Books for Pride Month

Pride Bookhead

In celebration of Canada’s second-ever Pride Month, our librarian Meghan Howe shares her list of recommended Canadian books for kids and teens featuring LGBTQ characters and themes.

For more information about Pride Month and upcoming events, visit www.pridetoronto.com.

Picture Books

momandmum

Mom and Mum are Getting Married!
Written by Ken Setterington
Illustrated by Alice Priestley
Second Story Press, 2004
ISBN 978-1-896764-84-9
IL: Ages 5-8 RL: Grades 2-3

When Rosie comes home to find her Mom dancing alone in the living room — on a school day — she knows something wonderful is about to happen. So when one of her two mothers announces, “Your Mum and I are getting married!” they can’t wait to start planning the big day. Rosie has so many questions. Will she get to be a flower girl? Can she get a new dress? Will there be food and a fabulous wedding cake? A joyous celebration of love in a changing world.

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Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress

Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress
Written by Christine Baldacchino
Illustrated by Isabelle Malenfant
Groundwood Books, 2014
ISBN 978-1-55498-347-6
IL: Ages 3-8 RL: Grades 2-3

Morris loves using his imagination and he dreams about having space adventures. His favourite place in his classroom is the dress-up centre — because he loves wearing the tangerine dress! But the children in Morris’s class don’t understand. Dresses are for girls, astronauts don’t wear dresses! Warm, dreamy illustrations perfectly capture Morris’s vulnerability and the vibrancy of his imagination. This is a sweetly told story about the courage and creativity it takes to be different.

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otis

Otis and Alice
Written by Ariane Bertouille
Illustrated by Marie-Claude Favreau
Translated by Christie Harkin
Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2013
ISBN 978-1-55455-294-8
IL: Ages 4-8 RL: Grades 2-3

Uncle Dan brought his nephew Otis a very special gift: a mouse with super-long, expressive whiskers! Otis can’t believe his eyes. He has wanted a pet mouse forever! But, how long can he keep Alice? Can he convince his cat Rocket and his two moms to keep the little mouse, so full of imagination and energy? The daily lives of many families — so different from each other — are often very much alike. Can Alice the mouse fit into Otis’s family?

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Junior & Intermediate Fiction

Days That End in Y

Days That End in Y
Written by Vikki VanSickle
Scholastic Canada, 2013
ISBN 978-1-4431-2432-4
IL: Ages 10-14 RL: Grades 6-7

Feeling abandoned by Mattie, Benji and Michael, Clarissa is looking ahead to a rather boring summer. But then her mom gets engaged, and Clarissa’s long-lost father shows up in town.
Determined to meet him, she decides to track him down. But will she be happy with what she discovers? This is the follow-up to Words That Start with B and Love is a Four-Letter Word.

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The Lotterys Plus One

The Lottery Plus One
Written by Emma Donoghue
Illustrations by Caroline Hadilaksono
HarperCollins Publishers, 2017
ISBN 978-1-44344-557-3
IL: Ages 8-12 RL: Grades 3-4

Emma Donoghue’s first children’s book follows the domestic adventures of a large, rumbustious, multicultural family. The Lotterys, as they call themselves, are headed up by a lesbian couple and a gay couple who joined forces to create a family, won a lottery jackpot and moved into a Victorian Gothic mansion in Toronto, where their enormous brood is home-schooled. It all seems perfectly normal to nine-year-old Sumac until their hitherto obscure grandfather Grumps comes to stay, upending the Lotterys’ already chaotic family life.

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lucky-jonah

Lucky Jonah
Written by Richard Scrimger
HarperTrophy Canada, 2016
ISBN 978-1-44341-071-7
IL: Ages 9-12 RL: Grades 4-5

Bullied by his brother and living in the shadow of his athletic best friend, Jonah is crippled by self-loathing and insecurity. Then he is given a disposable camera that transports him into someone else’s body — and life! But with only 12 shots and trouble mounting click by click, will Jonah find a new life? Or will the secret he carries follow him wherever he goes?

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Tagged

Tagged Out
(Sports Stories)
Written by Joyce Grant
James Lorimer, 2016
ISBN 978-1-4594-1075-6
IL: Ages 9-13 RL: Grades 4-5

The inner-city Toronto Blues baseball team is having a lousy year. Shortstop Nash and the Blues especially hate losing to their rich kid rivals, the Parkhill Pirates. When all-star Jock joins the team, things start looking up. But when the Pirates find out that Jock is gay, they ambush Nash and Jock, and Nash has to decide if he wants to stand by his teammate.

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Young Adult Fiction

10 things I can see from here

10 Things I Can See From Here
Written by Carrie Mac
Alfred A. Knopf, 2017
ISBN 978-0-399-55625-8
IL: Ages 14 and up RL: Grades 9-10 and up

Maeve has heard it all before. She’s been struggling with severe anxiety for a long time, and as much as she wishes it was something she could just talk herself out of, it’s not. Moving to Vancouver to live with her dad brings a slew of new worries, but she finds brief moments of calm with Salix, a local girl she’s finds herself falling in love with who doesn’t seem to worry about anything.

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Girl Mans Up

Girl Mans Up
Written by M-E Girard
HarperCollins Publishers, 2016
ISBN 978-1-44344-704-1
IL: Ages 14 and up RL: Grades 7-8

Why does everyone have a problem with Pen being the kind of girl she’s always been? They think she should quit trying to be something she’s not. Old-world parents, disintegrating friendships and feelings for other girls drive Pen to see the truth — respect and loyalty are often empty words, and that in order to be who she truly wants to be, she’ll have to man up.

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Rez Runaway

Rez Runaway
(SideStreets)
Written by Melanie Florence
James Lorimer, 2016
ISBN 978-1-4594-1162-3
IL: Ages 13 and up RL: Grades 3-4

Seventeen-year-old Joe Littlechief makes a drunken pass at his best friend and is shunned by his mother and so-called friends on the rez. Alone and penniless on the streets of Toronto, Joe ends up selling himself to stave off hunger. Then “religious, Indigenous gay boy” meets Sid “African-Canadian transgender girl,” who accepts Joe unconditionally. A death and an unexpected gift change Joe and Sid’s lives forever.

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Saving M

Saving Montgomery Sole
Written by Mariko Tamaki
Razorbill Canada, 2016
ISBN 978-0-670-07001-5

Sixteen-year-old Montgomery Sole is a square peg in a small town, a girl with two moms forced to go to a school full of homophobes. Thank goodness for her two best friends — Thomas and Naoki. Monty’s obsessed with paranormal mysteries like ESP, astrology and superpowers, but when strange things actually start happening to Monty, she realizes that the greatest mystery of all is herself.

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Subject to Change

Subject to Change
Written by Karen Nesbitt
Orca Book Publishers, 2017
ISBN 978-1-4598-1146-1
IL: Ages 12 and up RL: Grades 6-7

Declan’s life in small-town Quebec is defined by his parents’ divorce, his older brother’s delinquency and his own lackluster performance at school. When he finds out the truth about his parents’ divorce, he is forced to reconsider everything he has believed about his family and himself.

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Switch

Switch
Written by Douglas Davey
Red Deer Press, 2014
ISBN 978-0-88995-524-0
IL: Ages 13-16 RL: Grades 8-9

Sheldon shares the story of what it was like when he was 17. It’s the story of how he shocked himself by kissing another guy when he was in love with a girl. It’s the story of how he learned about his bisexuality, and about what happened when everyone else learned about it. It’s the story of the strength he never knew he had.

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Non-Fiction

Branded by the Pink Triange

Branded by the Pink Triangle
Written by Ken Setterington
Second Story Press, 2013
ISBN 978-1-926920-96-2
IL: Ages 14 and up RL: Grades 9-10

This book tells the history of the persecution of gay men by the Nazi regime during the Holocaust. Homosexuals were imprisoned along with Jews in the camps. The pink triangle, sewn onto prison uniforms, became their symbol. Combining historical research with individual stories, this account brings this period of history to life for young readers.

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Homophobia Deal With It

Homophobia: Deal With It and Turn Prejudice into Pride
(Deal With It)
Written by Steven Solomon
Illustrated by Nick Johnson
James Lorimer, 2013
ISBN 978-1-4594-0442-7
IL: Ages 10-14 RL: Grades 5-6

With plenty of quizzes, Q+As, comics and scenarios, this interactive and highly visual book in the Deal With It series helps kids determine what is — and what isn’t — homophobia. It explains what they can do to make their schools, homes and communities safer and more inclusive for everyone.

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Pride: Celebrating Diversity & Community

Pride: Celebrating Diversity & Community
Written by Robin Stevenson
Orca Book Publishers, 2016
ISBN 978-1-4598-0993-2
IL: Ages 9-13 RL: Grades 6-8

For lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people around the world, Pride is both protest and celebration. It’s about embracing diversity, honouring the past and fighting for freedom and equality. There is a whole lot more to Pride than rainbow flags and amazing outfits. How did Pride come to be? And what does Pride mean to the people who celebrate it?

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Layout 1

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
(Straight Talk About…)
Written by Rachel Stuckey
Crabtree Publishing, 2015
ISBN 978-0-7787-2207-6
IL: Ages 11-14 RL: Grades 5-6

This pertinent title gives young people a better understanding of sexual orientation, gender identity and the LGBTQ community. Personal testimonials and discussion questions shed light on the difficulties individuals face coming out and dispel myths of gender stereotypes. Open and honest text focuses on creating a safe and inclusive community for people of all orientations.

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