Trans literature research

Research about trans and gender diverse literature for children and young adults.


Book analyses and discussion:

Abate, M. A. (2008). Trans/forming girlhood: Transgenderism, the tomboy formula, and gender identity disorder in Sharon Dennis Wyeth’s Tomboy Trouble. The Lion and the Unicorn, 32(1), 40-60.

Battis, J. (2006). Transgendered magic: The radical performance of the young wizard in YA literature. The Looking Glass: New Perspectives on Children’s Literature, 10(1).

Bittner, R. (2010). The trouble with normal: Trans youth and the desire for normalcy as reflected in young adult literature. The ALAN Review, 37(2).

Bittner, R. (2014). Hey, I still can’t see myself!: The difficult positioning of two-spirit identities in YA literature. Bookbird: A Journal of International Children’s Literature, 52, 11-22.

Bittner, R., Ingrey, J., & Stamper, C. (2016). Queer and trans-themed books for young readers: A critical review. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 37(6), 948-964.

Bott, C. J., & McNeil, E. (2008). Parrotfish: A parrot, a fish, or something in between? An interview with Ellen Wittlinger and Toby Davis. The ALAN Review, 36(1).

Butler, C. (2009). Experimental girls: Feminist and transgender discourses in Bill’s New Frock and Marvin Redpost: Is he a girl? Children’s Literature Association Quarterly, 34(1), 3-20.

Carlson, D. L., & Linville, D. (2016). The social importance of a kiss: A Honnethian reading of David Levithan’s young adult novel, Two Boys Kissing. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 37(6), 887-901.

Clark, C. T., & Blackburn, M. V. (2016). Scenes of violence and sex in recent award-winning LGBT-themed young adult novels and the ideologies they offer their readers. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 37(6), 867-886.

Epstein, B. J. (2013). Are the kids all right? Representations of LGBTQ characters in children’s and young adult literature. HammerOn Press.

Epstein, B. J. (2012). We’re here, we’re (not?) queer: GLBTQ characters in children’s books. Journal of GLBT Family Studies, 8(3), 287-300.

Lester, J. Z. (2014). Homonormativity in children’s literature: An intersectional analysis of queer-themed picture books. Journal of LGBT Youth, 11(3), 244-275.

McNally, A. (2015). Teaching trans for children, youth, and adults who care for them: A review of children’s picture books and young adult memoirs. TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly, 2(3), 503-508.

Miller, M. C. (2014). Identifying effective trans* novels for adolescent readers. Bookbird: A Journal of International Children’s Literature, 52(1), 83-86.

Morgan, K., & Kelly-Ware, J. (2016). ‘You have to start with something’: Picture books to promote understandings of queer cultures, gender, and family diversity. Early Childhood Folio, 20(1), 3-8.

Naidoo, J. C. (2012). Rainbow family collections: Selecting and using children’s books with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer content. Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited.

Norbury, K. (2014). Re-writing the script: Representations of transgender creativity in contemporary young adult fiction and television. Barnboken – Journal of Children’s Literature Research, 37.

Norton, J. (1999). Transchildren and the discipline of children’s literature. The Lion and the Unicorn, 23(3), 415-436.

Putzi, J. (2017). “None of this ‘trapped-in-a-man’s-body’ bullshit”: Transgender girls and wrong-body discourse in young adult fiction. Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature, 36(2), 423-448.

Rockefeller, E. I. (2009). Selection, inclusion, evaluation and defense of transgender-inclusive fiction for young adults: A resource guide. Journal of LGBT Youth, 6(2-3), 288-309.

Sciurba, K. (2017). Flowers, dancing, dresses, and dolls: Picture book representations of gender-variant males. Children’s Literature in Education, 48(3), 276-293.

skelton, j. w. (2015). Not exceptional or punished: A review of five picture books that celebrate gender diversity. TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly, 2(3), 495-499.

Smulders, S. (2015). Dresses make the girl: Gender and identity from The Hundred Dresses to 10,000 Dresses. Children’s Literature in Education, 46(4), 410-423.

Sokoll, T. (2013). Representations of trans* youth in young adult literature: A report and a suggestion. Young Adult Library Services, 11(4), 23-26.

Toman, L. A. (2014). Queering the ABCs: LGBTQ characters in children’s books. Master of Arts in Sociology, East Tennessee State University.

Wickens, C. M. (2011). Codes, silences, and homophobia: Challenging normative assumptions about gender and sexuality in contemporary LGBTQ young adult literature. Children’s Literature in Education, 42(2), 148-164.



Bittner, R. (2012). Queering sex education: Young adult literature with LGBT content as complementary sources of sex and sexuality education. Journal of LGBT Youth, 9(4), 357-372.

Blackburn, M., Clark, C., & Martino, W. (2016). Investigating LGBT-themed literature and trans informed pedagogies in classrooms. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 37(6), 801-806.

DePalma, R. (2016). Gay penguins, sissy ducklings … and beyond? Exploring gender and sexuality diversity through children’s literature. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 37(6), 828-845.

Hermann-Wilmarth, J. M., Lannen, R., & Ryan, C. L. (2017). Critical literacy and transgender topics in an upper elementary classroom: A portrait of possibility. Journal of Language and Literacy Education, 13(1), 15-27.

Martino, W. J., & Cumming-Potvin, W. (2015). Teaching about ‘‘princess boys’’ or not: The case of one male elementary school teacher and the polemics of gender expression and embodiment. Men and Masculinities, 18(1), 79-99.

Martino, W., & Cumming-Potvin, W. (2016). Teaching about sexual minorities and ‘princess boys’: A queer and trans-infused approach to investigating LGBTQ-themed texts in the elementary school classroom. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 37(6), 807-827.

Parsons, L. T. (2011/2012). Advocating for LGBTQ teens through literature: Preservice teachers respond to Luna. SIGNAL, 35(1), 7–13.

Parsons, L. T. (2016). Learning from preservice teachers’ responses to trans-themed young adult literature: Improving personal practice in teacher education. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 37(6), 933-947.

Sullivan, A. L. (2016). Kindergartners studying trans* issues through I Am Jazz. In s. j. Miller (Ed.), Teaching, affirming, and recognizing trans and gender creative youth: A queer literacy framework (pp. 63-80). New York: Palgrave Macmillan.



Chapman, E. L. (2013). No more controversial than a gardening display?: Provision of LGBT-related fiction to children and young people in U.K. public libraries. Library Trends, 61(3), 542-556.