Teen and YA books with LGBT characters

Sugar Rush

Representation is so important, both for teens who are themselves LGBT and also for others to gain more empathy and understanding.

These books for teens and young adults all feature lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender characters and relationships.

  • The Art of Protest

    Author: De Nichols

    Interest level: 12-16

    Reading age: 12+

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  • The Art of Protest

    Author: De Nichols

    Interest level: 12-16

    Reading age: 12+

    Explaining why art can be so powerful within social movements, and the different forms protest art can take, De Nichols introduces…

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  • To Night Owl From Dogfish

    Author: Meg Wolitzer and Holly Goldberg Sloan

    Interest level: 9-12

    Reading age: 9+

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  • To Night Owl From Dogfish

    Author: Meg Wolitzer and Holly Goldberg Sloan

    Interest level: 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…

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  • Girl Hearts Girl

    Author: Lucy Sutcliffe

    Interest level: 10+

    Reading age: 10+

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  • Girl Hearts Girl

    Author: Lucy Sutcliffe

    Interest level: 10+

    Reading age: 10+

    A real-life memoir about a young person coming to terms with her sexuality and her 'coming out', as well as her first relationship…

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  • Alex As Well

    Author: Alyssa Brugman

    Interest level: 15-16

    Reading age: 14+

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  • Alex As Well

    Author: Alyssa Brugman

    Interest level: 15-16

    Reading age: 14+

    Alex As Well is a pioneering young adult story which explores issues of gender, identity and sexuality in a frank and unembellishe…

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  • Never Trust a Gemini

    Author: Freja Nicole Woolf

    Interest level: 9-11

    Reading age: 12+

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  • Never Trust a Gemini

    Author: Freja Nicole Woolf

    Interest level: 9-11

    Reading age: 12+

    This charming, funny romantic comedy about a girl who likes girls is packed with awkward moments, sticky situations and complex ch…

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  • Proud of Me

    Author: Sarah Hagger-Holt

    Interest level: 9-13

    Reading age: 9+

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  • Proud of Me

    Author: Sarah Hagger-Holt

    Interest level: 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 chil…

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  • Hurricane Child

    Author: Kacen Callender

    Interest level: 9-12

    Reading age: 9+

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  • Hurricane Child

    Author: Kacen Callender

    Interest level: 9-12

    Reading age: 9+

    Caroline’s mother has gone and left an aching hole in her life. When new girl Kalinda arrives on the island, Caroline falls in lov…

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  • What's The T?

    Author: Juno Dawson

    Interest level: 12-16

    Reading age: 12+

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  • What's The T?

    Author: Juno Dawson

    Interest level: 12-16

    Reading age: 12+

    Juno Dawson's no-nonsense guide to all things transgender and non-binary is an essential read for readers thinking about identity,…

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  • Love Frankie

    Author: Jacqueline Wilson Illustrator: Nick Sharratt

    Interest level: 12-14

    Reading age: 10+

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  • Love Frankie

    Author: Jacqueline Wilson Illustrator: Nick Sharratt

    Interest level: 12-14

    Reading age: 10+

    14 year old Frankie is having to grow up quickly to help her mum with her developing MS - and now that one of her bullies is start…

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  • Pumpkin Heads

    Author: Rainbow Rowell Illustrator: Faith Erin Hicks

    Interest level: 12-16

    Reading age: 10+

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  • Pumpkin Heads

    Author: Rainbow Rowell Illustrator: Faith Erin Hicks

    Interest level: 12-16

    Reading age: 10+

    A story of friendship and romance told in a funny and inclusive graphic novel that celebrates the joy and diversity of Halloween t…

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  • Stay A Little Longer

    Author: Bali Rai

    Interest level: 12-16

    Reading age: 8+

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  • Stay A Little Longer

    Author: Bali Rai

    Interest level: 12-16

    Reading age: 8+

    Since Aman’s father died, nothing has been the same. Then she befriends a new neighbour, who is lonely too. This warm, o…

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  • This Book is Gay

    Author: Juno Dawson Illustrator: Spike Gerrell

    Interest level: 13+

    Reading age: 13+

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  • This Book is Gay

    Author: Juno Dawson Illustrator: Spike Gerrell

    Interest level: 13+

    Reading age: 13+

    A fantastic book for classrooms and school libraries, This Book is Gay is a must-read for teachers and parents, as well as teens t…

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  • Sugar Rush

    Author: Julie Burchill

    Interest level: 14+

    Reading age: 11+

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  • Sugar Rush

    Author: Julie Burchill

    Interest level: 14+

    Reading age: 11+

    Shortlisted for the 2005 Booktrust Teenage Prize, this is a controversial and daring look at the gritty reality of teenage experie…

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  • City of Bones

    Author: Cassandra Clare

    Interest level: 12+

    Reading age: 9+

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  • City of Bones

    Author: Cassandra Clare

    Interest level: 12+

    Reading age: 9+

    When Clary visits a nightclub, she discovers that she is one of the Shadowhunters - a group of demon-hunters living in a worl…

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  • Kiss

    Author: Jacqueline Wilson Illustrator: Nick Sharratt

    Interest level: 11+

    Reading age: 9+

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  • Kiss

    Author: Jacqueline Wilson Illustrator: Nick Sharratt

    Interest level: 11+

    Reading age: 9+

    Wilson skilfully combines an approachable and involving teenage story with a debate about true friendship, sexual identity and gro…

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  • Out of the Blue

    Author: Sophie Cameron

    Interest level: 13-18

    Reading age: 10+

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  • Out of the Blue

    Author: Sophie Cameron

    Interest level: 13-18

    Reading age: 10+

    Angels are falling from the sky, and it is 17-year-old Jaya who finds a live one. The urgent drama of saving the angel plays out a…

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  • Boys Don't Cry

    Author: Malorie Blackman

    Interest level: 14+

    Reading age: 11+

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  • Boys Don't Cry

    Author: Malorie Blackman

    Interest level: 14+

    Reading age: 11+

    Dante is waiting for the postman. It's 'A' level results day and he has high hopes, but a knock on the door brings an old girlfrie…

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  • Hollow Pike

    Author: Juno Dawson

    Interest level: 14+

    Reading age: 10+

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  • Hollow Pike

    Author: Juno Dawson

    Interest level: 14+

    Reading age: 10+

    Lis London had hoped that a move to the country would allow her to escape not only the bullies but also her recurring nightmares

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  • Stay A Little Longer

    Author: Bali Rai

    Interest level: 12-16

    Reading age: 8+

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  • Stay A Little Longer

    Author: Bali Rai

    Interest level: 12-16

    Reading age: 8+

    Since Aman’s father died, nothing has been the same. Then she befriends a new neighbour, who is lonely too. This warm, o…

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  • Noteworthy

    Author: Riley Redgate

    Interest level: 14-18

    Reading age: 10+

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  • Noteworthy

    Author: Riley Redgate

    Interest level: 14-18

    Reading age: 10+

    Presenting herself as Julian, Jordan successfully auditions for an all-male a capella group and is forced to consider what it mean…

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  • Ash

    Author: Malinda Lo

    Interest level: 13-15

    Reading age: 12+

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  • Ash

    Author: Malinda Lo

    Interest level: 13-15

    Reading age: 12+

    In this bewitching and sophisticated re-interpretation of the Cinderella story, lonely orphan Ash falls in love not with a handsom…

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  • What is Gender?

    Author: Juno Dawson

    Interest level: 10-16

    Reading age: 10+

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  • What is Gender?

    Author: Juno Dawson

    Interest level: 10-16

    Reading age: 10+

    An informative, no-nonsense guide looking at the concept of gender and the different issues surrounding it, featuring personal sto…

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  • Undone

    Author: Cat Clarke

    Interest level: 14-18

    Reading age: 14+

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  • Undone

    Author: Cat Clarke

    Interest level: 14-18

    Reading age: 14+

    Jem and Kai have always been best friends - until Kai commits suicide and Jem's world collapses.

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  • Boy Meets Boy

    Author: David Levithan

    Interest level: 13+

    Reading age: 13+

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  • Boy Meets Boy

    Author: David Levithan

    Interest level: 13+

    Reading age: 13+

    This delightful high-school story is set in a town in which being a gay teenager is no more fraught with difficulty than being str…

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