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LGBTQ+ Literature in the UNI Youth Collection

An overview to LGBTQ+ Literature for children and young adults. Includes reference materials and titles of historical interest.

LGBTQ+ Literature in the UNI Youth Collection

This LibGuide has been created to help users of the Rod Library Youth Collection find books for children and teens about asexual people, intersex people, trans people, bisexual people, gay people, lesbian people, and other people who identify with what is sometimes called the queer community. (A number of acronyms, such as LGBTQIA and LGBT, are also used to refer to some or all of these groups.) This guide also includes some books about the broader social and political issues that involve LGBTQIA+ people, and about family diversity and gender diversity as broader topics.

The intended audience for this LibGuide includes, in no particular order

  • people who are looking for books for their own recreational reading;
  • people who are looking for books to read with their families and/or friends;
  • UNI faculty and students looking for course-related materials;
  • education students and teachers who are looking for books to include in their classrooms;
  • School Library Studies students and librarians who are doing collection development;
  • people who are interested in the history of youth literature.


This LibGuide is not a comprehensive list of all LGBTQIA+ books in the library or even in the Youth Collection. If you have questions, or would like help finding additional books, please email You can also use the search terms in the "Search Suggestions" box to do your own searches in the library catalog.

On each page, clicking on books or their titles will take you to their records in our library catalog. I've sorted books roughly by age group and, in the case of YA fiction, by genre; the record will usually give you more information about the characters and plot. If you would like help narrowing down the list (for example, you're only interested in books with nonbinary characters, or books that make good high school read-alouds, or books with main characters of color), please contact me by e-mail or stop by my office.

If you have suggestions for additional books we should buy, use the recommendation form linked below:

A Guide to This Guide

A few general pointers about this guide:

  • This is not a list of every LGBTQIA+ book ever published, or even all the ones we own.

  • Every book has its publication year listed. The legal situation, social situation, and preferred terminology for various groups has been changing rapidly. For example, the picture book Daddy's Wedding is clear that daddy's wedding is not legally recognized, because it was published in 1996. It is particularly important to contextualize these books when you use them with children, or to use newer and more accurate books.

  • Two lists that were put together particular to support academic study: Historically Significant Books and Books Where Someone Dies.

  • Books are divided roughly by format and age group. Remember that there's always overlap between age groups--for example, a teenager might still be interested in some of the books on the Intermediate/Early Middle School page.

  • When in doubt... ask! Supporting your use of this collection, and building a collection that meets your needs, is part of my job.

Search Suggestions

Right now, we do not have one comprehensive subject term to locate all LGBTQIA+ books in the library. Here are some subject terms that will bring up some of these books. Click on the subject term to use it to search the Youth Collection.

Subject headings DO NOT always reflect current language usage. The GLAAD Media Reference Guide is a source you can use to get a better understanding of current language preferences.

Our current use of subject headings is also imperfect; for example, there are books with bisexual characters that lack the "Bisexuals" subject heading. Part of my motivation for creating this LibGuide was to make high-quality LGBTQIA+ books easier to find.

Other Sources

Here are a few notable websites that focus on LGBTQIA+ youth books. (When you click on these links, you will be taken to non-UNI websites. If you notice that a link is dead or a website no longer seems relevant, please e-mail me and let me know.)