Just Be You: Affirming, Gender Expansive Books for Kids!

Kids , Book List

It Feels Good to Be Yourself: A Book about Gender Identity

Title: It Feels Good to Be Yourself: A Book about Gender Identity
By: Theresa Thorn
Published: 2019

This sweet, straightforward exploration of gender identity will give children a fuller understanding of themselves and others.

Ages: 4-8 years

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Title: Neither
By: Airlie Anderson
Published: 2018

Because Neither is unlike both the rabbits and birds of the Land of This and That, it sets out to find a new place where all kinds of creatures are welcome.

Ages: 3-8 years

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Téo's tutu

Title: Téo's tutu
By: Maryann Jacob Macias
Published: 2021

Téo loves to dance, whether it's the cumbia with Pap̕, the bhangra with Amma, or ballet class with Miss Lila. He also loves the way his tutu makes him feel, inside and out. But when it comes time to decide which outfit to wear in the big dance recital-a sparkly tutu or shimmering silver pants-Ťo wonders if being his most authentic self on stage will put him too much in the spotlight.

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Ages: 4-8 years

Bye Bye Binary

Title: Bye Bye Binary
By: Eric Geron
Published: 2022

Our little bundle of joy has arrived -- to dismantle gender norms! A board book about gender expression and being true to oneself!

Ages: Newborn - 4


They, She, He, Me: Free to Be!

Title: They, She, He, Me: Free to Be!
By: Maya Christina Gonzalez
Published: 2017

Pronouns serve as a familiar starting point for kids and grown-ups to expand ideas about gender and celebrate personal expression with fun imagery that provides a place to meet and play.

Ages: 6-9 years

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Be Who You Are

Title: Be Who You Are
By: Todd Parr
Published: 2016

Picture book encouraging kids to be proud of what makes them unique, where they come from, and how they express themselves and see the world.

Ages: 4-8 years

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Call Me Max

Title: Call Me Max
By: Kyle Lukoff
Published: 2019

When Max starts school, the teacher hesitates to call out the name on the attendance sheet. Something doesn't seem to fit. Max lets her know the name he wants to be called by--a boy's name. This begins Max's journey as he makes new friends and reveals his feelings about his identity to his parents.

Ages: 4-8 years

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My Rainbow

Title: My Rainbow
By: Trinity Neal
Published: 2020

A dedicated mom puts love into action as she creates the perfect rainbow-colored wig for her transgender daughter, based on the real-life experience of mother-daughter advocate duo Trinity and DeShanna Neal.

Ages: 4-8 years

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Pink, blue, and you! : questions for kids about gender and stereotypes

Title: Pink, blue, and you! : questions for kids about gender and stereotypes
By: Elise Gravel
Published: 2022

"Is it okay for boys to cry? Can girls be strong? Should girls and boys be given different toys to play with and different clothes to wear? Should we all feel free to love whoever we choose to love? In this incredibly kid-friendly and easy-to-grasp picture book, author-illustrator Elise Gravel and transgender collaborator Mykaell Blais raise these questions and others relating to gender roles, acceptance, and stereotyping.

Ages: 4-8 years

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Teddy's Favorite Toy

Title: Teddy's Favorite Toy
By: Christian Trimmer
Published: 2018

Teddy's favorite toy has the best manners, and the sickest fighting skills, and the ability to pull off a number of fierce looks. But when his toy goes missing, it turns out there's another woman around who's pretty fierce--it's Teddy's mom, and she will stop at nothing to reunite Teddy with his favorite toy.

Ages: 4-8 years

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Introducing Teddy : a gentle story about gender and friendship

Title: Introducing Teddy : a gentle story about gender and friendship
By: Jess Walton
Published: 2016

Errol's best friend and teddy, Thomas, is sad because he wishes he were a girl, not a boy teddy, but what only matters to both of them is that they are friends.

Ages: 4-8 years

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Ho'onani: Hula Warrior

Title: Ho'onani: Hula Warrior
By: Heather Gale
Published: 2019

A young girl in Hawaii who dreams of leading the boys-only hula troupe at her school. Ho'onani feels in-between. She doesn't see herself as wahine (girl) OR kane (boy). She's happy to be in the middle. But not everyone sees it that way. When Ho'onani finds out that there will be a school performance of a traditional kane hula chant, she wants to be part of it. But can a girl really lead the all-male troupe? Ho'onani has to try . . .

Ages: 4-8 years

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Dolls and trucks are for everyone

Title: Dolls and trucks are for everyone
By: Robb Pearlman
Published: 2021

An empowering read-aloud picture book that teaches kids and adults alike that gender cannot define who you are or want to become. Dolls and trucks are for everyone, as are dancing shoes, figure skating and hockey, and many more activities and hobbies.

 Payden's pronoun party

Title: Payden's pronoun party
By: Blue Jaryn
Published: 2022

Payden has always used he/him pronouns, until one day Payden realizes those words might not fit. Payden's parents promise to throw a big party to introduce whatever pronouns Payden chooses--but which pronouns are the best match? On a colorful quest, Payden talks to friends about a rainbow of possibilities: he, she, they, ze, and so many more! The right pronouns are just waiting to be tried on. Put on your party hats and learn about the magical variety of pronouns in this thoughtful story that imagines a world of unquestioning support for gender exploration, celebrates all the different ways a person can present, and provides a blueprint for people of any age who are pondering what gender means to them

Ages: 4-8 years

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Title: Calvin
By: JR and Vanessa Ford
Published: 2021

A transgender boy prepares for the first day of school and introduces himself to his family and friends for the first time.

Ages: 4-8 years

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Sam is my Sister

Title: Sam is my Sister
By: Ashley Courter-Rhodes
Published: 2021

Evan, Sam, and Finn fish, climb trees, and play astronauts together, but when Sam wants to have long hair and wear dresses, Evan is confused until he learns what it means to be transgender.

Ages: 4-8 years

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Jacob's School Play: Starring He, She, and They

Title: Jacob's School Play: Starring He, She, and They
By: Ian and Sarah Hoffman
Published: 2021

Jacob's class learns about the use of pronouns of their own choosing when, while preparing for a school play, they learn that their non-binary and gender-fluid classmate, Ari, prefers "they."

Ages: 4-8 years

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A Costume for Charly

Title: A Costume for Charly
By: CK Malone
Published: 2022

Charly thinks outside the box to find a Halloween costume that represents their feminine and masculine identities equally.

Ages: 4-8 years

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Except When They Don't

Title: Except When They Don't
By: Laura Gehl
Published: 2019

Illustrations and simple, rhyming text challenge the idea that boys and girls should each wear only certain colors or play with certain toys, and encourages them to be true to themselves.

Ages: 4-8 years

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What are your words?: A Book about Pronouns

Title: What are your words?: A Book about Pronouns
By: Katherine Locke
Published: 2021

Ari knows a lot of words for neighbors, including the pronouns each prefers, and with help from Uncle Lior, who always asks "What are your words," figures out which pronouns--and other words--fit best today.

Ages: 4-8 years

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Dear Girl

Title: Dear Girl
By: Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Published: 2017

Encourages readers to accept and love themselves as they are and advises them to be confident, curious, adaptable, and willing to speak up.

Ages: 4-8 years

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A kid is a kids is a kid

Title: A kid is a kids is a kid
By: Sara O' Leary
Published: 2021

A group of kids share the silly questions they always hear, as well as the questions they would rather be asked about themselves. One after another, children share the questions they're tired of being asked again and again -- as opposed to what they believe are the most important or interesting things about themselves. As they move around the playground, picking up new friends along the way, there is a feeling of understanding and acceptance among them.

Ages: 4-8 years

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Riley Reynolds Glitterfies the Gala

Title: Riley Reynolds Glitterfies the Gala
By: Jay Albee
Published: 2022

Mama is throwing a fundraiser gala at the library branch where she works. Nonbinary fourth grader Riley is there, with streamers to hang from every bookshelf, bannister, and door. Riley glitterfies the entire library! But will anyone come? And if they do, will they raise enough money to repair the library’s broken elevator? In a neighborhood like Riley’s, you know this will be a night to remember.

Ages: 7-10 years

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Ana on the Edge

Title: Ana on the Edge
By: A.J Sass
Published: 2020

Figure skating champion Ana-Marie Jin is not enthused about skating a princess-themed program. Being around her new friend Hayden, a transgender boy, she is beginning to feel comfortable with the boyish side of herself. Will Ana reveal her nonbinary identity to everyone?

Ages: 8-12 years

Tiger Honor

Title: Tiger Honor
By: Yoon Ha Lee
Published: 2022

Thirteen-year-old tiger spirit Sebin must decide where their loyalties lie when their traitorous uncle hijacks the battle cruiser that happens to be Sebin's first assignment in the Cadet Program.

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Ages: 8 - 11 years

Ellen Outside the Lines

Title: Ellen Outside the Lines
By: A.J Sass
Published: 2022

When a school trip to Barcelona to reconnect with her best friend doesn’t go as planned, Ellen, a neurodivergent 13-year-old, must expand her horizons as she makes new friends and learns to let go of old ones.

Ages: 9 and up

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 Martin McLean, Middle School Queen

Title: Martin McLean, Middle School Queen
By: Alyssa Zaczek
Published: 2020

In this bighearted middle-grade debut, Martin McLean struggles to find his voice—and his inner diva—as he navigates friendship, family, first crushes, and a whole lot of glitter.

Ages: 8-12 years

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Sir Callie and the champions of Helston

Title: Sir Callie and the champions of Helston
By: Esme Smith-Symes
Published: 2022

Trapped in a rigid hierarchy where girls learn magic and boys train as knights, twelve-year-old nonbinary Callie, who dreams of becoming a knight, and their new friends find themselves embedded in an ancient war, but in order to defeat the threats outside the kingdom they must first defeat the bigotry within.

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Ages: 8-12 years

One Half from the East

Title: One Half from the East
By: Nadia Hashimi
Published: 2016

In modern-day Afghanistan, 10-year-old Obayda is a bacha posh, a girl dressed as a boy. She has more freedom than she would as a girl, and makes a good friend of another bacha posh, but must find a way to remain free when she returns to life as a girl.

Ages: 8-12 years

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Alice Austen Lived Here

Title: Alice Austen Lived Here
By: Alex Gino
Published: 2022

Middle school student Sam is comfortable with their nonbinary identity, and their family has accepted it too (as long as they do their homework and chores), so when their history teacher assigns as a project coming up with a proposal for the new statue honoring a historical Staten Islander (there is a contest involved) they and their friend TJ decide to focus on Alice Austen, a lesbian photographer, whose house on Staten Island is a museum--but they have to overcome the presumption on the part of their teacher that only straight males are eligible.

Ages: 9-12

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The Cardboard Kingdom

Title: The Cardboard Kingdom
By: Chad Sell
Published: 2018

Follows the adventures of a group of neighborhood children who create costumes from cardboard and use their imagination in adventures with knights, robots, and monsters.

Ages: 8-12 years

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The Pants Project

Title: The Pants Project
By: J Clark.C
Published: 2017

Liv knows he was always meant to be a boy but he hasn’t told anyone yet – not even his two moms. Now, his new school has a terrible dress code; he has to wear skirts! The only way for Liv to get what he wants is to go after it himself with a mission to change the policy and his life.

Ages: 8-12 years

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Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.

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