The start of the new school year is upon us, and as such, it’s a good time for educators, families, and students to update their libraries with both fiction and non-fiction books. It is so important to keep our classroom libraries stocked with all types of diverse books to give our students the opportunity to see themselves and their families in the stories that they read. So if you’re a teacher gearing up for the school year ahead, I hope you consider adding any and all of these to your classroom bookshelves!
Elementary Fiction – Reading Level Pre-K – 5
A classic children’s book about a young girl with two moms.
Another classic children’s book about two male penguins who adopt an orphaned baby penguin.
A story about a blue crayon with a red wrapper that doesn’t know what it should be.
A book about a Prince who decides he’s not interested in marrying a Princess, but instead longs for another Prince to marry.
A children’s book about two genderless worms who decide to get married, but who will wear the tux and who will wear the dress?
A children’s book about a transgender child based on the real-life experience of Jazz Jennings, who helped write the book.
A chapter book about a transgender child who dreams of playing a girl in the school play. (Read our own review of it here!)
A chapter book about a family with two dads, and four adopted sons, each with their own interests, and a school year of hilarious and unexpected adventures.
Secondary Fiction – Reading Level 6 – 12+
These three books are stories of coming out and teenage love for gay men.
2. Rainbow Boys
These three books are about trans or gender non-conforming teenagers.
1. I Am J
Non-Fiction for Students
Drawn like a story book, this non-fiction book helps younger children understand gender identity and expression.
This book chronicles the true story of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay elected official in the United States, and Gilbert Baker, the designer of the pride flag.
An easy-to-read textbook-style history book for kids about LGBT history with pictures and activities.
This non-fiction graphic novel chronicles queer theory and history in an engaging way for older students.
An illustrated collection of profiles of queer historical figures for middle to high school readers.
The memoir of Jazz Jennings, YouTuber and trans teen.
Non-Fiction for Educators
A collection of short stories by and for LGBTQ+ Teachers.
A must-read to understand the history of queer people in the United States, and why it hasn’t been included in textbooks and taught in history class.
This book explores how queer teachers struggle to reconcile their classroom persona and their personal identities.
We hope you have an exciting school year ahead!!
Sara Schmidt-Kost is an out, queer teacher in Minneapolis, MN. She spent five years as a leader in the LGBT student organizations at St. Cloud State University where she completed her undergrad in Secondary Social Studies Education. Sara currently leads the after-school GSA at the high school where she teaches, and she is thankful for the opportunity to support her students as they grow into amazing adults. Sara has also created workshops on LGBT Issues in Schools and LGBT Curriculum in Social Studies and has presented these workshops to groups of Social Studies teachers, other educators, and students alike.