For young adults struggling with their sexuality, having a refuge is essential, and the mainstream literary world is finally meeting that need. Central characters in young adult novels who identify as LGBTQ are becoming more commonplace.
“I think that is a stage in life where people need to be seen and feel visible,” Skylark Bookshop manager Carrie Koeple says. “And if you’re not on the shelves, you don’t exist.”
by Becky Albertalli
The 2018 sequel to Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is about Simon’s best friend Leah Burke, a drummer who’s struggling with high school drama while secretly identifying as bisexual.
by Amy Spalding
Abby Ives lands a fashion internship but starts a taboo workplace relationship with the other intern and her competitor for a full-time job, Jordi. While trying to land the job, she gets involved in a mission to try every burger in Los Angeles with her new friend Jax.
by Natasha Ngan
This fantasy novel revolves around Lei, a member of the lowest caste in the land of Ikhara, who is chosen to serve the king. While training, she falls in love with another girl selected for the same duty. An important note: This book has moments of violence and sexual abuse.
by Uzodinma Iweala
Niru, a young boy who comes from a family of Nigerian immigrants, is gay, which goes against the beliefs of his conservative parents. The author follows Niru’s struggle to figure out how he can be himself in a world where there are so many expectations put upon him. ￼