Pride Month is a very unique and important period of the year. It carries a great deal of significance for people who identify as LGBTQ+. There are a lot of different activities that can be done to either honor the community or express support for it. However, until very recently, many of us didn’t direct those efforts at children who are just beginning to form their own identities. That unquestionably appears to be changing in a positive direction!
There are many opportunities available today for preteens, adolescents, and young adults to feel more seen, heard, and accepted for who they are. A significant portion of that is founded in the arts. Children may experience a greater sense of understanding if they see LGBT characters portrayed in media such as films, television shows, and literature.
In recent years, there have been an abundance of wonderful characters, particularly in works of fiction written for preteens and adolescents.
It is essential for preteens to be able to read about characters who have a variety of life experiences, whether they are members of the LGBTQ+ community or simply want to read about people who have varied life experiences. Not only may it help young people feel more welcomed, but it can also help other people be more empathetic toward others who come from different walks of life.
Here are seven fantastic books that are excellent choices for middle schoolers enjoying Pride Month:
‘The Sky Blues’
There are a lot of life lessons packed into this book for preteens and teenagers. It centers on a young child who comes out as gay to his community in a rural setting. He makes the decision to organize an enormous promposal for the girl he has a crush on, but unfortunately, the scheme is exposed by a hacker.
A hateful diatribe about the promposal becomes viral on the internet. The book not only encourages readers to embrace themselves for who they are and to stand up to bullies, but it also depicts the difficulties of being gay in a world that is always changing yet is not always accepting.
Tweens should make it a priority to read this book since it centers on a powerful female character who is also creative and enthusiastic about her own journey of self-discovery. Following a challenging year, Lee is devoting all of her attention to her podcast, which investigates the question of whether or not love exists. However, when she begins to develop affections for another girl, it brings her own love story into sharper perspective.
This book tells the extraordinary account of how a young girl who had lost both of her parents was able to find healing. She decides to start playing roller derby because she believes that being physically hurt will help her deal with the loss she has suffered and bring her closer to understanding who she is. However, as a result of that, she becomes a member of a team and discovers a great deal more than she anticipated, which ultimately helps her start to finally unravel her agony.
‘The Lucky List’
This heartbreaking tale, written by one of the co-authors of Five Feet Apart, follows a young woman as she prepares for her senior year of high school after learning that her mother passed away from cancer. It seems as though her entire world is collapsing, and the fact that her father is selling off all of her mother’s belongings has led her to assume that her connection to her mother is weakening. She then forms a relationship that she could never have anticipated, and she starts getting to know a completely new side of herself, all while her mother is not around to listen to her secrets.
‘Pepper’s Rules for Secret Sleuthing’
This is a sweet tale about a young girl who is entirely committed to unraveling the mysteries that surround her. She is in the process of uncovering a family mystery, but the investigation is driving someone she loves about away, specifically the young lady for whom she has begun to develop affections. Throughout the course of the narrative, she comes to the realization that following one’s instincts is the single most important thing that one can do in a court case or in life.
‘Beetle & the Hollowbones’
This LGBTQ love story is an important necessity for young people who enjoy reading graphic novels. The fact that it’s about a romantic relationship between two goblins, Kat and Beetle, makes it all the more endearing. However, the lighthearted narrative makes it an entertaining and simple book to read, packed with valuable lessons such as how important it is to speak up for oneself.
‘Sweet & Bitter Magic’
This fantastic book tells a tale about witches that is unlike any other you’ve read. The story is about a witch who is doomed to never experience love again because of a curse. She can only obtain it by stealing it from other people.
But once she makes a connection with that one particular person, everything shifts.