Ten Books for Young People Featuring LGBT+ Characters
Am I imagining it, or do we continue to see more books that represent the many types of LGBT+ young people in the world? I’m unsure of the volume — but I am reading books that are telling stories I’ve not seen in print in their ways before. As in the related post noted above, I’ve attempted to indicate identities in the descriptions, though the nature of naming characters as specifically gay or bisexual, for example, is limiting, and I generally try to avoid doing so.
Felix Yz – Ages 8 to 11
June 2018 (paperback release)
The Trans grandparent figure in this book inspires Felix to be accepting — and to realize that what confuses him doesn’t necessarily give him the right to know things about Trans people. Includes a constant story line of ongoing alien possession, but that deepens the story while making the novel accessible to the target audience. Perhaps the novel to read after George.
Features a young man who has family members (e. g., mother) portrayed as having sexuality outside of heterosexuality. Much of the story focuses on the loss of an older brother (who was shot at a club); and how to be friends with someone others make fun of.
The Dangerous Art of Blending In – Ages 12 to 17
Similar to the wonderful Girl Mans Up, this book realistically addresses the multiplicity of identities of a main character. Here, Evan is Greek-American, gay, and more. A nice highlight is that the best-friend-he-falls-for portion is not from the tragic straight-guy-crush-trope box. The violence, often from the mother, seems more real as the church the family belongs to becomes wary of her methods.
The Backstagers (Vol 1 and 2) – Ages 8 to 17
James Tynion IV, Rian Sygh
2017 – 2018
These fantastical comics / graphic novels (which are they, in this case?) feature a same-sex crush that is adorable and cheer-worthy. Also — the secrets of what goes on in the backstage theatre (sic) world are akin to what might be happening in an Escher work.
Boy Erased – Ages 14 to 17
2017 (paperback release)
The memoir basis for the 2018 film offers a sad-but-relevant tale of the dangerous of ex-gay therapy and toxic family environments.