The right book at the right time can help boost self-esteem and grow empathy for others. In the past few years, mainstream publishers have started to release more kids' books with LGBTQ+ themes. But when it comes to LGBTQ+ characters who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, there's still lots of room to grow. Below are many of the titles currently available.
Visit denverlibrary.org/kids/lgbtq for more resources and recommendations.
Born on Water Island in the Virgin Islands during a hurricane, which is considered bad luck, twelve-year-old Caroline falls in love with another girl--and together they set out in a hurricane to find Caroline's missing mother.
"In a small but turbulent Louisiana town, one boy's grief takes him beyond the bayous of his backyard, to learn that there is no right way to be yourself"-- Provided by publisher.
This inspiring picture book autobiography tells the remarkable story of Sharice Davids, one of the first Native American women elected to Congress and the first LGBTQ congressperson to represent Kansas.
When her mother goes on a business trip, a little girl, who loves to sit between Mama and Mommy at the table, misses her a lot and feels empty until Mommy finally comes home, filling the void with love.
Julián and his abuela are going to a wedding. Better yet, Julián is in the wedding. Weddings have flowers and kissing and dancing and cake. And this wedding also has a new friend named Marisol.
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: a butter-yellow curtain for his tail, the fronds of a potted fern for his headdress. But what will Abuela think about the mess he makes -- and even more importantly, what will she think about how Julián sees himself?
"Brian has always been anxious, whether at home, or in class, or on the basketball court. His dad tries to get him to stand up for himself and his mom helps as much as she can, but after he and his brother are placed in foster care, Brian starts having panic attacks. And he doesn't know if things will ever be normal again... Ezra's always been popular. He's friends with most of the kids on his basketball team--even Brian, who usually keeps to himself. But now, some of his friends have been acting differently, and Brian seems to be pulling away. Ezra wants to help, but he worries if he's too nice to Brian, his friends will realize that he has a crush on him... But when Brian and his brother run away, Ezra has no choice but to take the leap and reach out. Both boys have to decide if they're willing to risk sharing parts of themselves they'd rather hide. But if they can be brave, they might just find the best in themselves--and each other."--Provided by publisher.
"Aidan, a transgender boy, experiences complicated emotions as he and his parents prepare for the arrival of a new baby"-- Provided by publisher.
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.
Twelve-year-old Rahul Kapoor, an Indian-American boy growing up in small-town Indiana, struggles to come to terms with his identity, including that he may be gay.
"A sweet middle-grade chapter book about two best friends who transform their torn-up street into a world where imaginations can run wild. In 1984 Los Angeles, Alex is a tomboy who would rather wear her hair short and her older brother's hand-me-downs, and Wolf is a troubled kid who's been wearing the same soldier's uniform ever since his mom died. They set their worries aside when their street is torn up by construction machines and transformed into a muddy wonderland with endless possibilities. To pass the hot summer days, the two best friends seize the opportunity to launch a gleeful street war against the rival neighbourhood kids. But when Alex and Wolf make their headquarters inside a deep trench, Alex's grandmother warns them that some buried things want to be found and some want to stay hidden. Although she has the wisdom of someone who has survived the Mexican Revolution, the Spanish Flu, and immigration to a new country, the kids ignore her warning, unearthing more than they bargained for. The exuberant and expressive black-and-white line drawings by Gabriela Godoy perfectly capture the summers of youth, when anything feels possible and an adventure is always around the corner. Bursting with life and feeling, both the people and the land come alive in a tale interwoven with Mexican-American identity, experience, and history. The Street Belongs to Us is a story of family, friendship, and unconditional acceptance, even when it breaks your heart."-- Provided by publisher.
"A playful story...about a young boy's fascination with the dot on his mother's forehead" --Publisher description.
"A magical gender variant child brings transformation and change to the world around them thanks to their mother's enduring love. In the magical time between night and day, when both the sun and the moon are in the sky, a child is born in a little blue house on a hill. And Miu Lan is not just any child, but one who can change into any shape they can imagine. The only problem is they can't decide what to be: a boy or a girl? A bird or a fish? A flower or a shooting star? At school, though, they must endure inquisitive looks and difficult questions from the other children, and have trouble finding friends who will accept them for who they are. But they find comfort in the loving arms of their mother, who always offers them the same loving refrain: "whatever you dream of / i believe you can be / from the stars in the sky to the fish in the sea." 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 who this child becomes, their mother will love them just the same" --Publisher description.