Teen Librarian Toolbox
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Read the Rainbow: An LGBTQIA+ YA Lit Infographic

As I mentioned earlier, we’ve been doing a lot of youth staff training on diversity and inclusion at the Fort Worth Public Library. My supervisor, Kathryn King, and I recently talked with library staff about LGBTQIA+ literature for youth of all ages. Today, I’m going to share with you some of the YA/Teen Literature information we shared with staff.

To create the information you see below, I adapted a tool I had previously created. I spent months reading and working with a variety of trusted and respected experts in the field. I also shared this on Twitter to get feedback. What you see below is the culmination of months of research and vetting. That being said, it’s important that you know that the number one determination after quality to get on this infographic is that we had to have multiple copies in our system. It’s an RA tool to help staff connect patrons with books so we are looking specifically for books that our library system owns.

I want to give special thanks to Dahlia Adler from LGBTQ Reads who gave a lot of her personal time and energy to help me make sure that I got this right for our teens. Any mistakes made, however, are mine and just means that I got one of her feedback notes wrong.

Although we focused on fiction, there is one award winning nonfiction title that I highly recommend every one read:


LGBTQ Reads https://lgbtqreads.com/

YA Pride Masterlist http://www.yapride.org/masterlist/

10 Transgender/Nonbinary YA Titles (not all Own Voices) https://www.barnesandnoble.com/blog/teen/10-great-ya-novels-transgendernonbinary-main-characters/

Queer Books for Teens http://queerbooksforteens.com

Our Most Anticipated LGBTQAP YAs of 2019: July – December

Middle Grade LGBTQ Reads

LGBTQ Reads for Middle Graders

Great LGBTQ Inclusive Picture & Middle Grade Books

LGBTQ Science Fiction and Fantasy YA by Own Voices Authors https://bookriot.com/2017/02/15/lgbtqa-science-fiction-and-fantasy-ya-by-ownvoices-authors/

#OwnVoices LGBTQ Reads https://bookishnessandtea.wordpress.com/2017/06/21/50-ownvoices-queer-books-to-read-this-pride-month/

Barnes and Noble: 25 YA #OwnVoices of 2019 https://www.barnesandnoble.com/blog/teen/25-of-our-most-anticipated-ownvoices-must-reads-of-2019/

Best own voice LGBTQIAP+ books https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/105318.Best_own_voice_LGBTQIAP_books

Resources for Building a Collection and Supporting LGBTQIA+ Teens

Things to Consider Regarding Own Voices and LGBTQIA+ Lit

The Problem with #OwnVoices and LGBTQIA+ literature: There’s one more aspect to #ownvoices in LGBTQ lit: the pressure to be an out author. See: https://bookriot.com/2017/04/21/the-problem-with-ownvoices-lgbtq-lit/

And always be sure and check here at TLT as Amanda MacGregor works hard every month to share lists of new and forthcoming LGBTQIA+ books to share with teens.


  1. Love this! One small bit of feedback: the definition for aromantic should specify that aromantic people don’t experience ROMANTIC attraction, rather than saying they don’t experience attraction in general. There are aromantic people who experience other types of attraction, including sexual attraction.
    Though you said you got input from other people, so maybe they suggested the more general definition. These definitions can be tricky so that’s just my two cents!

    (And while I’m here, I’ll add that The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee (sequel to Gentleman’s Guide) features an asexual aromantic protagonist, though maybe it’s not widely available in your system.)

  2. Riley Redgate has two books that could be added. Noteworthy features a possibly drag-king, possibly gender non-conforming character (it isn’t explicitly stated, but the book does touch on the character’s unease around her feminine identity). Final Draft has an actual pansexual protagonist, one of very few characters that identify as such.

    And I’d also include the AVEN website (www.asexuality.org) with the aro/ace book list.

    Finally, if you’re not already part of it, Goodreads has a YA LGBT book group that keeps fairly up-to-date on MG and YA LGBT releases. (https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/49526-ya-lgbt-books)

  3. This is wonderful!

    Does any know if higher resolution images are available for the two awesome flyers (or just a way to print them without them being fuzzy)?

    Thank you!

    • Karen Jensen, TLT Karen Jensen, TLT says:

      If you email me at kjensenmls at yahoo dot com and can try and send you a different version and see if that works better for you.

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