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Diverse YA Books @ SCF Libraries: LGBT+ Lit for YA

Recommended books for young adults (13+ years old)

Recommended Young Adult Titles* about Diverse LGBT+ Experiences

Little and Lion

A stunning novel on love, identity, loss, and redemption. When Suzette comes home to Los Angeles from her boarding school in New England, she's isn't sure if she'll ever want to go back. L.A. is where her friends and family are (as well as her crush, Emil). And her stepbrother, Lionel, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, needs her emotional support. But as she settles into her old life, Suzette finds herself falling for someone new...the same girl her brother is in love with.

Cemetery Boys

Yadriel has summoned a ghost, and now he can't get rid of him. When his traditional Latinx family has problems accepting his true gender, Yadriel becomes determined to prove himself a real brujo. With the help of his cousin and best friend Maritza, he performs the ritual himself, and then sets out to find the ghost of his murdered cousin and set it free.

All Boys Aren't Blue

In a series of personal essays, prominent journalist and LGBTQIA+ activist George M. Johnson explores his childhood, adolescence, and college years in New Jersey and Virginia. From the memories of getting his teeth kicked out by bullies at age five, to flea marketing with his loving grandmother, to his first sexual relationships, this young-adult memoir weaves together the trials and triumphs faced by Black queer boys.

Miss Meteor

There hasn't been a winner of the Miss Meteor beauty pageant who looks like Lita Perez or Chicky Quintanilla in all its history. But that's not the only reason Lita wants to enter the contest, or her ex-best friend Chicky wants to help her. The road to becoming Miss Meteor isn't about being perfect; it's about sharing who you are with the world--and loving the parts of yourself no one else understands.

Leah on the Offbeat

When it comes to drumming, Leah Burke is usually on beat--but real life isn't always so rhythmic. She's an anomaly in her friend group: the only child of a young, single mom, and her life is decidedly less privileged. She loves to draw but is too self-conscious to show it. And even though her mom knows she's bisexual, she hasn't mustered the courage to tell her friends--not even her openly gay BFF, Simon.

The Black Flamingo

A fierce coming-of-age verse novel about identity and the power of drag, from acclaimed poet and performer Dean Atta. Perfect for fans of Elizabeth Acevedo, Jason Reynolds, and Kacen Callender. Michael is a mixed-race gay teen growing up in London. All his life, he's navigated what it means to be Greek-Cypriot and Jamaican--but never quite feeling Greek or Black enough. As he gets older, Michael's coming out is only the start of learning who he is and where he fits in.

Highly illogical behavior

Sixteen-year-old Solomon is agoraphobic. He hasn't left the house in three years, which is fine by him. Ambitious Lisa desperately wants to get into the second-best psychiatry program for college (she's being realistic). But how can she prove she deserves a spot there? Solomon is the answer. Determined to "fix" Sol, Lisa thrusts herself into his life, introducing him to her charming boyfriend Clark and confiding her fears in him. Soon, all three teens are far closer than they thought they'd be, and when their facades fall down, their friendships threaten to collapse, as well. 

Both Sides Now

A witty and warm-hearted novel about a trans teen finding his place in the world perfect for fans of  Red, White and Royal Blue There's only one thing standing between Finch Kelly and a full-blown case of high school senioritis: the National Speech & Debate Tournament. Taking home the gold would not only be the pinnacle of Finch's debating career, but the perfect way to launch himself into his next chapter: college in Washington, DC, and a history-making career as the first trans congressman. What could possibly go wrong?

Felix Ever After

From Stonewall and Lambda Award-winning author Kacen Callender comes a revelatory YA novel about a transgender teen grappling with identity and self-discovery while falling in love for the first time. Felix Love has never been in love--and, yes, he's painfully aware of the irony. He desperately wants to know what it's like and why it seems so easy for everyone but him to find someone.

George (Author's preferred new title: Melissa's Story)

When people look at Melissa, they think they see a boy named George. But she knows she's not a boy. She knows she's a girl. Melissa thinks she'll have to keep this a secret forever. Then her teacher announces that their class play is going to be Charlotte's Web. Melissa really, really, REALLY wants to play Charlotte. But the teacher says she can't even try out for the part... because she's a boy.

Disclaimer

*What does "recommended" mean?

To be included in this page, books have been read and selected by SCF professional librarians, who recommends them for quality, originality, and portrayal of the culture represented.

*What does YA mean?

Books in this guide are intended mainly for teenagers: 13-19 years old. Of course, people of all ages might enjoy them, but the maturity level and themes addressed in these books have special appeal for that age group. 

*Disclaimer:

The books on this list are recommended by librarians and have received major awards or accolades. SCF Collegiate School students in grades 6-10 check out books under the supervision of the CS teachers. SCF Collegiate School students taking college-level classes have free access to these resources.