Transgender Day of Visibility: Books for early learners & grade schoolers

By Children’s Librarian Hal Patnott

March 31 is Transgender Day of Visibility (TDoV). Founded in 2009 by Rachel Crandall, Transgender Day of Visibility celebrates the resilience and accomplishments of transgender and nonbinary people.

Back in November, we shared books and resources about gender identity. This time, in honor of TDoV, let’s explore some books written by transgender and nonbinary authors and illustrators!


Read these picture books

Max & Friends (series) by Kyle Lukoff

The Max and Friends series share the everyday adventures of Max, a transgender boy, and his classmates. There are currently three books in this series, and each one focuses on a new experience, from starting school to muddy escapades on a farm. You can find more books by Kyle Lukoff in the library’s catalog! 

My Dad Thinks I’m a Boy?! by Sophie Labell

Stephie knows who she is—a girl who likes bugs, books, and spaghetti—but her dad doesn’t get it. Written and illustrated by popular comic artist, Sophie Labelle, this book uses silly and sassy humor to show that sometimes grownups don’t know everything and that the person who knows you best is you. 

My Rainbow by Trinity Neal

This story of family love is based on the real life experience of mother and daughter activists, Trinity and DeShanna Neal. Art Twink, a trans artist of color, uses bright and vibrant illustrations to capture the story’s joy.

From the Stars in the Sky to the Fish in the Sea by Kai Cheng Thom

With magic and love, writer, performer, and cultural worker Kai Cheng Thom shares the story of a genderfluid, shape-shifting child named Miu Lan as they start school. Miu Lan’s mother offers love and reassurance as they navigate making new friends.

Sylvia & Marsha Start a Revolution! by Joy Michael Ellison

This illustrated nonfiction book by Joy Michael Ellison and Chicago-based artist Teshika Silver introduces young people to Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson, two trans women of color who dedicated their lives to fighting for LGBTQ+ equality. 

Rainbow: A First Book of Pride by Michael Genhart

Each color in the rainbow pride flag means something different. Anne Passchier, a non-binary, queer advocate and illustrator, captures the meaning of each stripe with joyful pictures. You can find more of their work in the library’s catalog!


Check out these chapter books & graphic novels

Ana on the Edge by A. J. Sass

A champion ice skater with a promising future begins to question and explore her gender identity when she’s assigned a princess-themed program for her upcoming season. Written by competitive skater A. J. Sass, this sports novel features a nonbinary protagonist. 

Felix Yz by Lisa Bunker

In this science fiction novel, a boy fused with a 4th dimensional being secretly blogs the last month of his life before a dangerous procedure that will separate him from the creature. Author Lisa Bunker was elected to the New Hampshire State House of Representatives in 2018, making her one of the first transgender people ever elected to her state’s legislature. You can find her second book, Zenobia July, in the library’s catalog!

Pet by Akwaeke Emezi

There are no more monsters in the city of Lucille. At least, that’s what Jam was taught until a creature from her mother’s painting comes to life with a mission to hunt one living in the home of Jam’s best friend. This suspenseful fantasy novel by award-winning author Akwaeke Emezi features a transgender protagonist with a loving and supportive family.

King & the Dragonflies by Kacen Callender

In this National Book Award winner, a twelve-year-old boy named King grapples with identity and loss after the sudden death of his brother and the disappearance of his best friend. You can find more of Kacen Callender’s books in the library’s catalog! 

Rick by Alex Gino

Alex Gino’s third book features a sixth-grade boy named Rick who is discovering his identity and learning that his best friend is a bully. This is a great book for young people who enjoy stories about school, friendships, and family. You can find more of Alex Gino’s books in the library’s catalog!

Phoebe & Her Unicorn by Dana Simpson

This popular graphic novel series by Dana Simpson shares the adventures of a girl and her best friend unicorn. You can find more comics and books illustrated by Dana Simpson in our catalog!

Explore this Discovery Kit

Gender Identity Kit With Story Cubes

This kit about gender identity and expression includes story cubes for learning how to use a variety of different pronouns and a copy of Melissa’s Story by Alex Gino.*

*This post has been updated to reflect a title change to Alex Gino’s first book. Interested in learning more about this change? Read this post from the author »

Hal Patnott

About Hal

Hal Patnott is a children’s librarian who specializes in serving LGBTQ+ young people and their allies. He is passionate about identity exploration through collaborative storytelling and imaginative play.

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