Essential LGBT Books for YA Readers

We look for ourselves in fiction. A great book resonates with us as we empathize with a protagonist’s struggles and triumphs, and encourages us to step into their shoes as they set off on a fantastic journey. Expanding our world with different perspectives is part of the thrill of reading, but it can be very lonely to only read books where there isn’t anybody like you.

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Here are some recommended books in the Southfield Public Library catalog with commentary by the article’s writer. If you don’t see a copy available, contact a librarian to place an item on hold for you!

Luna
Peters, Julie Anne
An unforgettable novel about a transgender teen's struggle for self-identity and acceptance.
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Beautiful Music for Ugly Children
Conn-Mills, Kirstin
Born Elizabeth, Gabe knows he's been a boy his whole life - and the whole world thinks he's crazy.
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Hero
Moore, Perry
Thom Creed keeps many secrets from his father, like having special powers, but the most painful secret of all is one Thom can barely face himself: he's gay.
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Ash
Lo, Malinda
Ash is about the connection between life and love, and solitude and death, where transformation can come from even the deepest grief.
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Boy Meets Boy
Levithan, David
This is a happy, meaningful romantic comedy about finding love, losing love, and doing what it takes to get love back in a crazy world.
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Guardian of the Dead
Healey, Karen
A young girl finds herself plunged into a haunting world of vengeful fairies, Maori mythology, romance, betrayal, and an epic battle for immortality.
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Love in the Time of Global Warming
Block, Francesca Lia
A Top Ten ALA Rainbow Project Book, here's a stunning reimagining of Homer's Odyssey set in post-apocalyptic Los Angeles.
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The Trials of Apollo: The Hidden Oracle
Riordan, Rick
After angering his father Zeus, the god Apollo is cast down from Olympus. Weak and disoriented, he lands in New York City as a regular teenage boy.
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From the Notebooks of Melanin Sun
Woodson, Jacqueline
Three-time Newbery Honor author Jacqualine Woodson explores race and sexuality through the eyes of a compelling narrator.
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Great
Benincasa, Sara
In this contemporary retelling of The Great Gatsby a teenage girl becomes entangled in the romance and drama of a Hamptons social circle.
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The Song of Achilles
Miller, Madeline
A reimagining of Homer's The Iliad, here's an action-packed adventure, epic love story, and marvelously conceived and executed page-turner.
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The Art of Being Normal
Williamson, Lisa
David Piper has always been an outsider, but only his two best friends know the real truth: David wants to be a girl.
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Juliet Takes a Breath
Rivera, Gabby
Juliet just came out and isn't sure if her mom will ever speak to her again. But she has a plan to help her figure out this whole "Puerto Rican lesbian" thing.
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Lizard Radio
Schmatz, Pat
A coming-of-age story rich in friendships and the shattering emotions of first love, this novel will resonate with teens emerging as adults in a sometimes hostile world.
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The Darkest Part of the Forest
Black, Holly
As the Faerie world turns upside down, Hazel has to become the knight she once pretended to be.
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Will Grayson, Will Grayson
Green, John & Levithan, David
Told in alternating voices from two YA superstars, this collaborative novel features a double helping of the heart and humor that have won them both legions of fans.
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Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
Albertalli, Becky
Not-so-openly gay Simon prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight.
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Every Heart a Doorway
McGuire, Seanan
The story of Eleanor West's Home for Wayward Children - a novella for fantasy readers.
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Willful Machines
Floreen, Tim
The closeted son of an ultra-conservative president must keep a budding romance secret from his father while protecting himself from a sentient computer program that's terrorizing the United States.
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None of the Above
Gregorio, I. W.
A groundbreaking story about a teenage girl who discovers she's intersex, and what happens when her secret is revealed to the entire school.
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The Raven Boys
Stiefvater, Maggie
For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die, and as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys love becomes a problem.
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