This is an ongoing project and will be updated as new books are released and as I read them. Here you can find a list of YA/children’s fiction including characters from the LGBTQ spectrum. Each listing will also include a mini review, and is ordered by author’s surname.
This project launched out of a desire to connect to my own queerness alongside my love of children’s and teen literature. Growing up a very repressed queer teen, I sought out comfort in the works of Armistead Maupin, struggling to understand liking girls and boys in a world so filled with misogyny and LGBTQ erasure. I am so happy to see that teen and children’s fiction has began to create a space for children and teens like me, and I want to honour that by creating a list of the works currently available that I have read.
Inclusion on this list means it is a book I would recommend, and so is not an exhaustive list of all QUILTBAG YA books ever.Inclusion on the list without a review means I approve the book and a review is incoming. I have noted on each review when the book was sent to me from the publisher for review.
I hope that also it also creates an invaluable resource booksellers, librarians and other book-people. I also have a list of the books I’ve read on autism or that feature people on the autistic spectrum, The Essential Autie List.
Key: m/m = male-male romance, f/f = female-female romance, qr = queer romance, l = lesbian MC, g = gay MC, b = bi MC, q = queer MC, t = trans MC, i = intersex MC, ace = asexual MC, aro = aromantic MC, nb = non binary MC, QT = Quiltbag Themes (i.e. may not inc MC)
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli. m/m, g.
The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli. f/f (side characters), p, l.
Six of Crows & Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo. b, g, m/m.
Boys Don’t Cry by Malorie Blackman. g.
Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit by Jaye Robin Brown. f/f, l.
Alex as Well by Alyssa Brugman. t & i.
All of the Above by Juno Dawson. b, l, f/f.
Margot and Me by Juno Dawson. QT
Unbecoming by Jenny Downham. f/f, l.
George by Alex Gino. t [This is technically a Middle Grade novel, but deserves inclusion on this list]
Girl Mans Up by M. E. Girard. f/f, l, b.
You Know Me Well by David Levithan & Nina LaCour. m/m, f/f, g, l.
Radio Silence by Alice Oseman. b, ace
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell. m/m, g.
If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo. t.
As I Descended by Robin Talley. f/f, g, l, b.
Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley. f/f, l.
Our Own Private Universe by Robin Talley. f/f, b.
Because You’ll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas. g, m/m.
Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde. b, l, f/f.
Books that are not strictly YA fiction that deal with QUILTBAG themes and would be suitable for teenagers.
- Honor Girl by Maggie Thrash. f/f, l.
Comic Book Series
- Giant Days by John Allison, Lissa Treiman & Whitney Cogar. b.
- Lumberjanes by Brooke A. Allen, Noelle Stevenson, Shannon Waters & Grace Ellis. f/f, l, b, t.
- Zodiac Starforce by Kevin Panetta & Paulina Gauncheau. f/f, l, b.
- Bloom Into You by Nakatani Nio. f/f, ace/aro (series still developing so unclear which), l.