Six brilliant LGBTQ+ books chosen by Benjamin Dean
Published on: 16 February 2021 Author: Benjamin Dean
"Finding ourselves in books is one of the most important things." Me, My Dad and the End of the Rainbow author Benjamin Dean shares his top LGBTQ+ books.
Benjamin Dean and his book Me, My Dad and the End of the Rainbow
Finding ourselves in books is one of the most important things when we’re children. It helps us to understand the world a little better, but also provides the comfort that we’re not alone, even if the books we’re finding solace in are set in a fantasy worlds. Over the years, LGBTQ+ stories, and the characters within them, have offered children the chance to see themselves reflected in the books they read, while also providing some incredible adventures to go along on a ride with. Here’s my pick for children’s LGBTQ+ books – I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!
Proud of Me/Nothing Ever Happens Here by Sarah Hagger-Holt
Anything with Sarah Hagger-Holt’s name on, I’m going to pick it up and read without question! I recently finished Proud of Me and I couldn’t put it down. It shines a spotlight on families in all their forms and you can’t help but root for the main characters, Becky and Josh. The best books take you along for the ride as you experience every emotion alongside the characters, and this one will have you smiling, crying and laughing all the way until the end.
The Strangeworlds Travel Agency by LD Lapinski
This was one of my favourite reads of 2020 and the upcoming sequel, Edge of the Ocean, promises to be just as good. LD expertly creates fantastical new worlds again and again as protagonist Flick jumps in and out of suitcase portals in what has to be one of the most inventive (and fun) ideas in a long time. There are a bunch of LGBTQ+ characters within the pages and proves that LGBTQ+ characters belong in the fantasy genre too.
The Murder Most Unladylike series by Robin Stevens
The cover of Murder Most Unladylike
Another highlight of mine has to be the Murder Most Unladylike series by Robin Stevens. The voices of Hazel and Daisy are so entertaining and great at delivering the story as we explore one mystery after another. Daisy’s character development in particular had me cheering and she’s one of the most memorable protagonists I’ve read in a long time.
Moonchild: Voyage of the Lost and Found by Aisha Bushby
I mean, I don’t want to be overdramatic or anything, but please tell me what could be better than a main character who has two mums? Ah yes, a main character who has two SEA-WITCH mums. Genius! I don’t think I have to say much more on that, but I’ll say it one more time — SEA. WITCH. MUMS!
The Girls by Lauren Ace and Jenny Løvlie
Illustration from The Girls by Jenny Løvlie
This gorgeous picture book is an absolute gem, with the cutest illustrations for good measure. It has an array of diverse characters, including LGBTQ+ representation, and it’s definitely something I’d recommend for younger readers — or even older readers, because who doesn’t like adorable pictures with their stories?!
Julian is a Mermaid by Jessica Love
I don’t have enough words in my vocabulary to describe this book, but it truly is one of a kind. It tells such a beautiful and important story in an accessible way for younger readers, and the illustrations that come with it are truly stunning. In fact, that doesn’t do it justice — at times, they’re truly breathtaking.
More LGBTQ+ books
Explore more of our LGBTQ+ booklists, from picture books to stories for older readers.
It's so important that little ones grow up and see their type of family set-up reflected in the books you share with them. Here's a list of our favourite children's books that show – and celebrate – diverse families. Perfect for babies all the way up to aged five.
Discover a range of books which feature characters who identify as transgender or non-binary, or that explore themes surrounding gender identity.
These books for teens and young adults all feature lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender characters and relationships.
Use the Bookfinder to find the perfect book for you, your family and friends.
You can use our special tools to search hundreds of children's book reviews by age, category and theme.