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June is Pride Month, and throughout the remainder of the month, schools, community organizations, and cultural institutions across the country are recognizing and commemorating the experiences and impact that LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning) individuals have had nationally and around the world.

Here in New York, many City schools have organized events, activities, and lessons throughout the remainder of the school year to highlight what former President Bill Clinton once called, “the joys and sorrows that the gay and lesbian movement has witnessed and the work that remains to be done.”

In recognition and support of Pride Month, we have compiled the following list of books that students from 3-K on up to grade 12 can read throughout June and beyond. It is our hope that you will enjoy, learn, and gain inspiration from these outstanding works of fiction and nonfiction.

If you have further book suggestions, please let us know in the comments section below!

GIF with the banner, "Celebrating PRIDE MONTH" and featuring several members and allies of the LGBTQ+ community


Booklists for Young Readers

Many of the books below are available on the DOE’s “June is Pride! Come As You Are” eBook collection on Sora, as well as within the physical and/or digital collections of the New YorkQueens, and Brooklyn Public Libraries. “Check out” these books throughout June and the rest of the year, and let us know what you think in the comments section below!

Early Elementary School (Grades 3-K through 2)

  • Bathe the Cat by Alice B. McGinty; art by David Roberts
  • Being You: A First Conversation about Gender by Megan Madison and Jessica Ralli; art by Anne/Andy Passchier
  • Calvin by JR Ford and Vanessa Ford; art by Kayla Harren
  • The Hips on the Drag Queen Go Swish, Swish, Swish by Lil Miss Hot Mess; art by Olga de Dios
  • I Am Perfectly Designed by Karamo Brown and Jason “Rachel” Brown; art by Anoosha Syed
  • Love, Violet by Charlotte Sullivan Wild; art by Charlene Chua
  • Mama and Mommy and Me in the Middle by Nina LaCour; art by Kaylani Juanita
  • My Parents Won’t Stop Talking! by Emma Hunsinger and Tillie Walden
  • Pride Puppy! by Robin Stevenson; art by Julie McLaughlin
  • Stitch by Stitch: Cleve Jones and the AIDS Memorial Quilt by Rob Sanders; art by Jamey Christoph

Book cover for "Bathe the Cat," featuring an illustration of two dads trying to wrangle three kids and an out of reach cat

Elementary School (Grades 3–5)

Book cover for "¡¡Manu!!"

  • Call Me Tree/Llamame Arbol by Maya Christina Gonzalez
  • The Loudest Bark by Gail Marlene Schwartz and Lucie Gagnon; art by Amlie Ayotte
  • ¡¡Manu!! by Kelly Fernandez
  • The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher by Dana Alison Levy
  • Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag by Rob Sanders; art by Steven Salerno
  • The Pronoun Book: She, He, They, and Me! by Cassandra Jules Corrigan; art by Jem Milton
  • She Persisted: Sally Ride by Atia Abawi and Chelsea Clinton; art by Alexandra Boiger and Gillian Flint
  • This Is Our Rainbow: 16 Stories of Her, Him, Them, and Us by multiple authors; edited by Katherine Locke and Nicole Melleby
  • Were I Not a Girl: The Inspiring and True Story of Dr. James Barry by Lisa Robinson, art by Lauren Simkin Berke
  • What Was Stonewall? by Nico Medina; art by Jake Murray

Middle Grades (6–8)

  • Beetle and the Hollowbones by Aliza Layne
  • Cameron Battle and the Hidden Kingdoms by Jamar J. Perry
  • Game On: 15 Stories of Wins, Losses, and Everything in Between by Laura Silverman
  • The Golden Hour by Niki Smith
  • The Insiders by Mark Oshiro
  • In the Key of Us by Mariama Lockington
  • King and the Dragon Flies by Kacen Callender
  • Obie is Man Enough by Schuyler Bailar
  • Rabbit Chase by Elizabeth LaPensée; art by KC Oster
  • In the Role of Brie Hutchens by Nicole Melleby

Cover for the book, "The Insiders," with the caption, "No One is Ever Really Alone"

High School (Grades 9–12)

Cover for "The Chosen and the Beautiful," featuring side view of a Asian woman holding a cigarette holder obscured by paper leaves

  • Bruised by Tanya Boteju
  • The Chosen and the Beautiful by Nghi Vo
  • A Complicated Love Story Set in Space by Shaun David Hutchinson
  • Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram
  • The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
  • The Girl from the Sea by Molly Knox Ostertag
  • Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo
  • Picture Us in the Light by Kelly Loy Gilbert
  • A Song Below Water by Bethany C. Morrow
  • The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow

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We hope you and your family enjoy these outstanding titles throughout June and beyond! For more Pride Month-related resources, including learning resources, additional reading materials, video and audio files, events, and exhibitions, check out the DOE’s very own Pride Month webpage. And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, and subscribe to The Morning Bell below!


Banner photo by RODNAE Productions. Used under Creative Commons license. Original can be found on Pexels.

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NYC Department of Education, 2019