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Pride Month Reading for All Ages

June 8, 2021 at 1:39 PM by Brandi Cummings


Looking for some great reads featuring LGBTQ+ Authors and/or main characters? Our KPL collection development selectors have got you covered with some recommendations in your favorite genres. 


Collection Selector for Literary & Historical Fiction, General Nonfiction

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde 
Written by an LGBTQ author and still a classic today, the book tells the story of Dorian Gray, whose body retains the picture of youth and vigor even as he descends into a life of crime and debauchery, while his recently painted portrait grows into a hideous record of evil, mirroring his reality.  In this work, Wilde combines elements of gothic horror and decadent french fiction to great effect. I would recommend this title for its highly imaginative plot alone.

The Eye in the Door by Pat Barker
Set in Spring 1918 during the First World War the German army has just launched a massive offensive that threatens the English with defeat. In England itself the government and the public look for scapegoats and target homosexuals and pacifists. Central to the novel is the character of Billy Prior, a lieutenant who, while hospitalized with shell shock, has an affair with another male patient, Charles Manning. Because of his upper-class social status, Manning must be shielded from the growing danger of being exposed for his homosexuality. The author vividly portrays Prior as a man caught in the middle of all this and evokes the paranoia that threatens to destroy British society with which the "eye in the door" becomes a symbol.

Leading Men by Christopher Castellani
It is July 1953 and Tennessee Williams and his lover Frank Merlo meet actress Anja Blomgren at a party thrown by Truman Capote in Italy. This encounter will go on to alter all their lives. Ten years later Merlo revisits the events of that fateful summer from his deathbed in Manhattan, where he waits for Williams to visit him one last time. The author weaves together fact and fiction to navigate the tensions between public figures and their private lives and reveals the hidden machinery of one of the great literary love stories of the twentieth century.


Collection Selector for Fantasy, Science Fiction, Adult Graphic Novels & Manga

Science Fiction:
River of Teeth  by Sarah Gailey 
An alternate history novella with a nonbinary person of color, queer romance, and man-eating hippos. 

An Excess Male by Maggie Shen King
A dystopian scenario of China's one-child policy that explores the treatment of LGBTQ people-- the 'willfully sterile'. 

An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon
Queer protagonists and relationships anchor this harrowing portrait of the antebellum South transplanted into space

The Affair of the Mysterious Letter by Alexis J. Hall 
An homage to Sherlock Holmes with a trans man and pansexual woman sharing lodgings at 221b Martyrs Walk. 

Gideon the Ninth  by Tamsyn Muir  
If you like the enemies to lovers trope, here's a lesbian warrior escorting her sworn enemy lesbian necromancer to a haunted castle murder space. 

Graphic Novels:
Monstress by Marjorie M. Liu
An Asian steampunk-style story about a matriarchial, queer world and what it takes to survive when trauma turns you into a monster.  

Midnighter #1: Out  by Steve Orlando
A new start for Midnighter and his husband Apollo from Wildstorm canon

Bingo Love by Tee Franklin
Two women of color fall in love, separate for decades, and then reconnect-- stretch marks, gray hair, and all.

My Brother's Husband by Gengoroh Tagame 
A Canadian widower goes to Tokyo to meet his husband's twin brother.  Examines the cultural barriers and family dynamics that impact queer relationships.

What Did You Eat Yesterday? By Fumi Yoshinaga
A slice of life manga full of recipes and the long-term love of a forty-something gay couple.  


Collection Selector for Romance, Urban Fiction, Inspirational

Carry on / Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell 

The Knockout Queen by Rufi Thorpe 

Kept in the Dark by Charlie Cochet 

Call me by your name by Andre Aciman 

The Flood Girls by Richard Fifield 

Miss Jane by Brad Watson 

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston 


Collection Selector for LGBT, Technology Nonfiction

The Book of Pride: LGBTQ Heroes Who Changed the World  by Mason Funk
This book is great as it has interviews and coverage of people involved in the LGBTQ rights movement throughout the 60s from across the U.S. The cover is also unforgettably bright

Raised by Unicorns: Stories from People with LGBTQ+ Parents by Frank Lowe
This book has so many affirming stories in them. I think it helps normalize families and shows an appreciation for all sorts of parents. To me, it was a hopeful and inspiring read.

The Bride was a Boy by Chii
This is an incredibly cute story about a woman's journey as she accepts her own identity, finds herself, and falls in love along the way. Not only is it cute, but it's informative on Japanese culture in regards to LGBT individuals.


Collection Selector for Young Adult Fiction

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas
When Cemetery Boys came out in 2020, it was a smash hit. Latinx culture, mystery, accidentally resurrecting the spirit of the high school bad boy? Yes, please! This book hit so many things on my checklist. (Suggested for ages 13 & up)

The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar
Another 2020 fave! Things come to a head in this romantic tale when a Bengali Irish teen Nishat decides to open a henna business for a school competition and her crush Flávia also decides to open a rival henna booth. I loved reading about Nishat and it was refreshing to read a book set outside of the United States. (Suggested for ages 13 & up)

Let's Talk about Love by Claire Kann
This romantic tale follows the journey of a 19-year old college student, Alice Johnston as she goes into what she assumes will be a not-so-great summer. She's been recently dumped by her girlfriend after confessing that she's asexual. But at her summer library job, she finds herself attracted to a handsome coworker. I'm not just recommending this book because a library is central to the plot, but it sure doesn't hurt. (Suggested for ages 15 & up)


Collection Selector for Picture Books, Board Books, Developmental Collection & Book Kits

When Aiden Became a Brother by Kyle Lukoff
This endearing #ownvoices book celebrates positive changes in a transgender boy's life, including embracing his true identity and welcoming a new sibling. It's a rare and beautiful read that features a main character whose identity is - refreshingly - just another part of the story, and not the entire basis of the plot.

Maiden & Princess by Daniel Haack and Isabel Galupo
A follow up to Haack's debut book Prince & Knight, this modern fairy tale features a brave maiden who finds love at a ball, but it's not with the prince. I love this story for its vibrant illustrations and the King and Queen's warm acceptance of their child's budding same-sex, interracial relationship.

Stella Brings the Family by Miriam B. Schiffer
Stella's class is having a Mother's Day celebration, but what's a girl with two daddies to do? Stella doesn't see not having a "mom" to bring to class as a problem, but rather a fun challenge that requires a creative solution. This sweet story about love and the true meaning of family can help children with same-sex parents feel seen, proud, and supported.