YA Bookshelf

The following is a list of YA (young adult) books that have LGBTQIA+ characters or themes:


EMERGING READERS:

  • Lawrence, Caroline. The Night Raid [Topic: M/M: Nisus & Euryalus]
  • Lawrence, Caroline. Queen of the Silver Arrow [Topic: W/W: Camilla & Acca]
  • Parmar, Shivani. Achilles & Patroclus: A Moment of Peace in a Lifetime of War. [Topic: M/M: Achilles and Patroclus. TRIGGER WARNING: the "F word" is used once in dialogue on p. 21; otherwise suitable language for middle / high school audience]
  • Riordan, Rick. The Blood of Olympus: Heroes of Olympus #5 [Topic: one of the supporting characters is gay]
  • Riordan, Rick. The Trials of Apollo: The Hidden Oracle. [Topic: Apollo is pansexual, in love with both Hyacinthus and Daphne; his sister is asexual; his son is gay. TRIGGER WARNING: Daphne, typically portrayed as asexual, is portrayed as a heterosexual in this story]
  • Riordan, Rick. The Trials of Apollo: The Dark Prophecy. [Topic: Apollo is pansexual; his sister is asexual; the antagonist is gay; secondary characters include a lesbian couple]
  • Riordan, Rick. The Trials of Apollo: The Burning Maze. [Topic: Apollo is pansexual; his son is gay; multiple LGBTQIA+ secondary characters]
  • Riordan, Rick. The Trials of Apollo: The Tyrant's Tomb. [Topic: Apollo is pansexual; multiple LGBTQIA+ secondary characters]
  • Riordan, Rick. The Trials of Apollo: The Tower of Nero. [Topic: Apollo is pansexual; his son is gay].
  • Sutcliff, Rosemary. The Eagle of the Ninth. [Topic: M/M: asexual bond of love between protagonist and freedman Esca]
  • Thompson, Ryan. Achilles: Making of a Hero. [Topic: M/M: Achilles and Patroclus]


ADVANCED READERS:


  • Adderley, Michael. Certamen: A Novel. [Topic: Excellent representation of LGBTQIA+ characters and allies in this novel. Many of the main characters are LGBTQIA+, including a pansexual person of color, an openly gay young man, and a teenager questioning his own sexuality.]
  • Alvear Shecter, Vicky. Curses and Smoke: A Novel of Pompeii. [Topic: role of women in ancient Rome; an unrequited M/M love triangle]
  • Diemer, S. E. The Dark Wife. [Topic: W/W: A retelling of the abduction of Persephone myth where Hades is a goddess. TRIGGER WARNING: this book deals with Zeus' numerous sexual assaults and the imbalance of power of women in the ancient world].
  • Euripides. Hippolytus. [Topic: Hippolytus is asexual] 
  • Euripides. Ion. [Topic: gender roles, double standards of sex and gender in the ancient world]
  • Johnson, Marguerite. Ancients in Action: Sappho. [Topic: a scholarly analysis of the life, poetry, and impact of the Greek poet Sappho. Although it deals with themes of Sappho's sexuality and sexuality in the ancient world, it does so in a scholarly manner. Written with a high school readability level.] 
  • LeGuin, Ursula K. Lavinia. [Topic: Role of Women in the Ancient World; Aeneas' son is gay]
  • Miller, Madeline. The Song of Achilles. [Topic: M/M: Patroclus & Achilles]
  • Pressfield, Steven. Last of the Amazons. [Topic: Gender Roles / Amazons; loving relationships between Amazons; one Amazon is asexual]
  • Renault, Mary. The Bull From the Sea. [Topic: M/M: Theseus & Pirithoos; Gender Roles: Amazons; Secondary characters are same-sex couple; Hippolytus (Theseus' son) is asexual; Akamas (Theseus' son) is gay]
  • Roche, Paul (translator). The Love Songs of Sappho. [W/W: translation of Sappho and other archaic Greek fragments on love and women].
  • Tedesco, Mark. I am John, I am Paul: A Story of Two Soldiers in Ancient Rome. [Topic: John and Paul are asexual life partners living during the age of Constantine].
  • Yourcenar, Marguerite. Memoirs of Hadrian. [Topic: life of the Emperor Hadrian; relationship with Antinous].

AT THE DISCRETION OF TEACHER / GUARDIAN: 

***These books are valuable sources of discussion and analysis, but may contain foul language and / or explicit sex scenes. To be used in classrooms / school libraries at the discretion of administration / teacher / guardian***

* MacLaughlin, Nina. Wake, Siren: Ovid Resung. [Topic: trans characters Tiresias, Caeneus, and Iphis. As a modern retelling of Ovid's Metamorphoses in the perspective of each myth's victim, there are frequent and frank accounts of sexual assault. Although this book in its entirety is not suitable for the classroom, there are many individual myths that can be incorporated into high school curriculum for engaging classroom discussions on gender and sexuality in the ancient world].
* Reames, Jeanne. Dancing With the Lion: Becoming. [Topic: an excellent historical novel about the relationship between Alexander the Great and Hephaestion, written by a professor of Macedonian history. It does have an explicit sexual encounter that may not be suitable for a classroom setting].