8 wonderful kids’ books about Pride
It’s never too early for them to learn about LGBTQ+ history
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The first Pride parade was in New York in 1970, less than a year after the Stonewall riots. Over the past 50 years, it has grown into a worldwide celebration. Most major cities have Pride parades during the month of June, which means that it's almost time to celebrate.
While you might know some of the history of Pride, your kids may not. So in honor of this year’s Pride, we’ve rounded up eight books to teach your kids about the history of Pride and all of the icons who have helped create the history that we celebrate in June—and all year long.
1. Stonewall: A Building. An Uprising. A Revolution.
Ages: 5 to 8
Pride was born out of the Stonewall riots, so it's only right that the first book on the list tells that story. In the early morning of June 28, 1969, a spontaneous riot broke out at the Stonewall Inn in New York City. A year later, people gathered in the streets to celebrate the new wave of activism birthed in the LGBTQ+ community and Pride was born. This book chronicles the events leading up to the riots, which lasted from June 28 to July 3, 1969, and the legacy for the movement of gay rights in American history.
2. This Day in June
Ages: 4 to 8
One of the best parts of Pride is seeing people of different backgrounds, identities, and life experiences coming together to celebrate everyone being who they are and surrounding each other with love and acceptance. This book captures the essence of a Pride parade in beautiful whimsical images that depict a parade and all the people who come out to celebrate love. Your kids are going to love the rhyme pattern of each short stanza as much as they love the images.
The Advocate named this one of the most important books of the last decade, and with age-appropriate resources to help explain gender identity, orientation, and acceptance of all people at the end of the book, it’s easy to see why.
3. Be Amazing: A History of Pride
Ages: 3 to 6
This list is full of stories that talk about Pride and LGBTQ+ history, however this is the only book on the list written by a child. Fourteen-year-old Desmond Napoles is a drag performer (who’s stage name is Desmond Is Amazing) who became an author in 2019 with the publication of this book. Marsha P. Johnson, RuPaul, and Desmond Is Amazing are just a few of the biographies featured in this colorful, fun, and vibrant book.
4. Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag
Ages: 5 to 8
The most popular accessory of any Pride parade is the rainbow flag. From earrings to T-shirts and flag capes and dresses, it’s the true symbol of the month of June. While most people know Harvey Milk as the first openly gay elected state official in California, he also was behind the first rainbow flag.
Looking for a symbol to represent the growing LGBTQ+ community, Harvey Milk and Gilbert Baker were the brains and the artist behind the first iteration of the rainbow flag in 1978. This story cutely illustrates how the flag came to be, how it has been used to celebrate gay rights, and how it has grown to be more inclusive over the years.
5. Rainbow: A First Book of Pride
Ages: 3 to 5
After reading a little bit about the history of the rainbow flag at Pride celebrations, check out this cute book that shows how all of the different colors of the flag come together in different kinds of families. This book isn’t narrative-driven but it is a great way to show young kids how different families can look and normalize seeing families that might be similar or different from their own.
6. The Little Book of Pride: The History, the People, the Parades
The title The Little Book of Pride might make you think this is a little tiny book full of pictures for younger children, but it’s actually a book for pre-teens—and it’s far from little. With over 140 pages, this is a comprehensive look at Pride. Instead of just examining the major events, it also takes a look at topics like queer expression before the Stonewall riots, the backlash as the LGBTQ+ movement gained momentum in the latter half of the 20th century, and how Lady Gaga's hit song “Born This Way” became the Pride anthem.
7. Rainbow Revolutionaries: Fifty LGTBQ+ People Who Made History
Ages: 8 to 12
This book features 50 biographies of queer pioneers in a variety of industries with engaging and digestible bios. While it isn’t specifically about Pride, Rainbow Revolutionaries, does celebrate the stories of people who have made their mark on history while loving who they loved—and at the end of the day, that’s what Pride is all about.
8. Queer Heroes: Meet 53 LGBTQ Heroes From Past and Present!
Here’s another book that features biographies of queer historical figures, but unlike some of the other books on this list, the subjects of this one really do range from the past to the present. When this book says the past, they mean it: Sappho, a Greek poet who died in 530 BCE, has a biography that is on the same page as Freddie Mercury’s. Kids might even recognize other contemporary figures like Kristen Stewart, which makes this one of most comprehensive books on this list in terms of telling queer stories at different points of time in human history.
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