Middle-grade books with LGBTQ+ characters

Proud of Me

All children deserve to see themselves and their type of family set-up depicted in books - but for many middle-grade readers, finding stories with LGBTQ+ characters can sadly be difficult.

Here, we've picked out our favourite middle-grade books which show, and celebrate, LGBTQ+ characters and families.

  • Nothing Ever Happens Here

    Author: Sarah Hagger-Holt
    Publisher: Usborne
    Interest age: 10-14
    Reading age: 9+

    Nothing ever happens in Littlehaven... at least, that is, until Izzy's Dad comes out as trans. A gentle, timely and warm story about identity, friendship and standing up for what's right.

  • Proud of Me

    Author: Sarah Hagger-Holt
    Publisher: Usborne
    Interest age: 9-13
    Reading age: 9+

    A beautifully written and everyday story of LGBTQ family life that’s perfect for any middle grade reader, especially for children who are just starting secondary school.

  • Me, My Dad and the End of the Rainbow

    Author: Benjamin Dean Illustrator: Sandhya Prabhat
    Publisher: Simon & Schuster
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    Archie’s mum and dad are splitting up because Archie’s dad is gay. Can a Pride parade give Archie’s family a way of coming together again?  

  • The Accidental Diary of B.U.G

    Author: Jen Carney
    Publisher: Puffin
    Interest age: 8-10
    Reading age: 8+

    An illustrated diary-style novel in the mode of Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Tom Gates, with a sparky narrator who perfectly captures the voice of an upper primary age girl and her thoughts about life. A sensitive and funny story.

  • The List of Things That Will Not Change

    Author: Rebecca Stead
    Publisher: Andersen Press
    Interest age: 12-14
    Reading age: 11+

    Bea’s dad is gay and he’s marrying his boyfriend Jesse, who Bea loves. Bea lives half of her week with mum, half of the week with dad. When Sonia, Jesse’s daughter, comes to stay, Bea is really excited about the prospect of a new sister, but it all feels strange to Sonia. Will Bea get the sister she’s always wanted?

  • To Night Owl From Dogfish

    Author: Meg Wolitzer and Holly Goldberg Sloan
    Publisher: Farshore
    Interest age: 9-12
    Reading age: 9+

    Told entirely in emails and letters, this sensitive, often funny book examines what it means to be a family, and what happens when families change. Strong and vivid characterisation makes us feel we really know the characters. 

  • Max Kowalski Didn’t Mean It

    Author: Susie Day
    Publisher: Puffin
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    When Max meets Tal and his two dads, he learns that there are lots of different ways to be a man, and that his own dad’s expectations of him at such a young age aren't fair. An utterly remarkable book about families, being a boy and coping with loss.