The hallmarks of great middle grade books are friendship, kids finding their voice, learning who they are, and fun adventures. Middle grade readers might be having their first crush, exploring their gender, finding community, discovering who they are.
These books are about kids ages 9-13 who might be dealing with everyday kid issues, like being the new kid at school or dealing with bullying or they might be taking on super villains, introducing a friend to their zombie parents or learning how to use their magical powers.
These books represent the diversity of kids, including gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, non-binary, queer, questioning, intersex and asexual kids.
17 LGBTQ+ Chapter Books for Kids
Rabbit Chase by Elizabeth LaPensée and K.C. Oster
This graphic novel is about Aimee, a non-binary Anishinaabe middle school who accidentally edits up in another dimension inspired by Alice in Wonderland and traditional Anishinaabe figures. Aimee finds themself fighting a battle that mirrors one going on in their own community.
The Insiders by Mark Oshiro
Héctor is the new kid at school and is getting bullied. One day he finds a magic room in the school that connects him to other kids from across the country. A sweet and fun story about queer middle school friends.
Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee (and the sequel, Tiger Honor)
This Sci Fi adventure is inspired by Korean mythology. Min leaves home to find her missing brother in space and learns about shape shifting. A fast paced space adventure with a nonbinary character.
Cameron Battle and the Hidden Kingdoms by Jamar J. Perry
This adventure packed fantasy is inspired by West African and Igbo mythology and history. One day Cameron opens his grandmother’s Book of Chidani and is transported to the magical kingdom of Chidani, where the people of the kingdom have been waiting for a hero. Is Cameron that hero?
Almost Flying by Jake Maia Arlow
Dalia is obsessed with watching roller coaster videos online, but she’s never actually been on one! She’s determined to finally ride a roller coaster this summer and make a new best friend. Everything seems perfect, until Dahlia’s dad announces he is engaged and wants Dahlia to bond with her soon to be stepsister, Alexa, so her dream trip becomes Alexa’s trip, but at least she gets to bring her new friend Rani, who she might like as more than a friend. This is a great book about queer friendship across age categories and a fun summer read.
This Is Our Rainbow edited by Katherine Locke
This is a middle grade anthology of short stories about LGBTQIA kids ranging from stories about school to zombies and magic. It includes pieces from Alex Gino, Claribel A. Ortega, Molly Knox Ostertag, and many more.
Too Bright to See by Kyle Lukoff
Bug and Moira are best friends spending the summer before middle school together. Moria is preparing by learning about make up and talking all about boys. Bug is not interested in any of this stuff, and instead wants to learn about ghost hauntings. While Bug tries to solve the mystery of a ghost, they realize they are transgender.
In the Key of Us by Mariama J. Lockington
Andi and Zora attend Harmony Music Summer camp, where they bond over being the only Black girls at the very white camp. Andi is struggling with the loss of her mother, while Zora is trying to be the flute star her family wants her to be, but really wants to be a dancer. A beautiful summer time story about first love.
The Best At It by Maulik Pancholy
As he is about to start seventh grade, Rahul’s grandfather gives him some advice: Find something you are good at and become the best at it! The problem is, Rahul doesn’t know what that thing is. Follow Rahul as he deals with a bully, a crush on his classmate, Justin, and figuring out what he is the best at.
Zenobia July by Lisa Bunker
Zenobia July is a trans girl with amazing coding and hacking skills, who is getting used to her new life with her aunts in Maine. When hateful memes get posted on her new school’s website, Zenobia is determined to use her hacker skills to solve the mystery of who posted them. Equal parts mystery solving and finding home and friendship, this book is a delight.
The One Who Loves You the Most by medina
Gabriela is an adoptee in an all white family and struggles to find friends at school. A new school year leads to new friends, a school project and a Youtube channel. This is a story about identity and finding community.
Hurricane Child by Kacen Callender
Caroline was born during a hurricane, which is considered unlucky. She gets bullied by everyone at school, spirit keeps following her around and her mom left home and never came back. Then, Caroline makes a new friend, Kalinda, who she realizes she has a crush on. The two kids set out on a mission to find Caroline’s missing mother.
Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee
Jess Tran is the only person in her super hero family without super powers. She scores a paid internship that turns out to be working for a super villain! But she does get to work with her secret crush, Abby! Action packed with great characters, this book is technically a YA novel but it is appropriate for ages 10 and up.
Derby Daredevils series by Kit Rosewater
Great for younger readers like 3rd-5th grade. Imagine that Kristy started a roller derby team instead of the Baby Sitters Club and that’s this series! Super cute and fun, and full of friendship and “casual queerness”, like a trans dad and having a crush on another girl on the team.
Rick by Alex Gino
When Rick joins his school’s Rainbow Spectrum club, he meets Melissa, a girl who seems to have it all together. Rick admires how self-assured she is, and wonders if he could ever get to the same place. His desire takes him on a journey to figure out who he is and what he wants from his life and his friendships.
Ana on the Edge by A.J. Sass
Ana loves ice skating but is not excited about this year’s competition theme, princesses. When the new kid on the ice rink, Hayden, a trans boy, mistakes Ana for a boy, Ana doesn’t correct him. Ana learns about their identity and how they can express themselves on the ice and off.
Delpha uses her family’s secret book of hexes to try to fix her family’s money problems and it does all wrong, when Katybird, a daughter of a rival witch family, gets involved. The two girls have to work together to fix the mess they cause. A fun story of magic and friendship, including intersex representation.
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