Celebrate Pride Month with These 19 Titles Featuring LGBTQIA+ Characters

Amanda Livingston  //  May 31, 2022

Celebrate Pride Month with These 19 Titles Featuring LGBTQIA+ Characters

In honor of Pride Month this June, we’re encouraging everyone to #ReadWithPride!

Readers of all ages need to read books that reflect their identities and the world around them, and that includes queer identities. All month long, we’ll be spotlighting some incredible titles for all ages that feature LGBTQIA+ characters, stories, and creators.

Follow @Scholastic, @GraphixBooks, and @IreadYA on social to join in on the #ReadWithPride fun.

Check out these books to kick off Pride Month, and to read all year long:

My Moms Love Me by Anna Membrino, illustrated by Joy Hwang Ruiz
For readers ages 3-5

Two mommies share a perfect day with their little one in this joyful picture book. From visiting animals on a farm and sharing a car ride sing-along, to a sudsy bath-time and bedtime snuggles galore, love and warmth beam from every page. This book is the perfect way to celebrate love for LGBTQ+ families.

King and the Dragonflies by Kacen Callender
For readers ages 8-12

Twelve-year-old Kingston James is sure his brother Khalid has turned into a dragonfly after he passed away. Khalid still visits in dreams, and King must keep these secrets to himself as he watches grief transform his family. Just days before he died, Khalid told King to end his friendship with Sandy Sanders, after overhearing a secret about Sandy — that he thinks he might be gay. When Sandy goes missing, sparking a town-wide search, and King finds his former best friend hiding in a tent in his backyard, he agrees to help Sandy escape from his abusive father. As King's friendship with Sandy is reignited, he's forced to confront questions about himself and the reality of his brother's death. 

The Language of Seabirds by Will Taylor
For readers ages 8-12, on sale 7/19

Jeremy is not excited about the prospect of spending the summer with his dad and his uncle in a seaside cabin in Oregon. It's the first summer after his parents' divorce, and he hasn't exactly been seeking alone time with his dad. He doesn't have a choice, though, so he goes... and on his first day takes a walk on the beach and finds himself intrigued by a boy his age running by. Eventually, he and Evan meet, and what starts out as friendship blooms into something neither boy is expecting.

Melissa by Alex Gino
For readers ages 8-12

When people look at Melissa, they think they see a boy. But she knows she's not a boy and she knows she's a girl. Melissa thinks she'll have to keep this a secret forever. Then her teacher announces that their class play is going to be Charlotte's Web, and Melissa really wants to play Charlotte. But the teacher says she can't even try out for the part... because she's a boy. With the help of her best friend, Kelly, Melissa comes up with a plan. Not just so she can be Charlotte — but so everyone can know who she is, once and for all.

Moonflower by Kacen Callender
For readers ages 8-12

Moon has been plunged into a swill of uncertainty and confusion. They travel to the spirit realms every night, hoping never to return to the world of the living. But when the realm is threatened, it's up to Moon to save the spirit world, which sparks their own healing journey through the powerful, baffling, landscape that depression can cause. Moon’s mom is trying her best, but is clueless about what to do to reach the ugly roiling of her child’s inner struggles. At the same time, though, there are those who see Moon for who they are – Blue, the Keeper, the Magician, Wolf. These creature-guides help Moon find a way out of darkness. Drawn from the author’s own experience with depression as a young person, Moonflower shows all children that each and every one of us has a tree growing inside.

Alice Austen Lived Here by Alex Gino
For readers ages 9-12

Sam and their best friend TJ are both nonbinary, and Sam's family is very cool with it as long as Sam does their chores and doesn’t act out in school, which is harder to pull off than it seems. Sam’s teacher seems to believe that only Dead Straight Cis White Men are responsible for history. When Sam's home borough of Staten Island opens up a contest for a new statue, Sam finds the perfect non-DSCWM subject: photographer Alice Austen, who has lived with a female partner for decades. Soon, Sam's project isn't just about winning the contest. It's about discovering a rich queer history that Sam's a part of — a queer history that no longer needs to be quiet, as long as there are kids like Sam and TJ to stand up for it.

Heartstopper series by Alice Oseman
For readers ages 12-18

In this sweet and heartwarming graphic novel series, shy and softhearted Charlie Spring sits next to rugby player Nick Nelson in class one morning. A warm and intimate friendship follows, and that soon develops into something more for Charlie, who doesn't think he has a chance. But Nick is struggling with feelings of his own, and as the two grow closer and take on the ups and downs of high school, they come to understand the surprising and delightful ways in which love works. The series is now a TV show streaming on Netflix. 

Magical Boy Volume 1 written & illustrated by The Kao
For readers ages 12-18
Max, an average high school student, tries to get through life as himself. As a trans man (assigned female at birth), he's set on being the man he knows he is. What he doesn't know is that his mom descends from a long line of "Magical Girls"— a group of female protectors whose mission is to help save humanity, and she expects Max to join the charge. Now Max has to figure out how to take on the family tradition of becoming the next Magical Girl, but as a boy!

Welcome to St. Hell by Lewis Hancox
For readers ages 14-18

In Welcome to St. Hell, author-illustrator Lewis Hancox takes readers on the hilarious, heartbreaking, and healing path he took to make it past trauma, confusion, hurt, and dubious fashion choices in order to become the man he was meant to be. This graphic novel is a funny, and at times not so funny coming of age story about Lewis’ experience being trans. 

The Music of What Happens by Bill Konigsberg
For readers ages 14-18

Max is gay, loves sports and video games, and is very chill. He also has a secret– an encounter with an older kid that deeply traumatized him. Jordan is also gay, has never been kissed, and also has a secret– a mom who is spiraling out of control, and he‘s the only one who can keep his family from falling apart. Over the course of one summer in Mesa, Arizona, the boys will have to face their undeniable chemistry even though they’re total opposites, overcome their fears, and decide what they’re willing to risk to get the thing they want the most.

Destination Unknown by Bill Konigsberg
For readers ages 14-18

It's 1987 in New York City, and Micah is at a dance club, trying to pretend he's more out about his queer identity and outgoing than he really is. C.J. is out and outgoing, and Micah can't help but be both attracted to and afraid of someone who travels so loudly and proudly through the night. When they connect, Micah has to figure out if it’s romance or friendship, and what each of them bring to the table. As their lives become more and more entangled in the AIDS epidemic that’s laying waste to their community, and the AIDS activism that will ultimately bring a strong voice to their demands, whatever Micah and C.J. have between them will be tested, strained, pushed, and pulled--but it will also be a lifeline in a time of death, a bond that will determine the course of their futures.

Ready When You Are by Gary Lonesborough
For readers ages 14-18

It's a hot summer, and life's going all right for Jackson and his family on the Mish. It's almost Christmas, school's out, and he's hanging with his mates, teasing the visiting tourists, and avoiding the racist boys in town. Just like every year, Jackson's Aunty and annoying little cousins visit from the city — but this time a mysterious boy with a troubled past comes with them. As their friendship evolves, Jackson must confront the changing shapes of his relationships with his friends, family, and community. And he must face his darkest secret — a secret he thought he'd locked away for good.

The Feeling of Falling in Love by Mason Deaver
For readers ages 14-18

Just days before spring break, Neil Kearney is set to fly across the country with his childhood friend (and current friend-with-benefits) Josh, to attend his brother's wedding―until Josh tells Neil that he's in love with him and Neil doesn't return the sentiment. With Josh still attending the wedding, Neil needs to find a new date to bring along. And, almost against his will, roommate Wyatt is drafted. At first, Wyatt (correctly) thinks Neil is acting like a jerk. But when they get to LA, Wyatt sees a little more of where it's coming from. Slowly, Neil and Wyatt begin to understand one another, and falling in love for the first time.

The Honeys by Ryan La Sala
For readers ages 14-18, on sale 8/16
When Mars loses his twin sister Caroline under horrific circumstances, it propels him to learn all he can about the once-inseparable sibling who'd grown tragically distant. Mars's genderfluidity means he's often excluded from the traditions — and expectations — of his politically-connected family, including attendance at the prestigious Aspen Conservancy Summer Academy where his sister poured so much of her time. The longer he stays at Aspen, the more the sweet mountain breezes give way to hints of decay.

Rise to the Sun by Leah Johnson
For readers ages 14-18

Toni is grieving the loss of her roadie father and needing to figure out where her life will go from here — and she's desperate to get back to loving music. Olivia is a hopeless romantic whose heart has just taken a beating (again) and is beginning to feel like she'll always be a square peg in a round hole — but the Farmland music festival is a chance to find a place where she fits. The two collide and it feels like kismet when a bond begins to form. But when the festival is sent into a panic, Olivia and Toni will find that they need each other, and music, even more.

Fire Becomes Her by Rosiee Thor
For readers ages 14-18

Seventeen-year-old Ingrid doesn't have a family fortune, monetary or magical, but at least she has a plan: Rise to the top on the arm of Linden Holt, heir to a hefty political legacy and the largest fortune of flare in all of Candesce. Her only obstacle is Linden's father, Senator Walden Holt, who refuses to acknowledge their relationship. When Senator Holt announces his run for president, however, Ingrid uses the situation to her advantage. She strikes a deal to spy on Gwendolyn Meyers, the Holts's opposition, in exchange for the senator's approval. But the more Ingrid learns about the world around her, the more she questions where her true allegiances lie. 

Loveless by Alice Oseman
For readers ages 14-18

Georgia has never been in love, never kissed anyone, never even had a crush – but as a fanfic-obsessed romantic she’s sure she’ll find her person one day. As she starts university with her best friends, Pip and Jason, in a whole new town far from home, Georgia’s ready to find romance, and with her outgoing roommate on her side and a place in the Shakespeare Society, her ‘teenage dream’ is in sight. But when her romance plan wreaks havoc amongst her friends, Georgia ends up in her own comedy of errors, and she starts to question why love seems so easy for other people but not for her. With new terms thrown at her – asexual, aromantic – Georgia is more uncertain about her feelings than ever.

Things We Couldn’t Say by Jay Coles
For readers ages 14-18

There's always been a hole in Gio's life. Not because he's into both guys and girls. Not because his father has some drinking issues. Not because his friends are always bringing him their drama. No, the hole in Gio's life takes the shape of his birth mom, who left Gio, his brother, and his father when Gio was nine years old. For eight years, he never heard a word from her… and now, just as he's started to get his life together, she's back. It's hard for Gio to know what to do. Can he forgive her like she wants to be forgiven? Or should he tell her she lost her chance to be in his life? Complicating things further, Gio's started to hang out with David, a new guy on the basketball team. Are they friends? More than friends? At first, Gio's not sure… especially because he's not sure what he wants from anyone right now.

I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver
For readers ages 14-18

When Ben De Backer comes out to their parents as nonbinary, they're thrown out of their house and forced to move in with their estranged older sister, Hannah, and her husband, Thomas, whom Ben has never even met. Struggling with an anxiety disorder compounded by their parents' rejection, they come out only to Hannah, Thomas, and their therapist, and try to keep a low profile in a new school. But Ben's attempts to survive the last half of senior year unnoticed are thwarted when Nathan Allan, a funny and charismatic student, decides to take Ben under his wing. As Ben and Nathan's friendship grows, their feelings for each other begin to change, and what started as a disastrous turn of events looks like it might just be a chance to start a happier new life.