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Breaking the Binary: A Guide to Middle Grade Books with Diverse Ideas

Middle grade books play an important role in shaping young readers' understanding of the world, and it's crucial that these books represent a diverse range of perspectives and experiences. One important aspect of diversity in literature is breaking the binary, or the idea that there are only two options for gender and sexuality. Here's a guide to some middle grade books that break the binary and offer diverse ideas:

  1. "George" by Alex Gino: This middle grade novel tells the story of a transgender girl named Melissa, who wants to be seen and treated as a girl. The novel explores themes of gender identity and acceptance.

  2. "The Other Boy" by M.G. Hennessey: This middle grade novel tells the story of a boy named Shane who is gay and the challenges he faces when a new student outs him to the whole school. The novel explores themes of coming out and bullying.

  3. "Lily and Dunkin" by Donna Gephart: This middle grade novel tells the story of two friends, Lily, a transgender girl, and Dunkin, a boy with bipolar disorder. The novel explores themes of mental health, family, and acceptance.

  4. "I Am Jazz" by Jazz Jennings: This middle grade autobiography tells the story of Jazz Jennings, a transgender girl who at a very young age knew she was a girl, not a boy. The book explores themes of gender identity, family, and acceptance.

  5. "The Pants Project" by Cat Clarke: This middle grade novel tells the story of a non-binary child named Liv, who starts a school project to wear pants instead of a skirt to school, challenging gender norms. The novel explores themes of gender identity and acceptance.

These are just a few examples of the many middle grade books that break the binary and offer diverse ideas. By reading these books, young readers can learn about different perspectives and experiences and gain a better understanding of the world around them. It's important to ensure that children have access to literature that represents the diversity of the world we live in, including gender and sexuality.


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