Reads

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Gender Bender & LGBTQ+ family Books by black authors, illustrators and/or with black characters

Ages 1-5. Bright primary colors and diverse figures illustrate this rhyming, counting board book about a Pride parade.

Ages 1-5. This board book showcases pictures of real-life families of all different genders, ethnicities, and identities. Includes simple accompanying text that helps build vocabulary and highlight the importance of family connection.

When Chloe’s favorite uncle announces that he’s getting married, everyone is excited. Everyone except Chloe, that is. What if Uncle Bobby no longer has time for picnics, swimming, or flying kites? Chloe just wants to keep having fun with her favorite uncle, but she’s afraid everything is going to change. Can Uncle Bobby and his boyfriend Jamie show Chloe that, when it comes to family, the more the merrier? In this inspiring, love-filled story, Chloe learns just what family means.

Ages 4 -8. When a classmate asks Riley which of her dads is her real dad, she worries that she will have to choose between her Papa and her Daddy. She instead learns that all it takes to make a family is love. Diverse characters and family representations round out this lovingly written picture book.

Ages 4-8. Colorful illustrations and simple language explain the basics of gender identity and cis, trans, and nonbinary genders. An affirming and uncomplicated introduction to gender concepts for all children from an own voices nonbinary author.

Ages 3-5. Angus loves sparkly things, shiny objects not only look beautiful; they also crackle, buzz and go whiz-bang-POP! His unique ability is lost, however, when Angus wears his grandma’s beaded necklace to school, and his classmates tease him for his atypical choice. A gentle story of acceptance, generosity and friendship, Angus All Aglow reminds us that it only takes one kind gesture to restore your sparkle.

Ages 5-8. A warrior maiden begrudgingly attends the matchmaker ball at the request of her friend, the Prince. She does end up finding true love — with his sister, the Princess.

Ages 5-8 The Power of words can go a long way. In the “Future is Female” we combined positive affirmations with a career guide to affirm in children to be anything they want to be. This beginners guide teaches our girls to attract abundance at a very young age, and helps to instill confidence, worth, and self-love.

Ages 5-8 This heartwarming picture book from an own voices trans author and an own voices illustrator of color explores what it’s like for Aidan when his parents expect a new baby. He wants to ensure everything will be just right for his younger sibling. Aidan knows that sometimes grown-ups can make mistakes, like when his parents thought he was a girl when he was born. As Aidan prepares for his role as big brother, he realizes that mistakes can be fixed with open communication.

Ages 5-8. The perfect children’s book for any household looking to add diverse children’s books to their library, Umi and Uma is the story of two mommies and a baby. Written by two real moms raising a new baby, this story within a story explains to baby Abigail how her two mommies decided to start a family in the far away land of Astrin.

Ages 6-9. A dedicated mom puts love into action as she creates the perfect rainbow-colored wig for her transgender daughter, based on the real-life experience of mother-daughter advocate duo Trinity and DeShanna Neal.

Historical Fiction. Ages 10+. Sixth-grader Silas is a great baseball player, but he’s worried about what will happen if anyone finds out that he’s gay. He knows all about Glenn Burke–the inventor of the high five and first openly gay baseball player–and how his career was ruined by homophobia. After coming out to his best friend and his coach, Silas panics and fumbles–can he rescue his friendship and get back in the game?

Non Fiction. Ages 10+. A necessary primer that celebrates LGBTQ+ victories over the past 50 years, this expanded edition of the 2016 publication focuses more deeply on activism and the need to continue fighting for equality. Updates also include new Proud Moments and Queer Facts, a section on being an ally, and profiles of activists, families, and others in the LGBTQ+ community from around the world.

Non Fiction. Ages 8-12. This slim nonfiction volume gives a quick overview of the laws, opinions, and social norms that have led to discrimination of people in the LGBTQ+ community. Includes a glossary, source notes, links to further reading, and an index.

Non Fiction. Ages 8-12. Follows the progress and the setbacks of LGBTQ+ servicemembers throughout history, up to the Trump administration’s ban on transgender people serving in the military.

Ages 8-12. LGBTQ Social Movements in America looks at social change movements in the country’s LGBTQ history, including the Stonewall riots that started the modern gay rights movement and die-ins that pressured the US government to take note of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the 1980s. Features include a glossary, further readings, websites, source notes, and an index. Aligned to Common Core Standards and correlated to state standards.

Ages 8 to 12. Realistic Fiction. King’s family–especially his father–have strong opinions about what it means to be a Black man, and they don’t allow for being gay. But King admires his friend Sandy for escaping an abusive home and living his truth no matter what. If King comes out, too, can his father learn to change?

Winner of the Stonewall Book Award. Winner of the Lambda Literary Award. Caroline Murphy is a Hurricane Child.Being born during a hurricane is unlucky, and 12-year-old Caroline has had her share of bad luck lately. But when a new student named Kalinda arrives, Caroline’s luck begins to turn around.  Caroline’s first and only friend — and the person for whom Caroline has begun to develop a crush. Together, Caroline and Kalinda must set out in a hurricane to find Caroline’s missing mother — before Caroline loses her forever.

Ages 12+. Sixteen-year-old Blythe is one of seven Guardians: magicians powerful enough to cause worldwide panic with a snap of their fingers. But Blythe spends her days pouring latte art at her family’s coffee shop, until magician anarchists kidnap her family. Heartbroken but determined, Blythe knows she can’t save them alone. So, she packs up her family’s bright yellow Volkswagen, puts on a playlist, and embarks on a road trip across the United States to enlist the help of six strangers whose abilities are unparalleled.

Non Fiction. Ages 12+. Troublemaker for Justice recounts the life and activism of Bayard Rustin, who was instrumental in the Civil Rights Movement and taught the principles of nonviolent resistance to many people, including Martin Luther King, Jr. Because he was gay, though, he was deliberately kept out of prominent leadership roles and was not given credit for his contributions. 

Fiction. YA. After her mother dies in an accident, sixteen-year-old Bree Matthews wants nothing to do with her family memories or childhood home.  UNC–Chapel Hill seems like the perfect escape—until Bree witnesses a magical attack her very first night on campus. A mage unlocks Bree’s own unique magic and she remembers a Merlin at the hospital when her mother died. She recruits Nick, a self-exiled Legendborn, and their reluctant partnership pulls them deeper into the society’s secrets—and closer to each other. 

Fiction. YA. It’s 200 years after Cinderella found her prince, but teen girls are now required to appear at the Annual Ball, where the men  select wives based on a girl’s display of finery. If a suitable match is not found, the girls not chosen are never heard from again. At the ball, Sophia makes the desperate decision to flee, and finds herself hiding in Cinderella’s mausoleum. There, she meets Constance. Together they vow to bring down the king once and for all–and in the process, learn there’s more to Cinderella’s story than they ever knew . . .


Exploring childhood, gender, race, and the trust that is built, broken, and repaired through generations, Ziyad investigates what it means to live beyond the limited narratives Black children are given and challenges the irreconcilable binaries that restrict them.

“Janet Mock is one of culture’s most prominent trans activists, and the first black trans woman to direct an episode of television through her work on the series Pose. Her memoir details her experience transitioning with an intersectional focus: growing up both poor and black presents unique struggles, and Mock’s narrative is full of trauma and heartbreak. But… she thrives and remains true to herself…”-  BookRiot

gender bender and lGBTQ+ family books ages 1-5

Teach your little ones about the Pride Parade with this colorful, energetic counting book! Featuring a diverse cast of characters and families, this board book highlights and celebrates the LGBTQIA+ community, love, and standing up for who you are while counting to ten. Perfect for all families, this counting board book should be shared and read with pride!

Mudpuppy’s Little Feminist Board Book Set is comprised of colorful illustrated portraits of real women who have made historical impact on the world.  Showcases pictures of real-life families of all different genders, ethnicities, and identities. Includes simple accompanying text that helps build vocabulary and highlight the importance of family connection.

Every young child is enchanted by the beautiful colors of the rainbow. Now, Our Rainbow can teach toddlers all about the meaning of each color of the pride flag. Told in simple, engaging text and paired with bright illustrations, this board book teaches the youngest of readers all about the colors of this rainbow and the simple acts of kindness that can brighten up our world! 

Through gentle rhymes and colorful photographs of adorable children, Pride Colors is a celebration of the deep unconditional love of a parent or caregiver for a young child. The profound message of this delightful board book is you are free to be whoever you choose to be; you’ll always be loved.

When Chloe’s favorite uncle announces that he’s getting married, everyone is excited. Everyone except Chloe, that is. What if Uncle Bobby no longer has time for picnics, swimming, or flying kites? Chloe just wants to keep having fun with her favorite uncle, but she’s afraid everything is going to change. Can Uncle Bobby and his boyfriend Jamie show Chloe that, when it comes to family, the more the merrier? In this inspiring, love-filled story, Chloe learns just what family means.

This cheerful book follows a family from morning to night in lively rhyme that rolls off the tongue. There’s a buzz for each bug, and a breeze for each tree, and plenty of hugs for you and me. The toddler and mommies take a morning bike ride to a farm stand, they visit a zoo in the afternoon, and in the evening there’s the bath and storybook routine before the child is tucked cozily into bed. This is sure to become a preschool favorite, for bedtime and any time.

Lou spends every Saturday with Grandad and Pops. Grandad reads books about science and design, Pops listens to rock and roll, and Lou bounces from lap to lap. One Saturday Pops has a fall.  Pops will need to use a wheelchair, not just for now, but for always. Unable to cope with his new circumstances, he becomes withdrawn and shuts himself in his room. Hearing Grandad trying to cheer up Pops inspires Lou to make a plan, using skills learned from Grandad.

Nobody seems to understand that Hannah is not a girl.

His parents ask why he won’t wear the cute outfits they pick out. His friend thinks he must be a tomboy. His teacher insists he should be proud to be a girl.

But a birthday wish, a new word, and a stroke of courage might be just what Hannah needs to finally show the world who he really is.

Told from the perspective of their adoring nephew, Auntie Uncle: Drag Queen Hero is the story of a courageous drag queen who saves the day, and brings two communities together.

My Dad’s name is Haley. She used to be a he but now she is a she! Last year she did this thing called transition.  

This brightly illustrated book will aid discussion with children about a loved one transitioning or about trans people in general. 

This book passes on an important message about acceptance and respect, and covers pronouns, dysphoria, family diversity and misgendering.

In this colorful and touching story that celebrates what makes each of us unique, a little creature that’s not quite a bird and not quite a bunny–it’s “neither”–searches for a place to fit in.

This colorful, simple, and touching story promotes diversity and offers a valuable lesson to the youngest of audiences: it is our differences that unite us.

Our family loves this book!!

In this captivating, beautifully imagined picture book about gender, identity, and the acceptance of the differences between us, Miu Lan faces many questions about who they are and who they may be. But one thing’s for sure: no matter what this child becomes, their mother will love them just the same.

 

The boy loves to be naked. He romps around his house naked and wild and free. Until he romps into his parents’ closet and is inspired to get dressed. First he tries on his dad’s clothes, but they don’t fit well. Then he tries on his mom’s clothes, and wow! The boy looks great. He looks through his mom’s jewelry and makeup and tries that on, too. When he’s discovered by his mother and father, the whole family (including the dog!) get in on the fun, and they all get dressed together.

Riley wears whatever clothes feel right each day. On Monday, Riley feels shy and wears a bunny costume to school. On Tuesday, a scary trip to the dentist calls for a super hero cape. For a trip out with Otto and Oma, a ball gown is the perfect outfit.

This charming picture book is a gentle exploration of self-expression and source of encouragement for being true to oneself despite the expectations of others.

A little boy attempts to answer one of grown-ups’ all-time favorite questions: “What’s your favorite color?” But with so many wonderful colors to choose from, he doesn’t know how to answer. He loves his pink sparkly tutu, bright red roses, soft yellow baby doll pajamas, and big, orange basketball. How will he ever pick?

Clive challenges gender stereotypes whether its with the professions he role plays nurse/teacher/librarian, having adventures with his hats or bags or doing his art. Clive bring diversity and affection in this book series.

Clive challenges gender stereotypes whether its with the professions he role plays nurse/teacher/librarian, having adventures with his hats or bags or doing his art. Clive bring diversity and affection in this book series.

Clive challenges gender stereotypes whether its with the professions he role plays nurse/teacher/librarian, having adventures with his hats or bags or doing his art. Clive bring diversity and affection in this book series.

Clive challenges gender stereotypes whether its with the professions he role plays nurse/teacher/librarian, having adventures with his hats or bags or doing his art. Clive bring diversity and affection in this book series.

Wilbur is different from the other Naked Mole Rats in his Colony, because he wears clothes (and he likes it!). But what will happen when Grandpah, the oldest, wisest, and most naked Naked Mole Rat ever discovers Wilbur’s secret

Funnyman and three-time Caldecott Honoree Mo Willems exposes the naked truth about being yourself and wearing it well.

Most mommies are girls. Most daddies are boys. But lots of parents are neither a boy nor a girl. Like my Maddy.

My Maddy has hazel eyes which are not brown or green. And my Maddy likes sporks because they are not quite a spoon or a fork.

Some of the best things in the world are not one thing or the other. They are something in between and entirely their own.

Age 3-5. Fleur and her wife Julian are on an adventure to get married in every country that legally allows same-sex marriage. The couple learns about a variety of wedding traditions that they incorporate in each place they wed. 4-8

Ages 3-5. Angus loves sparkly things, shiny objects not only look beautiful; they also crackle, buzz and go whiz-bang-POP! His unique ability is lost, however, when Angus wears his grandma’s beaded necklace to school, and his classmates tease him for his atypical choice. A gentle story of acceptance, generosity and friendship, Angus All Aglow reminds us that it only takes one kind gesture to restore your sparkle.

 

gender inclusive and LGBTQ+ Ages 5-10

Ages 5-10 There are so many fun things to play with at Jamie’s new preschool—baby dolls to care for, toy cars to drive—and Jamie wants to play with them all! But the other children are confused by Jamie’s gender expression . . . is Jamie a boy or a girl? Some toys are just for girls and others are just for boys, aren’t they? Not according to Jamie!

Ages 5-10. Tomorrow is the school parade, and Danny knows exactly what he will be: a princess. Mommy supports him 100%, and they race to the thrift store to find his costume. It’s almost closing time – will Danny find the costume of his dreams in time? One of A Kind, Like Me / Único como yo is a sweet story about unconditional love and the beauty of individuality. It’s a unique book that lifts up children who don’t fit gender stereotypes, and reflects the power of a loving and supportive community.

Age 5-10. My Shadow Is Pink is a beautifully written rhyming story that touches on the subjects of gender identity, self acceptance, equality and diversity. Inspired by the author’s own little boy,  the main character likes princesses, fairies and things “not for boys.” He soon learns (through the support of his dad) that everyone has a shadow that they sometimes feel they need to hide.This is an important book for a new generation of children (and adults alike) which exemplifies the concepts of unconditional love, respect and positive parenting.

Ages 7-10 A reclamation of the Mexican serenata tradition, follow the story of a young boy who asks his father if there is a song for a boy who loves a boy. Como reapropiación de la serenata Mexicana, Cuando Amamos Cantamos cuenta la historia de un niño que le pide a su padre que canten una canción para un niño que ama a otro niño. A bilingual story with illustrations.

Age 5-10. Max, a young trans boy, transitions at school and comes out to his parents while explaining gender identity to the audience and exploring the difference between gender-nonconformity and transness.

Ages 5-10. Max’s friend Stephen is great at many things. But more than anything else, Stephen can tell a story.  When Stephen signs up for the schools talent show, Max signs up to be his assistant. After selecting that just-right dress and those just-right shoes for the show, the moment arrives. He’s prepared for everything, except the one thing that matters in his performance. What will Max, standing in the wings, do to help his friend?

Age 5-10 Max and Teresa, one of his best friends, wind up having more fun (and a little trouble) than they bargained for on a class fieldtrip to a farm.

Age 5-10. Most mommies are girls. Most daddies are boys. But lots of parents are neither a boy nor a girl. Like my Maddy.

My Maddy has hazel eyes which are not brown or green. And my Maddy likes sporks because they are not quite a spoon or a fork.

Some of the best things in the world are not one thing or the other. They are something in between and entirely their own.

Age 5-10. Jacob loves playing dress-up, when he can be anything he wants to be. Some kids at school say he can’t wear “girl” clothes, but Jacob wants to wear a dress to school. Can he convince his parents to let him wear what he wants? This heartwarming story speaks to the unique challenges faced by children who don’t identify with traditional gender roles.

Ages 5-10. The American Library Association’s top 100 banned books of the last decade, is back in an encouraging story about gender expression. When Jacob goes to the boys’ bathroom he is chased out because the boys think he looks like a girl because of the way he is dressed. His classmate, Sophie, has a similar experience when she tries to go to the girls’ bathroom. When their teacher finds out what happened, Jacob and Sophie, with the support administration, lead change at their school as everyone discovers the many forms of gender expression and how to treat each other with respect.

Ages 5-10. Jacob—star of one of the most banned books of the decade—is back, and ready to put on a school play! While learning their lines and making their costumes, Jacob’s class finds itself unexpectedly struggling with who is “he,” “she,” or “they.” Jacob’s School Play is an engaging way to introduce young readers to non-binary people and the pronoun options available to us all. Learning that individuals are more nuanced than how others see them is a developmentally important milestone, and helps foster respect of one’s self and one’s peers. 

Ages 5-10. Like other girls of her time, Margaret Bulkley didn’t go to school. She wouldn’t grow up to own property, be a soldier, a doctor, or hold any job other than perhaps maid or governor–such was a girl’s lot in 19th century England. And was she comfortable born in a girl’s body? We will never know. What we do know is that at the age of 18, she tugged off her stockings and dress, cut her red-gold curls, and vanished. In her place appeared a young man. Margaret became James Barry. James would attend medical school, become a doctor and a soldier, travel the world. He would fall in love, deliver babies, and fight in a duel. And he would live a rich full life.

Ages 5-10. This beautifully written and timely story shows a transgender soldier’s personal bravery as he faced daring challenges on the battlefield and privately battled the restrictions and confines of gender.

Ages 6-9. A dedicated mom puts love into action as she creates the perfect rainbow-colored wig for her transgender daughter, based on the real-life experience of mother-daughter advocate duo Trinity and DeShanna Neal.

Ages 5-10. Loving illustrations help tell the story of how an infant abandoned in a NYC subway station was adopted by the man who found him and his partner.

Ages 5 -8. When a classmate asks Riley which of her dads is her real dad, she worries that she will have to choose between her Papa and her Daddy. She instead learns that all it takes to make a family is love. Diverse characters and family representations round out this lovingly written picture book.

Age 6-8. In this sequel that also stands alone, Oliver performs his magic act at a wedding rehearsal and one of the grooms goes missing.

Age 6-9. Thuy is bullied at school because she has two mothers, and because of her heritage. This picture book from an own voices Vietnamese author shows how Thuy draws strength from her culture when she imagines her snowy footprints are those of wild animals.

Ages 5-8. Ho’onani feels in-between. She doesn’t see herself as wahine (girl) OR kane (boy). She’s happy to be in the middle. But not everyone sees it that way. When Ho’onani finds out that there will be a school performance of a traditional kane hula chant, she wants to be part of it. But can a girl really lead the all-male troupe? Ho’onani has to try . . .
Based on a true story, Ho’onani: Hula Warrior is a celebration of Hawaiian culture and an empowering story of a girl who learns to lead and learns to accept who she really is.

Ages 5-8. A warrior maiden begrudgingly attends the matchmaker ball at the request of her friend, the Prince. She does end up finding true love — with his sister, the Princess.

Ages 5-8 This heartwarming picture book from an own voices trans author and an own voices illustrator of color explores what it’s like for Aidan when his parents expect a new baby. He wants to ensure everything will be just right for his younger sibling. Aidan knows that sometimes grown-ups can make mistakes, like when his parents thought he was a girl when he was born. As Aidan prepares for his role as big brother, he realizes that mistakes can be fixed with open communication.

Ages 5-8. Everyone in Mr. Tiffin’s class couldn’t be more excited that the new school library has finally opened. Everyone except Jake. Sometimes he reads the same page more than once, and feels left behind. All that changes when Librarian Beck notices Jake running his fingers across the grooves of a brand-new bookshelf and offers him an old, worn book: Woodworking for Young Hands. When the school year comes to an end, Jake has the perfect gift idea for the librarian who changed his life. While Librarian Beck is never gendered in this book we see Mcnamara simply use the pronoun “they”. It is refreshing to see a nonbinary person just being present in the world as themselves.

Age 5-8. While riding the subway home from the pool with his abuela one day, Julián notices three women spectacularly dressed up. Their hair billows in brilliant hues, their dresses end in fishtails, and their joy fills the train car. When Julián gets home, daydreaming of the magic he’s seen, all he can think about is dressing up just like the ladies in his own fabulous mermaid costume. But what will Abuela think about the mess he makes — and even more importantly, what will she think about how Julián sees himself? Mesmerizing and a radiant celebration of individuality.

Ages 5-8. I prefer plot centered books but sometimes its good to discuss the topic itself. This is excellent option.

 Colorful illustrations and simple language explain the basics of gender identity and cis, trans, and nonbinary genders. An affirming and uncomplicated introduction to gender concepts for all children from an own voices nonbinary author.

Age 5-8. The engaging story of tennis star Billy Jean King and her work, both on and off the court, to become a sports icon and women’s rights activist – as well as King’s realization that she is gay. Includes timeline and photographs.

Age 5-8. In this deeply moving and empowering true story, young readers will trace the life of the Gay Pride Flag, from its beginnings in 1978 with social activist Harvey Milk and designer Gilbert Baker to its spanning of the globe and its role in today’s world. Award-winning author Rob Sanders’s stirring text, and acclaimed illustrator Steven Salerno’s evocative images, combine to tell this remarkable – and undertold – story. A story of love, hope, equality, and pride.

Books For Raising Boys: 20 Books For Boys To Advocate For Gender Equality​

Ages 4-8. As a child in Pakistan, Malala made a wish for a magic pencil. She would use it to make everyone happy, to erase the smell of garbage from her city, to sleep an extra hour in the morning. But as she grew older, Malala saw that there were more important things to wish for. She saw a world that needed fixing. And even if she never found a magic pencil, Malala realized that she could still work hard every day to make her wishes come true.

Ages 4-8. A powerful, vibrantly illustrated story about the first day of school–and two sisters on one’s first day of hijab–by Olympic medalist and social justice activist Ibtihaj Muhammad.

Ages 5-10. My kids LOVE the princess in black series. The princess in black leads a double life as a princess and monster fighting super hero. Her and her fellow super heroes use their wits and powers to stop monsters coming from monster land. This is an award winning series your kids will love an an excellent beginning for parents just starting gender creative parenting!

5-10. Yes! We love STEM characters. Ada Twist’s head is full of questions. Like her classmates Iggy and Rosie—Ada has always been endlessly curious. Even when her fact-finding missions and elaborate scientific experiments don’t go as planned, Ada learns the value of thinking her way through problems and continuing to stay curious.

Ages 3-7.  Having just moved from Korea, Unhei is anxious that American kids will like her. So instead of introducing herself on the first day of school, she tells the class that she will choose a name by the following week.  While Unhei practices being a Suzy, Laura, or Amanda, one of her classmates comes to her neighborhood and discovers her real name and its special meaning. On the day of her name choosing, the name jar has mysteriously disappeared. Encouraged by her new friends, Unhei chooses her own Korean name and helps everyone pronounce it—Yoon-Hey.

Ages 6-10. If you’re as old as me you’ll remember the Amelia Bedelia books. I loved them as a kid and they have been re-launched for the 21st century. My kids think Amelia is hilarious.  Laugh along with literal-minded Amelia Bedelia as she gets a dog, learns to dance, goes to camp, and so much more! This chapter book box set is an excellent choice to share for children who are ready to read independently. It’s a fun way to keep your child engaged and as a supplement for activity books for children.

Ages 4-8. Janet Collins wanted to be a ballerina in the 1930s and 40s, a time when racial segregation was widespread in the United States. Despite being rejected from discriminatory dance schools  she continued to go after her dreams, never compromising her values along the way. From her early childhood lessons to the height of her success as the first African American prima ballerina in the Metropolitan Opera, Brave Ballerina is the story of a remarkable pioneer as told by Michelle Meadows, with fantastic illustrations from Ebony Glenn.

Ages 8-12. Scholastic Gold line, which features award-winning and beloved novels. Celi Rivera’s life swirls with questions.About her changing body.Her first attraction to a boy.And her best friend’s exploration of what it means to be genderfluid.But most of all, her mother’s insistence she have a moon ceremony when her first period arrives. It’s an ancestral Mexica ritual that Mima and her community have reclaimed, but Celi promises she will NOT be participating. A dazzling story told with the sensitivity, humor, and brilliant verse of debut talent Aida Salazar.

Ages 5-8. Ho’onani feels in-between. She doesn’t see herself as wahine (girl) OR kane (boy). She’s happy to be in the middle. But not everyone sees it that way. When Ho’onani finds out that there will be a school performance of a traditional kane hula chant, she wants to be part of it. But can a girl really lead the all-male troupe? Ho’onani has to try . . .
Based on a true story, Ho’onani: Hula Warrior is a celebration of Hawaiian culture and an empowering story of a girl who learns to lead and learns to accept who she really is.

Ages 4-8. Everyone in Mr. Tiffin’s class couldn’t be more excited that the new school library has finally opened. Everyone except Jake. Sometimes he reads the same page more than once, and feels left behind. All that changes when Librarian Beck notices Jake running his fingers across the grooves of a brand-new bookshelf and offers him an old, worn book: Woodworking for Young Hands. When the school year comes to an end, Jake has the perfect gift idea for the librarian who changed his life. While Librarian Beck is never gendered in this book we see Mcnamara simply use the pronoun “they”. It is refreshing to see a nonbinary person just being present in the world as themselves.

Ages 8-12. Don a cape and follow the indomitable space explorer Zita from start to finish! From her unlikely origin as a humble earth girl to her wildest spacefaring adventures―robot doppelgängers, space whales, doomsday cults―it’s all here!

 

Ages 5-10. You can guarantee anything by Vashti Harrison is for GCP. We have almost all her books. These beautifully illustrated books introduce readers of all ages to 80 women who changed the world. Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History features 40 trailblazing black women in American history, and Little Leaders: Visionary Women Around the World features 40 women creators, ranging from writers to inventors, artists to scientists. Illuminating text paired with irresistible illustrations bring to life both iconic and lesser-known female figures of history  to readers.

Ages 5-10. Follow the adventures of Zoey and her cat Sassafras. This set only has 6 books but there are 2 more books!!

Each story features a new magical animal with a problem that must be solved using science. There isn’t a set formula for each book; Zoey sometimes needs to run experiments, while other times she needs to investigate a mystery, and yet other times she needs to do research. 

Meet Ivy and Bean, two friends who never meant to like each other: Ivy and Bean are very different. Bean is loud and wild and goofy. She loves to be involved in games and poke her nose in other people’s business. Ivy is quiet and full of ideas. She spends most of her time learning how to be a witch. Each girl thinks the other one is weird. Each girl thinks she could never be friends with the other. But sometimes opposites can become the best of friends because they’re opposites!

Ages 3 to 5 This gorgeous, lyrical ode to loving who you are, respecting others, and being kind to one another comes from Empire actor and activist Grace Byers and talented newcomer artist Keturah A. Bobo.

While riding the subway home from the pool with his abuela one day, Julián notices three women spectacularly dressed up. Their hair billows in brilliant hues, their dresses end in fishtails, and their joy fills the train car. When Julián gets home, daydreaming of the magic he’s seen, all he can think about is dressing up just like the ladies in his own fabulous mermaid costume. But what will Abuela think about the mess he makes — and even more importantly, what will she think about how Julián sees himself? Mesmerizing and a radiant celebration of individuality.

Phoebe is hilarious. Down to earth and sarcastic this book is enjoyable even for parents. It’s a graphic novel which my kids also really enjoy.

After 9-year-old Phoebe skips a rock across a pond and hits the majestic face of Marigold Heavenly Nostrils, she is granted one wish: for the vainglorious unicorn to be her obligational best friend. Hilarious hijinks ensue as Phoebe and Marigold take on everything from school frenemies to goblin queens, and everything in between. 

Ages 4-8. I prefer plot centered books but sometimes its good to discuss the topic itself. This is excellent option.

 Colorful illustrations and simple language explain the basics of gender identity and cis, trans, and nonbinary genders. An affirming and uncomplicated introduction to gender concepts for all children from an own voices nonbinary author.

10 + Zenobia July is starting a new life. She used to live in Arizona with her father; now she’s in Maine with her aunts. She used to spend most of her time behind a computer screen, improving her impressive coding and hacking skills; now she’s coming out of her shell and discovering a community of friends at Monarch Middle School. People used to tell her she was a boy; now she’s able to live openly as the girl she always knew she was.

Sulwe has skin the color of midnight. She is darker than everyone in her family. She is darker than anyone in her school. Sulwe just wants to be beautiful and bright, like her mother and sister. Then a magical journey in the night sky opens her eyes and changes everything.

In this stunning debut picture book, actress Lupita Nyong’o creates a whimsical and heartwarming story to inspire children to see their own unique beauty.

Most mommies are girls. Most daddies are boys. But lots of parents are neither a boy nor a girl. Like my Maddy.

My Maddy has hazel eyes which are not brown or green. And my Maddy likes sporks because they are not quite a spoon or a fork.

Some of the best things in the world are not one thing or the other. They are something in between and entirely their own.

Non-fiction Books for adults Explaining gender Identity

“Gender theorist Kate Bornstein’s genre-defying memoir explores nonbinary gender and rebukes a society that tries to force people to identify as either man or woman. A sharp critique of the binary, Gender Outlaw discusses gender and transition, as well as desire and sexual orientation, fluidity, and performance.” –Book Riot

“Gender theorist Kate Bornstein’s genre-defying memoir explores nonbinary gender and rebukes a society that tries to force people to identify as either man or woman. A sharp critique of the binary, Gender Outlaw discusses gender and transition, as well as desire and sexual orientation, fluidity, and performance.”- BookRiot

“Gender theorist Kate Bornstein’s genre-defying memoir explores nonbinary gender and rebukes a society that tries to force people to identify as either man or woman. A sharp critique of the binary, Gender Outlaw discusses gender and transition, as well as desire and sexual orientation, fluidity, and performance.” BookRiot

“…Butler critiques the construction of sex and gender in society and takes an intersectional approach, proposing the concept of gender expression as separate from biological sex, and that expectations of gender vary across cultures. This is a theory-heavy text, but foundational”- BookRiot

“Janet Mock is one of culture’s most prominent trans activists, and the first black trans woman to direct an episode of television through her work on the series Pose. Her memoir details her experience transitioning with an intersectional focus: growing up both poor and black presents unique struggles, and Mock’s narrative is full of trauma and heartbreak. But… she thrives and remains true to herself…”-  BookRiot

“… explores the psychiatric diagnosis of Gender Identity Disorder and its treatment in psychiatric hospitals during the 1980s. [Scholinski’s memoir] details her experience… After being determined “not feminine enough,” Scholinski was sent into treatment… It is definitely a tough read, but an important take on the way society views those outside of the binary.” –BookRiot

“Each essay in this collection confronts issues of “fitting in,” dealing with issues of presentation and combating societal expectations. It also provides intersectional narratives that deal with themes of religion, sex and sex work, family, class, and race. It is definitely a critique on the way culture expects people to fit into neat categories, but no one really does.” BookRiot

:… This book explores the construct of masculinity within society and gender performance, especially as it pertains to lesbians and trans individuals. The book works through the concepts of tomboys, butches, and drag kings, passing, and society’s policing of gender.” BookRiot

“Boylan is a prominent novelist and writer, and her memoir details her transition at a later stage in life than we often see—after marriage and children. The memoir explores the way her transition changed Boylan’s relationships with friends, colleagues, and her wife, as well as her writing career. It’s a touching story and critical in that it explores transition in adulthood, and the freedom of being one’s true self.”- BookRiot