7 Inclusive Children’s Books You Need to Read

Because LGBTQ representation matters for readers of all ages.

At NewNowNext, we’ve covered some of our favorite LGBTQ-inclusive books for young adult readers. But what about inclusive and age-appropriate titles for kids?

Below, find seven diverse and queer-friendly books perfect for any young readers in your life. Seeing yourself represented on the pages of your favorite book matters for everybody, including children.

  1. Imprint

    Penned by American Dad! voice actress Rachael MacFarlane and illustrated by Spencer Laudiero, Eleanor Wyatt tells the story of Eleanor, a young girl whose playtime adventures know no bounds—nor the confines of gender roles and expectations. “These books are more about imagination, creativity, and encouraging our kids to be limitless,” MacFarlane told NewNowNext last year. “But I think if you’re a kid struggling with your sexuality or gender identity, you can take from the books whatever you need to take.”

    Available now.

  2. Jack (Not Jackie), Erica Silverman

    Bonnier Publishing USA

    Jack (Not Jackie) is the second inclusive title from GLAAD’s children’s book collaboration with Bonnier Publishing USA. The book, illustrated by Holly Hatam, follows big sister Susan as she learns to accept and embrace her gender non-conforming younger sibling as Jack, not Jackie.

    Available now.

  3. Cardinal Rule Press

    Dazzling Travis, authored by Hannah Carmona Dias and illustrated by Brenda Figueroa, follows its namesake, Travis, a young boy who’s passionate about everything from football to ballet. When other boys at the playground pick on him for being himself, though, Travis really shines—and spreads a message of inclusion and tolerance for diverse expressions of gender.

    Available April 1, 2019.

  4. Duke University Press Books

    First published in 1976, Little Man, Little Man is the sole children’s book from prolific gay literary legend James Baldwin. The story follows TJ, a young Harlem native who navigates the highs and lows of a black childhood in 1970s America. Though it’s not as well-known as Baldwin’s iconic works, like Giovanni’s Room or Notes of a Native Son, it’s well worth a read—and in print (with new illustrations by French artist Yoran Cazac!) for the first time in 40 years.

    Available now.

  5. Timbuktu Labs, Inc.

    This colorful feminist children’s book, co-authored and art directed by Favilli and Cavallo, tells the stories of 100 incredible women who changed the course of history. Highlights include sections on bisexual painter and activist Frida Kahlo and prominent LGBTQ allies like Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and First Lady Michelle Obama.

    Available now.

  6. Queer Heroes, Arabelle Sicardi

    Wide Eyed Editions

    Penned by queer fashion and beauty writer Arabelle Sicardi and illustrated by Sarah Tanat-Jones, Queer Heroes profiles 52 LGBTQ people who’ve made important contributions to culture, including Oscar Wilde, Freddie Mercury, and Sylvia Rivera, to name just a few. The release is also pegged to the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising this June.

    Available May 7, 2019.

  7. Random House Books for Young Readers

    In Pride, author Rob Sanders and illustrator Steven Salerno introduce young readers to trailblazing gay politician and civil rights pioneer Harvey Milk. The narrative also traces the origin of the rainbow flag, a symbol that’s come to represent the beauty and resilience of the LGBTQ community at large.

    Available now.

Brooklyn-based writer and editor. Probably drinking iced coffee or getting tattooed.