We teach grades four and five, which is a time in a student’s life when they are just figuring out who they are and how they want the world to see them. It’s a special time for students and we like to have books in our classroom that represent everyone regardless of culture, colour, religion, gender, identity or orientation. LGTBQ+ characters are included in the books, lessons and discussions our students see in our classroom.
Students need to see people of all backgrounds.
One way we do this is through books. Our classroom and school libraries are filled with books that feature characters from all backgrounds including members of the LGBTQ+ community.
Why Do LGTBQ+ Books Matter?
Your personal views about these books are irrelevant. As a teacher your role is to teach students about the world and how to be accepting of others.
We don’t want any hate chatter and while you’re entitled to your opinion, we work in a province and school district where inclusive policies are the norm. We’ve been challenged by parents occasionally about a book, but our district has defended us. We realize this is not the norm around the world, but we can always dream.
Our students come in all types of families. We do our best to show students all types of people-because absolutely everyone in the world deserves to be accepted for who they are.
We have been collecting a list of titles and fortunately almost all of them are found in our school library. Hopefully you can use this list to add yo your own. Have your students recommend books using our Book Recommendation notes. They’re available in our Resource Library or we can send them directly to your inbox when you become a teaching ninja.
Picture Books With LGTBQ+ Characters
10,000 Dresses by Ewert Marcus
Bailey dreams of wearing beautiful dresses, but her family disapproves.
123 A Family Counting Book by B. Combs
Fun with moms, dads, and pets! Celebrate all types of families and teach number to young children.
A Tale of Two Daddies by Vanita Oelschlager
Every child just wants the love of their parents and this book shows love in such a wonderful way.
A Tale of Two Mommies by Vanita Oelschlager
One boy asks another boy about having two mommies. A young girl listening in asks some questions too.
ABC: A Family Alphabet Book by Bobbie Combs
This alphabet books celebrates all families.
Are You a Boy or a Girl? by Karleen Pendleton Jimenez
A story of a child thinking through gender identity.
Asha’s Mums by Rosamund Elwin & Michele Paulse
People at Asha’s school don’t believe she has two moms. Her teacher says she better get the permission form for the field trip filled out correctly or she won’t get to go.
Backwards Day by S. Bear Bergman
This story is set on the planet Tenalp, where there are seventeen seasons, including one where bubblegum falls from the sky for three days and a single day when everything – everything everywhere – is backwards. Andrea loves Backwards Day, so she can turn into a boy for the day.
Emma and Meesha My Boy: A Two Mom Story by Kaitlyn Considine
When Emma’s two moms teach her to be nice to her cat, Emma enjoys being told yes instead of no.
Generous Jefferson Bartleby Jones by Forman Brown
Jefferson has two dads who can always loan out one dad because he’s got another…until the weekend he loans them both out by mistake.
More Great Books With LGTBQ+ Characters
Hello My Name Is Bob by Linas Alsenas
Bob, a self described boring bear, compares his life to his adventurous Penguin friend Jack, but soon realizes that it is okay to be different.
It’s A George Thing by David Bedford
George is at tge centre of this very funny story is about friends, fellowship, finding your own “thing,” and some very fancy footwork!
It’s Okay to Be Different by Todd Parr
This is aimed for younger students or students learning English that everyone is welcome, even if they are different than us.
Keesha and Her Two Moms Go Swimming by Monica Bey-Clarke & Cheril N. Clarke
A cute story that talks about the importance of sharing, being nice to others, and getting along despite our differences
Mister Seahorse by Eric Carle
In most fish families, after the mother has laid the eggs and the father has fertilized them, the eggs are left on their own. But sometimes, not only are the eggs cared for by a parent but – surprise- that parent is the father. This may sound strange but it is the truth.
Molly’s Family by Nancy Garden
When Molly draws a picture of her family a classmate makes her feel bad because he says “you can’t have a mommy and a mama.” She learns that families come in lots of different types.
Mom and Mum are getting Married! by Ken Setterington
When Rosie finds out that her two mothers are planning to get married, she’s worried about who will get to be a flower girl?
Oliver Button is a Sissy by Tomie DePaola
Oliver is teased and ostracized because he’d rather read books, paint pictures, and tap-dance than participate in sports.
And Even More Books With Amazing LGTBQ+ Characters
One dad, Two Dads, Brown Dads, Blue Dads by Johnny Valentine
A funny way for children to understand what having gay dads is all about.
Pink! by Lynne Rickards
Tired of being rejected, Patrick the pink penguin tries to live with the flamingos before he returns home.
Ryan’s Mom Is Tall by Heather Jopling
Ryan’s mom and mummy are very different, but both of them love him very much.
Saturday is Pattyday by Lesléa Newman
Frankie used to live with his two moms, Allie and Patty, until they separated. Frankie learns that Allie will always be part of his life.
Spork by Kyo Maclear
Spork is neither a fork or a spoon and is never quite sure where he fits in the world. He never gets chosen to be at the table until someone new arrives.
The Adventures of Tulip, Birthday Wish Fairy by S. Bear Bergman
Tulip receives a wish from a child known as David who wishes to live as Daniela. He doesn’t understand how to help, so he talks to the Wish Fairy Captain.
The Baby Kangaroo Treasure Hunt by Carmen Martinez Jover
A sweet story of how two kangaroos: Jack and Sam, a gay couple, and how they have their own baby through an egg donor and surrogacy.
The Family Book by Todd Parr
A book celebrating all kinds of families.
The Great Big Book of Families by Mary Hoffman
Families come in all shapes and sizes.
The Not-So-Only Child by Heather Jopling
Larissa is an only child, but her family is diverse and full of interesting people.
The Sissy Duckling by Harvey Fierstein
Elmer the duck is teased for being sissy, but he shows them how strong he really is.
Yup! More Great Books With LGBTQ+ Characters
Tutus Aren’t My Style by Linda Skeers
Tomboy Emma isn’t thrilled when she receives a gift from her favorite uncle and it’s a frilly pink tutu, but then she discovers that there are lots of different ways to be a ballerina.
Uncle Bobby’s Wedding by Sarah Brannen
Chloe is worried when her uncle marries his partner that she won’t get to spend time with him anymore.
We Belong Together by Todd Parr
A book about adoption and different types of families.
Who’s in a Family? by Robert Skutch
A book about all types of families and how they are made up of the people who love you the most!
Julián Is a Mermaid by Jessica Love
When Julian sees women dressed as mermaids on his way home from school, he goes home and wants to recreate the look. He worries about what his family will think, but ultimately they support him.
Donovan’s Big Day by Lesléa Newman
Donovan is excited to be a ring bearer and the best surprise is who is getting married.
My Footprints by Bao Phi
Thuy has two moms and she’s Vietnamese which makes her a target for bullies. She goes on an imaginary adventure with a bird that changes her perspective.
Pink Is for Boys by Robb Pearlman
Break gender stereotypes with this one.
The Flower Girl Wore Celery by Meryl G. Gordon
Emma is chosen to be her aunt’s flower girl in her wedding to another woman.
Prince & Knight by Daniel Haack
After a prince travels far and wide to find the perfect princess he discovers a knight is the one he’s wanted all along.
It Feels Good to Be Yourself: A Book About Gender Identity by Theresa Thorn
This book explains gender identity in a way kids can understand.
And a Couple Last Books With Wonderful LGTBQ+ Characters
Worm Loves Worm by J.J. Austrian
Two worms fall in love and get married.
Santa’s Husband by Daniel Kibblesmith
Santa and his husband live their lives at the North Pole, on vacation and when they get married.
Antonio’s Card by Rigoberto González
The kids in Antonio’s class make fun of him because of his mom’s partner, a woman. This is also a bilingual book.
The Christmas Truck by J. B. Blankenship
A family gives Christmas to an underprivileged child. Kiddo’s family happens to have two dads.
A Family Is a Family Is a Family by Sara O’Leary
A look at all kinds of families.
The Boy Who Cried Fabulous by Leslea Newman
This is a subtle story of a boy who sees the world in a unique way.
The Bravest Knight Who Ever Lived by Daniel Errico
Cedric grows from a child to an adult as he rescues a princess from a dragon. When the princess proposes marriage Cedric reveals that he loves the prince.
From the Stars in the Sky to the Fish in the Sea by Kai Cheng Thom
This story tackles gender fluidity and identities in a way that children can understand.
Annie’s Plaid Shirt by Stacy B. Davids
When she’s invited to a wedding, Annie’s mom wants her to wear a dress, even though it makes her uncomfortable, but Annie has a plan.
Sparkle Boy by Leslea Newman
This boy loves sparkles and glitter and it’s a great one to talk about acceptance.
And a Few Last Books With Fantastic LGTBQ+ Characters
Introducing Teddy: A gentle story about gender and friendship by Jessica Walton
This one is exactly as the title claims. Errol and Thomas are friends and one day Thomas explains she’s a girl and would like to be called Tilly.
And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
Two male penguins raise a baby penguin together. It’s based on the true story of Silo and Ray from the Central Park Zoo.
Love Makes A Family by Sophie Beer
This is a board board meant for younger students, but it basically comes down to families are all different. All they need is love.
When Aidan Became a Brother by Kyle Lukoff
Aidan is a trans boy and when his mother gets pregnant learns what it means to be a big brother.
Stella Brings the Family by Miriam B. Schiffer
Stella’s class is having a Mother’s Day party, but Stella has two dads. She works hard to come up with a solution.
Mommy, Mama, and Me by Lesléa Newman
This is the story of a toddler as a day with two moms happens. It turns out that it is just a family full of love.
A Plan for Pops by Heather Smith
Lou loves to spend time with his Granddad and Pops. Lou has a plan to cheer up Pop after he falls.
So, Which Books Will You Be Adding to Your Library?
Did we miss any of your favourites? Have you found something new that we’ve missed. Be sure to let us know and we’ll add it to the list. If you have something positive to say about this post we’ve love to hear it.
Why don’t we provide links for the books? Instead of giving your hard-earned money to a big box store, we encourage you to reach out to your local bookstore. They would be more than happy to order any book you need and you keep your dollars local to help support local business. 🙂
Check out some of our other book lists:
- Christmas Books We Love
- Poetry Books
- Book for Remembrance Day
- Cozy Up With Great Winter Books
- Books for Lunar New Year
- Kindness Books
- Books for Holi Festival of Colours
- Books for Orange Shirt Day (Residential Schools)
- Black History Month: Books You Should Use All Year
- Books to Help Teach Social Emotional Learning
- Asian Heritage Month Books
- Books for Ramadan
Did we miss a great book? Leave a comment with the title and author and we’ll add it to our list.