Middle Grade/YA Novels

When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore is a gorgeously written story of magical realism about Moon (Miel) and Sam (Samir) who are friends and also more than friends.  Their friendship and love for each other sustains them in a town where they are both outsiders, for different reasons (definitely YA, some sexually explicit scenes).

Dreadnought by April Daniels Danny Tozer just accidentally took on the mantle of the incredible powerful superhero Dreadnought.  Her superpowers have made her the very best version of herself – the girl she’s been even though she was assigned male at birth.  While her parents try (unsucessfully) to find a way to “fix” her, Danny figures out how to use her new powers and take on the responsibility of a being a superhero. 

Other popular novels include George and Rick by Alex Gino,  Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky and Parrotfish by Ellen Wittlinger


Good Boy by Jennifer Finney Boylan  Recounting her childhood growing up as a boy with dogs, Jennifer Boylan invites us to travel through her transition from boy to man to father and finally, to the woman she was all along.  A beautiful memoir that illustrates the beautiful collection of human identities contained in each of us.  Her other memoirs include She’s Not There : A Life in Two Genders and Stuck in the Middle with You : A Memoir of Parenting in Three Genders.

Love Lives Here by Amanda Jette Knox  The subtitle of this book says it all “A Story of Thriving in a Transgender Family.”  When their child comes out to them as transgender, Amanda and her husband didn’t know what to do, except for the most obvious thing – to love and affirm their child and help them along their transition.  This liberating love ultimately allowed Amanda’s husband the freedom to be the woman she had always been but never felt like she could authentically be.  Along the way, Amanda herself realized her long suppressed attraction to women.  This book is the epitome of “Love Wins.” 

Other great memoirs include Tomboyland by Melissa Faliveno and Not Just a Tomboy by Caspar Baldwin. A great graphic memoir for adults (seriously, ADULTS ONLY on this one) is Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe


Life Isn’t Binary by Alex Iantaffi & Meg-John Barker This book is a great exploration of how binary thinking in all aspect of human life fails to capture the complexity and beauty of all of our identities.  While this book contains broader topics than just gender and sexuality, the authors have another book How To Understand Your Gender which is entirely about gender. 

Other great nonfiction books include Becoming Nicole by Amy Ellis Nutt, and Gender Born, Gender Made:  Raising Healthy Gender-Nonconforming Children by Diane Ehrensaft

Trans and Nonbinary Authors
It always important to support authors from marginalized groups and transgender authors are no different. Their stories usually include transgender representation in an authentic and engaging way. Below are some of my favorites.

Dana Simpson is the acclaimed author of the Phoebe and Her Unicorn series

Noelle Stevenson is the author of the graphic novel Nimona, as well as a memoir in pictures (The Fire Never Goes Out) and is the creator of the new reboot of She-Ra (which has trans representation, as well as other LGBTQIA+ representation!).

Kay O’Neill is the author and illustrator of the Tea Dragon Society series  as well as Princess, Princess Ever After.

Daniel Lavery is the author of Something That May Shock and Discredit You and he is also Dear Prudence at Slate.com.

Sarah Gailey’s latest book is The Echo Wife and their other books include Magic For Liars, Upright Women Wanted and American Hippo.

Aiden Thomas is the author of Cemetery Boys and his latest book is Lost In The Neverwoods.