Queer & Here: The YA QUILTBAG List

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.

Keym/m = male-male romance, f/f = female-female romance, qr = queer romance, l = lesbian MC, g = gay MC, b = bi MC, = queer MC, t = trans MC, i = intersex MC, ace = asexual MC, aro = aromantic MCnb = non binary MC, QT = Quiltbag Themes (i.e. may not inc MC)

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli. m/mg.

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertallif/f (side characters), pl.

Six of Crows & Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo. bgm/m. (review incoming, but trust me, these are two of my all time favourites)

Boys Don’t Cry by Malorie Blackman. g.

Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit by Jaye Robin Brown. f/fl.

Alex as Well by Alyssa Brugman. ti.

All of the Above by Juno Dawson. b, l, f/f.

Margot and Me by Juno Dawson. QT

The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily Danforth. l, b, f/f, nb

Aurabel by Laura Dockrillf/f, l.

Unbecoming by Jenny Downham. f/fl.

You Could be Mine by Sara Farizan. f/f, l, t.

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, lb.

Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan. m/m, g, b.

You Know Me Well by David Levithan & Nina LaCour. m/mf/fgl.

Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy. l, f/f, b, g.

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman. bace

Solitaire by Alice Oseman. (While the MCs are not explicitly queer, Nick and Charlie’s relationship is central to the plot and the various side projects mentioned in this post). m/mgb.

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell. m/m, g.

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo. t.

As I Descended by Robin Talley. f/fglb.

Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley. f/fl.

Our Own Private Universe by Robin Talley. f/fb.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz. m/mg.

History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera. m/m, g, b.

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera. m/m, g, b.

Because You’ll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas. gm/m.

Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde. b, l, f/f.

Non-YA Mentions

Books that are not strictly YA fiction that deal with QUILTBAG themes and would be suitable for teenagers.

Graphic Novels

  • Skim by Mariko Tamaki. l.
  • Honor Girl by Maggie Thrash. f/fl.

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/fl, b.

Manga

  • Bloom Into You by Nakatani Nio. f/face/aro (series still developing so unclear which), l.
  • Sailor Moon by Naoko Takeuchi. f/fg/gb, l, nb.
  • Paradise Kiss by Ai Yazawa. qr, b, t.

Non Fiction:

  • Trans by Juliet Jacques
  • Queer, There and Everywhere by Sarah Prager (review incoming)
  • Queer, a graphic history by Meg-John Barker and Julia Scheele