A Bleg

A friend wants LGBT books for tweens:

So far, the best we?ve been able to do in terms of LGBT fiction for kids who have moved beyond picture books is:

Boy Meets Boy, by David LevithanSo Hard to Say, by Alex Sanchez
Geography Club, by Brent Hartinger
The Order of the Poison Oak, by Brent Hartinger
Totally Joe, by James Howe

Not one of these books, however, is truly a tween read. They?re basically young adult novels without too much explicit sex. So while a 10-year old could read them without his parents throwing a fit, he probably wouldn?t get too much out of them, since they?re not really written for his age group.

I would love to purchase some books for younger students that include LGBT characters (and by include, I mean include prominently ? not just incidentally or allusively), but I?m having a really tough time finding anything ? anything at all. Help? Anyone?

My knowledge of tween lit is pretty limited, but perhaps one of you readers can help.


  1. #1 Becca
    May 24, 2008

    I *LOVE* “Am I Blue?” by Bruce Coville. You can find it in a book of short stories by that title compiled by Marion Dane Bauer (Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Am-I-Blue-Coming-Silence/dp/0064405877).
    I’m not sure what the exact age range on the whole range of stories, but I think a 10 year old would get plenty out of Am I Blue.

  2. #2 podblack
    May 25, 2008

    Hi, I’ve done a series on encouraging science literacy through literature (http://tiny.cc/books997), but finding the younger years is tough for LGBT, absolutely! It’s only started to gain ground recently.

    I’ve got the following, that might help:
    Stephen Chbosky – The Perks of Being a Wallflower,
    Garret Freymann-Weyr – My Heartbeat,
    Jack Gantos – Desire Lines,
    A.M Homes – Jack,
    James Howe – The Misfits,
    Maureen Johnson – The Bermudez Triangle,
    Lisa Papademetriou and Chris Tebbett – M or F?,
    Julie Ann Peters – Keeping You A Secret / Far from Xanadu / Luna,
    Sara Ryan – Empress of the World,
    Alex Sanchez has a series, beyond the one previously mentioned,
    Shyam Selvadurai – Swimming in the Monsoon Sea,
    Andrea Steinhofel – The Center of the World,
    Jacqueline Woodson – The House You Pass on the Way.

  3. #3 dogsheep
    May 25, 2008

    Thanks for posting this, Josh!

    Becca, I love Am I Blue! We actually do have that in the library; I should have added it to the above list. I’m thinking of reading some of the essays aloud to my 6th grade class next year in hopes that a few of them will then borrow the book to finish on their own.

  4. #4 DLC
    May 27, 2008

    Pretty much any public library should be able to help with this kind of need as well.

  5. #5 Josh Rosenau
    May 27, 2008

    DLC, the question comes from a school librarian.

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