Pride Month is celebrated during the month of June, and there are many ways that readers, authors, and illustrators of middle grade works can promote LGBTQ+ inclusion during this month-long celebration and beyond. Organizations like CBC, ALA, LGBTQ Reads, and WNDB offer curated book lists, and authors and illustrators who identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community can apply for a $2,000 grant during Pride Month.
June is Pride Month, a time to celebrate diversity and uplift LGBTQ+ voices. Fortunately, there are a growing number of ways that middle grade readers, authors, and illustrators can get involved.
ALA’s Rainbow Book Month
The American Library Association’s Rainbow Book Month is an opportunity for book lovers and libraries to discover and share the very best in LGBTQ+ literature. Check out their Rainbow Book List. This resource showcases over 190 books for young readers from birth to age 18.
At a time when censorship threatens accessibility to books that support LGBTQ+ young people and their families, the ALA is dedicated to fighting censorship. “We know that there are individuals who will try to censor these books, but we offer this carefully curated list to the multitude of youth advocates working in our communities to connect young readers to the books that they so desperately need.”
Check out the full 2023 Rainbow Booklist!
The CBC Celebrates Pride
The Children’s Book Council maintains an ongoing list of LGBTQ+ inclusive books appropriate for five different categories of young readers. Browse books for 8-11-year-olds here. For a more comprehensive assortment, check out the complete list of LGBTQ+ inclusive books for children and young people here.
Additionally, the CBC also offers home learning education packs for educators, parents, and caregivers. Through these learning packs, the CBC provides age-appropriate resources to support young learners in understanding that there are many different types of families.
For Young Adult readers, the CBC is focusing on graphic novels and comics. Their 2023 Celebrate Pride with Comics campaign highlights a list of new YA graphic novels. For comic book fans, they also showcase Marvel and DC comics that feature LGBTQ+ characters.
Looking for a list of LGBTQ+ books for middle grade readers? Check out the LGBTQ Reads book list for middle grade readers. The site offers book lists sorted by age-level appropriateness, and the middle grade list is extensive!
The LGBTQ site is dedicated to promoting curated reading lists for all ages. They provide links to book details and purchasing platforms. According to their website, LGBTQ Reads works to update lists on a regular basis. They’re also open to feedback from authors who feel their books may need to be added or recategorized.
WNDB Walter Grant
The Walter Dean Myers Grant program provides grants of $2,000 each to promising diverse writers and illustrators who are currently unpublished. In addition to a grant for disabled writers, there are two Walter Grants being offered for trans writers and illustrators.
The submission window for Walter Grants opened on June 1 and will close on June 30. Find more information and links to the application by visiting the WNDB Walter Grant page.