When I wrote my first novel, Rainbow Boys, I was writing the book I wished had been available when I was a teen—a book that would’ve told me: “It’s okay to be who you are.” I never imagined that with its 2001 my book would set off an ever-growing parade of LGBT-themed books for and about teenagers. Ten years later, at least a dozen wonderful new LGBT teen novels come out each year—to the point that it’s hard to keep up with what’s new. I’ve listed ten of the many, many awesome titles from the past decade. I encourage you to curl up with one, or two, or all of them, and recall your own coming of age. Marvel at what has changed and what remains the same.

And here’s a suggestion: If you like a particular book, pass it on to your own high school or middle school library! Tell them how much you would have liked for books like these to be available when you were a teen. Your donation might help inspire the life of at least one young person today.

Girls Who Like Girls:

  • Keeping You A Secret, by Julie Anne Peters – In only a few short years, it’s become the teen lesbian love story for a whole generation.
  • Down to the Bone, by Mayra Lazara Dole – A fun and spicy Cuban-American coming-out love story that will sizzle and sparkle into your heart!

Boys Who Like Boys:

  • Boy Meets Boys, by David Levithan – A sweet valentine of a love story selected as an American Library Association “Best Book for Young Adults.”
  • Hero, by Perry Moore – Move over Spidey! Now there’s a gay teen superhero to save the world. What LGBT person wouldn’t love that?

Trans Interest:

  • Parrotfish, by Ellen Wittlinger – What does it mean to be yourself when you don’t feel quite right with the gender you were born? (Female to male theme)
  • Luna, by Julie Anne Peters – A book so good that it was selected as a National Book Award finalist! (Male to Female theme)

Middle School/Pre Teen:

  • Totally Joe, by James Howe – A warm and fun story about a totally out, totally loveable 13 year-old, written by one of the most popular children’s book authors writing today.
  • So Hard to Say, by Alex Sanchez –Imagine “Will & Grace happening in middle school! (Now listen, all you writers out there! We desperately need more middle school and pre-teen novels, or I wouldn’t have to include one of my own.)


  • Empress of The World, by Sara Ryan — What do you do when you think you’re attracted to the opposite sex, and then someone of the same sex steals your heart?

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6 Responses to “10 Outstanding LGBT Teen Reads
(from the last 10 years)”

  1. […] Burnett, Lambda Award-winning young adult author Ellen Wittlinger (Hard Love) does not find writing about a different sexual […]

  2. […] than the HuffPot post itself, but that’s what we expect from HuffPo isn’t it? We wrote our own list back in […]

  3. […] than the HuffPot post itself, but that’s what we expect from HuffPo isn’t it? We wrote our own list back in […]

  4. 26 July 2010 at 3:11 PM #

    I’ve read Empress of The World, Boy Meets Boy, and Luna, and loved them all. I can’t wait to try out some of these others!

  5. […] 10 Outstanding LGBT Teen Reads (from the last 10 years) […]

  6. […] Sanchez, A. (2010). 10 outstanding LGBT teen reads (from the last 10 years). Lambda Literary. Accessed June 3, 2011 from http://www.lambdaliterary.org/features/03/08/10-outstanding-lgbt-teen-books-from-the-last-ten-years/ […]

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