Almost Perfect, by Brian Katcher (2009)
With his mother working long hours and in pain from a romantic break-up, eighteen-year-old Logan feels alone and unloved until a zany new student arrives at his small-town Missouri high school, keeping a big secret.
The Art of Being Normal, by Lisa Williamson (2015)
Two British transgender teens try to come to terms with their lives while facing serious bullying in their school.
Beautiful Music for Ugly Children, by Kirstin Cronn-Mills (2012)
Gabe has always identified as a boy, but he was born with a girl’s body. With his new public access radio show gaining in popularity, Gabe struggles with romance, friendships, and parents–all while trying to come out as trans. An audition for a station in Minneapolis looks like his ticket to a better life in the big city. But his entire future is threatened when several violent guys find out Gabe, the popular DJ, is also Elizabeth from school
Being Emily, by Rachel Gold (2012)
They say that whoever you are it’s okay, you were born that way. Those words don’t comfort Emily, because she was born Christopher and her insides know that her outsides are all wrong. They say that it gets better, be who are you and it’ll be fine. For Emily, telling her parents who she really is means a therapist who insists Christopher is normal and Emily is sick. Telling her girlfriend means lectures about how God doesn’t make that kind of mistake. Emily desperately wants high school in her small Minnesota town to get better. She wants to be the woman she knows is inside, but it’s not until a substitute therapist and a girl named Natalie come into her life that she believes she has a chance of actually Being Emily.
Dreadnought, by April Daniels (2017)
Danny is trying to hide that she’s transgender from her friends and family, but when she’s given the powers of a superhero – and a girl’s body – she has to balance both her identity and her role as a hero.
Gracefully Grayson, by Ami Polonsky (2014)
Grayson, a transgender twelve-year-old, learns to accept her true identity and share it with the world.
I Am J, by Cris Beam (2011)
J always felt different. He was certain that eventually everyone would understand who he really was: a boy mistakenly born as a girl. Yet as he grew up, his body began to betray him; eventually J stopped praying to wake up a “real boy” and started covering up his body, keeping himself invisible – from his family, from his friends…from the world. But after being deserted by the best friend he thought would always be by his side, J decides that he’s done hiding – it’s time to be who he really is. And this time he is determined not to give up, no matter the cost.
If I Was Your Girl, by Meredith Russo (2016)
Amanda Hardy is the new girl in town with a big secret: she used to be Andrew Hardy. She vows to stay isolated but falls for one of the boys. Will he accept her for who she is?
Parrotfish, by Ellen Wittlinger (2007)
When Grady comes out to his family that he’s trans, he isn’t prepared for the backlash he receives from his family and friends. He finds support in some of his school’s outcasts and starts to become who he truly is.
Spy Stuff, by Matthew J. Metzger (2016)
Anton never thought anyone would ever want to date him. Everyone knows nobody wants a transgender boyfriend, right? So he’s as shocked as anyone when seemingly-straight Jude Kalinowski asks him out, and doesn’t appear to be joking. The only problem is… well, Jude doesn’t actually know. Anton can see how this will play out: Jude is a nice guy, and nice guys finish last. And Anton is transgender, and transgender people don’t get happy endings. If he tells Jude, it might destroy everything. And if Jude tells anyone else… it will.
Symptoms of Being Human, by Jeff Garvin (2016)
Riley Cavanaugh, whose father is a prominent politician in a conservative Southern California county, navigates being gender fluid, anxiety, and a new school.
Wandering Son, by Takako Shimura (2011)
The fifth grade. The threshold to puberty, and the beginning of the end of childhood innocence. Shuichi Nitori and his new friend Yoshino Takatsuki have happy homes, loving families, and are well-liked by their classmates. But they share a secret that further complicates a time of life that is awkward for anyone: Shuichi is a boy who wants to be a girl, and Yoshino is a girl who wants to be a boy.
When the Moon Was Ours, by Anna-Marie McLemore (2016)
In a tale of magical realism that stings of emotions strongly felt in our world, close friends Miel and Sam are as equally unique as they are mysterious: roses grow and blossom from Miel’s wrists, and Sam hangs moons that he painted in the trees. When the Bonner girls, four sisters rumored to be witches, want Miel’s roses for themselves, Sam and Miel must face hard questions about love, identity, and the secrets we keep.
Being Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen, by Jazz Jennings (2016)
Teen activist and trailblazer Jazz Jennings–named one of “The 25 most influential teens” of the year by Time–shares her very public transgender journey, as she inspires people to accept the differences in others while they embrace their own truths.
Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out, by Susan Kuklin (2014)
In a sorely needed resource for teens and, frankly, many adults, author/photographer Kuklin shares first-person narratives from six transgender teens, drawn from interviews she conducted and shaped with input from her subjects. While Kuklin’s subjects are candid about the difficulties of coming out as transgender to family and friends and the patience that transitioning often requires, their honest, humorous, and painful remarks about their relationships with gender are often downright revelatory.
Coming Out as Transgender, by Corina Brezina (2017)
An accessible guide to coming out to family and friends, this title provides transgender readers with insight about what steps to take when thinking about coming out.
The Full Spectrum: A New Generation of Writing about Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning and Other Identities, by David Levithan and Billy Merrell (2006)
Teens are more aware of sexuality and identity than ever, and they’re looking for answers and insights, as well as a community of others. In order to help create that community, YA authors David Levithan and Billy Merrell have collected original poems, essays, and stories by young adults in their teens and early 20s. The Full Spectrum includes a variety of writers—gay, lesbian, bisexual, straight, transitioning, and questioning—on a variety of subjects: coming out, family, friendship, religion/faith, first kisses, break-ups, and many others.
Health Issues When You’re Transgender, by Susan Meyer (2017)
Readers will learn about mental and emotional health, gender dysphoria, hormone replacement therapy (including puberty-blocking hormones), gender affirmation surgery, and more. They’ll be reminded that, while surgery and hormone treatments can be lifesaving, they are neither right for every transgender person nor a requirement for being transgender. They’ll also read about the barriers to care that transgender people frequently face and get advice on dealing with a health care system marked by cissexism.
Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love, and So Much More, by Janet Mock (2014)
This powerful memoir follows Mock’s quest for identity, from an early, unwavering conviction about her gender to a turbulent adolescence in Honolulu that saw her transitioning during the tender years of high school, self-medicating with hormones at fifteen, and flying across the world alone for sex reassignment surgery at just eighteen. With unflinching honesty, Mock uses her own experience to impart vital insight about the unique challenges and vulnerabilities of trans youth and brave girls like herself.
Rethinking Normal: A Memoir in Transition, by Katie Rain Hill (2014)
In this first-person account, Katie reflects on her pain-filled childhood and the events leading up to the life-changing decision to undergo gender reassignment as a teenager. She reveals the unique challenges she faced while unlearning how to be a boy and shares what it was like to navigate the dating world and experience heartbreak for the first time in a body that matched her gender identity. Told in an unwaveringly honest voice, Rethinking Normal is a coming-of-age story about transcending physical appearances and redefining the parameters of “normalcy” to embody one’s true self.
Some Assembly Required: the Not-So-Secret Life of a Transgender Teen, by Arin Andrews (2014)
Seventeen-year-old Arin Andrews shares all the hilarious, painful, and poignant details of undergoing gender reassignment as a high school student in this winning teen memoir.
Transgender Rights and Protections, by Rebecca T. Klein (2014)
This title examines the rights of the transgender community and the areas in which further action is still needed for their protection. Readers are presented with useful information on how to become trans allies and how to fight against trans discrimination in their day-to-day lives.
Download a pdf file of the Young Adult Books About Transgender People booklist
Updated – September 2018