Pride 365 is about celebrating everyone, and especially the LGBTQ+ community, for who they are, all year round. During this reading challenge, discover books and complete activities that honor everyone’s uniqueness! Read on for a handful of titles featured in the challenge’s reading list.
0-6 Years Old
“Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag” written by Rob Sanders and illustrated by Steven Salerno - Through this deeply moving and empowering true story, young readers trace the life of the gay pride flag, from its beginnings in 1978 with social activist Harvey Milk and designer Gilbert Baker to its role in today's world. Award-winning author Rob Sanders's stirring text and acclaimed illustrator Steven Salerno's evocative images combine to tell this remarkable—and undertold—story.
“Love Makes a Family” by Sophie Beer - In this exuberant board book, many different families are shown in happy activities, from an early morning wake-up call to a kiss before bed. Whether a child has two moms, two dads, one parent, or one of each, this simple preschool read-aloud book demonstrates that what's most important in each family's life is the love the family members share.
“Born Ready: The True Story of a Boy Named Penelope” written by Jodie Patterson and illustrated by Charnelle Pinkney Barlow - This book tells the uplifting story of Penelope, who knows that he's a boy. (And a ninja.) Unfortunately, no one else seems to realize it. Jodie Patterson, author of the adult memoir, “The Bold World,” shares her son Penelope's frustrations and triumphs on his journey to share himself with the world. Penelope's experiences show children that being true to yourself and who you really are always makes you stronger.
“Jacob’s Room to Choose” written by Ian Hoffman and Sarah Hoffman and illustrated by Chris Case - Read the powerful story of Jacob and Sophie, who both try to use the bathroom at school but don’t feel safe. Several kids threaten Jacob, a boy who wears dresses, in the boy's restroom, while other kids chase Sophie, a girl who dresses in plaid button-downs and khakis, out of the girl's restroom. When their teacher finds out what happened, Jacob and Sophie lead change at their school as everyone discovers the many forms of gender expression and how to treat each other with respect.
7-12 years old
“Sylvia and Marsha Start a Revolution!: The Story of the Trans Women of Color Who Made LGBTQ+ History” written by Joy Michael Ellison and illustrated by Teshika Silver - This illustrated book introduces children to the story of Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson, the two transgender women of color who helped kick-start the Stonewall Riots and dedicated their lives to fighting for LGBTQ+ equality. It introduces children to issues surrounding gender identity and diversity, accompanied by a reading guide and teaching materials to further the conversation.
“Both Can Be True” by Jules Machias - This story explores identity, gender fluidity, and the power of friendship and acceptance in a dual-narrative story about two kids who join forces to save a dog … but wind up saving each other. School Library Journal calls it “a sweetly affirming story at its core. A must for middle schools and high schools, this story is an inspiring celebration of living authentically.”
“When Aidan Became a Brother” written by Kyle Lukoff and illustrated by Kaylani Juanita - This illustrated family tale centers on the experiences of a transgender boy named Aidan who is about to become a big brother. Aidan wants to do everything he can to make things right for his new sibling from the beginning—from choosing the perfect name to creating a beautiful room to picking out the cutest onesie. But what does “making things right” actually mean? And what happens if he messes up? With a little help, Aidan comes to understand that mistakes can be fixed with honesty and communication, and that he already knows the most important thing about being a big brother: how to love with his whole self.
“Snapdragon” by Kat Leyh - This magical realist graphic novel is about a witch in the woods, a girl who lives in a trailer park, and the unexpected web of connections that tie them together. Publisher’s Weekly describes it as, “Full of magic and humor, this intersectional, layered tale offers joyful and affirming depictions of social outsiders and comfortably complicated families.”
12-18 Years Old
“From Dust, a Flame” by Rebecca Podos - When Hannah wakes up on her 17th birthday with the eyes of a snake, her eccentric mother, Mali, promises she can fix Hannah's ailment, and then leaves without a trace. As time passes, Mali is nowhere to be found and Hannah develops new animal-like physical traits. Upon learning her Jewish grandmother, Jitka, whom has never met, has died, Hannah and her brother head to the small town of Fox Hollows to meet their mom's family for the first time, hoping for answers.
“Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun'' by Jonny Garza Villa - Julián Luna has a plan for his life: Graduate, get into UCLA, and move away from Corpus Christi, Texas, and the suffocating expectations that forced Jules into an inauthentic life. Then in one reckless moment, with one impulsive tweet, his plans for a low-key nine months are thrown―literally―out of the closet. The downside: the whole world knows, and Jules has to prepare for rejection. The upside: Jules now has the opportunity to be his real self.
“Cemetery Boys” by Aiden Thomas - When his traditional Latinx family has problems accepting his true gender, Yadriel becomes determined to prove himself a real brujo. With the help of his cousin and best friend Maritza, he performs the ritual himself, and then sets out to find the ghost of his murdered cousin and set it free. However, the ghost he summons is actually Julian Diaz, the school's resident bad boy, and Julian is not about to go quietly into death.
18+ Years Old
“High-Risk Homosexual: A Memoir” by Edgar Gomez - A debut memoir about coming of age as a gay Latinx man, “High-Risk Homosexual” opens in the ultimate anti-gay space: Edgar Gomez’s uncle’s cockfighting ring in Nicaragua, where he was sent at 13 years old to become a man. Readers follow Gomez through the queer spaces where he learned to love being gay and Latinx, including Pulse nightclub in Orlando, a drag queen convention in Los Angeles, and the doctor’s office where he was diagnosed a “high-risk homosexual.”
“Manywhere: Stories” by Morgan Thomas - The nine stories in Morgan Thomas’s shimmering debut collection depict southern queer and genderqueer characters who are determined to find themselves reflected in the annals of history, whatever the cost. As Thomas’s subjects trace deceit and violence through southern tall tales and their own pasts, their journeys reveal the porous boundaries of body, land, and history, and the sometimes ruthless awakenings of self-discovery.
“Last Call: A True Story of Love, Lust, and Murder in Queer New York” by Elon Green - The gripping true story, told for the first time, of the Last Call Killer, who preyed upon gay men in New York in the ‘80s and ‘90s and had all the hallmarks of the most notorious serial killers. Yet because of the sexuality of his victims, the sky-high murder rates, and the AIDS epidemic, his murders were almost entirely forgotten.
The Pride 365 challenge template, including the full reading list, is available now to all Beanstack clients and can be used any time. Not a Beanstack partner yet? Reach out today and we'd love to help you get started.