One necessary step to positively support the development of a young child’s gender identity is understanding distinct yet interrelated aspects of gender: assigned sex, gender role, gender identity, gender expression, and sexuality.
Historically and currently, a binary perspective — meaning only two options — on being female or male has prevailed in the United States and many other societies, with proscribed sets of rules of behavior, dress, and roles for males and females. Current thinking reveals a more complex and nuanced understanding of gender development that goes beyond a binary approach and casts greater light on how expectations of traditional femininity and masculinity limit children’s development.
— Excerpted from Anti-Bias Education for Young Children and Ourselves by Louise Derman-Sparks and Julie Olsen Edwards.
The books on this list are for young children. For books about gender diversity for older children, see our LGBTQ+ booklist.
Teaching for Change carefully selects the best multicultural and social justice books for children, young adults, and educators. Learn about our criteria for selecting titles. Feedback on these lists and suggestions for additional titles are welcome.
Most of the books on these lists are linked for more information or purchase to Bookshop (an indie bookstore platform) and / or Powells.com (an independent, unionized bookstore). A small percentage from book sales through these links goes to Teaching for Change.
Titles with reviews on this site are noted with an asterisk (*).