Thematic Reading List: Pride Month
LGBTQ Pride Month is celebrated in the United States every year in June, with a series of events, parades, concerts, and festivals taking place across the nation. CLCD has information about many books featuring LGBTQ characters within its large database of titles. Here are just a few for ages 12 and up.
Contributed by: Elizabeth Bridges
|They Both Die at the End
By: Adam Silvera
In a near-future New York City where a service alerts people on the day they will die, teenagers Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio meet using the Last Friend app and are faced with the challenge of living a lifetime on their End Day.
|Lies My Girlfriend Told Me
By: Julie Ann Peters
When her girlfriend dies suddenly at age seventeen, Colorado teenager Alix struggles with grief as painful secrets are revealed.
|If I Was Your Girl
By: Meredith Russo
Amanda Hardy is the new girl in school. Like anyone else, all she wants is to make friends and fit in. Amanda is keeping a secret, and she’s determined not to get too close to anyone. When she meets sweet, easygoing Grant, Amanda can’t help but start to let him into her life. As they spend more time together, she realizes just how much she is losing by guarding her heart. Because the secret that Amanda’s been keeping? It’s that at her old school, she used to be Andrew. Will the truth cost Amanda her new life, and her new love?
|Boy Meets Boy
By: David Levithan
Can you imagine a school where it’s all right to be who you really are? That’s the enchanting place David Levithan has created in his highly acclaimed first novel. The thing is, even if the gay kids and the straight kids get along just fine, even if it’s all right for the star quarterback to be a cross-dresser named Infinite Darlene and the cheerleaders ride Harleys into the pep rally, the road to true love is still a strange and winding path–as Paul discovers when he meets the boy of his dreams.
|Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit
By: Jaye Robin Brown
Joanna Gordon has been out and proud for years, but when her popular radio evangelist father remarries and decides to move all three of them from Atlanta to the more conservative Rome, Georgia, he asks Jo to do the impossible: to lie low for the rest of her senior year. And Jo reluctantly agrees. Although it is (mostly) much easier for Jo to fit in as a straight girl, things get complicated when she meets Mary Carlson, the oh-so-tempting sister of her new friend at school. But Jo couldn’t possibly think of breaking her promise to her dad. Even if she’s starting to fall for the girl. Even if there’s a chance Mary Carlson might be interested in her, too. Right?
|Lies We Tell Ourselves
By: Robin Talley
In 1959 Virginia, Sarah, a black student who is one of the first to attend a newly integrated school, forces Linda, a white integration opponent’s daughter, to confront harsh truths when they work together on a school project.
|If You Could Be Mine
By: Sara Farizan
In Iran, where homosexuality is punishable by death, seventeen-year-olds Sahar and Nasrin love each other in secret until Nasrin’s parents announce their daughter’s arranged marriage and Sahar proposes a drastic solution.
|Little and Lion
By: Brandy Colbert
Suzette returns home to Los Angeles from boarding school and grapples with her bisexual identity when she and her brother Lionel fall in love with the same girl, pushing Lionel’s bipolar disorder to spin out of control and forcing Suzette to confront her own demons.
|Girl Mans Up
By: M-E Girard
In Ontario, Pen is a sixteen-year-old girl who looks like a boy. She’s fine with it, but everyone else is uncomfortable–especially her Portuguese immigrant parents and her manipulative neighbor who doesn’t want her to find a group of real friends.
By: Malinda Lo
In this variation on the Cinderella story, Ash grows up believing in the fairy realm that the king and his philosophers have sought to suppress, until one day she must choose between a handsome fairy cursed to love her and the King’s Huntress whom she loves.
|When the Moon Was Ours
By: Anna-Marie McLemore
To everyone who knows them, best friends Miel and Sam are as strange as they are inseparable. Roses grow out of Miel’s wrist, and rumors say that she spilled out of a water tower when she was five. Sam is known for the moons he paints and hangs in the trees and for how little anyone knows about his life before he and his mother moved to town. But as odd as everyone considers Miel and Sam, even they stay away from the Bonner girls, four beautiful sisters rumored to be witches. Now they want the roses that grow from Miel’s skin, convinced that their scent can make anyone fall in love. And they’re willing to use every secret Miel has fought to protect to make sure she gives them up.
|The Miseducation of Cameron Post
By: Emily M. Danforth
In the early 1990s, when gay teenager Cameron Post rebels against her conservative Montana ranch town and her family decides she needs to change her ways, she is sent to a gay conversion therapy center.
|Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
By: Becky Albertalli
When an email falls into the wrong hands, sixteen-year-old, not-so-openly gay Simon is blackmailed into playing wingman for a classmate or risk having his sexual identity revealed and the privacy of the boy he has been emailing compromised.
By: Shyam Selvadurai
Set in the mannered, lush world of upper middle class Tamils in Sri Lanka, this deeply moving first novel, though not autobiographical, draws on Selvadurai’s experience of being gay in Sri Lanka and growing up during the escalating violence between the Buddhist Sinhala majority and Hindu Tamil minority in the 1970’s and early 1980’s. Arjie Chelvaratnam, at the age of 7, prefers dressing up in a sari and playing bride-bride with his girl cousin to cricket. When he is discovered by the adults engaging in this innocent fun, he is forced out of the world of the girls. A lonely outsider, he attaches himself to various sympathetic adults, whose own trajectories and dilemmas reveal to Arjie the difficulties of following one’s desires. As the novel progresses, the civil violence and tensions mount bringing devastating consequences to Arjie’s family and their sheltered world.
|Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
By: Benjamin Alice Saenz
Fifteen-year-old Ari Mendoza is an angry loner with a brother in prison, but when he meets Dante and they become friends, Ari starts to ask questions about himself, his parents, and his family that he has never asked before.
|All the Invisible Things
By: Orlagh Collins
Moving back to London after four years, seventeen-year-old Vetty must navigate a summer of changing friendships and coming to terms with her bisexuality.
|It’s Not Like It’s a Secret
By: Sugiura Misa
Sixteen-year-old Sana Kiyohara has too many secrets. Some are small, like how it bothers her when her friends don’t invite her to parties. Some are big, like that fact that her father may be having an affair. And then there’s the one that she can barely even admit to herself — the one about how she might have a crush on her best friend. When Sana and her family move to California, she begins to wonder if it’s finally time for some honesty, especially after she meets Jamie Ramirez. Jamie is beautiful and smart and unlike anyone Sana’s ever known. There are just a few problems: Sana’s new friends don’t trust Jamie’s crowd; Jamie’s friends clearly don’t want her around anyway; a sweet guy named Caleb seems to have more-than-friendly feelings for her. Meanwhile, her dad’s affair is becoming too obvious to ignore anymore. Sana always figured that the hardest thing would be to tell people that she wants to date a girl, but as she quickly learns, telling the truth is easy … what comes after it, though, is a whole lot more complicated.
|Something Like Gravity
By: Amber Smith
After coming out as transgender, Chris is still processing a frightening assault he survived the year before. Meanwhile, Maia, grieving the loss of her older sister, is trying to find her place in the world. All of which makes falling in love the furthest thing on their minds–until it is not.