8+ LGBTQ+ Inclusive Fiction for Young Readers & "Tweens" (ages 5 to 12)
It feels like only yesterday that Sharon and I were browsing our local bookshops looking for suitable LGBTQ representation for our soon-to-be. Books like And Tango Makes Three, Nen and The Lonely Fisherman and Mummy, Mama and Me were firm favourites from our collection, and some still are, but now that T is fully submerged into Primary school he’s really got into reading to himself.
At the moment, he’s really enjoying books like Flat Stanley, Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Roald Dahl, but it should come at no surprise that we’re now on the look out for young fiction with more diverse characters and protagonists.
Over the past two years, our collection has slowly been growing. He’s not the fastest reader and he often has to be in the mood, which means our collection is still small. But, when he decides that he does want to pick up a book, we want to make sure he’s represented in pages and has access to wide range of diverse characters as well.
Here are a few of our favourites with LGBTQ characters so far, as well as ones that have been recommended to us:
Please Note! This post contains affiliate links. This means that if you make a purchase via one of my links I will earn some pennies.
“Billie has taken the new girl at school under her wing. She’ll teach her the important stuff – Biscuit Laws, Mrs Patterson and of course where to sneakily eat a Jaffa Cake. She might even get invited to the EVENT OF THE YEAR (Billie’s mums’ are getting married).”
This is the first book of (currently!) three books detailing the life of Billie Upton Green. A funny, heart-warming and inclusive story and friendship. If you like the Wimpy Kid stories, you’ll love these.
“Charlie Challinor finds life a bit scary. And when he’s made guardian of a furry fox cub called Cadno, things get a whole lot scarier.”
This is a heart-warming story about bravery, friendship and finding your inner fire, with plenty of swan-related laughs along the way. If you like your stories to have a hint of fantasy – think Pokemon – with a sprinkling of LGBTQ representation, you’ll adore this.
“George is only in the fourth grade, yet has an understanding of her gender, that despite what her body is saying, she is a female. “
This was recommended to us by a follower and is probably one of the first books I’ve seen where the main character is Transgender. Right from the start, George is referred to as ‘she’ and ‘her’ within the narrative of the book, apart from when the story is taken from the “outside” world.
The referrer states that this is a must-have for anyone, including children, who are questioning their identity or trying to come out. It is sensitively and considerately written.
“Welcome to the sleepy island of Penfurzy, where nothing exciting ever really happens. OR DOES IT? Adventure awaits Demelza and her new best friend in the whole world, Nessa, as they explore the island and uncover the mysteries of the Penfurzy Knights.”
Another page turner in the list and one that is full of fun and frolics. The main character is Demelza, and with her friend Nessa they go on a fast-paced, thrilling adventure that will leave readers laughing. Demelza is an icon and a great role-model for young readers.
“My name’s Archie Albright, and I know two things for certain:
1. My mum and dad kind of hate each other, and they’re not doing a great job of pretending that they don’t anymore.
2. They’re both keeping a secret from me, but I can’t figure out what.“
Probably one of my favourite books from 2021, Me, My Dad and the End of The Rainbow took me on a journey through love and acceptance. This wonderfully inclusive, wholesome story about friendship and family needs to be put on screens immediately (especially the London scene! IYKYK) and will not disappoint you.
“Izzy’s family is under the spotlight when her dad comes out as Danielle, a trans woman. Izzy is terrified her family will be torn apart. Will her parents break up? And what will people at school say? Izzy’s always been shy, but now all eyes are on her. Can she face her fears, find her voice and stand up for what’s right?
Another follower recommendation, and a timely one at that. This is a thoughtful and sensitively written story that will no-doubt inspire conversations and encourage empathy. It also promotes being yourself and living your most authentic life.
“From the award-winning author of Princess Princess Ever After comes THE TEA DRAGON SOCIETY, the beloved and charming all-ages book that follows the story of Greta, a blacksmith apprentice, and the people she meets as she becomes entwined in the enchanting world of tea dragons.”
Another follower recommendation, and this time we are sharing a graphic novel. This is a sweet and charming tale, and offers gender fluid stories, queer positive characters, and plenty of friendship-lead themes. Adore this.
“When 12-year-old Flick Hudson accidentally ends up in the Strangeworlds Travel Agency, she uncovers a fantastic secret: there are hundreds of other worlds just steps away from ours. At the Strangeworlds Travel Agency, each suitcase transports you to a different world. All you have to do is step inside . . .”
Recommended to us by the folks at The Portal Bookshop, this fantastical story is full of adventure, magic and wonder, and will take you on a wild ride. Despite the fantasy theme, the characters and setting feels completely relatable and realistic.
“The Fletchers are no different from any modern American family — four brothers, various pets (some possibly imaginary), soccer, plays, and pesky neighbours. The fact that the fathers are gay and a few of the brothers are adopted? That’s just background, showing readers without telling them that there as many definitions of family as there are families.”
This is a hilarious book about your typical family, with lots of imagination and wonderment along the way. Described as “Domestic Comedy” this book will have you laugh out loud at some of the events that occur – some that you will no doubt relate to.
“Becky and Josh are almost-twins, with two mums and the same anonymous donor dad. Josh can’t wait until he’s eighteen, the legal age when he can finally contact his donor, and he’ll do anything to find out more - even if it involves lying.”
Another find in The Portal Bookshop, and one that feels personal to us. This child-centred story covers topics around acceptance and family, and promotes the importance of honesty and being open with friends and family – no matter what.
If you enjoyed this post, let us know in the comments below. If you would like to recommend a book, get in touch so we can add it to the list!