All Kinds of Families
All Families Are Special, Norma Simon. (2 – 3). Goes beyond other books in portraying different kinds of families and shows both what can be hard in a family, as well as what is good and special. Includes two-mom, blended, adoptive, and international families.
Dear Child, John Farrell, (Pre-K – K). Features three families, a two-mom adoptive family, a single father and a mom and dad family expressing their wonder and joy of having a young child.
Families, Susan Kuklin. (4 – 5). Combining interviews and engaging color photos, this shows the diversity of families in America. Includes mixed-race, immigrant, two-dad, two-mom and single-parent families and families for whom religion is a focal point.
The Family Book, Todd Parr. (Pre-K – K). All kinds of families are celebrated in a funny, silly and reassuring way. Includes adoptive families, stepfamilies, single-parent families, two-mom and two-dad families and families with a mom and a dad. Quirky humor and bright, childlike illustrations.
The Great Big Book of Families, Mary Hoffman. (Pre-K – 3). Features all kinds of families and their lives together. Each spread showcases one aspect of home life – from houses and holidays, to schools and pets, to feelings and family trees.
Picture Books with LGBT Family Members
The Adventures of Tulip, Birthday Wish Fairy, S. Bear Bergman. (Pre-K – 3) Follow Tulip as he helps out with the birthday wishes of all the nine-year-olds in North America. 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 seeks the wise counsel of the Wish Fairy Captain.
And Tango Makes Three, Justin Richardson & Peter Parnell. (1-3). Penguins Roy and Silo at New York’s Central Park Zoo, keep putting a rock in their nest and try to hatch it. The zookeeper gives them a real egg that needs care. The penguins take turns sitting on ituntil it hatches, and Tango is born.
Confessions of a Former Bully, Trudy Ludwig. (2 – 5) Told from the unusual point of view of someone who bullied rather than the target. Highlights bullying with words. Provides kids with real life tools they can use to identify and stop relational aggression. Mentions taunting for being perceived as gay.
The Different Dragon, Jennifer Bryan. (K – 1). Shows how the wonderful curiosity and care of a little boy, with some help from his two moms, can lead to magical places with a dragon who is tired of being tough.
Donovan’s Big Day, Lesléa Newman, (Pre-K – 2). Captures the excitement of a young boy as he and his extended family prepare for the boy’s two moms’ wedding. A picture book about love, family, and marriage.
Heather Has Two Mommies, Lesléa Newman. (Pre-K – K). 25th Anniversary Edition. Heather’s favorite number is two. She has two arms, two legs, and two pets. And she also has two mommies. As school begins, Heather sees that, “the most important thing about a family is that all the people in it love one another.”
I am Jazz, Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings. (K – 5) From the time she was two years old, Jazz knew that she had a girl’s brain in a boy’s body. She loved pink and dressing up as a mermaid and didn’t feel like herself in boys’ clothing. Based on the real-life experience of Jazz Jennings.
Jacob’s New Dress, Sarah and Ian Hoffman. (Pre-K – 2) Jacob loves playing dress-up, when he can be anything he wants to be. Some kids at school say he can’t wear “girl” clothes, but Jacob wants to wear a dress. Can he convince his parents to let him wear what he wants?
Keesha and Her Two Moms Go Swimming, Monica Bey-Clarke and Cheril N. Clarke. (K – 2) While having fun splashing with other friends, Keesha meets a little boy who has no friends and no toys, until Keesha does the right thing and makes a new friend.
The Purim Superhero, Elisabeth Kushner. (PreK – 2) Nate loves aliens and he really wants to wear an alien costume for Purim, but his friends are all dressing as superheroes and he wants to fit in. What will he do? With the help of his two dads he makes a surprising decision.
Stella Brings the Family. Miriam B. Schiffer. (Pre-K – 1) Stella’s class is having a Mother’s Day celebration, but what’s a girl with two daddies to do? Fortunately, Stella finds a unique solution to her party problem in this sweet story about love, acceptance, and the true meaning of family.
A Tale of Two Daddies, Vanita Oelschlager. (Pre-K – 1). A young girl answers a friend’s questions about what it is like to have two fathers. The boy asks straightforward questions. The story ends with simply, “Who is your dad when you’re sad and need some love?” Both, of course.
Uncle Bobby’s Wedding, Sarah S. Brannen (Pre-K – 2). Looks at the fears that a young girl has of losing her favorite uncle when he plans to get married. Everyone in the family is happy, but her. Finally, she sees that she is not losing an uncle but gaining another uncle. The characters are depicted with animals.
Chapter Books with LGBT Family Members or Characters
After Tupac & D Foster, Jacqueline Woodson. (5 – 8) The day D Foster enters Neeka and her best friend’s lives, the world opens up for them. D comes from a world vastly different from their safe Queens neighborhood, and through her, the girls see another side of life. They share a passion for the rap music of Tupac Shakur. They also deal with discrimination directed toward the gay brother of one of the girls.
Also Known as Elvis. James Howe. (4 – 7) Skeezie’s got the leather jacket of a tough guy, but a heart of gold. While stuck at home for the summer taking care of his sisters and working five days a week to help out his mom, he navigates first crushes and tough choices about family and friends. Final book in The Misfits series.
Better Nate Than Ever, Tim Federle. (5 – 9) Nate plans a daring overnight escape to New York for an open casting call for E.T.: The Musical, knowing this could be the difference between small-town blues and big-time
stardom. In the sequel, Five, Six, Seven, Nate!, Nate finds out that Broadway rehearsals are nothing like he expects: full of intimidating child stars, cut-throat understudies, and a secret admirer!
Drama, Raina Telgemeier. (5 – 8). Graphic novel through drama – a play – and drama between characters explores middle school feelings with boyfriends and girlfriends, and boyfriends and boyfriends.
Gracefully Grayson. Ami Polonsky. (5 – 7) Grayson has been holding onto a secret for what seems like forever: “he” is a girl on the inside. 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?
Keeper, Kathi Appelt. (4 – 7). To ten-year-old Keeper, this moon is her chance to fix all that has gone wrong. Her mermaid mother swam away when she was three. When the riptide pulls at her boat, panic sets in, and the fairy tales that lured her out there go tumbling into the waves. Includes a tender romance between two teenaged boys years earlier. One turns out to be a merboy.
Luv Ya Bunches, Lauren Myracle, (4 – 6). A funny, honest depiction of the shifting alliances and rivalries between girls that shape school days. Written with a mix of instant messages, blog posts, and straight narrative. Four diverse 5th grade girls come together in friendship. One of the girls has two moms. First in a series of Flower Power books.
The Manny Files, Christian Burch. (3 – 6). Shy Keats Dalinger learns from his unconventional male “nanny” to be more self-confident and out-going while the “manny” becomes more and more a part of the family. Sequel: Hit the Road, Manny. Mom, Dad, four kids and Manny take a road trip. Looks directly at gay put-downs, parental acceptance, celebrating commitment and pride.
The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher, Dana Alison Levy. (3 – 5) From camping trips to scary tales told in the dark, from new schools to old friends, from imaginary cheetahs to very real skunks, the Fletchers’ school year—as always—is anything but boring. Meet the Fletchers: four boys, two dads, and one new neighbor who just might ruin everything.
The Misfits, James Howe. (6 – 9) Four best friends try to survive seventh grade in the face of all-too-frequent taunts based on their weight, height, intelligence and sexual orientation/gender expression. The characters, including an open and unapologetically gay boy, are not cast as victims, but as self-empowered agents of change who will stand as solid role models. With a focus on individual characters from The Misfits check out Totally Joe, Addie on the Inside, and Also Known as Elvis.
The Mysterious Edge of the Heroic World, E. L. Konigsburg. ( 5 – 7). Two boys find themselves caught up in a story that links a sketch, a young boy’s life, an old man’s reminiscence, and a painful secret dating back to the outrages of Nazi Germany. Includes revelations about the victimization of artists and gays during the Holocaust.
No Castles Here, A.C.E. Bauer. (5 – 7). Augie knows how to get by – be invisible. Then, a book of fairy tales, participation in a school chorus, and a gay Big Brother combine to give 11-year-old Augie the confidence he needs to handle bullies and become an activist.
Playground: A Mostly True Story of a Former Bully, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Laura Moser. (6 – 9). A realistic look at bullying from the perspective of an urban young teen boy in middle school. Looks at the boys feelings as both a target and perpetrator of bullying. Also deals with divorce and gay parenting. Some explicit language.
The Popularity Papers: Research for the Social Improvement and General Betterment of Lydia Goldblatt and Julie Graham-Chang, Amy Ignatow. (4 – 6). Two fifth-grade best friends are determined to uncover the secrets of popularity by observing, recording, discussing, and replicating the behaviors of the “cool” girls. Notebook format with a lot of illustrations. Julie has two dads. There are seven books in the series. The second book specifically looks at bullying.
Riding Freedom, Pam Muñoz Ryan. (4 – 6). A fictionalized account of the true story of Charley (Charlotte) Parkhurst who ran away from an orphanage, posed as a boy, moved to California, drove stagecoaches and continued to pass as a man her whole life.
The Trouble with Babies, Martha Freeman. (2 – 4). Holly has just moved to San Francisco. Her new friend Xavier, who lives with his two dads, has a crush on Annie, who is Jewish and Chinese. Xavier hopes to win Annie over by putting her “yucky” baby sister in his de-yuckification machine.
The Year of Billy Miller, Kevin Henkes. (1 – 2) Follow along as Billy learns to navigate 2nd grade with his stay-at-home dad, his busy working mom and his cute (but annoying) little sister. From the complications of a diorama to a poetry slam on family, Billy makes it through the year. A classmate has two moms.
The Secrets of Sam and Sam
His twin sister Sammie likes being a twin too. She knows that she’s perfect best friend material for somebody – the girls in her class just haven’t realised yet. And she knows that she’s the best Sam – Sam A.
Both Sam and Sammie – and everybody in their lives seems to be keeping secrets – which ones will come out?
Meet the very different twins and their very different problems in this funny, heart-warming story of modern family life for boys and girls.