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Rainbow Reads for Grades 6-8

Recommended books concerning gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning identities. To find more books, try a subject search for “gay youth,” “lesbian youth,” “transsexual youth,” “transgender people,” or “gay parents” in the library catalog. Click here for a print-friendly version of this list.

Junior High Fiction (Y)


Adams Sparks: The Epic, Completely True Blue, (Almost) Holy Quest of Debbie    (Debbie tries to get over a crush on her best friend by embarking on a “holy quest” with a couple of misfits.)
Barakiva One Man Guy    (When Alek’s parents send him to summer school, he thinks his summer is ruined. And then he meets Ethan...)
Burch The Manny Files    (Shy Keats, overshadowed by his sisters, learns from his male nanny how to be more outgoing and self-confident. )
Desai Born Confused    (Shy Dimple comes into her own as she explores her Indian heritage and the exciting world of New York City.)
Federle Better Nate Than Ever    (Nate, who dreams of performing on Broadway, concocts a plan to run away to New York and audition for E.T.: The Musical.)
Gennari My Mixed-Up Berry Blue Summer    (June spends the summer at her Vermont home, getting used to the woman her mother is planning to marry.)
Goldman Two Parties, One Tux, and a Very Short Film about The Grapes of Wrath    (Mitch negotiates the difficult social situations he encounters, both with girls and with his gay best friend, David. )
Horner A Love Story Starring My Dead Best Friend    (As she tries to sort out her feelings of love, Cass, a spunky math genius with an introverted streak, finds a way to memorialize her dead best friend. )
Howe Totally Joe    (Joe writes an alphabiography—life from A to Z—and explores issues of friendship, family, school, and the challenges of being gay.)
Jahn-Clough Country Girl, City Girl    (When city girl Melita comes to visit farm girl Phoebe, Phoebe has confusing feelings about their new friendship. )
LaRochelle Absolutely, Positively Not    (Steven attempts to fit in at school by becoming a macho, girl-loving, Playboy pinup-displaying heterosexual, with hilarious results.)
Lo Ash    (Ash must choose between a handsome fairy cursed to love her and the King's Huntress whom she loves.)
Moskowitz Marco Impossible    (Stephen and Marco attempt to break into the prom so Marco can confess his love for the adorable bass player of the band.)
Y paperback PE Between Mom and Jo    (When Nick’s mom and her partner Jo split up, he faces unexpected and difficult choices.)
Y paperback ST Out of Order    (Sophie’s new school is bully-free, but she soon learns that even friends can harm your sense of self.)
Y paperback TR Witch Eyes    (After a terrifying vision, Braden learns the guy he’s falling for is the son of a rival witch dynasty.)
Polonsky Gracefully Grayson    (With the help of a school play, Grayson, a transgender twelve-year-old, learns to accept her true identity and share it with the world.)
Rudetsky My [Awesome] Awful Popularity Plan     (Chubby, Jewish, and gay, Justin Goldblatt plans to become popular and date the star quarterback.)
Sanchez So Hard to Say    (When Xio starts thinking of Frederick, the new boy, as her boyfriend, Frederick must confront his fear that he might be gay. )
Trueman 7 Days at the Hot Corner    (Varsity baseball player Scott Latimer struggles with his own prejudices and those of others when his best friend reveals that he is gay. )
Walliams The Boy in the Dress    (Dennis is the leading scorer on his soccer team...and also has a secret passion for fashion.)
Woodson The House You Pass on the Way    (When Staggerlee spends a summer with her cousin Trout, she begins to question her sexuality. )

Nonfiction, Folktales & Poetry


Y305.9 AL Gay America: Struggle for Equality    (How gay women and men have gone from social invisibility to becoming a strong political force and proud members of the American public. )
Y306.874 SN How It Feels to Have a Gay or Lesbian Parent    (Kids talk about the experience of having gay or lesbian parents. )
Y612.6 BA The Underground Guide to Teenage Sexuality    (Facts about human sexuality, including anatomy, health, contraception, homosexuality, and sexual intercourse. )
Y921 Milk No Compromise: The Story of Harvey Milk    (The life and legacy of the first openly gay man elected to public office in California.)

Last Updated: 1/15

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