May 15, 2021
During the month of June, LGBTQ Pride Month is commemorated annually. June was chosen because that is when the Stonewall uprising took place in New York City in 1969, marking the beginning of the movement to address discrimination against LGBTQ people. LGBTQ Pride Month provides an opportunity for adults and young people to learn more about the history of the LGBTQ community, reflect on the importance of pride, learn about LGBTQ people, and acknowledge the struggle to challenge and overcome bias in the face of marginalization, oppression and injustice. As with other themed months, these discussions should take place throughout the year, not just in June.
Children’s literature can open doors to exploring all these important topics and concepts through picture books, chapter books and young adult literature. Our recommended books for different age groups each include two discussion guides: one for educators and one for families.
Stella Brings the Family (Ages 4-8)
Stella's class is having a Mother's Day celebration, but what's a girl with two Daddies to do? It's not that she doesn't have someone who helps her with her homework, or tucks her in at night. Stella has her Papa and Daddy who take care of her, and many other loved ones who make her feel special and supported every day. She doesn't have a mom to invite to the party. Fortunately, Stella finds a unique solution to her party problem in this story about love, acceptance and the true meaning of family. Get the Discussion Guides.
Jacob’s New Dress (Ages 4-8)
Jacob loves playing dress-up, when he can be anything he wants to be—a pirate, a bird, a firefighter. But he also wants to just be himself and wear his favorite thing… a dress! Now Jacob has a new dress that he made himself and what he wants most of all is to wear it to school. Will Mom and Dad let him? This story speaks to the unique challenges faced by children who don’t identify with traditional gender roles and promises to spark discussions of gender, identity and self-confidence. Get the Discussion Guides.
Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag (Ages 5-8)
On June 25, 1978, history was made when a new flag unfurled in San Francisco. From that moment forward, the flag and its rich, beaming colors of the rainbow would serve as a symbol of hope and pride for the millions of LGBTQ individuals across the world. Learn about the life of the Gay Pride Flag, from its beginnings with social activist Harvey Milk and designer Gilbert Baker, to its spanning of the globe and its role in today's world. Get the Discussion Guides.
When Aidan Became a Brother (Ages 5-8)
When Aidan was born, everyone thought he was a girl. His parents gave him a pretty name, his room looked like a girl's room, and he wore clothes that other girls liked wearing. After he realized he was a boy, Aidan and his parents fixed the parts of his life that didn't fit anymore, and he settled happily into his new life. Then Mom and Dad announced they're going to have another baby and Aidan wants to do everything he can to make things right for his new sibling from the beginning. But what does "making things right" mean? And what happens if he messes up? Aidan comes to understand that mistakes can be fixed, and that he already knows the most important thing about being a big brother: how to love with his whole self. Get the Discussion Guides.
George (Ages 8-12)
When people look at George, they think they see a boy. But she knows she's not a boy. She knows she's a girl. George 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. George really wants to play Charlotte. But the teacher says she can't even try out for the part ... because she's a boy. With the help of her best friend, Kelly, George comes up with a plan. Not just so she can be Charlotte—but so everyone can know who she is, once and for all. Get the Discussion Guides.
Hurricane Child (Ages 8-12)
Being born during a hurricane is unlucky, and twelve-year-old Caroline, who lives on Water Island in the U.S. Virgin Islands, has had her share of bad luck lately. But when a new student arrives, Caroline believes her luck is turning around. Kalinda soon becomes Caroline’s first friend. Together, the two girls must brave their own feelings of friendship—and love—while they seek to discover why Caroline’s mother has disappeared, or risk losing her forever. Get the Discussion Guides.
Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World (Ages 8-12)
When a tornado rips through town, twelve-year-old Ivy Aberdeen's house is destroyed and her family of six is displaced. Ivy feels invisible and ignored in the aftermath of the storm—and what's worse, her notebook filled with secret drawings of girls holding hands has gone missing. Mysteriously, Ivy's drawings begin to reappear in her locker with notes from someone telling her to open up about her identity. Ivy thinks—and hopes—that this someone might be her classmate, another girl for whom Ivy has begun to develop a crush. Will Ivy find the strength and courage to follow her true feelings? Get the Discussion Guides.
The Best Man (Ages 9-12)
Archer Magill has spent five years of elementary school in search of grown-up role models. Three of the best are his grandpa, the great architect; his dad, the great vintage car customizer; and his uncle Paul, who is just plain great. Along the way he finds a fourth—Mr. McLeod, a military-based student teacher who disrupts Archer’s class and enriches it. In response to anti-gay bullying, Mr. McLeod gives the students a lecture in which he comes out himself. Outside school, Archer also shares daily adventures with his father, his grandfather, and his uncle Paul, whose romantic interest in Mr. McLeod might just well lead to a second wedding in which he has a starring role. Get the Discussion Guides.
Too Bright to See (Ages 9-12)
It's the summer before middle school and eleven-year-old Bug's best friend Moira has decided the two of them need to use the next few months to prepare. For Moira, this means figuring out the right clothes to wear, learning how to put on makeup, and deciding which boys are cuter in their yearbook photos than in real life. But none of this is all that appealing to Bug, who doesn't particularly want to spend more time trying to understand how to be a girl. Besides, there's something more important to worry about: A ghost is haunting Bug's eerie old house in rural Vermont. As Bug begins to untangle the mystery of who this ghost is, an altogether different truth comes to light--Bug is transgender. Get the Discussion Guides.
Gracefully Grayson (Ages 10-14)
Grayson Sender has been holding onto a secret for what seems like forever: she is a girl. The weight of this secret is crushing, but sharing it would mean facing ridicule, scorn, rejection, or worse. Despite the risks, Grayson's true self itches to break free. Will new strength from an unexpected friendship and a caring teacher's wisdom be enough to help Grayson step into the spotlight she was born to inhabit? Get the Discussion Guides.