Gender Inclusive Classrooms - Book List
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Any book list is only as good as the teacher who reads them. In reality, any book could be on this list. What is maybe more important than reading these books is taking the time to unpack any book
your class reads. Gender roles and the gender binary come up in almost everything we share with our classes. It is important that we stop and teach students to think critically about gender no matter
which book they are reading. This is a list to get you started, but even some of the books on this list should be viewed with a critical lens. Happy reading!
TitleAuthorSeries? (Y/N)Notes
10,000 DressesMarcus EwertNA young child dreams of wearing dresses, much to their familiy's dismay. A great book for discussing pronouns and gender identity.
A Family is a Family is a FamilySara O'LearyNStudents in a classroom share who is in their family. This is a good book to discuss family diversity, especially foster children and families.
A House for EveryoneJo HurstNA story about four young friends with varying gender identities and expressions.
A is for ActivistInnosanto NagaraNAn alphabet book that depicts various races and genders.
A Tale of Two MommiesVanita OelschlagerNA young child explains how her two moms love and take care of her.
A Tale of Two DaddiesVanita OelschlagerNA young child explains how her two dads - her daddy and her poppa - love her and take care of her.
Ada Twist, ScientistAndrea Beaty and David RobertsNAn engaging and dynamic book about a young child full of questions and a desire to explore. A great representation of a young girl of color scientist.
All Are WelcomeAlexandra PenfoldNFeatures a diverse group of children throughout an elementary school.
All I Want to Be is MePhyllis RothblattNA book - and a song - about being your true self and expressing your gender outside the stereotypes.
Allie's Basketball DreamBarbara E. BarberNAllie loves to play basketball, but everyone - including her friends - think it is a "boy's game".
Amazing Grace Mary HoffmanN
Grace dreams of being Peter Pan in the school play. Others tell her she can't because she is black and because she is a girl. Her grandmother helps her find the courage to go for her dreams.
And Tango Makes ThreePeter Parnell and Justin RichardsonNThis book is based off a true story of two penguins in the NYC Central Park zoo who worked together to take care of an egg and start a family.
Angus All AglowHeather SmithNAngus wears a beautiful shimmering necklace to school. When everyone laughs he runs into the hall to tear it off and it breaks apart. Luckily a friend saves the day.
Annie's Plaid ShirtStacy B. DavidsNA biracial girl tells her mom she doesn't want to wear a dress to her uncle's wedding.
Backwards DayS. Bear BergmanN
On planet Tenalp, Backwards Day only happens once a year. When one year Andrea doesn't turn into a boy, Andrea is confused. The next day, however, something even better happens!
Be Who You AreTodd ParrNThis vibrant, simple book encourages children to celebrate what makes them unique.
BeautifulStacy McAnultyNThis book shows that all girls are beautiful, no matter what they look like. They are beautiful because of who they are and what they do.
Big Bob, Little BobJames HoweNBig Bob and Litlle Bob are friends - but they are very different. A book that shows all the ways to be a boy and how friendships across differences can work.
BunnybearAndrea J. LoneyN
Bunnybear doesn't feel like a bear, but he doesn't look like a bunny. Unsure of what to do, he meets Grizzlybun who doesn't feel like a bunny, but doesn't look like a bear. A friendship begins!
Call Me Tree/Llamame ArbolMaya GonzalezNA book about growing up, discovering others like you and celebrating differences. A great book where no pronouns are associated with the main character.
Donovan's Big DayLeslea NewmanNDonovan is excited to be a ring bearer in his moms' wedding.
Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl's Courage Changed MusicMargarita EngleNA young girl dreams of playing the drums - but where she lives this is only something boys can do. With the support of her family, she makes her drumming dreams come true.
Except When They Don'tLaura GehlNThis book reminds children that there are lots of ways to be themselves, and that, for example, "girls like kittens and ballet...except when they don't."
FamiliesShelley Rotner and Sheila M. KellyNThis book shows photographs of real families that come in all sizes and colors. A great introductory book for discussions about family diversity.
Families, Families, Families!Suzanne and Max LangNThis book depicts families with cartoon animals instead of people, with each page following the format "some families have...".
Free to Be Incredible Me!Joelle-Elizabeth RetenerNManny's dad helps him discover that being a boy can mean anything he wants, including playing with dolls and wearing pink.
From the Stars in the Sky to the Fish in the SeaKai Cheng ThomNA young child identifies outside the binary. When they begin to attend school, their mother assures them that she will love them no matter what.
Grace for President Kelly DipucchioNWhen Grace learns that there have been no female presidents, she decides to run in an election at school. This is a great introduction to elections and the voting process.
Hair LoveMatthew A. CherryNWhile Mom's away on a trip, a loving dad learns how to style his daughter's hair.
Harriet Gets Carried AwayJessie SimaNA costume-loving girl of color with two dads loves to wear costumes goes on an adventure.
Heather Has Two MommiesLeslea NewmanNHeather loves things that come in twos - her arms, her pets, and her moms! When she starts school, Heather learns that families can look very different!
How Do You Dance?Thyra HederNBeautiful illustrations follow a wide variety of adults and children of different genders dancing however they feel.
I Am EnoughGrace ByersNThis beautifully illustrated book reads like a poem. it depicts a variety of girls playing, learning and talking, with the message that everyone is who they are meant to be.
I Am JazzJessica Herthel and Jazz JenningsNThis book written with help by Jazz Jennings, a trans teen, explores a young girl's gender identity. While some love this book, others find it reinforces the gender binary.
I Love My PurseBelle DemontN
When Charlie decides to bring his bright red purse to school, his family and friends initially respond by reminding him of how boys should look and behave. But eventually, Charlie's unapologetic self expression inspires them express themselves, too.
Interstellar CinderellaDeborah UnderwoodNThis book is a new take on the Cinderella story, great for a unit on fairy tale adaptations.
Introducing Teddy: A Gentle Story About Gender and FriendshipJessica WaltonNTeddy wishes their name was Tilly. Luckily his owner knows that it doesn't make what his teddy's gender identity is, they will always be friends.
It Feels Good to be Yourself: A Book About Gender IdentityTheresa ThornN"No matter what your gender identity is, you are okay exactly the way you are. And you are loved."
It's Great to Be You!
Courtney Gonzalez and Diana Karczmarczyk
NThis book highlights a diverse group of kids, sharing what they like, want to be when they grow up, and what they like to play together.
I Will Be Fierce!Bea BirdsongNA girl goes through her day, facing her fears and using her voice to be heard.
Jack and JimKitty CrowtherNA seagull and a blackbird become friends, in a tale that alludes to race, gender, and tolerance.
Jacob's New DressSarah and Ian HoffmanYFrom the back cover: "There are lots of different ways to be a boy."
Jacob's Room to ChooseSarah and Ian HoffmanY
Jacob and his friend Sophie use the school bathrooms that align with their gender, but are chased out by peers. The two decide to help make a change and educate others in the process.
Jamie is Jamie: A Book About Being Yourself and Playing Your Way
Afsaneh MoradianNAt school, a child encounters classmates who claim some toys are just for boys or just for girls.
Jerome By HeartOlivier TallecNRaphael expresses deep love for his friend, Jerome, and he spends his days hanging out with him and making plans for the future.
Julián is a MermaidJessica LoveN
Julián sees mermaids while he is out with his grandma. When they return home he decides to dress up as one too. His grandmother surprises him by taking him back out to celebrate with the mermaids in the streets.
Keesha's South African AdventureCheril N. Clarke and Monica Bey-ClarkeNFor Keesha's birthday, her two moms surprise her by taking her on a vacation to South Africa.
King & KingLinda de Haan and Stern NijlandNA fairytale featuring two kings.
Little Kunoichi: The Ninja GirlSanae IshidaNAs little Little Kunoichi practices and performs, she learns explores important values, such as mindfulness and perseverance.
Looking Like MeWalter Dean MyersNWith dazzling collage, this book explores the endless facets of a child's personality, from the concrete (I am a brother, a son) to the more abstract (a silver-rayed moonbeamer).
Love is LoveMichael GenhartNAfter being teased about his t-shirt with a rainbow heart on it, a little boy discovers that maybe having two dads isn't so different after all.
Love Makes a FamilySophie BeerNA board book that gives examples of what love is, with illustrations of what it looks like in different types of families.
Lucia La LuchadoraCynthia Leonor GarzaYLucia comes from a long line of powerful women luchadores, and when she decides to embody a luchadora, she must sacrifice a part of her identity to help a fellow girl in need.
Lucia the Luchadora and the Million MasksCynthia Leonor GarzaY
Made by RaffiCraig PomranzNRaffi is a shy boy who knits, despite that his classmates think knitting is for girls.
Marisol McDonald Doesn't Match/Marisol McDonald No CombinaMonica BrownYMarisol is a biracial, Peruvian-Scottish-American who likes to play soccer, pirates, and princesses, even though other people want to force her into a box.
Mary Wears What She WantsKeith NegleyNThis fictional tale was inspired by brave Mary Edwards Walker, who in the 1800s, chose to shatter gender norms by wearing pants.
Meet PolkadotTalcott BroadheadNThis book tells the story of a non-binary transgender child, and is a great introduction to gender.
M is for Melanin: A Celebration of the Black ChildTiffany RoseNIn this affirming alphabet book, E is for empowerment, P is for pride, and V is for Voice. Rose black children of every gender.
Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine DressChristine BaldacchinoN
Morris loves his tangerine-hued dress, but not all of his classmates agree with his choice. Morris' mom helps him to love his identity and clothing choices, and he returns to school with a renewed sense of self.
Mother BruceRyan T. HigginsYBruce is a bear who accidentally becomes caretaker for a flock of goslings. He reluctantly takes on a maternal role.
My Princess BoyCheryl KilodavisNA story inspired by the author's son, it tells the tale of "My Princess Boy," who defies gender roles and especially loves his dress and tiara.
NeitherAirlie AndersonNBorn into a binary world, a bunny-bird hybrid must decide where it belongs.
Nerdy BirdyAaron ReynoldsNA bird who enjoys reading and video games doesn't fit in with his peers.
Not Quite NarwhalJessie SimaN
A unicorn lives in the sea among narwhals, and believes they are one, too. But on a visit to dry land, they encounter a world of unicorns who reveal that they're a unicorn. What is their true identity? Who will they choose to live with?
Odd Dog OutRob BiddulphNA rainbow scarf-wearing dog learns that maybe it's not so bad to be different, after all.
OgilvyDeborah UnderwoodNIn this rhyming narrative, Ogilvy the Bunny comes to realize that his personality, not his clothes, determine his identity.
Oliver Button is a SissyTomie DePaolaNOliver is a boy who loves to dance, even though the other boys call him a sissy. His parents enroll him in dance class.
OneKathryn OtoshiNThe first in a series featuring colors and numbers as its characters, Number One acts as an ally to Blue after Blue is bullied by Red. A simple introduction to allyship.
One Family George ShannonNThis book with sparse but lovely text describes all sorts of ways to be a family.
One of a Kind, Like Me/Único Como YoLaurin MayenoNDanny and his mom scramble to find the perfect princess costume for his school's parade.
Our RainbowLittle Bee BooksNA board book that explains what each color means in the pride flag (including brown and black), and provides examples of each.
Peaceful Fights for Equal RightsRob SandersNFew words but powerful messages expose children to ways that people stand up for their rights.
Phoenix Goes To School: A Story to Support Transgender and Gender Diverse Children - Coming July 19, 2019
Michelle and Phoenix FinchN
Based on the authors' child, protagonist Phoenix is a transgender girl who is nervous to wear a dress to school, in fear that someone might tease her or not want to be her friend. With support from her mom, she summons her bravery and has a successful first day of school.
Pink is for BoysRobb PearlmanNThis book winds its way through a rainbow of colors, giving examples of both boys and girls expressing themselves through each color.
Prince and KnightDaniel HaackNNot interested in marrying a princess, a prince leaves to defend his kingdom from a vicious dragon, and is ultimately saved by a loving knight.
Real CowboysKate HoeflerNExplores cowboys' gentle and caring sides.
Real Sisters PretendMegan Dowd LambertN
Based on two of the author's children, this story features touching dialogue between two adopted sisters about family and what it means to truly be sisters, as they explore imaginative play.
RedMichael HallNGreat introductory book to discussions of gender/identity
Sparkle BoyLeslea NewmanNCasey loves all things glittery and sparkly, but his sister is wary: Aren't sparkly things for girls? She eventually changes her tune, and is a big support for her sibling's choices.
Stella Brings the FamilyMiriam SchifferNWhat do you do when you have two dads, and your class has Mother's Day celebration?
Teddy's Favorite Toy Christian TrimmerN
Teddy loves to play with his fierce yet well-mannered doll Bren-Da. But when his mom accidentally throws Bren-Da in the garbage and the garbage truck carries her away, his mom displays feats of strength and good manners in order to get her back.
The Adventures of Honey and LeonAlan Cumming and Grant ShafferN
The Adventures of Tulip, Birthday Wish FairyS. Bear BergmanN
The Bat Boy and His ViolinGavin CurtisN
The Boy & the BindiVivek ShrayaNA mother allows her five-year old son to discover the magic of the bindi, even though the red dot is commonly worn by Hindu women, not men.
The Different DragonJennifer BryanN
The Family BookTodd ParrN
The Flower Girl Wore CeleryMeryl G. GordonNNothing about her cousin Hannah's wedding is like what Emma imagined - especially the fact that there are two brides! Luckily, Emma goes with the flow in this sweet tale.
The Gender WheelMaya GonzalezN
The Great Big Book of FamiliesMary HoffmanNThis picture book explores all sorts of different family structures and what they look like.
The Name JarYangsook ChoiN
The Story of FerdinandMunro LeafNFerdinand is a bull who does things differently. He loves to smell flowers and he doesn't not love to fight. A book about accepting others and embracing difference.
They, She, He, Me: Free to BeMaya and MatthewN
They Call Me Mix: Me Llaman MaestreLourdes RivasA beautifully written autobiographical picture book by a Kindergarten teacher, telling their story about what it's like to be a non binary transgender person of color.
This Day in JuneKristyna LittenN
This colorful rhyming exploration of a Pride celebration highlights different groups of LGBTQ+ parade marchers, and includes a helpful reading guide with the history of each affinity group featured in the book.