Gender-Expansive and Transgender Children: Books for Students

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10,000 Dresses. Marcus Ewert. (1 – 3) A modern fairy tale about becoming the person you feel you are inside. While Bailey dreams of beautiful dresses, no one wants to hear about it because he is a boy.  Then an older girl comes along who is inspired by Bailey and they make beautiful dresses together.

The Adventures of Tulip, Birthday Wish Fairy. S. Bear Bergman.  (Pre-K – 3)  Follow Tulip as he deals with the birthday wishes of all the nine-year-olds in North America. Tulip receives a wish from a child known as David who wishes to live as Daniela. He doesn't understand how to help, so he seeks the wise counsel of the Wish Fairy Captain.

Annie’s Plaid Shirt. Stacy B. Davids. (K – 1) Annie’s mom tells her that she must wear a dress to her uncle's wedding. Annie protests, but her mom buys her a fancy new dress anyway. Annie is miserable. Why can't her mom understand? Then, Annie has an idea. But will her mom agree?

The Boy & the Bindi. Vivek Shraya. (Pre-K – 2) A five-year-old South Asian boy becomes fascinated with his mother’s bindi, the red dot commonly worn by Hindu women and wishes to have one of his own. Rather than chastise her son, she agrees, giving him permission to be more fully himself. 

From the Stars in the Sky to the Fish in the Sea. Kai Cheng Thom and Kai Yun Ching. (Pre-K – 1) Miu Lan can change into any shape they can imagine. A boy or a girl? A bird or a fish? A flower or a shooting star? At school, they must endure inquisitive looks and difficult questions. But one thing's for sure: no matter what this child becomes, their mother will love them just the same. 

George. Alex Gino. (3 – 6)  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 really wants to play Charlotte in Charlotte’s Web. Will she be able to?

Gracefully Grayson. Ami Polonsky. (5 – 7)  Grayson has been holding onto a secret for what seems like forever: "he" is a girl on the inside. Will new strength from an unexpected friendship and a caring teacher's wisdom be enough to help Grayson?

I am Jazz. Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings. (K – 5)  From the time she was two years old, Jazz knew that she had a girl's brain in a boy's body. She loved pink and dressing up as a mermaid and didn't feel like herself in boys' clothing. Based on the real-life experience of Jazz Jennings.

Introducing Teddy: A gentle story about gender and friendship. Jess Walton. (Pre-K – K)  Introduces the youngest readers to understanding gender identity and transition in an accessible and heart-warming story about being true to yourself and being a good friend.

Jacob’s New Dress. Sarah and Ian Hoffman. (Pre-K – 2)  Jacob loves playing dress-up, when he can be anything he wants to be. Some kids at school say he can't wear "girl" clothes, but Jacob wants to wear a dress. Can he convince his parents to let him wear what he wants? Speaks to the unique challenges faced by boys who don't identify with traditional gender roles.

Lily and Dunkin. Donna Gephart. (5 – 7)  As 8th grade begins both Lily and Dunkin are trying to establish new identities for themselves. Everyone sees Lily as Timothy, but she is ready for the real her to be known. Dunkin just moved to town and wants to leave his past behind.

Lizard Radio. Pat Schmatz. (5 and up)  In a futuristic society, Kivali is a Bender - not quite boy or girl. Sent to CropCamp, a commune meant to steer teens toward a lifetime of good citizenship and “proper” gender roles, Kivali, called Lizard, wrestles with friendship, love, and the price of being true to oneself.

Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Hammer of Thor, Book 2.  Rick Riordan (4 – 8) Thor's hammer has fallen into enemy hands. Magnus teams up with Alex Fierro a gender fluid formerly homeless teen to retrieve the hammer quickly, so the mortal worlds will not be defenseless against an onslaught of giants.

The Pants Project. Cat Clarke (3 – 6) Liv knows he was always meant to be a boy but he hasn’t told anyone – even his two moms yet. Now, his new school has a terrible dress code, he can't even wear pants. Only skirts. 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.

My Princess Boy. Cheryl Kilodavis, Aladdin. (Pre-K – 1)  Dyson loves pink, sparkly things. Sometimes he wears dresses. Sometimes he wears jeans. He likes to wear his princess tiara, even when climbing trees.

One of a Kind, Like Me / Unico Como Yo. Laurin Mayeno. (Pre-K – 1) Tomorrow is the school parade, and Danny knows exactly what he will be: a princess. A sweet story about unconditional love and the beauty of individuality.

The Other Boy. M. G. Hennessey. (5 – 10)  Twelve-year-old Shane, a transgender boy, has moved to a new city and school where people only know him as a boy. He loves playing baseball, graphic novels and hanging out with his best friend. But an older boy undermines Shane’s privacy. Show’s Shane’s range of emotions from anxiety and fear to happiness and courage. Discusses hormone treatments directly.

Red: A Crayon's Story. Michael Hall. (Pre-K – 1)  A blue crayon mistakenly labeled as "red" suffers an identity crisis. Almost everyone tries to “help” him be red until a friend offers a new perspective. He’s blue! About finding the courage to be true to your inner self. This can be read on multiple levels.

Riding Freedom. Pam Muñoz Ryan. (4 – 6)  A fictionalized account of the true story of Charley (Charlotte) Parkhurst who ran away from an orphanage, lived as a boy, moved to California, and became a stagecoach driver.  

They She He Me: Free to Be! Maya and Matthew Smith-Gonzalez (Pre-K – 5) Offers a playful narrative about pronouns, inviting kids to know themselves inside and out, claim the pronouns that express the spirit of who they are and respect that in others. Includes further discussion for the adults.