Jack (Not Jackie), Dreadnought and The Pants Project among Lizzie Hall's recommended reading for children this Pride Month
Bishop's Stortford College Prep School librarian Lizzie Hall writes about the magic of storytelling...
Dear Reader. June is Pride month. It is hugely important for young people to see themselves represented in books positively and for others to understand their experiences.
Here are some children's books celebrating trans, non-binary and gender-fluid people.
Red: A Crayon's Story by Michael Hall
Red has a bright red label, but he is, in fact, blue.
His teacher tries to help him be red (let's draw strawberries!), his mother tries to help him be red by sending him out on a play-date with a yellow classmate (go draw a nice orange!) and the scissors try to help him be red by snipping his label so that he has room to breathe.
But Red is miserable. He just can't be red, no matter how hard he tries!
Finally, a brand-new friend offers a brand-new perspective and Red discovers what readers have known all along. He's blue!
Jack (Not Jackie) by Erica Silverman
Susan thinks her little sister Jackie has the best giggle. She can't wait for Jackie to get older so they can do all sorts of things like play forest fairies and be explorers together.
But as Jackie grows, she doesn't want to play those games. She wants to play with mud and be a super bug!
Jackie also doesn't like dresses or her long hair, and she would rather be called Jack.
Will Susan and her family be able to accept that Jackie identifies more as Jack?
Julian at the Wedding by Jessica Love
Julian and his nana are attending a wedding. Better yet, Julian is in the wedding along with his cousin Marisol.
When wedding duties are fulfilled and with a new dog friend in tow, the pair take off to roam the venue, exploring everywhere from underneath tables to enchanting willow trees to ... muddy puddles? After all, it wouldn't be a wedding without fun, laughter and a little magical mischief.
With ingenuity and heart, author-illustrator Jessica Love tells a charming story of friendship, acceptance and celebration.
Nothing Ever Happens Here by Sarah Hagger-Holt
"This is Littlehaven. Nothing ever happens here. Until the spotlight hits my family."
Izzy's family is under the spotlight when her dad comes out as Danielle, a trans woman.
Izzy is terrified her family will be torn apart. Will she lose her dad? Will her parents break up? And what will people at school say?
Izzy's always been shy, but now all eyes are on her. Can she face her fears, find her voice and stand up for what's right?
George by Alex Gino
When people look at George, they think they see a boy. But she knows she's not a boy. She knows she's a girl.
George thinks she'll have to keep this a secret forever. Then her teacher announces that their class play is going to be Charlotte's Web. George really, really, REALLY wants to play Charlotte. But the teacher says she can't even try out for the part - because she's a boy.
The Pants Project by Cat Clarke
"My name is Liv (Not Olivia). I'm not technically a girl. I'm transgender. Which is a bit like being a Transformer. Only not quite as cool because I probably won't get to save the world one day."
Liv knows he was always meant to be a boy, but with his new school's terrible dress code, he can't even wear pants. Only skirts.
Operation Pants Project begins! The only way for Liv to get what he wants is to go after it himself.
But to Liv, this isn't just a mission to change the policy, it's a mission to change his life. And that's a pretty big deal.
What We Left Behind by Robin Talley
What if discovering who you really are means letting go of who you've been?
Toni and Gretchen are the couple everyone envied in high school. They've been together forever. They never fight. They're hopelessly in love.
When they separate for their first year at college they're sure their relationship will stay rock solid.
The reality of being apart, however, is very different. Toni's discovering a new world – and a new gender identity – but Gretchen struggles to remember who she is outside of their relationship.
While Toni worries that Gretchen won't understand Toni's shifting identity, Gretchen begins to wonder where she fits in this puzzle. Now they must decide if their love is strong enough to last.
The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson
Two outsiders. Two secrets. David longs to be a girl. Leo wants to be invisible.
When Leo stands up for David in a fight, an unlikely friendship forms.
But things are about to get messy. Because at Eden Park School, secrets have a funny habit of not staying secret for long...
Dreadnought by April Daniels
Danny Tozer has a problem - she just inherited the powers of Dreadnought, the world's greatest superhero.
Until Dreadnought fell out of the sky and died right in front of her, Danny was trying to keep people from finding out she's transgender. But before he expired, Dreadnought passed his mantle to her and those second-hand superpowers transformed Danny's body into what she's always thought it should be. Now there's no hiding that she's a girl.
It should be the happiest time of her life, but Danny's first weeks finally living in a body that fits her are more difficult and complicated than she could have imagined.
Between her father's dangerous obsession with "curing" her girlhood, her best friend suddenly acting like he's entitled to date her and her fellow superheroes arguing over her place in their ranks, Danny feels like she's in over her head.
She doesn't have time to adjust. Dreadnought's murderer - a cyborg named Utopia - still haunts the streets of New Port City, threatening destruction.
If Danny can't sort through the confusion of coming out, master her powers and stop Utopia in time, humanity faces extinction.