LGBTQIA+ Books for Children and Teens, Second Edition

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  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the authors
  • Reviews

Librarians, teachers, and other professionals who work with children and teens will discover a range of LGBTQIA+ titles in this resource, alongside guidance on fostering spaces that are safe, warm, and welcoming for all young readers.

Books for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, asexual, and intersex readers and their allies continue to thrive and evolve in reflection of the variety of families and individual identities today. Deemed "an essential purchase" in a starred review by School Library Journal, this matchless guide returns in an updated edition. The authors highlight the best in LGBTQIA+ lit for young people while also addressing urgent topics such as the rise in book challenges. Offering library workers and teachers the information and tools they need to build a diverse, inclusive collection and confidently share it with the patrons they support, this resource

  • provides hundreds of annotated book entries, complete with author and illustrator, publisher, date of publication, descriptions of each book’s LGBTQIA+ representation, and helpful prompts to foster discussion;
  • surveys the current censorship push against books with LGBTQIA+ topics, themes, and characters, discussing its effect on young people and how to deal with objections and book challenges head on;
  • includes interviews with noted authors that explain not only why they write for children, but what they feel librarians and teachers should understand when working with queer children and their classmates;
  • spotlights picture books for young children that depict kids, parents, and families with a variety of gender and sexual dynamics;
  • introduces books for middle-grade readers, focusing on titles with young people who are questioning and finding themselves while searching for where they belong;
  • shares books for teens that range from stories touching on mental health and other issues that develop as youth start high school to others that explore housing insecurity and other concerns that impact older teens; and
  • shares ideas for programming and marketing, advice on outreach to stakeholders, and best practices for supporting LGBTQIA+ students.

Introduction: How Can I Support My LGBTQIA+ Population Today?

Chapter 1    Ch-ch-changes!
Chapter 2    Books and Conversation for Young Readers
Chapter 3    Books and Conversation for Middle Grade Readers
Chapter 4    Books and Conversation for Younger Teens
Chapter 5    Books and Conversation for Older Teens
Chapter 6    Final Thoughts


  • Appendix A: Recommended Resources
  • Appendix B: Authors and Illustrators to Know

About the Authors and Contributors

  •     Author/Title Index
  •     Subject Index

Kathleen Breitenbach

Kathleen Breitenbach (they/them) has been the Teen Librarian at the Hamilton Township (NJ) Public Library since 2009 and is the 2022–2023 Past Chair of the Rainbow Round Table. They have served for two years on the Rainbow Book List Committee (once as co-chair, 2017, and once as chair, 2020) and two years on the Stonewall Book Awards Mike Morgan and Larry Romans Children’s and Young Adult Literature Committee (2018, chair 2019) for the Rainbow Round Table; chaired Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults (2017) for YALSA; and spoken on LGBTQIA+ issues and youth literature in webinars and conference programs.

Liz Deskins

Liz Deskins was a school librarian for thirty years, teaching at the elementary, high school, and college levels. Now retired, she is an adjunct professor for Kent State University. A past president of Buckeye Children and Teens Book Awards as well as past president of OELMA (Ohio Educational Library Media Association), Liz has also served on committees and task forces for the American Association of School Librarians and the Association for Library Service to Children. A requested presenter at conferences, Liz speaks on many topics, thanks to her lifelong passion for learning new things and sharing them with others. Her publications include Linking Picture Book Biographies to National Content Standards: 200+ Lives to Explore (Libraries Unlimited 2015); LGBTQAI+ Books for Children and Teens: Providing a Window for All, written in collaboration with Christina Dorr; and Content-Area Collaborations for Secondary Grades.

"Truly an essential purchase. This guide updates its first edition and focuses on books from the past four years. How wonderful that in just four years there were enough LGBTQIA+ books to require an updated edition! ... Thorough and easy to use, this guide should be something read by anyone working with (or raising!) children of any age."
— School Library Journal

"Librarians and other educators need to keep current about LGBTQIA+ books for youth, especially in light of recent book challenges. Fortunately, expert-based information, from ALA-affiliated units, other relevant centers, and knowledgeable contributors, is available in this work ... This book is a thoughtful, professional guide for selecting and promoting LGBTQIA+ books and supporting young LBGTQIA+ patrons.”
— Booklist

Praise for the first edition

"Beginning with a touching foreword from Jamie Campbell Naidoo about the importance of LGBTQAI+ literature, the book’s tone is warm and its advice universally applicable to school and public libraries large and small, rural and urban ... A solid starting point for someone new to LGBTQAI+ literature.”
— Booklist

"Citing powerful research and quotations from other advocates for diversity, the authors argue in their introduction that including LGBTQAI+ literature in libraries and curricula is part of taking a stand for basic human rights. A history of children’s and YA LGBTQAI+ literature is followed by ways to address book challenges ... This volume does a superb job on many fronts. An essential purchase for public and school libraries, especially given that few other selections on this topic exist.”
— School Library Journal (starred review)

"Comprehensive ... This book is an excellent reference guide for school and public youth librarians looking to improve representation of the LGBTQAI+ community in their library's collection.”