Proof that literature for children and young adults really can tackle any subject with the right approach, here are some of our very favourite books for younger readers that introduce, celebrate and tackle pertinent themes in the LGBTQI+ community.
Julian Is A Mermaid, by Jessica Love
One of our all-time favourite picture books. After spotting three women dressed as mermaids, Julian tries to persuade his Nana to let him dress like one too. The results are joyous.
Nen And The Lonely Fisherman, by Ian Eagleton & James Mayhew
Boy meets merman! A fresh take on a classic love story, beautifully paired with James Mayhew’s ethereal illustration style.
Aalfred And Aalbert, by Morag Hood
These two aardvarks have everything in common, but they just keep missing each other – something has to be done! Morag Hood’s irresistibly funny picture books are a big hit with us (shout out to The Steves), but in this tender story about two companions-to-be she gently introduces their budding relationship for younger readers.
The Pirate Mums, by Jodie Lancet-Grant & Lydia Corry
Billy’s mums are not especially ordinary. Well, they’re actually sea-shanty singing, jig-dancing, parrot-owning, eye-patch wearing… you get the jist. When Billy’s teacher asks them to volunteer on their class trip to the seaside, Billy is horrified. Swashbuckling antics ensue! Plus, a valuable lesson about difference and acceptance.
Middle grade and YA:
Me, My Dad and The End of the Rainbow, by Benjaming Dean & Sandhya Prabhat
Archie wants to help his dad. His parents are getting divorced, but it also feels like they’re keeping a big secret from him. When his dad comes out, Archie and his friends decide to hatch a plan: a rip-roaring adventure of self-education that culminates at London Pride. Me, My Dad and the End of the Rainbow is a charming, funny story of friendship, family and acceptance.
The Black Flamingo, by Dean Atta
A bold, inventive and flamboyant coming-of-age novel-in-verse. Through poems, texts, lists and drawings, Black Flamingo follows Michael from boyhood to his first drag performance at university. This is one to devour in one sitting and then revisit over and over.
Felix Ever After, by Kacen Callender
Felix is Black, queer and trans, and secretly worries that means his story will never end well. After receiving anonymous hate messages from another student, he hatches a plan to get payback. Felix Ever After is a compelling coming-of-age story with big helpings of romance, revenge, and self-discovery.
The Quiet At the End of the World, by Lauren James
An original and thrilling YA dystopia with a diverse cast of characters. In a post-apocalyptic London, Lowrie and Shen feel the weight of history and the burden of the future as the youngest people left on the planet.
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Lists Of Literary Distinction: Pride for younger readersProduct on sale