris. Angry Management. 2009. 246p. Greenwillow/HarperCollins, $16.99. (9780060502478). Gr. 7+. Anger and rage, both internal and external, provide the common thread for three stories dealing with high school injustice–being black, gay, overweight, or simply a high school student.
Ehrenberg, Pamela. Tillmon County Fire. 2009. 175p. Eerdmans, $9.00 (9780802853455). Gr. 7+. Eight teens give their perspectives about an anti-gay hate crime that ignites fear, homophobia, grief, and loss.
Frazer, Megan. Secrets of Truth & Beauty. 2009. 347p. Disney/Hyperion, $15.99. (9781423117117). Gr. 9+. At age seven, Dara was a darling pageant winner; at 17, she has gained too much weight and anger, leading her to discover her runaway sister on a farm commune for lesbians and others rejected by their families, including a gay high school senior.
Garsee, Jeannine. Say the Word. 2009. 360p. Bloomsbury, $16.99. (97815999903330). Gr. 9+. The “perfect” Shawna Gallagher finds her life turned upside down when she turns 17, her estranged lesbian mother dies, and she discovers a family in the mother’s partner and two sons, a family that her controlling father tries to destroy.
Going, K.L. King of the Screwups. 2009. 310p. Harcourt/Houghton Mifflin, $17.00. (9780152062583). Gr. 7+. When Liam Geller screws up once too often, his father throws him out of the house, and Liam finds his true self when he goes to live with his father’s brother, “Aunt” Pete, a gay glam-rocker disc jockey living in a trailer in upstate New York.
González, Rigoberto. The Mariposa Club. 2009. 216p. Alyson, $14.95. (9781593501068). Gr. 8+. During their senior year, the Fierce Foursome—Maui, Trini, Isaac, and Lib—decide to leave their legacy by creating their high school’s first LGBT organization, an action that brings out both support and opposition from their families and their community.
Hopkins, Ellen, Tricks. 2009. 627p. Margaret K. McElderry/Simon & Schuster, $18.99. (9781416950073). Gr. 9+. Five teens find themselves selling their bodies in Las Vegas due to circumstances and decisions, both within and well beyond their control.
* How Beautiful the Ordinary: Twelve Stories of Identity. Ed. Michael Cart. 2009. 350p. HarperTeen/HarperCollins, $16.99. (9780061154980). Gr. 9+. The tales in this collection present not only the variety of identities in the LGBTQ community—transgendered, lesbian, bisexual, questioning, and gay—but also the variety of experiences of being human—love, regret, betrayal, discovery. (Note: As an ALA Rainbow Project committee member, Michael Cart recused himself from all discussion.)
Hurwin, Davida Wills. Freaks and Revelations. 2009. 234p. Little, Brown/Hachette Group, 16.99. (9780316049962). Gr. 10+. Actual events inspired this narrative of two teens—Jason, a gay thirteen-year-old surviving on the streets after being rejected by his family, and Doug, a seventeen-year-old skinhead punk rocker—as their lives intersect in a violent hate crime that forever changes them.
Katcher, Brian. Almost Perfect. 2009. 360p. Delacorte/Random House, $17.99. (9780385736640). Gr. 9+. Beautiful newcomer Sage is perfect for Logan until he discovers that she is transgendered.
Ketchum, Liza. Newsgirl. 2009. 327p. Viking/Penguin, $17.99. (9780670011193). Gr. 5-8. When ambitious and strong-willed Amelia moves to San Francisco in 1851 with her two mothers, she must masquerade as a boy to realize her dream of first hawking newspapers and then working as a reporter.
Levithan, David. Love Is the Higher Law. 2009. 167p. Knopf/Random House, $15.99. (9780375834684). Gr. 8+. Three teenage New Yorkers–Claire, Peter, and Jasper–searching for the meaning of the 9/11 bombing find it in new friendships and the emerging romantic relationship between the two boys.
* Lo, Malinda. Ash. 2009. 264p. Little Brown/Hachette Book Group, $16.99. (9780316040099). Gr. 8+. Torn between her emerging love for the King’s mysterious huntress and the ethereal draw of the world of the fairies, Ash discovers the strength of her own identity.
Marino, Peter. Magic and Misery. 2009. 293p. Holiday House, $17.95. (9780823421336). Gr. 8+. With frank discussions of relationships and sex, heterosexual and homosexual, Toni Jo, who befriends new student Pan (short for Pansy) in the hopes that he will be her boyfriend, gives a humorous portrayal of high school life.
Park, Judith. YSquare Plus. 2008 (Dec.). 183p. Yen Press/Hachette Group, $10.99. (9780759529274). Gr. 9+. Yagate has his heart set on Ra-Myun, the man of his dreams, but when he discovers that Chana does too, he turns to his friend Yoshitaka to help him win Ra-Myun’s affections.
Peck, Dale. Sprout, or My Salad Days, When I Was Green in Judgment. 2009. 277p. Bloomsbury, $16.99. (9781599901602). Gr. 7-10. It’s not easy having green hair in conservative Kansas, but teenage Sprout manages while also prepping for the Kansas State Essay Contest and falling in love with the intriguing new boy in school.
Peters, Julie Anne. Rage: A Love Story. 2009. 293p. Knopf/Random House, $16.99. (9780375852091). Gr. 10+. When the wildly divergent lives of Johanna and Reeves collide, all the Romantic, Alluring, Gorgeous, and Exciting expectations turn to painful RAGE.
Polito, Frank Anthony. Drama Queers! 2009. 416 p. Kensington, $15.00. (9780758231642). Gr. 9+. Julliard, thespians, homecoming, and a certain gorgeous football player all come together as “Band Fag” Bradley Dayton is out to make his senior year his most exciting ever—even if his best friend Jack won’t admit that he, too, is gay.
Rapp, Adam. Punkzilla. 2009. 244p. Candlewick, $16.99. (9780763630317). Gr. 8+. Fourteen-year-old Jamie (aka Punkzilla)–AWOL from military school–embarks on a cross-country odyssey to find his older brother, a dying gay playwright, and share with him his journal of his sometimes frightening, sometimes heartwarming adventures along the way.
Roth, Matthue. Losers. 2008 (Oct.). 186p. Push/Scholastic, $8.99. (9780545068932). Gr. 8-10. Russian immigrant and freshman Jupiter navigates the high school social world and works to improve his popularity while trying to connect with the cute girl at the record store and finding an unexpected friend in the school’s closeted bully.
Ruff, Shawn Stewart. Finlater. 2008 (Jul.). 292p. Quote Editions, $15.50 (9781604023954). Gr. 10+. This deeply affecting and openly sexual story of two boys in love—Cliffy Douglas and Noah Baumgarten—plays out among the disparities of home life and background during the 1970s homophobia and racial tension.
Ryan, P. E. In Mike We Trust. 2009. 321p. HarperTeen, $16.99. (9780060858131). Gr. 7-10. Garth finds the confidence to come out to his mother when wheeling-and-dealing Uncle Mike, his late father’s identical twin, moves in and puts him to work as a budding con man.
Sanchez, Alex. Bait. 2009. 239p. Simon & Schuster, $16.99. (9781416937722). Gr. 7+. Sexually abused San Diego teenager Diego, in trouble for his violent temper, finds understanding and reasons for self-acceptance in the wise and caring counsel of his gay parole officer Mr. Vidas.
Satyal, Rakesh. Blue Boy. 2009. 276p. Kensington, $15.00 (9780758231369). Gr. 9+. Can Kiran Sharma, a sexually confused twelve-year-old Indian American boy who secretly puts on his mother’s make-up, plays with dolls, and practices ballet, really be the reincarnation of the gender-bending Hindu god Krishna?
Stevenson, Robin. Inferno. 2009. 229p. Orca, $12.95. (9781554690770). Gr. 9+. When Dante meets Parker, she thinks that she has found a soul mate but is instead drawn into a dangerous and destructive relationship.
* Urrea, Luis Alberto. Into the Beautiful North. 2009. 342p. Little, Brown, $24.99. (9780316025270). Gr. 9+. When all the young men and fathers leave the bucolic Sinaloa village of Tres Camarones to find jobs in the United States, three young women and their gay friend Tacho sneak across the border to recruit seven police officers and soldiers (the Magnificent Seven!) who will return home and rescue them from the drug-dealing banditos who threaten their good life.
Walliams, David. The Boy in the Dress. Il. Quentin Blake. 2009. 231p. Razorbill/Penguin, $15.99. (9781595142993). Gr. 3-6. Dennis finds his family, friends, and townspeople initially resistant to his desire to wear dresses, but they become his biggest fans on and off the soccer field.
Whatling, Michael. A Vigil for Joe Rose: Stories of Being Out in High School. 2009. 201p. iUniverse, $15.95. (978144017855-9). Gr. 9+. The fictional notebooks belonging to Joe Rose, a young gay man killed in 1989 by a gang of hateful young men, is the thread that stitches together the stories of seven out gay high school students in Montreal.
Bechdel, Alison. The Essential Dykes to Watch Out for. 2008 (Nov.). 392p. Houghton Mifflin, $25.00. (978-0-618-96880-0). Gr. 10+. With the help of her extended family Mo, a neurotic lesbian, makes her way from youth to middle age through the countercultural adventures selected from comic strips published during the past 25 years.
Crisis: 40 Stories Revealing the Personal, Social, and Religious Pain and Trauma of Growing Up Gay in America. Ed. Mitchell Gold with Mindy Drucker. 2008 (Sept.). 369p. Greenleaf Book Group Press, $23.95. (9781929774104). Gr. 9+. Stories of coming out and finding acceptance from 40 Americans—many of them activists and politicians—show that attitude, not homosexuality—is the problem in our society.
Drummond, Mara Christine. Transitions: A Guide to Transitioning for Transsexuals and Their Families. 2009. 127p. Lulu.com, $16.50. (9780557052615). Gr. 10+. These practical, accessible definitions and descriptions of incongruent gender identity as well as the emotional, financial and physical implications of transitioning show the journey that transgendered people take.
Ginoli, Jon. Deflowered: My Life in the Pansy Division. 2009. 300p. Cleis Press, $16.95. (9781573443432). Gr. 10+. As a founding member of the Pansy Divison, the first out punk band to make it on the national scene, the author describes his coming-out experience and adventures in the homophobic music industry.
Hart, Melissa. Gringa: A Contradictory Girlhood. 2009. 276p. Seal Press, $16.95. (9781580052948). Gr. 8+. Hart’s memoir shares her freedom ride as a young White girl who shifts between living with an angry well-to-do father, who has custody of her, and a homosexual mother, who seeks to belong to the Latino culture in 1970s Southern California.
Milk: A Pictorial History of Harvey Milk. Int. Dustin Lance Black; Fwd. Armistead Maupin. 2009. 144p. Newmarket Press, $29.95. (9781557048295); pbk $19.95. (9781557048288). Gr. 8+. This illustrated companion book to the film Milk features archival materials about the life and murder of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay American to be voted into a major public office in the United States.
Rothschild, Matt. Dumbfounded: A Memoir. 2008. (Aug.). 320p. Crown/Random House. (9780307405425). Gr. 9+. Left by his mother to grow up with his Jewish grandparents on the Manhattan’s Upper East Side, Rothschild describes his childhood and teen years as he remained continually in trouble both at home and at school because of his extravagant behavior.
Shepard, Judy with Jon Barrett. The Meaning of Matthew: My Son’s Murder in Laramie and a World Transformed. 2009. 273p. Hudson/Penguin, $25.95. (978-1-59463-057-6). Gr. 9+. Judy Shepard offers her personal account of the heartrending and still relevant 1998 murder of her gay son Matthew in Laramie, Wyoming, a tragedy that inspired the powerful play The Laramie Project and led to federal anti-hate legislation.
Brannen, Sarah. Uncle Bobby’s Wedding. 2008. 32p. Putnam, $15.99. (978-0-399-24712-5). PreS-Gr. 2. Chloe’s concerns about her uncle’s upcoming wedding have nothing to do with the fact that his partner is male; instead, like a typical preschooler, she worries that she will lose her favorite uncle’s attention.
* Ewert, Marcus. 10,000 Dresses. Illustrated by Rex Ray. 2008. 32p. Seven Stories Press, $14.95. (978-1583228500). PreS-Gr. 2. Bailey dreams of wearing beautiful dresses, but her family disapproves of her understanding of her true self.
Middle / Early Young Adult
Bauer, A.C.E. No Castles Here. October 2007. 270p. Random House, $15.99 (Trade); $18.99 (Lib. Binding) (978-0-375-83921-4; 978-0-375-93921-1). Gr. 5-7. A book of fairy tales, participation in a school chorus, and a gay Big Brother combine to give 11-year-old Augie the confidence he needs to become an activist.
Woodson, Jacqueline. After Tupac & D Foster. 2008. 153p. Putnam, $15.99. (978-0-399- 24654-8). Gr. 5-8. Eleven-year-old D Foster completes a trio of friends who share a passion for the music of Tupac Shakur as they deal with discrimination directed toward the gay brother of one of the trio.
Bach, Tamara. Girl from Mars. Translated by Shelley Tanaka. 2008. 180p. Groundwood Books, $12.95. (978-0-88899-725-8). Gr. 7-10. At fifteen, Miriam’s life in a small German town lacks excitement and meaning until she meets Laura and begins to discover how full her life already is.
Brothers, Meagan. Debbie Harry Sings in French. 2008. 240p. Henry Holt, $16.95. (9780805080803/1-8050-8080-5). Gr. 8-12. Johnny is pretty sure he isn’t gay, but he’s not quite sure what it means that he wants to be Debbie Harry—to dress like her, have hair like hers, and to hang out with drag queens.
Cohn, Rachel, and David Levithan. Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List. August 2007. 230p. Knopf, $16.99 (Trade); $19.99 (Lib. Binding); $8.99 (pbk.). (978-0-375-84440-9; 9780375944406; 9780375844416). Gr. 9-12. Witty, urbane Naomi, age 19, finally comes to terms with being hopelessly in love with her gay best friend, Ely, even after she learns he is sleeping with her boyfriend.
* Dole, Mayra Lazara. Down to the Bone. 2008. 367p. HarperTeen. $16.99 (Trade); $17.89 (Lib. Binding). (978-0-06-084310-6; 978-0-06-084311-3). Gr. 8-12. After sixteen-year-old Laura is outed at school, kicked out of her home, and rejected by her girlfriend, she finds herself and her community in this hilarious debut novel with an all-Latino cast.
Dunnion, Kristyn. Big Big Sky. 2008. 244p. Red Deer Press, $14.95. (978-0-88995-404-5). Gr. 10-12. When a pod of five young well-trained female warrior assassins starts falling apart, each must show her strength in the outside real world to avoid being captured and unplugged.
Ford, Michael Thomas. Suicide Notes. 2008. 295p. HarperTeen, $16.99 (Trade); $17.89 (Lib. Binding). (978-0-06-073755-9; 978-0-06-073756-6). (978-0-06-073755-9). Gr. 9-11. After he wakes up in a psychiatric hospital, 15-year-old Jeff describes the events that led up to his attempted suicide and how his life is changed during his 45-day stay.
Geerling, Marjetta. Fancy White Trash. 2008. 257p. Viking, $16.99. (978-0-670-01082-0). Gr. 9-11. Fifteen-year-old Abby struggles with her highly dysfunctional family while her best friend Cody deals with the challenges of coming out to himself and his friends.
Goldman, Steven. Two Parties, One Tux, and a Very Short Film about the Grapes of Wrath. 2008. 272p. Bloomsbury, $16.99. (978-1-59990-271-5). Gr. 8-10. Eleventh-grader Mitchell’s life suddenly changes when his best friend David comes out of the closet.
Grant, Stephanie. Map of Ireland. 2008. 197p. Scribner, $22.00. (978-1-4165-5622-0/ 1-4165-5622-2). Gr. 10-12. Ann’s junior year is complicated by the forced busing of Black children to her formerly all-white high school, forcing Ann to deal with her racist environment while coping with being a lesbian in an inter-racial relationship.
Hardy, Mark. Nothing Pink. 2008. 109p. Front Street/Boyds Mills Press, $16.95. (978-1-932425-24-6). Gr. 8-10. Tormented with thoughts about his own homosexuality, Vincent, son of a Pentacostal preacher, fights his impulses until he meets Robert, a church friend, who is much more accepting.
* Harmon, Michael. Last Exit to Normal. 2008. 275p. Knopf, $15.99. (978-37584-982). Gr. 9-11. Ben and his two dads move to rural Montana where Ben absolutely does not fit in and finds it harder to deal with having two dads than he did in their previous urban home.
Hegamin, Tonya Cherie. M+O 4EVR. 2008. 165p. Houghton Mifflin, $16.00. (978-0-618-49570-2). Gr. 7-10. After the death of Marianne, Opal’s best friend—and more—Opal deals with her loss through the life of Hannah, a runaway slave who died in 1842.
Juby, Susan. Another Kind of Cowboy. December 2007. 344p. HarperTeen, $16.99 (Trade); $17.89 (Lib. Binding). (978-0-06-076517-0; 9780060765187). Gr. 8-10. Sixteen, gay, and closeted, Alex has dreamed of riding dressage since childhood, although his father wants him to be a “real” cowboy.
Kluger, Steve. My Most Excellent Year: A Novel of Love, Mary Poppins, & Fenway Park. 2008. 403p. Dial, $16.99. (978-0803732278). Gr. 8-10. Three high school friends, including a fun, proud, and just about out-of-the-closet gay young man, tell about their ‘excellent’ ninth-grade year.
Konigsberg, Bill. Out of the Pocket. 2008. 264p. Dutton, $16.99. (9780525479963). Gr. 9-11. Bobby’s skills as a top high-school quarterback also serve him well off the field when he is outed in the school newspaper and deals with the consequences in an honest and realistic way.
Levithan, David. How They Met, and Other Stories. 2008. 256p. Knopf, $16.99 (Trade); $19.99 (Lib. Binding). (978-0375848865; 9780375948862). Gr. 9-11. Find the answer to “what is love?” in this diverse collection of short stories.
Lieberman, Leanne. Gravity. 2008. 245p. Orca, $12.95. (978-1-550469-049-7). Gr. 9-11. Brought up as a strict Orthodox Jew to believe that homosexuality is an abomination, 15-year-old Ellie struggles with her sexual feelings for another girl.
McMahon, Jennifer. My Tiki Girl. 2008. 246p. Dutton, $16.99. (978-0-525-47943-7). Gr. 9-11. After once-popular Maggie, 15, is left with an injured leg after a car accident that kills her mother, she finds solace with Dahlia, the new girl at school, and her unconventional family, including a mentally-ill mother.
Penny, Patricia G. Belinda’s Obsession. [Not Just Proms & Parties series]. September 2007. 134p. Lobster Press, $7.95. (978-0-897073-62-9). Gr. 7-10. After she discovers that her mother is having an affair, Belinda’s obsession with saving her parents’ marriage damages her growing relationship with her last summer’s fling, Candace.
Rosen, Selina. Sword Masters. 2008. 313p. Dragon Moon Press, $19.95. (978-1-896944-65-4). Gr. 9-12. Determined to avenge her father’s death, Tarius pretends to be male and non-Katabull to study with the Sword Masters but finds more than she bargained for when she falls in love with the headmaster’s daughter, Jena, who thinks that Tarius is a man.
Rud, Jeff. Crossover. 2008. 170p. Orca, $9.95. (978-1-55143-981-5). Gr. 7-10. Sixteen-year-old Kyle gets caught in the middle between his basketball team and drama club when he opts to join both and re-establishes an old friendship with Luke, who is the frequent target of gay-baiting.
Ruditis, Paul. Entrances and Exits. [Drama series]. 2008. 242p. Simon Pulse, $8.99. (978-1-4169-5906-9). Gr. 7-10. A first time director and high school junior, Bryan has to learn to cope with a temperamental playwright, the leading actress’s jealous boyfriend, competition from a new girl on the drama scene, and his yearnings for Drew, his ex-best friend who kissed him and then ran.
* Tamaki, Mariko and Jillian Tamaki. Skim. 2008. 140p. Groundwood Books, $15.00. (0888997531/9780888997531). Gr. 9-12. Would-be Wiccan and goth Skim, aka Kimberly Keiko Cameron, is revealed in this graphic novel as a sometimes target for the popular students at her all-girls private school in Toronto, where she falls in love with her English teacher Ms. Archer.
Wilson, Martin. What They Always Tell Us. 2008. 293p. Delacorte, $15.99. (9780385735070). Gr. 9-11. Isolated and unsure of his place in his family and at school after an attempted suicide Alex is encouraged to try out for cross-country by his brother’s friend, Nathen, and discovers more than just a supportive teammate.
Wittlinger, Ellen. Love & Lies: Marisol’s Story. 2008. 256p. Simon & Schuster, $16.00. (1416916237) (978-1416916239). Gr. 9-11. When Marisol takes a year off between high school and college to write a novel, she falls in love with her creative writing teacher, Olivia.
Alsenas, Linas. Gay America: Struggle for Equality. 2008. 160p. Amulet/Abrams, $24.95. (978-0-8109-9487-4). Gr. 7-12. The fascinating story of gay people throughout America’s history is told with clear text and lots of photography.
Leleux, Robert. The Memoirs of a Beautiful Boy. 2008. 272p. St. Martin’s Press, $23.95. (978-0-312-36168-6). Gr. 10-12. Hilarious stories of a comically dysfunctional family describe growing up gay in Texas.
Passet, Joanne. Sex Variant Woman: The Life of Jeannette Howard Foster. 2008. 448 p. Da Capo Press, $27.50. (0786718226/ 9780786718221). Gr. 10-12. Foster’s roller-coaster life and studies defined lesbian history in the twentieth century.
Schofield, Scott Turner. Two Truths and a Lie: A Memoir. 2008. 127p. Homofactus Press, $15.00. (978-0-9785973-2-0). Gr. 11-12. The fluidity of gender shines in these three performance scripts by a transgender man from the Deep South who describes growing up in a world of debutante balls and homecoming proms.
Schrag, Ariel. Awkward and Definition. 2008. Touchstone (Simon & Schuster), $15.00. (978-1-4165-5231-4). Gr. 10-12. Pen and ink comic drawings about Schrag’s early high school years illuminate her funny and touching journey toward a sexual identify amidst concerns about school, sex, drugs, and rock and roll.
2008 (Works Published 2005-2007)
Considine, Kaitlyn. Emma and Meesha My Boy: A Two Mom Story. Ilustrated by Binny Hobbs. 2005. unp. Two Moms Books, $10.95. (9780615189253). Pre-K. When Emma’s two moms teach her to be nice to her cat, Emma enjoys being told yes instead of no.
Gonzalez, Rigoberto. Antonio’s Card/La Tarjeta de Antonio. Illustrated by Cecilia Concepcion Alvarez. 2005. 32p. Children’s Book Press, $16.95. Gr. 1-3. Antonio comes to terms with his classmates’ ridicule of his mother’s partner, Leslie.
Jopling, Heather. Monicka’s Papa Is Tall. Illustrated by Allyson Demoe. 2006. unp. Nickname (9780978073909). Pre-K. Monicka’s papa and daddy are very different, but the puzzle pieces show that both of them love her very much.
Jopling, Heather. Ryan’s Mom Is Tall. Illustrated by Allyson Demoe. 2006. unp. Nickname Press, (9780978073916). Pre-K. Ryan’s mom and mummy are very different, but the puzzle pieces show that both of them love him very much.
Lindenbaum, Pija. Mini Mia and Her Darling Uncle. Translated by Elisabeth Kallick Dyssegaard. 2007. unp. R&S Books, $16.00. (9789129667349/9129667348). K-Gr. 2. Jealous of her uncle’s new partner, Fergus, feisty Mia plays tricks to drive him away until the day Uncle Tommy isn’t feeling well and she decides to accept his relationship with Fergus.
Richardson, Justin and Peter Parnell. And Tango Makes Three. Illustrated by Henry Cole. 2005. unp. Simon & Schuster, $15.99. (9780689878459/0689878451). K-Gr. 2. At New York City’s Central Park Zoo, two male penguins parent an egg and start a family.
Middle / Early Young Adult
Burch, Christian. The Manny Files. 2006. 296p. Atheneum, $15.95. (9781416900399/141690039X). 296p. Gr. 5-8. Shy Keats Dalinger learns from his unconventional male “nanny” to be more self-confident and out-going while the “manny” becomes more and more a part of the family.
Hartinger, Brent. The Order of the Poison Oak. 2005. 211p. HarperTeen, $15.99. (0060567309). Gr. 7-10. Tired of being the school freak, gay 16-year-old Russel tries to escape as a summer camp counselor in a rural summer camp only to be attracted to the same counselor as his bisexual friend Min.
Howe, James. Totally Joe. 2005. 189p. Atheneum/Ginee Seo Books, $15.95. (978068983573/068983597X). Gr. 6-8. In 13-year-old Joe’s alphabiography assignment—the story of his life from A to Z—he bares his soul about his parents, teachers, friends, and enemies–and his coming out.
Larochelle, David. Absolutely, Positively Not. 2005. 219p. Arthur A. Levine Books, $16.95. (0439591090). Gr. 7-10. Fifteen-year-old Steven conscientiously collects photos of girls in bikinis and dates his female classmates in this humorous attempt to fit into his Minnesota high school, only to find out some surprising things about the people around him—and himself.
Limb, Sue. Girl Nearly 16, Absolute Torture. 2005. 216p. Delacorte, $15.95. (0385732163). Gr. 7-10. Forced to leave her boyfriend and visit with her father for two weeks, 15-year-old Jess finally learns the reason her father left her mother.
Peters, Julie Anne. Between Mom and Jo. 2006. 232p. Little, Brown/Megan Tingley Books, $16.99. (0316739065). 232p. Gr. 7-10. Fourteen-year-old Nick has a great life with his two moms until they split up and he’s caught in the middle with no support.
Selvadurai, Shyam. Swimming in the Monsoon Sea. 2005. 280p. Tundra, $18.95. Gr. 7-10. Fourteen-year-old Amrith finds his life in Sri Lanka turned upside down when his Canadian cousin visits and Amrith falls in love with him.
Marcus, Eric. What If Someone I know Is Gay: Answers to Questions about What It Means to be Gay and Lesbian. 2007. 183p. Simon Pulse, $8.99. (9781416949701/1416949704). Gr. 7-12. This radically updated resource covers basics and not-so-basics in a question-and-answer format.
Miller, Calvin Craig. No Easy Answers: Bayard Rustin and the Civil Rights Movement. [Portraits of Black Americans Series]. 2005. 160p. Morgan Reynolds, $27.95. (9781931798433/1931798435). Gr. 7-10. Although a leader in the US civil rights movement, Rustin’s arrest, prosecution, and imprisonment for a homosexual encounter were used to discredit his work.
When I Knew. Edited by Robert Trachtenberg. Illustrated by Tom Bachtell. 2005. 120p. Regan Books, $22.95. (0060571462). Gr. 9-12. More than 80 contributors briefly describe their self-discovery “eureka moment” regarding their sexual orientation in a fun book with a magazine style.
Alvarado, T. I. Wanted. 2006. 190p. Alyson, $14.95. (9781555839451/1555839452). Gr. 10-12. Bounty hunter Ladybird “Bird” Blacker has too much to deal with, from a pacifist partner to a six-foot-, seven-inch-tall business rival who wears a scowl you couldn’t scrape off with a chisel—and then her little sister comes to town.
Berman, Steve. Vintage: A Ghost Story. 2007. 148p. Haworth , $12.95. (9781560236313/1560236310). Gr. 10-12. Rejected by his parents because he’s gay and sent to live with his aunt, a teen is haunted by a handsome boy—in more ways than one—and only black magic will help.
* Cameron, Peter. Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You. 2007. 229p. Farrar/Frances Foster Books, $16.00. (9780374309893/03743098920. Gr. 10-12. Holden Caulfield, meet James Sveck, a white, middle-class New Yorker who disdains his peers and most of the adults in his life, except for the gay man who manages his mother’s art gallery.
Davis, Will. My Side of the Story. 2007. 243p. Bloomsbury, $14.95. (9781596912946/1596912944). Gr. 10-12. Only 16, cheeky Jarold a.k.a. Jazz, hits the gay bars to escape the misery of his life.
Garden, Nancy. Hear Us Out!: Lesbian and Gay Stories of Struggle, Progress, and Hope,1950 to the Present. 2007. 230p. Farrar, $18.00. (9780374317591/0374317593). Gr. 8-11. Fact and fiction show the struggles for lgbt teens in America during the past five decades.
Goobie, Beth. Hello, Groin. 2006. 271p. Orca, $17.95. (9781551434599/1551434598). Gr. 9-12. Wanting to be normal, 16-year-old Dylan Kowolski tries to hide her lesbianism and develop sexual feelings for her boyfriend at the same time she has a passionate crush on her best female friend.
Humphreys, Helen. Wild Dogs. 2005. 185p. Norton, $13.95. (0393060152). Gr. 10-12. Alice, in love with a wildlife biologist, gathers at the forest’s edge with her and four other people to save their dogs that have become feral.
Hyde, Catherine Ryde. Becoming Chloe. 2006. 215p. Knopf, $15.95. (0375832580). Gr. 9-12. Attempting to protect Wanda (aka Chloe), another homeless teenager, 17-year-old Jordan finds the brutality and beauty in life on their road trip across the country.
Levithan, David. Wide Awake. 2006. 221p. Knopf, $16.95. (9780375834660/0375834664). Gr. 9-12: In a future American when gay Jewish Abraham Stein is elected president, lovers Jimmy and Duncan join the throngs of people traveling to Topeka to protest the governor’s threat to change votes.
Moore, Perry. Hero. 2007. 428p. Hyperion, $16.99. (9781423101956/1423101952). Gr. 10-12. Thom Creed, the son of superheroes, has to hide the fact that he’s gay if he’s going to fit into the League—but he finds a lot more problems than that facing him.
Noyes, Katia. Crashing America. 2005. 249p. Alyson, $14.95. (1555839118). Gr. 10-12. Afraid that she will kill herself at age 18 as her mother did, 17-year-old Girl (formerly Gretchen) flees San Francisco on a road trip to the Midwest, searching for a place where she belongs.
Peters, Julie Anne. Far from Xanadu. 2005. 282p. Little, Brown, $16.99. (031615881X). Gr. 9-12. Mike Szabo–ace softball player, weightlifter, a.k.a. Mary Elizabeth–has enough trouble surviving in her small town before a new girl, Xanadu, turns Mike’s life upside down.
* Peters, Julie Anne. grl2grl. 2007. 151p. Little, Brown/Megan Tingley Books, $11.99. (9780316013437/0316013439). Gr. 9-12. The young women in this collection of ten short stories are at different levels of self-discovery, searching for satisfying relationships.
Rucka, Greg. Gotham Central: Half a Life. 2005. 168p. Il. Michael Lark et al. DC Comics, $14.99. (1401204384). 168p. Gr. 9-12. Police detective Renee Montoya’s secret lesbian life, which she must keep from not only her co-workers but also her family, puts her in great danger when she is implicated in a murder and her main defender is the psychopathic criminal Two-Face.
Sanchez, Alex. Getting It. 2006. 210p. Simon & Schuster, $16.95. (9781416908968/141690896X). Gr. 9-12. Hoping to impress a sexy female classmate, 15-year-old Carlos secretly hires gay student Sal to give him an image makeover in exchange for Carlos’s helping to form a Gay-Straight Alliance at their Texas high school.
* St. James, James. Freak Show. 2007. 298p. Dutton, $18.99. (978052547799-0). Gr. 9-12. Outrageously over-the-top teen drag queen Billy Bloom, a new student at the very conservative Dwight D. Eisenhower Academy, finds that life is not easy for him among the rich white students with their brutal homophobia.
Steinhofel, Andreas. The Center of the World. Translated by Alisa Jaffa. 2005. 467p. Delacorte, $16.95. (038572943X). Gr. 11-12. Seventeen-year-old Phil navigates his complicated family dynamics and his first sexual relationship in a lyrical novel first published in Germany.
* Vickers, Lu. Breathing Underwater. 2007. 251p. Alyson, $24.95. (9781555839642/1555839649. Gr. 10-12. In 1970s Florida, it’s literally sink or swim for12-year-old Lily who struggles for self-acceptance while dealing with her mother’s mental illness.
Wittlinger, Ellen. Parrotfish. 2007. 294p. Simon & Schuster, $16.99. (9781416916222/9781416916228). Gr. 9-12. When Angela, who has never felt comfortable as a girl, finally comes out as transgendered and begins life as a boy, she isn’t prepared for everyone’s reactions.
Baez, John and others. The Gay and Lesbian Guide to College Life. 2007. 391p. Random/Princeton Review, $13.95 (9780375766237/037576237). Gr. 10-12. College life for GLBTQ students—financing, the right school, being out or not, dealing with GLBTQphobia, and more—is the focus of this guide for both students and those who love and care about them.
Beam, Chris. Transparent: Love, Family, and Living the T with Transgender Teenagers. 2007. 323p. Harcourt, $25.00. (9780151011964/0151011966). Gr. 10-12. Four transgendered girls share their world with a volunteer in a Los Angeles school for gay and transgender students.
Bechdel, Alison. Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic. 2006. 240p. Houghton Mifflin, $13.95. (9780618477944/0618477942). Gr. 11-12. Bechdel reveals her childhood experiences with a closeted gay father and her coming out as a lesbian in this powerful graphic-style memoir.
Carlip, Hillary. Queen of the Oddballs and Other True Stories From a Life Unaccording to Plan. 2006. 273p. Harper, $13.95. (9780060878832/0060878835). Gr. 10-12. This hilarious offbeat memoir chronicles the escapades of an unconventional girl surrounded by artists and rockstars in the 1960s and 1970s.
Cart, Michael and Christine A. Jenkins. The Heart Has Its Reasons: Young Adult Literature with Gay/Lesbian/Queer Content, 1969-2004. 2006. 205p. Scarecrow Press, $42.00. (978810850712/0810850710). Gr. 9-12. This overview of young adult glbtq fiction 1970 to 2004 includes lists of books for teens.
The Full Spectrum: A New Generation of Writing. Edited by David Levithan and Billy Merrill. 2006. 272p. Knopf, $9.95. (9780375832901/0375832904). 288pp. Gr. 8-11. This collection of essays and poetry from a wide diversity of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered teens shows the complexity of today’s LGBTQ youths.
Hear Me Out: True Stories of Teens Educating and Confronting Homophobia. Planned Parenthood of Toronto. 2005. 197p. Second Story Press, $12.95. (1896764878). Gr. 9-12. Twenty teens from a variety of social, economic, ethnic, and racial backgrounds give personal accounts of gay, lesbian, queer, transgender, transsexual, and questioning young-adult experiences.
Keen, Lisa. Out Law: What LGBT Youth Should Know about Their Legal Rights. [Queer Action/Queer Ideas Series] 2007. 158p. Beacon, $11.00. (0807079669). Gr. 9-12. LGBT young adults can make a difference.
Patterson, Romaine, with Patrick Hinds. The Whole World Was Watching: Living in the Light of Matthew Shepard. 2005. 289p. Advocate, $24.95. (1555839010). Gr. 9-12. After young gay Matthew Shepard was brutally murdered in Laramie (WY), the author of this book formed a group of “angels” who surrounded the bigoted Fred Phelps of Topeka (KS) when he and a small group picketed outside the killer’s trial with such signs as “Matthew in Hell”: this is the autobiography of the young woman who conceived and carried out this idea.
Rouse, Wade. America’s Boy: A Memoir. 2006. 340p. Dutton, $24.95. (9780525949343/0525949348). Gr. 10-12. Growing up in southwestern Missouri in the 1970s and hopelessly out of step with the redneck masculinity surrounding him, Wade tries to hide the fact that he is gay by overeating.
* Indicates these titles were found to be exceptional and highly recommended.
Last Updated: January, 2011
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