The best kid’s books to celebrate transgender pride

Who am I?

When I was a kid, I knew that my gender was different. I didn’t feel like a boy or a girl, but I didn’t know the word “nonbinary.” There were no kid’s books about people like me. I grew up with a lot of questions, which drove me to become a doctor of Women’s and Gender Studies and an expert on transgender history. Now I’m passionate about writing the kind of picture books that I needed as a child. If you want the kids in your life to understand transgender identity and feel loved whatever their gender may be, you’ll enjoy the books on my list. 


I wrote...

Book cover of Sylvia and Marsha Start a Revolution!: The Story of the Trans Women of Color Who Made LGBTQ+ History

What is my book about?

"Someday girls like us will be able to wear whatever we want. People will call us by the names we choose. They'll respect that we are women. The cops will leave us alone and no one will go hungry."

Sylvia and Marsha are closer than sisters. They are kind and brave and not afraid to speak their truth, even when it makes other people angry. This illustrated book introduces children to the story of Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson, the two transgender women of color who helped kickstart the Stonewall Riots and dedicated their lives to fighting for queer and trans liberation.

The books I picked & why

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When Aidan Became a Brother

By Kyle Lukoff, Kaylani Juanita (illustrator),

Book cover of When Aidan Became a Brother

Why this book?

I think this is one of the most remarkable books about transgender experiences available now. Aiden gives voice to both his excitement about becoming a big brother and his frustration with the practice of assigning babies a gender based on their body parts. I have never read another picture book that better reflects my own feelings as a trans person. This book is warm, funny, honest, and will help both parents and children better understand trans experiences and each other. 

When Aidan Became a Brother

By Kyle Lukoff, Kaylani Juanita (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked When Aidan Became a Brother as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


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

By Theresa Thorn, Noah Grigni (illustrator),

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

Why this book?

Theresa Thorn accomplishes something remarkable in this beautiful book: she clearly and simply explains key concepts about gender and pronouns in a way that both kids and parents will understand. I know exactly how hard that is! This book is a perfect introduction to transgender identity. Even if you don’t feel like an expert on this topic, this book will help you have important conversations with your child. I wish it were around when I was a little kid trying to express my own gender. 

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

By Theresa Thorn, Noah Grigni (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked It Feels Good to Be Yourself as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Some people are boys. Some people are girls. Some people are both, neither, or somewhere in between.

This sweet, straightforward exploration of gender identity will give children a fuller understanding of themselves and others. Written by the mother of a transgender child and illustrated by a non-binary transgender artist, It Feels Good to Be Yourself provides young readers and parents alike with the vocabulary to discuss this important topic with sensitivity.

47,000 Beads

By Koja Adeyoha, Angel Adeyoha, Holly McGillis (illustrator)

Book cover of 47,000 Beads

Why this book?

When we talk about transgender pride, the voices of Native people are often nowhere to be heard. 47,000 Beads is an exception. This beautiful book tells the story of Peyton, a pow-wow dancer who has stopped feeling comfortable wearing a dress. This book helped me understand more about Indigenous children who are Two-Spirit – a pan-Native term for people whose genders are sacred in their tribal nation, but unintelligible to the white people who colonized the United States. I’m so glad I was able to read it and I hope you will be too. 

47,000 Beads

By Koja Adeyoha, Angel Adeyoha, Holly McGillis (illustrator)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked 47,000 Beads as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


George

By Alex Gino,

Book cover of George

Why this book?

I love middle-grade novels and George is a classic. It reminds me of Beverly Cleary’s Ramona books, and I can think of no higher compliment! Alex Gino masterfully captures the perspective of a trans girl and her journey to expressing herself. This book isn’t shy about the difficulties that George faces, but its tone is gentle and hopeful. That’s the balance that I try to strike in my own writing. I can only hope I’m as successful as Gino. You’ll love this book.

George

By Alex Gino,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked George as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


The Boy & the Bindi

By Vivek Shraya, Rajni Perera (illustrator),

Book cover of The Boy & the Bindi

Why this book?

I love lyrical picture books with colorful illustrations. If you do too, you’ll enjoy The Boy & the Bindi. Vivek Shraya tells the story of a boy who wants to wear a bindi, the red dot Southeast Asian women often wear on their foreheads to show where creation began. Instead of chastising him for wanting to do something reserved for women, the boy’s mother welcomes him into the beauty of the bindi, explaining its significance. This book does a wonderful job of meeting children who are exploring their gender exactly where they are. 

The Boy & the Bindi

By Vivek Shraya, Rajni Perera (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Boy & the Bindi as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in topics and characters, gender identity, and brothers?

6,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about topics and characters, gender identity, and brothers.

Topics And Characters Explore 49 books about topics and characters
Gender Identity Explore 40 books about gender identity
Brothers Explore 63 books about brothers

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Each Kindness, The Rabbit Listened, and Mommy, Mama, and Me if you like this list.