Recommended reading (secondary)

To go along with our suggestions, we’ve put together a display you can put up in your library and around school.

David Levithan

David Levithan is an American young adult fiction author who has written many books featuring LGBT+ characters - most commonly gay male characters - and which explore issues related to being LGBT+. Particularly relevant works include:

Boy Meets Boy (2003)

 The Realm of Possibility (2004)

 How They Met (2008)

 Will Grayson, Will Grayson, co-written with John Green (2010 - more details below)

 Every Day (2012 - more details below)

 Two Boys Kissing (2013)

 Someday (2018)

 The Full Spectrum: A New Generation of Writing About Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning and Other Identities, ed. with Billy Merrell (2006)

Patrick Ness

Patrick Ness is a BritishAmerican author of young adult fiction, whose books often have a fantastic or dystopian element and feature LGBT+ characters. Particularly relevant works include:

Chaos Walking series:

      The Knife of Never Letting Go (2008)

       The Ask and the Answer (2009)

       Monsters of Men (2010)

 More Than This (2013)

 The Rest of Us Just Live Here (2015)

Becky Albertalli

Becky Albertalli is an American author of young adult fiction, who wrote the novel which was adapted into the now very famous film Love, Simon. Several of her other books also explore being LGBT+, or feature LGBT+ characters

Creekwood Series

      ■ Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (2015)

      ■ Leah on the Offbeat (2018)

■ The Upside of Unrequited (2017)

Note on reading ages: these are suggestions only, and will of course vary depending on the young person themselves.





Title, Author(s) & Summary

The One Hundred Nights of Hero 

Isabel Greenberg 

In the tradition of The Arabian Nights, a beautifully illustrated tapestry of folk tales and myths about the secret legacy of female storytellers in an imagined medieval world.


Not Your Sidekick 

C. B. Lee 

Welcome to Andover: where superpowers are common, but internships are not. Ask Jessica Tran. Jess is resigned to a life without powers when she stumbles upon the perfect internship ... for a supervillain. At least she gets to work with her longtime secret crush, Abby.


Lies We Tell Ourselves 

Robin Talley 

In 1959 Virginia, the lives of two girls will be changed forever. Sarah is one of the first black students to attend Jefferson High School. Linda is the daughter of one of the town’s most vocal opponents of integration. But both girls must confront harsh truths about how they really feel.




Perry Moore 

The last thing in the world Thom Creed wants is to add to his father’s pain, so he keeps secrets. Like that he has special powers. And that he’s been asked to join the League. But the most painful secret of all is one Thom can barely face himself: he’s gay.


Will Grayson, Will Grayson 

John Green and David Levithan 

A collaboration between two authors, this novel follows the stories of two boys, both named Will Grayson. Odd-numbered chapters tell the story through the eyes of a heterosexual teenager, and even-numbered chapters through the eyes of the second Will Grayson, a depressed gay teenager.


None of the Above 

I.W. Gregorio 

Kristin Lattimer is a champion hurdler and prom queen who finds out she has an intersex trait, androgen insensitivity syndrome. The book explores the consequences for her school life, home life and life as a sportsperson, once someone tells her her diagnosis to her school.

Being intersex

Every Day 

David Levithan 

Each morning, A wakes up in a different body. There’s never any warning about who it will be, but A is used to that. A can live by their own rules. And that works fine, until A finds someone they want to be with – every day… A young adult romance story with a nonbinary heart, in which gender plays no part.

Trans and nonbinary gender

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe 

Benjamin Alire Sáenz 

Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. They seem to have nothing in common. But as they spend time together, they discover a friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime.


More Happy Than Not 

Adam Silvera 

As Aaron and his friend Thomas get closer, Aaron discovers things about himself that threaten to shatter his newfound contentment. A revolutionary memoryalteration procedure, might be the way to straighten himself out. But what if it means forgetting who he truly is?


The Miseducation of Cameron Post 

Emily Danforth 

Cameron is forced to undergo conversion therapy, to ‘cure’ her of being gay. The Miseducation of Cameron Post is a story about discovering who you are and finding the courage to live life according to your own rules.


From Prejudice to Pride 

Amy Lamé Non-fiction. 

Follow LGBT+ history from ancient civilisations to the present-day, and learn about key events including the trial of Oscar Wilde, the Stonewall riots, the AIDS crisis, same-sex marriage and changing laws that have impacted on LGBT+ life. Gain insight into the shifting attitudes that have challenged lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and the experiences that help us understand what it means to be LGBT+ today.


Fun Home 

Allison Bechdel 

Bechdel’s graphic novel presents her dysfunctional relationship with her father through a lesbian lens. It documents her childhood in rural Pennsylvania, and provides a queer exploration of broken family, unraveling emotions, and suicide.


Mental ill health


E. M. Forster 

In a lush tale of manners, position, and desire, Maurice meets and falls for his classmate Clive while at the University Oxford. They have a two-year affair until Clive leaves Maurice to marry a woman and live out his life as part of the landed gentry, leaving Maurice in shambles and seeking to cure his homosexuality. However, the novel does not end here - and even offers an optimistic ending for its readers.


Trans Like Me 

C N Lester 

What does it mean to be transgender? How do we discuss the subject? In this eyeopening book, CN Lester, academic and activist, takes us on a journey through some of the most pressing issues concerning the trans debate: from pronouns to Caitlyn Jenner; from feminist and LGBTQ activists, to the rise in referrals for gender variant children – all by way of insightful and moving passages about the author’s own experience.

Trans and nonbinary gender


Adrienne Rich 

This 1982 autobiography by the iconic queer black poet Audre Lorde explores the intersection between various different identities: lesbian, black woman, mother. Lorde classified it as biomythography, which combines history, biography, and myth. It explores her challenges growing up blind in 1930s Harlem, fighting for dignity in the heat of Jim Crow, and finding a voice in the New York City lesbian bar scene.



How to be Both 

Ali Smith 

Ali Smith juxtaposes the stories of two young women from different centuries and different countries to explore the values of art in the shaping of your identity. Two tales of love and injustice twist into a singular yarn where time gets timeless, structural gets playful, knowing gets mysterious, and fictional gets real.



Ellen Wattlinger 

High school junior Angela Katz-McNair is about to make a big announcement. She’s tired of living life as a lie and figures it’s about time to be honest for a change. You see, Angela knows that she’s really a boy. So with the aid of baggy boys’ clothes, a chestflattening binder and a new name (Grady) Angela shows up at school, ready to live life as a boy

Trans gender

Oranges are not the Only Fruit 

Jeanette Winterson 

A semi-autobiographical coming-of-age story about a girl growing up in a Pentecostal family in England’s industrial Midlands region. Her burgeoning lesbian sexuality is problematic in the Pentecostal world, and particularly so with her adoptive mother




Virginia Woolf 

Orlando, which Virginia Woolf wrote in tribute to friend and lover Vita Sackville-West, is a study in gender fluidity across time and space. Orlando begins as a rakish young nobleman in Elizabethan England, finding favor with the queen - at first. Orlando is sent on a diplomatic mission to Constantinople, where he finds he’s become a woman, and the gender switch offers an opportunity for commentary on the limitations society places on women.

Gender fluidity

The Black Flamingo

Dean Atta

A fierce coming-of-age verse novel about identity and the power of drag. Sometimes, we need to take charge, to stand up wearing pink feathers and show ourselves to the world in bold colour.

Same-sex attraction




Other types of representation