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  • Gender Nation


    gender nation


    Gender Nation empowers and validates children through access to uplifting, inclusive stories that demonstrate the full spectrum of sexuality and gender identity. LAUSD is excited to receive an enormous donation of LGBTQIA-themed books that are developmentally appropriate for elementary and span schools.

    The Gender Nation website has some basic synopsis information that we are reprinting below about each book, but we are also providing some curricular information to supplement the readalouds, shared readings, and independent readings of the collection for librarians, teachers, and counselors, etc. We hope that these curricular resources will give educators some entry points into discussions and activities that make your classrooms and the larger school site safer, more inclusive, and more affirming for ALL students.

    The age ranges are recommendations, but any educator knows that picture books will always be compelling to primary, secondary, and adult learners alike. All of these books have some truly noteworthy and beautiful qualities that reinforce their accessibility and universality across age and other identity factors. 


    Gender Nation Donation Book Lists & Lesson Plans


The Bravest Knight Who Ever Lived By Daniel Errico - book


Knights, dragons, and princesses are the things all good fairy tales are made of, but what happens when the tale has an LGBTQ ending? Follow Cedric on his journey from his days on a humble pumpkin farm to the adventures that lead him to become a fullfledged knight. Once a knight, discover how he uses his cleverness and courage to vanquish a fire-breathing dragon and rescue a beautiful prince and princess. The book has been turned into a Netflix animated series.  Age range: 5-6 years

The Bravest Knight Who Ever Lived readaloud with Daniel Errico

From the Stars in the Sky to the Fish in the Sea By Kai Cheng Thom - book


In the magical time between night and day, when both the sun and the moon are in the sky, a child is born in a little blue house on a hill. And Miu Lan is not just any child, but one who can change into any shape they can imagine. The only problem is they can’t decide what to be: A boy or a girl? A bird or a fish? A flower or a shooting star?  Age range: 3-8 years

From the Stars in the Sky to the Fish in the Sea Teacher's Guide from University of Central Florida STARS Collection

Neiter By Airlie AndersonIn the Land of This and That, there are only two kinds: blue bunnies and yellow birds. But one day a funny green egg hatches, and a little creature that’s not quite a bird and not quite a bunny pops out. It’s neither! Age range: 4-8 years

Anti-Bias Lesson Plan from Riverside Community College






 And Tango Makes Three By Justin Richardson and Peter ParnellThe heartwarming true story of two penguins who create a nontraditional family. Age range: 3-9 years

Equality and Diversity Lesson Plan from Highland Council

Looking at Family and Story Structure from Welcoming Schools





Annie's Plaid Shirt By Stacey S. DavidsAnnie loves her plaid shirt and wears it everywhere. But one day her mom tells Annie that she must wear a dress to her uncle’s wedding. Annie protests, but her mom insists and buys her a fancy new dress anyway. Annie is miserable. She feels weird in dresses. Why can’t her mom understand? Then Annie has an idea. But will her mom agree?  Age range: 3-9 years

Be Prepared for Questions and Put-Downs Around Gender from Welcoming Schools





Red: A Crayon's Story By Michael HallRed has a bright red label, but he is, in fact, blue. His teacher tries to help him be red (let’s draw strawberries!) and his mother tries to help him be red by sending him out on a playdate with a yellow classmate (go draw a nice orange!). He just can’t be red, no matter how hard he tries! Finally, a brand-new friend offers a brand-new perspective. Age range: 4-8 years

Teacher's Guide: Equality & Diversity from The Highland Council

Lesson Plan from Welcoming Schools




Marisol McDonald and the Clash Bash / Marisol McDonald y la fiesta sin igual By Monica BrownMarisol is turning eight, and it’s time to plan a birthday party that will be fabulous, marvelous, and divine. At the party store, Marisol can’t decide what kind of party to have. Nothing seems right for soccer, pirate, princess, unicorn-loving Marisol. Finally she comes up with just the right idea, and when her friends arrive for her Clash Bash birthday, a big surprise awaits. Will Marisol’s birthday wish come true?  Age range: 4-9 years

Teacher's Guide to Marisol from LEE & LOW Books




Sparkle Boy By Lesléa NewmanCasey loves to play with his blocks, puzzles, and dump truck, but he also loves things that sparkle, shimmer, and glitter. When his older sister, Jessie, shows off her new shimmery skirt, Casey wants to wear a shimmery skirt too. The adults in Casey’s life embrace his interests, but Jessie isn’t so sure. Boys aren’t supposed to wear sparkly, shimmery, glittery things. Then, when older boys at the library tease Casey for wearing “girl” things, Jessie realizes that Casey has the right to be himself and wear whatever he wants.  Age range: 5-8 years


Teacher's Guide to Sparkle from LEE & LOW Books



One of a Kind, Like Me / Único Como Yo By Laurin MayenoOne of a Kind Like Me/Único Como Yo is a bilingual (English/Spanish) children’s book based on a true story about a child named Danny who wants to be a princess in the school parade. He and his mom embark on a venture to find a purple princess dress. But will they find it on time?  Age range: 4-8 years

Guide for Educators from Laurin Mayeno

Guide for Families at Home from Laurin Mayeno




When Aidan Became a Brother By Kyle LukoffWhen Aidan was born, everyone thought he was a girl. His parents gave him a pretty name, his room looked like a girl’s room, and he wore clothes that other girls liked wearing. After he realized he was a trans boy, Aidan and his parents fixed the parts of his life that didn’t fit anymore, and he settled happily into his new everyday. Then Mom and Dad announce that they’re going to have another baby, and 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. When Aidan Became a Brother is a heartwarming book that will resonate with transgender children, reassure any child concerned about becoming an older sibling, and celebrate the many transitions a family can experience.  Age range: 4-8 years

Teacher's Guide from LEE & LOW Books

Discussion Questions from Anti-Defamation League

George By Alex GinoWhen people look at George, they think they see a boy. But she knows she’s not a boy. She knows she’s a girl. George thinks she’ll have to keep this a secret forever. Then her teacher announces that their class play is going to be Charlotte’s Web. George really, really, REALLY wants to play Charlotte. But the teacher says she can’t even try out for the part. . . because she’s a boy. With the help of her best friend, Kelly, George comes up with a plan. Not just so she can be Charlotte—but so everyone can know who she is, once and for all.  Age range: 8-12 years

George Discussion Guide from Scholastic



It Feels Good to Be Yourself By Theresa ThornSome people are boys. Some people are girls. Some people are both, neither, or somewhere in between. This sweet, straightforward exploration of gender identity will give children a fuller understanding of themselves and others. Age range: 4-8 years

Gender Terms & Discussion Questions from GLSEN




I Am Jazz By Jazz Jennings - bookFrom the time she was two years old, Jazz knew that she had a girl’s brain in a boy’s body. She loved pink and dressing up as a mermaid and didn’t feel like herself in boys’ clothing. This confused her family, until they took her to a doctor who said that Jazz was transgender and that she was born that way.  Age range: 4-8 years

Teacher Guide: Trans Topics from Welcoming Schools

Video Read Aloud from Human Rights Campaign




Julian is a Mermaid By Jessica Love - bookWhile riding the subway home from the pool with his abuela one day, Julián notices three women spectacularly dressed up. Their hair billows in brilliant hues, their dresses end in fishtails, and their joy fills the train car. When Julián gets home, daydreaming of the magic he’s seen, all he can think about is dressing up just like the ladies in his own fabulous mermaid costume. But what will Abuela think about how Julián sees himself?  Age range: 4-8 years

Teacher Guide: Understanding Gender Expression from Welcoming Schools

Video Read Aloudby Mayela Bernal



PRIDE The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag By Bob Sanders - bookIn this deeply moving and empowering true story, young readers will trace the life of the Gay Pride Flag, from its beginnings in 1978 with social activist Harvey Milk and designer Gilbert Baker to its spanning of the globe and 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. A story of love, hope, equality, and pride.  Age range: 8-12 years

Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag Lesson Plan from Welcoming Schools




It's Okay to be Different By Todd Parr - bookTargeted to young children first beginning to read, this book will inspire kids to celebrate their individuality through acceptance of others and self-confidence–and it’s never to early to develop a healthy self-esteem.  Age range: 3-6 years

Discussion Questions,Vocabulary, Jigsaw Puzzle Activity from multiple sources




    National Day of Reading: A Celebration of Stories Supporting Transgender and Non-Binary Youth

    In 2016, an anti-LGBTQ+ hate group forced a school in Wisconsin to cancel plans to read “I am Jazz” in support of a transgender student. In response, more than 600 residents in a town of less than 8,000 showed up at a public reading organized by a parent to show the students that the community had their back.

    Every year, in honor of the Mount Horeb community’s allyship, communities across the country join HRCF's Welcoming Schools program for its annual National Day of Reading: A Celebration of Stories Supporting Transgender and Non-Binary Youth.

    The Office of Human Relations, Diversity & Equity has been proud to facilitate a live-stream webinar of the event at one of our LAUSD Elementary Schools annually since 2022.  Below, please find the books and Educator



    Book Lists & Lesson Plans


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