These Were the Best LGBT YA Books in 2022, According To The American Library Association

published Feb 19, 2023
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Looking for a good book for your teen or young reader? This year’s Rainbow Round Table is here to help. Started by the American Library Association in 1970, the organization creates an annual list recognizing excellent LGBTQ+ kids’ and YA books of the previous year.

While increased diversity and representation in the publishing industry have been great to see, the Rainbow Round Table’s 2023 introduction also acknowledged the dangerous censorship of queer books that has been enforced across the United States recently.

“It is our hope that our efforts to identify appealing and high quality queer books for youth will help young people, librarians, educators, and caregivers of all kinds to connect our readers with information and stories that are critical to their well being and growth,” Rainbow Round Table’s introduction reads. “The suppression of these books is a detriment to all youth, and we cannot ignore the damage these challenges are having on the young people in our society.”

Here are the year’s top 10 LGBTQ+ books for teens, according to the Rainbow Round Table.

  1. The City Beautiful” by Aden Polydoros
  2. The Honeys” by Ryan La Sala
  3. Just Ash” by Sol Sontana
  4. Loveless” by Alice Oseman
  5. The Many Half-Lived Lives of Sam Sylvester” by Maya MacGregor
  6. Nothing Burns as Bright as You” by Ashley Woodfolk
  7. Queer Ducks (And Other Animals)” by Eliot Schrefer and illustrated by Jules Zuckerberg
  8. The Summer of Bitter and Sweet” by Jen Ferguson
  9. The Sunbearer Trials” by Aiden Thomas
  10. When You Call My Name” by Tucker Shaw

And here are this year’s top 10 LGBTQ+ books for young readers:

  1. Bathe the Cat” by Alice B. McGinty and David Roberts
  2. Mama and Mommy and Me in the Middle” by Nina LaCour and illustrated by Kaylani Juanita
  3. A Song for the Unsung: Bayard Rustin, the Man Behind the 1963 March on Washington” by Carole Boston Weatherford and Rob Sanders, and illustrated by Byron McCray
  4. Artie and the Wolf Moon” by Olivia Stephens
  5. The Civil War of Amos Abernathy” by Michael Leali
  6. Different Kinds of Fruit” by Kyle Lukoff
  7. Ellen Outside the Lines” by A.J. Sass
  8. Moonflower” by Kacen Callender
  9. Tiger Honor” by Yoon Ha Lee
  10. You Only Live Once, David Bravo” by Mark Oshiro