15 Books to Read for Pride Month

Pride Bookhead

Canada’s first-ever Pride Month launched on June 1, 2016 and will culminate with the much anticipated annual Pride Parade on July 3 in Toronto, Ontario. In celebration, our librarian Meghan Howe shares her list of recommended Canadian books for kids and teens featuring LGBTQ characters and themes.

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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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 5-6
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?
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Femme

Femme
(SideStreets)
Written by Mette Bach
James Lorimer, 2015
ISBN 978-1-4594-0767-1
IL: Ages 13 and up RL: Grades 4-5
For Sofie, academics have always come second to being with her boyfriend Paul. Then she is paired with straight-A student Clea, the only out lesbian at school. Sofie and Clea become close and embark on a road trip to Portland, checking out colleges. When asked if she identifies as a “femme” lesbian, Sofie begins questioning her own sexuality and her relationships with both Clea and Paul.
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Gravity

Gravity
Written by Leanne Lieberman
Orca Book Publishers, 2008
ISBN 978-1-55469-049-7
IL: Ages 14 and up RL: Grades 8-9
This story unfolds in Toronto during the late 1980s. Ellie, an Orthodox Jewish teen, has no doubts about her strict religious upbringing until she meets Lindsay. Torn between denying her sexuality or turning her back on her community, she turns to the women in her family for guidance, but in the end, her decisions are all her own.
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Money Boy

Money Boy
Written by Paul Yee
Groundwood Books, 2011
ISBN 978-1-55498-093-2
IL: Ages 14 and up RL: Grades 7-8
Ray is a 16-year-old Chinese immigrant who is trying to fit in at his suburban high school. When his father learns his son is gay, he kicks him out. Angry and defiant, Ray heads to downtown Toronto to discover whether he can survive life on the street.
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Moon at Nine
Written by Deborah Ellis
Pajama Press, 2014
ISBN 978-1-927485-59-0
IL: Ages 14 and up RL: Grades 8-9
Fifteen-year-old Farrin has many secrets, but the day she meets Sadira, her life changes forever. Sadira is wise and outgoing; the two girls become inseparable. But as their friendship deepens into romance, it becomes dangerous. It is against the law to be gay in Iran. Deborah Ellis’s riveting story explores a world where homosexuality is punishable by death.
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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 can’t seem to win. They especially hate losing to their rich kid rivals, the Parkhill Pirates. When all-star Jock joins the team, it looks like they might be able to turn the season around. 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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Saving M

Saving Montgomery Sole
Written by Mariko Tamaki
Razorbill Canada, 2016
ISBN 978-0-670-07001-5
IL: Ages 12 and up RL: Grades 7-8
Montgomery Sole is a square peg in a small town, a girl with two moms forced to go to a school full of homophobes and people who don’t even know what irony is. Her saving grace — her two best friends, Thomas and Naoki. Monty’s obsessed with paranormal mysteries like ESP, astrology, superpowers and the healing powers of frozen yogurt, but when strange things actually start happening to Monty, she realizes that the greatest mystery of all is herself.
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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

PinkTriangleCover2.indd

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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Pride

Pride: Celebrating Diversity & Community
Written by Robin Stevenson
Orca Book Publishers, 2016
ISBN 978-1-4598-0993-2
IL: Ages 9-13 RL: Grades 6-7
For LGBTQ people and their supporters, Pride events are an opportunity to honuor the past, protest injustice and celebrate a diverse and vibrant community. The high point of Pride, the Pride Parade, is spectacular and colourful. But 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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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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transphobia

Transphobia: Deal With It and Be a Gender Transcender
(Deal With It)
Written by J Wallace Skelton
Illustrated by Gillian Johnson
James Lorimer, 2016
ISBN 978-1-4594-0766-4
IL: Ages 9-14 RL: Grades 6-7
Transgender issues are becoming a bigger issue in today’s schools. Using quizzes, comics and realistic scenarios, this accessible book helps kids understand gender identity and determine what they can do to identify and counter transphobia in their schools, homes and communities. Transphobia is identified, examined and put into a context from the perspective of a kid, whether they are transgendered, transphobic, a bystander to transphobic behaviour or just unsure about gender identity. The Deal With It series also includes Homophobia: Deal With It and Turn Prejudice into Pride.
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