Our Favourite Queer Books for Tween and Teens

If you'd like to try any of the recommendations, click on the book cover to place a hold.


Ana on the Edge by A.J. Sass


Twelve-year-old Ana-Marie Jin, the reigning US Juvenile figure skating champion, is not a frilly dress kind of kid. So, when Ana learns that next season's program will be princess themed, doubt forms fast. Still, Ana tries to focus on training and putting together a stellar routine worthy of national success.

Once Ana meets Hayden, a transgender boy new to the rink, thoughts about the princess program and gender identity begin to take center stage. And when Hayden mistakes Ana for a boy, Ana doesn't correct him and finds comfort in this boyish identity when he's around. As their friendship develops, Ana realizes that it's tricky juggling two different identities on one slippery sheet of ice. And with a major competition approaching, Ana must decide whether telling everyone the truth is worth risking years of hard work and sacrifice.



George by Alex Gino

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, really, 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.



Understanding Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity


Until relatively recently homosexuality was considered a mental illness or a biological disorder, or worse. Today, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people have the evidence of scientific research and their authentic experiences of happy and fulfilling lives to support the pride of identity that is their right. This book traces the "nature versus nurture" debate over the origin of same-sex attraction and gender identity. The theories put forth over the years--that there's a gay gene, that the way a child is raised can "turn" her gay, or that being gay is somehow a "choice"--all came to be used in the service of political agendas, often harming LGBT people. Examining the major genetic, biological, and psychological theories of the origins of homosexuality, this book questions those traditional notions of gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation that are at the center of LGBT people's sense of identity and their struggle for civil rights and a happy and fulfilling life.



These Witches Don't Burn by Isabel Sterling


Hannah's a witch, but not the kind you're thinking of. She's the real deal, an Elemental with the power to control fire, earth, water, and air. But even though she lives in Salem, Massachusetts, her magic is a secret she has to keep to herself. If she's ever caught using it in front of a Reg (read- non-witch), she could lose it. For good. So, Hannah spends most of her time avoiding her ex-girlfriend (and fellow Elemental Witch) Veronica, hanging out with her best friend, and working at the Fly by Night Cauldron selling candles and crystals to tourists, goths, and local Wiccans.


But dealing with her ex is the least of Hannah's concerns when a terrifying blood ritual interrupts the end-of-school-year bonfire. Evidence of dark magic begins to appear all over Salem, and Hannah's sure it's the work of a deadly Blood Witch. The issue is, her coven is less than convinced, forcing Hannah to team up with the last person she wants to see- Veronica.


While the pair attempt to smoke out the Blood Witch at a house party, Hannah meets Morgan, a cute new ballerina in town. But trying to date amid a supernatural crisis is easier said than done, and Hannah will have to test the limits of her power if she's going to save her coven and get the girl, especially when the attacks on Salem's witches become deadlier by the day.



Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me by Mariko Tamaki and Rosemary Valero-O'Connell


All Freddy Riley wants is for Laura Dean to stop breaking up with her. The day they got back together was the best one of Freddy's life, but nothing's made sense since. Laura Dean is popular, funny and SO CUTE ... but she can be really thoughtless, even mean. Their on-again, off-again relationship has Freddy's head spinning -- and Freddy's friends can't understand why she keeps going back.

When Freddy consults the services of a local mystic, the mysterious Seek-Her, she isn't thrilled with the advice she receives. But something's got to give: Freddy's heart is breaking in slow motion, and she may be about to lose her very best friend as well as her last shred of self-respect. Fortunately for Freddy, there are new friends, and the insight of advice columnist Anna Vice, to help her through being a teenager in love.



Flamer by Mike Curato

I know I'm not gay. Gay boys like other boys. I hate boys. They're mean, and scary, and they're always destroying something or saying something dumb or both.


I hate that word. Gay. It makes me feel . . . unsafe.


It's the summer between middle school and high school, and Aiden Navarro is away at camp. Everyone's going through changes--but for Aiden, the stakes feel higher. As he navigates friendships, deals with bullies, and spends time with Elias (a boy he can't stop thinking about), he finds himself on a path of self-discovery and acceptance.



Carry On by Rainbow Rowell


Simon Snow is the worst Chosen One who's ever been chosen.

That's what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he's probably right.

Half the time, Simon can't even make his wand work, and the other half, he starts something on fire. His mentor's avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there's a magic-eating monster running around, wearing Simon's face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here--it's their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon's infuriating nemesis didn't even bother to show up.



Poison Ivy: Thorns by Kody Keplinger

There's something unusual about Pamela Isley--the girl who hides behind her bright red hair. The girl who won't let anyone inside to see what's lurking behind the curtains. The girl who goes to extreme lengths to care for a few plants. Pamela Isley doesn't trust other people, especially men. They always want something from her. Something she's not willing to give.


When cute goth girl Alice Oh comes into Pamela's life after an accident at the local park, she makes her feel like pulling back the curtains and letting the sunshine in. But there are dark secrets deep within the Isley house. Secrets Pamela's father has warned must remain hidden. Secrets that could turn deadly and destroy the one person who ever cared about Pamela, or as her mom preferred to call her...Ivy.


Will Pamela open herself up to the possibilities of love, or will she forever be transformed by the thorny vines of revenge?



Queer by Kathy Belge and Marke Bieschke

Teen life is hard enough, but for teens who are LGBTQ, it can be even harder.

When do you decide to come out? Will your friends accept you? And how do you meet people to date? Queer is a humorous, engaging, and honest guide that helps LGBTQ teens come out to friends and family, navigate their social life, figure out if a crush is also queer, and challenge bigotry and homophobia. Personal stories from the authors and sidebars on queer history provide relatable context. This completely revised and updated edition is a must-read for any teen who thinks they might be queer or knows someone who is.



The Girl From the Sea by Molly Knox Ostertag


Fifteen-year-old Morgan has a secret: She can't wait to escape the perfect little island where she lives. She's desperate to finish high school and escape her sad divorced mother, her volatile little brother, and worst of all, her great group of friends...who don't understand Morgan at all. Because really, Morgan's biggest secret is that she has a lot of secrets, including the one about wanting to kiss another girl. Then one night, Morgan is saved from drowning by a mysterious girl named Keltie. The two become friends and suddenly life on the island doesn't seem so stifling anymore. But Keltie has some secrets of her own. And as the girls start to fall in love, everything they're each trying to hide will find its way to the surface...whether Morgan is ready or not.


For more recommendations like these, see our other Library Recommendations HERE, or contact the library and we'll be happy to find you a new book to try!