Best young adult books with LGBT characters
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Young adult books

Mental health, LGBT, gaming, geek culture & more

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Invite Rachel to Speak

Dynamic, engaging, funny.

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Book News & Events

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    Readings and events for fall

    After taking the summer off, it’s time for more blog articles, readings, events and more. In upcoming weeks I’ll return to my book insights and cool science. Here are my upcoming events for October and early November: Oct. 7-9, Gaylaxicon — I’ll be on a......

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    Publication day live blog

    Happy birthday My Year Zero! Although the book has been shipping for about a week, today is the official publication day and I’m celebrating by live blogging, which means you’ll get updates here throughout the day....

Books in the Classroom

Because Rachel’s books include issues of diversity, transgender lives, bullying, abuse and mental health, they’re ideal for classroom use.

Being Emily has been taught in college-level classrooms, including:

  • University of Wisconsin River Falls
  • University of Wisconsin Waukesha
  • Bridgewater State University
  • Metropolitan State University
  • Arcadia University
  • Vancouver Island University


Being Emily

Winner 2013 Golden Crown Literary Award in Dramatic / General Fiction.
Winner 2013 Moonbeam Children’s Book Award in Young Adult Fiction – Mature Issues.
Finalist 2013 Lambda Literary Award

“Powerful and empowering, with an optimistic message that we all need more of in our lives. I’m thrilled to see this book is out in the world.” – Kate Bornstein, author of Gender Outlaw and A Queer and Pleasant Dange

Just Girls

Jess Tucker sticks her neck out for a stranger—the buzz is someone in the dorm is a trans girl. So Tucker says it’s her, even though it’s not, to stop the finger pointing. She was an out lesbian in high school, and she figures she can stare down whatever gets thrown her way in college. It can’t be that bad.

Ella Ramsey is making new friends at Freytag University, playing with on-campus gamers and enjoying her first year, but she’s rocked by the sight of a slur painted on someone else’s door. A slur clearly meant for her, if they’d only known.

New rules, old prejudices, personal courage, private fear. In this stunning follow-up to the groundbreaking Being Emily, Rachel Gold explores the brave, changing landscape where young women try to be Just Girls.


My Year Zero

Lauren thinks she has a pretty good life—so why is it that she feels crazy most of the time? She figures it’s nothing she can’t fix by getting her first girlfriend and doing better at school. But how is she ever going to find a girlfriend in Duluth, Minnesota?

When she meets a group of kids who are telling a science fiction story online and gets invited down to the Twin Cities, she gets more attention than she ever expected, from two very different girls: charming Sierra and troublesome Blake.

Blake helps Lauren understand that she’s not the crazy one in her life. But Blake’s attention—and insights into life and living with bipolar disorder—threaten to destroy everything Lauren has created for herself, including her relationship with Sierra.


You made it all the way down the page! Congrats! Here are some meercats. Also for your perseverance, here’s some insider knowledge: I am working on sequels to both Just Girls and My Year Zero. If you loved the characters in those books, you’ll get to see them again!