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The materials on this page have varying degrees of LGBTQIA+ representation and would generally appeal to students in grades 3-5. The authenticity of LGBTQIA+ representation in these books has not been evaluated by the TDRL staff, and because of this, we highly recommend evaluating individual books for authentic representation before making recommendations to young people. Click on blue hyperlinks to see availability at the UNLV Teachers Development & Resources Library.
The Moon Within by Aida SalazarA stunning debut told with the sensitivity, humor, and brilliant verse of new talent Aida Salazar. Celi Rivera's life swirls with questions. About her changing body. Her first attraction to a boy. Her best friend's exploration of what it means to be genderfluid. But most of all, her mother's insistence she have a moon ceremony when her first period arrives. It's an ancient Mexica ritual that Mima and her community have reclaimed, but Celi would rather do just about anything than talk about herself like that with other people. Can she find the power within herself to take a stand for who she wants to be?
Publication Date: 2019-02-26
Summer of a Thousand Pies by Margaret DillowayA heartfelt contemporary middle grade novel about a girl who must try to save her aunt's failing pie shop, perfect for fans of The Thing About Jellyfish, Fish in a Tree--and The Great British Baking Show. When Cady Bennett is sent to live with the aunt she didn't even know she had in the quaint mountain town of Julian, she isn't sure what to expect. Cady isn't used to stability, after growing up homeless in San Diego with her dad. Now she's staying in her mother's old room, exploring the countryside filled with apple orchards and pie shops, making friends, and working in Aunt Shell's own pie shop--and soon, Cady starts to feel like she belongs. Then she finds out that Aunt Shell's shop is failing. Saving the business and protecting the first place she's ever really felt safe will take everything she's learned and the help of all her new friends. But are there some things even the perfect pie just can't fix? Summer of a Thousand Pies is a sweet and satisfying treat of a novel full of friendship, family, and, of course, pie.
Publication Date: 2019-04-16
The Mighty Heart of Sunny St. James by Ashley Herring BlakeTwelve-year-old Sunny St. James navigates heart surgery, reconnecting with her lost mother, first kisses, and emerging feelings for another girl in this stunning, heartfelt novel--perfect for fans of Ali Benjamin and Erin Entrada Kelly. When Sunny St. James receives a new heart, she decides to set off on a "New Life Plan": 1) do awesome amazing things she could never do before; 2) find a new best friend; and 3) kiss a boy for the first time. Her "New Life Plan" seems to be racing forward, but when she meets her new best friend Quinn, Sunny questions whether she really wants to kiss a boy at all. With the reemergence of her mother, Sunny begins a journey to becoming the new Sunny St. James. This sweet, tender novel dares readers to find the might in their own hearts.
Publication Date: 2019-03-26
Sapphire the Great and the Meaning of Life by Beverley Brenna; Tara Anderson (Illustrator)It's not every day you encounter a hamster experiencing an existential crisis, but Sapphire has spent her short pet-store life convinced that she's waiting for...something. At first she thinks it's to be FREE, but it may be possible that life has a greater purpose in store--a purpose Sapphire will discover thanks to a nine-year-old girl whose family is changing in ways she doesn't quite understand. Jeannie's dad has moved out, her mom is always tired and snappish, and her older brother just wants to play video games in his room all day. Jeannie doesn't understand what's going on, but she knows one thing: she really, REALLY wants a hamster. Her mom promised she could buy one with her Christmas money, but it's been WEEKS since the holidays and Jeannie's beginning to worry she'll never get her pet. But maybe if she does, her dad will come to visit. Maybe a hamster will make everything better.Narrated by Jeannie and Sapphire in alternating chapters, Sapphire the Great and the Meaning of Life is a touching middle-grade novel by award-winning author Beverley Brenna that explores themes of family, friendship, togetherness, and self-identity. With a cast that includes a transgender neighbor, a father coming out as gay, and a realistic protagonist who will appeal to fans of Ramona Quimby, Brenna's latest offering is an age-appropriate introduction to some difficult subjects that also abounds with humor and poignancy.
Publication Date: 2019-02-22
To Night Owl from Dogfish by Holly Goldberg Sloan; Meg WolitzerFrom two extraordinary authors comes a moving, exuberant, laugh-out-loud novel about friendship and family, told entirely in emails and letters. Avery Bloom, who's bookish, intense, and afraid of many things, particularly deep water, lives in New York City. Bett Devlin, who's fearless, outgoing, and loves all animals as well as the ocean, lives in California. What they have in common is that they are both twelve years old, and are both being raised by single, gay dads. When their dads fall in love, Bett and Avery are sent, against their will, to the same sleepaway camp. Their dads hope that they will find common ground and become friends--and possibly, one day, even sisters. But things soon go off the rails for the girls (and for their dads too), and they find themselves on a summer adventure that neither of them could have predicted. Now that they can't imagine life without each other, will the two girls (who sometimes call themselves Night Owl and Dogfish) figure out a way to be a family?
Publication Date: 2019-02-12
Hurricane Child by Kheryn CallenderCaroline Murphy is a Hurricane Child. Being born during a hurricane is unlucky, and twelve-year-old Caroline has had her share of bad luck lately. She's hated and bullied by everyone in her small school on St. Thomas of the US Virgin Islands, a spirit only she can see won't stop following her, and -- worst of all -- Caroline's mother left home one day and never came back. But when a new student named Kalinda arrives, Caroline's luck begins to turn around. Kalinda, a solemn girl from Barbados with a special smile for everyone, becomes Caroline's first and only friend -- and the person for whom Caroline has begun to develop a crush. Now, Caroline must find the strength to confront her feelings for Kalinda, brave the spirit stalking her through the islands, and face the reason her mother abandoned her. Together, Caroline and Kalinda must set out in a hurricane to find Caroline's missing mother -- before Caroline loses her forever.
Publication Date: 2018-03-27
Ivy Aberdeen's Letter to the World by Ashley Herring BlakeA Stonewall Children's & Young Adult Honor Book! In the wake of a destructive tornado, one girl develops feelings for another in this stunning, tender novel about emerging identity, perfect for fans of The Thing About Jellyfish. When a tornado rips through town, twelve-year-old Ivy Aberdeen's house is destroyed and her family of five is displaced. Ivy feels invisible and ignored in the aftermath of the storm--and what's worse, her notebook filled with secret drawings of girls holding hands has gone missing. Mysteriously, Ivy's drawings begin to reappear in her locker with notes from someone telling her to open up about her identity. Ivy thinks--and hopes--that this someone might be her classmate, another girl for whom Ivy has begun to develop a crush. Will Ivy find the strength and courage to follow her true feelings? Ivy Aberdeen's Letter to the World exquisitely enriches the rare category of female middle-grade characters who like girls--and children's literature at large.
Publication Date: 2018-03-06
Elle of the Ball by Elena Delle DonneFrom 2015 WNBA MVP, 2016 Olympic gold medalist, and global ambassador to the Special Olympics Elena Delle Donne comes the first novel in a brand-new middle grade series with as much heart as there is game. Elle Deluca is a seventh grader who is tall--not just sort of tall. She's six feet tall. And for a twelve-year-old girl, this means that her basketball team has high hopes for her changing positions and becoming their starting center. But a new position is not the only footwork she has to learn. Her class's dance unit in gym is coming up, and that means she has to learn ballroom dance steps with a boy much shorter than her--and perform publically for a grade. In the first book in WNBA MVP and Olympic gold medalist Elena Delle Donne's Hoops series, Elle must figure out a way to remain herself when others want her to be someone else.
Publication Date: 2018-03-13
Alan Cole Doesn't Dance by Eric BellTo heartwarming cheer, Alan Cole came out to his school. But now what? In this follow-up novel to Alan Cole Is Not a Coward, Eric Bell deftly explores with nuance and humor how the first step to complete self-acceptance may mean actually putting your feet on the dance floor. This laugh-out-loud and poignant tale is perfect for fans of Gary Schmidt and Jerry Spinelli. Alan Cole has a problem: Ron McCaughlin. Ever since Alan revealed he's gay, Ron has been bullying Alan with relentless fury. Alan can't tell his parents why he's really coming home with bruises--because they still don't know the truth about him. Yet buoyed by the support of his classmates and with his friends Zack and Madison by his side, Alan thinks he can withstand the bullying and--just maybe--break through to Ron. But all things come to a head when Alan's father asks that he take June Harrison to the upcoming Winter Dance. Never mind that Alan has two left feet, does not like girls, and might be developing feelings for a new boy at school. This resounding tale about friendship, family, and the many meanings of bravery will leave readers rooting for Alan and his gang of proud misfits once more.
Publication Date: 2018-10-09
P. S. I Miss You by Jen Petro-RoyA heartbreaking--yet ultimately uplifting--epistolary novel about family, religion, and having the courage to be yourself. "P.S. I Miss You is so moving! Evie'squiet strength and fierce determinationare an inspiration. " --Ann M. Martin, author ofRain Reign and the Baby-Sitters Club "Jen Petro-Roy has created a character with the potential to beas iconic as Judy Blume's Margaret." --Erin Dionne, author ofNotes from an Accidental Band Geek Evie is heartbroken when her strict Catholic parents send her pregnant sister, Cilla, away to stay with a distant great-aunt. All Evie wants is for her older sister to come back. Forbidden from speaking to Cilla, Evie secretly sends her letters. Evie writes about her family, torn apart and hurting. She writes about her life, empty without Cilla. And she writes about the new girl in school, June, who becomes her friend, and then maybe more than a friend. Evie could really use some advice from Cilla. But Cilla isn't writing back, and it's time for Evie to take matters into her own hands. P.S. I Miss Youby Jen Petro-Roy is a heartfelt middle grade novel dealing with faith, identity, and finding your way in difficult times. "A touching story of sisterly devotion and self-discovery.Readers will cheer on Jen Petro-Roy's sweet, strong protagonistas she overcomes challenging family circumstances toembrace her own identity." -- Barbara Dee, author ofStar-Crossed "A heartbreaking but empowering story that's impossible to forget... Readers will love Evie's smart, funny voice and will recognize themselves in her worries, her questions, and her hopes." --Kate Messner, author ofThe Seventh Wish
Publication Date: 2018-03-06
The Lotterys Plus One by Emma Donoghue; Caroline Hadilaksono (Illustrator)Sumac Lottery is nine years old and the self-proclaimed "good girl" of her (VERY) large, (EXTREMELY) unruly family. And what a family the Lotterys are: four parents, children both adopted and biological, and a menagerie of pets, all living and learning together in a sprawling house called Camelottery. Then one day, the news breaks that one of their grandfathers is suffering from dementia and will be coming to live with them. And not just any grandfather -- the long dormant "Grumps," who fell out with his son so long ago that he hasn't been part of any of their lives. Suddenly, everything changes. Sumac has to give up her room to make the newcomer feel at home. She tries to be nice, but prickly Grumps clearly disapproves of how the Lotterys live: whole grains, strange vegetables, rescue pets, a multicultural household... He's worse than just tough to get along with -- Grumps has got to go! But can Sumac help him find a home where he belongs?
Publication Date: 2017-03-28
Star-Crossed by Barbara Dee"Star-Crossed delighted me! Barbara Dee has a light touch and a pitch-perfect middle school voice. This book will have you laughing and groaning in sympathy with crush-addled Mattie and eagerly turning pages. Mattie and her classmates charmed me with their kindness, their humor, their uncertainty, their devotion to one another and to Shakespeare! Barbara masterfully sprinkles the bard's words over the narration and stirs the troubles of Romeo and Juliet into the plot. And those Shakespearian insults! Be sure to read Star-Crossed or you'll miss out." --Gail Carson Levine, author of Ella Enchanted Mattie is chosen to play Romeo opposite her crush in the eighth grade production of Shakespeare's most beloved play in this Romeo and Juliet inspired novel from the author of Truth or Dare. Mattie, a star student and passionate reader, is delighted when her English teacher announces the eighth grade will be staging Romeo and Juliet. And she is even more excited when, after a series of events, she finds herself playing Romeo, opposite Gemma Braithwaite's Juliet. Gemma, the new girl at school, is brilliant, pretty, outgoing--and, if all that wasn't enough: British. As the cast prepares for opening night, Mattie finds herself growing increasingly attracted to Gemma and confused, since, just days before, she had found herself crushing on a boy named Elijah. Is it possible to have a crush on both boys AND girls? If that wasn't enough to deal with, things backstage at the production are starting to rival any Shakespearean drama! In this sweet and funny look at the complicated nature of middle school romance, Mattie learns how to be the lead player in her own life. "Barbara Dee's Star-Crossed is a love story, a rallying cry for girl-power, and a Shakespeare lover's dream come true. When I finished reading, I had a huge smile on my face and a lightness in my heart." --Nora Raleigh Baskin, author of Nine, Ten: A September 11 Story "Star-Crossed takes the drama, humor, friendships, misunderstandings, and romance of Romeo and Juliet and transforms them perfectly to the middle school stage. One word about this honest, heartfelt middle grade novel for the theater geek in each of us? Encore!" --Donna Gephart, author of Lily and Dunkin "Star-Crossed by Barbara Dee cleverly draws from Romeo and Juliet, providing readers with an insightful introduction to Shakespeare while exploring the complexities of young love. Readers will root for this relationship." --Ami Polonksy, author of Gracefully Grayson
Publication Date: 2017-03-14
This Would Make a Good Story Someday by Dana Alison LevyFrom the author of The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher comes an epic cross-country train trip for fans of Dan Santat's Are We There Yet? and Geoff Rodkey's The Tapper Twins. Pack your suitcase and climb on board with the Johnston-Fischer family. Sara Johnston-Fischer loves her family, of course. But that doesn't mean she's thrilled when her summer plans are upended for a surprise cross-country train trip with her two moms, Mimi and Carol; her younger sister, Ladybug; her older sister, Laurel; and Laurel's poncho-wearing activist boyfriend, Root. And to make matters worse, one of her moms is writing a tell-all book about the trip . . . and that means allllll, every ridiculous and embarrassing moment of Sara's life. Sara finds herself crisscrossing the country with a gaggle of wild Texans. As they travel from New Orleans to Chicago to the Grand Canyon and beyond, Sara finds herself changing along with the landscape outside the train windows. And she realizes that she just might go home reinvented.
Publication Date: 2017-05-16
The Best Man by Richard PeckNewbery Medalist Richard Peck tells a story of small-town life, gay marriage, and everyday heroes in this novel for fans of Gary Schmidt and Jack Gantos. Archer Magill has spent a lively five years of grade school with one eye out in search of grown-up role models. Three of the best are his grandpa, the great architect; his dad, the great vintage car customizer,; and his uncle Paul, who is just plain great. These are the three he wants to be. Along the way he finds a fourth--Mr. McLeod, a teacher. In fact, the first male teacher in the history of the school. But now here comes middle school and puberty. Change. Archer wonders how much change has to happen before his voice does. He doesn't see too far ahead, so every day or so a startling revelation breaks over him. Then a really big one when he's the best man at the wedding of two of his role models. But that gets ahead of the story. In pages that ripple with laughter, there's a teardrop here and there. And more than a few insights about the bewildering world of adults, made by a boy on his way to being the best man he can be.
Publication Date: 2016-09-20
The Family Fletcher Takes Rock Island by Dana Alison LevyLove the TV show Modern Family? Wait until you meet the family Fletcher! With two dads, four adopted brothers, two cats, and one pug, the Fletchers will have you laughing out loud! Welcome to Rock Island, Where Time Stands Still! The Fletchers are back on Rock Island, home of all their best summer memories. But from the first day they arrive, it's clear that this year, things have changed. FIRST, a giant fence is blocking their beloved lighthouse. SECOND, they have new neighbors. THIRD, who the heck is the weird artist guy who's never actually painting? And FOURTH, there's now an ice cream truck! Can the island stay the same even with these crazy transformations? Over the course of the summer, the Fletchers will learn that sometimes, even in a place where time stands still, the wildest, weirdest, and most wonderful surprises await. A JLG Selection! "There is constant action and delightful humor, but there are also realistic present-day problems and happy solutions. An old-fashioned summer adventure set in a very modern world, this lively family tale will leave readers impatient for more. "--Kirkus, Starred "While the other story lines reach satisfying resolutions, this one-- about a young African American male struggling to figure out his identity in the largely white landscape of Rock Island--leaves room for thought-provoking, timely discussion.--Horn Book "A must-have middle grade family story with contemporary sensibilities."--SLJ, Starred "Lots of kids will want to take this along on their summer vacations."--Booklist
The Deep & Dark Blue by Niki SmithThe Witch Boy meets The Legend of Korra in this breathtaking, epic graphic novel. After a terrible political coup usurps their noble house, Hawke and Grayson flee to stay alive and assume new identities, Hanna and Grayce. Desperation and chance lead them to the Communion of Blue, an order of magical women who spin the threads of reality to their will. As the twins learn more about the Communion, and themselves, they begin to hatch a plan to avenge their family and retake their royal home. While Hawke wants to return to his old life, Grayce struggles to keep the threads of her new life from unraveling, and realizes she wants to stay in the one place that will allow her to finally live as a girl. This title will be simultaneously available in paperback.
Publication Date: 2020-01-07
Glitch by Sarah Graley (Illustrator)From comics rising star Sarah Graley, a fresh and funny middle-grade graphic novel featuring a girl who must save a virtual world... and her own! Izzy has an incredible secret -- she can enter the world of her new video game! She meets Rae, a robot who says Izzy is destined to save Dungeon City from the Big Boss. How is this possible?! And how can she fight for this virtual world when she's got a whole real life to keep up with: her family (though she could do without her mom's annoying cat), and her best friend, Eric. Things get even weirder when Izzy loses a life while inside the game, and she starts to worry about what might happen if she gets a Game Over for good. Meanwhile, Eric has been super upset with Izzy since she's been keeping secrets and bailing on their plans. Can Izzy survive Dungeon City and save their friendship?
Publication Date: 2019-05-14
The Tea Dragon Festival by Katie O'Neill"A lovely, gentle fantasy." -- KIRKUS Revisit the enchanting world of Tea Dragons with an all-new companion story to the two-time Eisner Award-winning graphic novel The Tea Dragon Society! Rinn has grown up with the Tea Dragons that inhabit their village, but stumbling across a real dragon turns out to be a different matter entirely! Aedhan is a young dragon who was appointed to protect the village but fell asleep in the forest eighty years ago. With the aid of Rinn's adventuring uncle Erik and his partner Hesekiel, they investigate the mystery of his enchanted sleep, but Rinn's real challenge is to help Aedhan come to terms with feeling that he cannot get back the time he has lost. Critically-acclaimed graphic novelist Katie O'Neill delivers another charming, gentle fantasy story about finding your purpose, and the community that helps you along the way. "Gentle, inclusive, and heartwarming, The Tea Dragon Festival will bewitch existing fans and new readers alike." - Jen Wang (The Prince and the Dressmaker)
Publication Date: 2019-09-17
The Midwinter Witch by Molly Knox OstertagAster can't wait for the Midwinter Festival, where all the magical families gather for a competition and a happy reunion. This year, he wants to compete as a witch instead of a shapeshifter -- but he's not sure he can find the courage. Without a family to call her own, Ariel is tagging along to the festival with the Vanissens. She thinks the whole thing is silly...until she decides to enter the tournament herself. Now the beloved tradition is fraught with conflict, and no one knows who to trust -- least of all the mysterious witch who shows up out of nowhere saying she's Ariel's aunt. The acclaimed world created in The Witch Boy and The Hidden Witch comes to a thrilling conclusion in this powerful graphic novel by rising star Molly Knox Ostertag.
Publication Date: 2019-11-05
The Cardboard Kingdom by Chad SellPerfect for fans of Raina Telgemeier, Awkward, and All's Faire in Middle School, this graphic novel follows a neighborhood of kids who transform ordinary cardboard into fantastical homemade costumes as they explore conflicts with friends, family, and their own identity. "A breath of fresh air, this tender and dynamic collection is a must-have." --Kirkus, Starred Welcome to a neighborhood of kids who transform ordinary boxes into colorful costumes, and their ordinary block into cardboard kingdom. This is the summer when sixteen kids encounter knights and rogues, robots and monsters--and their own inner demons--on one last quest before school starts again. In the Cardboard Kingdom, you can be anything you want to be--imagine that! The Cardboard Kingdom was created, organized, and drawn by Chad Sell with writing from ten other authors: Jay Fuller, David DeMeo, Katie Schenkel, Kris Moore, Molly Muldoon, Vid Alliger, Manuel Betancourt, Michael Cole, Cloud Jacobs, and Barbara Perez Marquez. The Cardboard Kingdom affirms the power of imagination and play during the most important years of adolescent identity-searching and emotional growth. NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY KIRKUS REVIEWS * THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY * SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL * "There's room for everyone inside The Cardboard Kingdom, where friendship and imagination reign supreme." --Ingrid Law, New York Times bestselling author of Savvy "A timely and colorful graphic novel debut that, like its many offbeat but on-point characters, marches to the beat of its own cardboard drum." --Tim Federle, award-winning author of Better Nate Than Ever
Publication Date: 2018-06-05
The Legend of Korra by Michael Dante DiMartino; Irene Koh (Illustrator)A pompous developer plans to turn the new spirit portal into an amusement park, potentially severing an already tumultuous connection with the spirits. What's more, the triads have realigned and are in a brutal all-out brawl at the city's borders - where hundreds of evacuees have relocated! In order to get through it all, Korra and Asami vow to look out for each other - but first, they've got to get better at being a team and a couple!
Publication Date: 2017-08-08
The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O'Neill (Artist)The Tea Dragon Society is the two-time Eisner Award-winning gentle fantasy that follows the story of a blacksmith apprentice, and the people she meets as she becomes entwined in the enchanting world of tea dragons. Winner of the 2018 Eisner Award for Best Publication for Kids Winner of the 2018 Eisner Award for Best Webcomic ALA Rainbow List (2018) 2018 Dwayne McDuffie Award for Kids Comics Winner Amazon.com's Best Comics & Graphic Novels (2017) School Library Journal's Top 10 Graphic Novels (2017) "A manga-flavored fairy tale just the right length to pair with a cup of tea." -- Hope Larson (A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel) "Undeniably whimsical and extremely cute." -- Kirkus From the award-winning author of Princess Princess Ever After comes THE TEA DRAGON SOCIETY, the beloved and charming all-ages book that follows the story of Greta, a blacksmith apprentice, and the people she meets as she becomes entwined in the enchanting world of tea dragons. After discovering a lost tea dragon in the marketplace, Greta learns about the dying art form of tea dragon care-taking from the kind tea shop owners, Hesekiel and Erik. As she befriends them and their shy ward, Minette, Greta sees how the craft enriches their lives--and eventually her own. BONUS CONTENT: Included in this gorgeous, oversized hardcover is "Extracts from the Tea Dragons Handbook", explaining more about the creatures with illustrations of all the dragon breeds not seen in the graphic novel. And don't miss Aquicorn Cove, Katie O'Neill's adorable follow-up to The Tea Dragon Society.
Publication Date: 2017-10-31
The Witch Boy by Molly Knox OstertagIn thirteen-year-old Aster's family, all the girls are raised to be witches, while boys grow up to be shapeshifters. Anyone who dares cross those lines is exiled. Unfortunately for Aster, he still hasn't shifted . . . and he's still fascinated by witchery, no matter how forbidden it might be. When a mysterious danger threatens the other boys, Aster knows he can help -- as a witch. It will take the encouragement of a new friend, the non-magical and non-conforming Charlie, to convince Aster to try practicing his skills. And it will require even more courage to save his family . . . and be truly himself.
Publication Date: 2017-10-31
Princess Princess Ever After by Katie O'Neill (Artist)A sweet and positive fairy tale in which two princesses meet and embark on an adventure to overcome their own personal obstacles. 2014 Cybils Awards Finalist 2014 Autostraddle Comic Art Award for Favorite Graphic Novel 2017 ALA Rainbow Book List Top Ten 2018 Sakura Medal Nominee "It's super cute, super queer, and feminist as all get out." -- BookRiot When the heroic princess Amira rescues the kind-hearted princess Sadie from her tower prison, neither expects to find a true friend in the bargain. Yet as they adventure across the kingdom, they discover that they bring out the very best in the other person. They'll need to join forces and use all the know-how, kindness, and bravery they have in order to defeat their greatest foe yet: a jealous sorceress, who wants to get rid of Sadie once and for all. Join Sadie and Amira, two very different princesses with very different strengths, on their journey to figure out what "happily ever after" really means--and how they can find it with each other. Don't miss Katie O'Neill's next queer fantasy, The Tea Dragon Society, in stores now!