Transgender and non-binary characters

An image of the cover of What is Gender by Juno Dawson

It's important for everyone to see themselves in books - and to discover other people's experiences, too.

With that in mind, we've put together a list of brilliant books featuring characters who identify as trans, non-binary or gender fluid alongside non-fiction titles that explore these themes.

Picture books that celebrate LGBT families

Teen and YA books with LGBT characters

  • The Stickleback Catchers

    Author: Lisette Auton Illustrator: Valentina Toro
    Publisher: Puffin
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 8+

    Can Mimi save her gran from losing her memories? An inclusive, searingly emotional story with magic realism elements.

  • The Strangeworlds Travel Agency

    Author: L D Lapinski
    Publisher: Orion
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 10+

    When Flick moves to a rural village with her family, she finds herself drawn to a mysterious old shop and a strange young man with a magical piece of glass. So begins her adventures at the Strangeworlds travel agency - where, to find incredible new worlds, you need only step inside a suitcase. Original, fantastical, and with moments of real peril, the first …

  • 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.

  • Boy Oh Boy

    Author: Cliff Leek Illustrator: Bene Rohlmann
    Publisher: Wide Eyed Editions
    Interest age: 6-11
    Reading age: 7+

    Boy Oh Boy is an entertaining way to meet 30 positive male role models from throughout history. It will inspire all children to use their talents, express their passions and stand up for what they think is right. 

  • Queer Heroes

    Author: Arabelle Sicardi Illustrator: Sarah Tanat-Jones
    Publisher: Wide Eyed Editions
    Interest age: 6-11
    Reading age: 7+

    This wonderful celebration of a wide range of LGBTQ+ heroes - both famous and less well-known - is a beautiful book and highlights the lives of some truly inspirational people.

  • What is Gender?

    Author: Juno Dawson
    Publisher: Hachette
    Interest age: 10-16
    Reading age: 10+

    An informative, no-nonsense guide looking at the concept of gender and the different issues surrounding it, featuring personal stories to bring it all to life.

  • The Great Big Body Book

    Author: Mary Hoffman Illustrator: Ros Asquith
    Publisher: Frances Lincoln
    Interest age: 5+
    Reading age: 5+

    How does the human body develop and change in a lifetime? Hoffman and Asquith explore these questions and more in this honest, entertaining and fact-filled celebration of the human body, which also reflects the diversity of the world we live in.

  • Melissa (formerly published as George)

    Author: Alex Gino
    Publisher: Scholastic
    Interest age: 10+
    Reading age: 10+

    To everyone around her, George is a boy - but George longs to be like Charlotte, the wise and gentle hero of Charlotte's Web. This short, sweet story of embracing your true self and trusting those around you is a timely addition to the growing awareness of transgender identification in children and young adults. 

  • The Art of Being Normal

    Author: Lisa Williamson
    Publisher: David Fickling Books
    Interest age: 14-15
    Reading age: 13+

    David Piper has always been an outsider, labelled a freak by the school bully. Only his two best friends know the real truth – David wants to be a girl.

  • Harriet Versus the Galaxy

    Author: Samantha Baines Illustrator: Jessica Flores
    Publisher: Knights Of
    Interest age: 6-11
    Reading age: 7+

    When Harriet is hunting for her hearing aid under the bed, the last thing she expects to find is an alien. Soon, she is working alongside her gran to defend the human race. A highly accessible story, laced with lively illustrations and lots of laughs. 

  • A Fox Called Herbert

    Author: Margaret Sturton
    Publisher: Andersen Press
    Interest age: 4-5

    Herbert's mother cannot understand why he won’t be a good rabbit, but Herbert doesn’t want to be a rabbit – he wants to be a fox! This charming picture introduces themes of identity and acceptance to young children through bright, expressive illustrations and visual clues to help children predict what will happen next.

  • Noteworthy

    Author: Riley Redgate
    Publisher: Amulet
    Interest age: 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 means to be female, male and, ultimately, herself. A refreshingly complex and entertaining story of self-discovery.

  • What We Left Behind

    Author: Robin Talley
    Publisher: Harlequin
    Interest age: 12+
    Reading age: 9+

    A thought-provoking YA novel which describes the changing relationship between two LGBT teenagers, as they explore new worlds at university and their own shifting gender identities.

  • Julian is a Mermaid

    Author: Jessica Love
    Publisher: Walker Books
    Interest age: 4-7
    Reading age: 6+

    When Julian spots three women in lavish mermaid costumes, it fires his imagination and all he can think about is becoming a mermaid himself – with a little help from his nana’s soft furnishings.