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Reading List

Over the years, our parents, family members, friends, and gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender members have found the books on this list to be very helpful when they found out that their loved one is LGBT, or need to find a way to tell their family members and friends that they were LGBT. We have listed books for parents, for youth, for young children and for general education. We hope you might consider having these books as part of your collection.

If you have any additional books to add, send an e-mail to info@pflagillinois.org with the details and we will be

There is also a free publication about gay issues that is available on the web. The publication is titled: What We Wish We Had Known – Breaking the Silence and Moving Toward Understanding: A Resource for Individuals and Families (Fifth Edition). It is published by The Presbyterian Church – Mt. Kisco, New York. It is available online at: http://www.pcmk.org/bluebook.htm.  This free publication is a most helpful compendium of all the questions people have about the LGBT community.

For Parents:

For LGBT Youth:

For Children – age appropriate material to begin conversations about gay issues:

  • The Sissy DucklingHarvey Fierstein.  Recommended for ages 5-8:  Elmer is not like the other boy ducklings. While they like to build forts, he loves to bake cakes. While they like to play baseball he wants to put on a halftime show. Elmer is a great big sissy. But when his father is wounded by a hunters shot, Elmer proves the biggest sissy can also be the greatest hero.
  • And Tango Makes Three, Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell.  Recommended for ages 4-8: In the zoo there are all kinds of animal families. But Tango’s family is not like any of the others. “A little miracle for children. Funny, tender and true. The story of Tango will delight young readers and open their minds.” John Lithgow
  • Pinky and Rex (Ready to Read)James Howe.  A level 3 Ready to Read book: Pinky’s favorite color is pink, and his best friend Rex is a girl. Kevin, the third-grade bully, says that makes Pinky a sissy. Deep down, Pinky thinks Kevin is wrong, but he is still worried. Does Pinky have to give up his favorite things? Does he have to give up his best friend?
  • Just KiddingTrudy Ludwig. recommended for grades 1-5: Just Kidding, that’s what D. J. Friend, Vince says when he does something to hurt D. J’s feelings. “Trudy Ludwig has not only captured the heart of boy taunting, but also the best solutions.” Susan Wellman, Founder, The Ophelia Project.
  • Heather Has Two Mommies (89 Edition), Leslea Newman and Diana Sauza.  Recommended for ages 2-6: A preschooler has two Moms and discovers some of her friends also have very different sorts of families.
  • Chrysanthemum, Kevin Henkes.  Recommended for ages 4-8: On the first day of school, Chrysanthemum begins to suspect that her name is far less than perfect, especially when her class dissolves into giggles upon hearing her name read aloud. Pretty soon the girls are making playground threats to “pluck” Chrysanthemum and “smell her.” A story that has great compassion for the victims of childhood teasing and cruelties
  • The Misfits, James Howe. Recommended forages 10 -14: Best friends, who were targets of cruel name calling, are now in 7th grade and not going to take it anymore. The students run against popular peers in the upcoming student council election.

General Education about LGBT issues:

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