Originally posted at Diversity in YA
Last October, I posted a list of YA books about LGBT characters of color. It’s been tough to find more books, so these additions expand the goal slightly and are about (1) a queer person of color protagonist; (2) a queer protagonist in a romantic relationship with a POC; or (3) a main character dealing with queer POC parents as the central story line.
Please note: Not all of these were published as “young adult” novels; some are technically “adult” novels but are about young queer people of color coming of age. Links go to Barnes & Noble; descriptions are from Worldcat.
The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, Maureen Johnson and Sarah Rees Brennan (Margaret K. McElderry Books)
Ten short stories about bisexual, half-Asian warlock Magnus Bane from Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices trilogies.
Angry Management by Chris Crutcher (Greenwillow Books)
A collection of short stories featuring characters from earlier books by Chris Crutcher.
Happy Families by Tanita S. Davis (Random House Children’s Books)
In alternating chapters, sixteen-year-old twins Ysabel and Justin share their conflicted feelings as they struggle to come to terms with their father’s decision to dress as a woman.
Down to the Bone by Mayra Lazara Dole (Bella Books; originally published by HarperTeen)
Laura, a seventeen-year-old Cuban American girl, is thrown out of her house when her mother discovers she is a lesbian, but after trying to change her heart and hide from the truth, Laura finally comes to terms with who she is and learns to love and respect herself.
In a futuristic world ruled by a totalitarian government called the Establishment, Lucian "Lucky" Spark and four other teenagers are recruited for the Trials. They must compete not only for survival but to save the lives of their Incentives, family members whose lives depend on how well they play the game.
For Today I Am a Boy by Kim Fu (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Peter, the only boy among four siblings born to Chinese immigrants, is convinced he is a girl and must fight the confines of a small town as well as the expectations of his parents to forge his own path into adulthood.
Mariposa Club by Rigoberto Gonzalez (Lethe Press)
Four gay high school boys start a club, and when one of them is targeted in a homophobic incident, the entire school turns to them as a symbol of grief, fear and hope.
Sister Mischief by Laura Goode (Candlewick)
Esme Rockett, also known as MC Ferocious, rocks her suburban Minnesota Christian high school with more than the hip-hop music she makes with best friends Marcy (DJ SheStorm) and Tess (The ConTessa) when she develops feelings for her co-MC, Rowie (MC Rohini).
A Map of Home by Randa Jarrar (Penguin)
Nidali, the rebellious daughter of an Egyptian-Greek mother and a Palestinian father, narrates her story from her childhood in Kuwait, her early teenage years in Egypt (to where she and her family fled the 1990 Iraqi invasion), to her family’s last flight to Texas.
Chulito by Charles Rice-Gonzales (Magnus Books)
Set against a vibrant South Bronx neighborhood and the youth culture of Manhattan, Chulito is a coming-of-age, coming out love story of a sexy Latino man and the colorful characters that populate his block.
Blue Boy by Rakesh Satyal (Kensington Books)
Satyal’s lovely coming-of-age debut charts an Indian-American boy’s transformation from mere mortal to Krishnaji, the blue-skinned Hindu deity. Twelve-year-old Kiran Sharma’s a bit of an outcast: he likes ballet and playing with his mother’s makeup. He also reveres his Indian heritage and convinces himself that the reason he’s having trouble fitting in is because he’s actually the 10th reincarnation of Krishnaji. He plans to come out to the world at the 1992 Martin Van Buren Elementary School talent show, and much of the book revels in his comical preparations as he creates his costume, plays the flute and practices his dance moves to a Whitney Houston song. But as the performance approaches, something strange happens: Kiran’s skin begins to turn blue. Satyal writes with a graceful ease, finding new humor in common awkward pre-teen moments and giving readers a delightful and lively young protagonist.
Street Dreams by Tama Wise (Bold Strokes Books)
Tyson Rua has more than his fair share of problems growing up in South Auckland. Working a night job to support his mother and helping bring up his two younger brothers is just the half of it. His best friend Rawiri is falling afoul of a broken home, and now Tyson’s fallen in love at first sight. Only thing is, it’s another guy. Living life on the sidelines of the local hip-hop scene, Tyson finds that to succeed in becoming a local graffiti artist or in getting the man of his dreams, he’s going to have to get a whole lot more involved. And that means more problems, the least of which is the leader of the local rap crew he’s found himself running with. Love, life, and hip-hop never do things by half.
Love & Lies: Marisol’s Story by Ellen Wittlinger (Simon & Schuster) (America Latina lesbian MC)
When Marisol, a self-confident eighteen-year-old lesbian, moves to Cambridge, Massachusetts to work and try to write a novel, she falls under the spell of her beautiful but deceitful writing teacher, while also befriending a shy, vulnerable girl from Indiana.
Almost-fourteen-year-old Melanin Sun’s comfortable, quiet life is shattered when his mother reveals she has fallen in love with a woman.
Thanks to Daisy Porter of Queer YA for many suggestions.