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10 Books to Celebrate Pride Month

By Kieran Slattery and Katy Butler
Guest bloggers Kieran Slattery and Katy Butler are the creators of Gender Inclusive Classrooms, an online resource for teachers by teachers. Kieran (he/him) is a white transgender man teaching fifth grade at a public school on Nipmuc and Pocumtuc land in Western Massachusetts. Katy (she/her) is a white queer cisgender woman teaching second grade at a public school on Ramaytush and Ohlone land in San Francisco. Together they create curriculum, curate book lists, and provide consultations to teachers and schools looking to create more gender-inclusive spaces. You can follow their journey on their website or on Instagram at @genderinclusiveclassrooms
Pride Book Roundup

Happy Pride! Pride Month is a time to celebrate and honor the vast array of genders and sexualities that exist in cultures throughout the world. June is a great time to think about the intersectionalities that gender and sexuality have with race and ethnicity, which is why we’ve included books that represent Black, Brown, and Native cultures. We also strived to present texts wherein the author and illustrators’ identities reflect the characters’ identities.

We’ve included picture books (some are based on real people or events), two middle-grade novels, and one nonfiction picture book. If your interest is piqued and you’d like more suggestions, explore our free exclusive LGBTQIAP+ booklist.

1. My Rainbow by DeShanna Neal and Trinity Neal

Written by and featuring Black trans girl Trinity Neal and her mom, DeShanna, when Trinity can’t find a wig that’s just right for her, Mom sets out to design a wig that reflects and affirms the bright, vibrant personality of her daughter, who also happens to be on the autism spectrum. We love how this family celebrates their daughter in all of her beautiful facets. 

2. What Are Your Words? A Book About Pronouns by Katherine Locke

Through joyful illustrations and easy-to-understand language, Ari and their Uncle Lior meet people throughout the neighborhood who use various pronouns, while Ari takes careful time to decide on the words that fit them just right.

3. Rainbow Revolutionaries: 50+ LGBTQ+ People Who Made History by Sarah Prager

Each page of this nonfiction picture book features a short bio and a colorful, full-page illustration of a queer person from history, from the 1500s through current day. It’s great as an independent book for older kids or a read-aloud for younger ones.

4. Ana on the Edge by A. J. Sass

We love this book about Korean American Ana-Marie Jin, a middle schooler who loves competitive figure skating and grapples with her new training regime, her single mom’s struggle to pay for her sport, and her own gender identity. The book includes nonbinary, trans, and gay representation. 

5. Woke: A Young Poet’s Call to Justice by Mahogany L. Browne, Elizabeth Acevedo, and Olivia Gatwood

This stunning poetry collection highlights intersectionality among race, gender, ethnicity, class, and ability, and includes several poems specifically about gender inclusivity. Each poem is accompanied by a full-page illustration and encourages kids to embrace their power and create change.

 6. Sylvia and Marsha Start a Revolution! by Joy Michael Ellison

This book gives kids a window into the lives of Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson, two proud trans women who started a revolution by standing up for themselves in the face of discrimination from citizens and police officers. We especially like how the book highlights fierce friendships and helping community members. 

7. Too Bright to See by Kyle Lukoff

Kyle Lukoff (When Aidan Became a Brother and the Max and Friends series) shines in his first middle-grade novel about twelve-year-old “Bug” who is uncovering several mysteries: why the spirit of their dead gay Uncle is leaving them messages, and how their own gender fits among their cis girl peers embracing femininity on the precipice of middle school.

 8. Carlos, The Fairy Boy/Carlos, El Niño Hada by Juan A. Ríos Vega

Told simultaneously in both Spanish and English, Carlos visits his abuelita during Carnival in Panama and gets some help from LGBTQ+ costume maker Luis, who helps him achieve his wish to be a fairy on the queen’s float alongside his girl cousins. The story emphasizes how important it is for gender-expansive kids to get love and support from mentors. 

 9. 47,000 Beads by Koja and Angel Adeyoha

In this story, Native family members and mentors come together to support and guide Peyton, a two-spirit girl, before her jingle dance at the pow wow. The rich illustrations and gentle tale demonstrate the power of community and the importance of uplifting all voices.

10. Harriet Gets Carried Away by Jessie Sima

While dressed up as a penguin with a bow tie running errands with her dads, Harriet finds herself in a faraway world and must seek help from animal friends to find her way back home. The book captures the wonder of children exploring identity through costumes and the importance of embracing uniqueness and finding friends and family who let you be you.