2020 is the year I’ve set out to unlearn everything I’ve been taught as gender and think beyond the gender binary- I mean realistically, that’s what I’ve been trying to do for years, but still- and one way to do so is read works by nonbinary, trans, agender, genderfluid, and genderqueer authors! One of my favorite things about YAland is that it is full of diverse authors and experiences, and here are just a few nonbinary, genderfluid, or genderqueer authors that write in that age range that you should check out!
Note that I’m including authors that primarily write young adult fiction/non-fiction and middle grade, though there are some NB authors (Akwaeke Emezi and Sarah Gailey, for instance) that focus on adult works (but have YA books) and are just as fabulous.
Edited to add (6/17/2020): in a previous version of this post, I recommended Taylor B. Barton and their work. Due to recent events that have come to light, including past racist behavior and bullying in the publishing industry, I no longer recommend this author or their work and have removed them from this post.
I met Kacen at the YALSA Symposium last year and their works are truly beautiful- they’ve *rightfully* won many awards and consistently bring different life experiences alive for tweens and teens. Seriously y’all, young people are so lucky to have a writer like Kacen right now (also please please PLEASE check out Felix Ever After, which just came out this month!)
Amy Rose Capetta & Cory McCarthy
I don’t know if it’s an actual thing that these two are the power couple of YA lit, but in my eyes it is! Teaming together for the James Patterson Presents Once & Future series, as well as having penned some incredible solo works, these two incredible authors are KILLING it! I can’t wait to see what’s up next for these two.
Rin was one of the authors affected by the most recent Mackenzi Lee scandal, and they handled the situation with such aplomb (and deserves all the positive attention and reviews). If you’re looking to explore the darker parts of both your mind and the fantastical world, you cannot go wrong with one of their haunting, beautiful reads!
Mason is relatively new to the YA scene, but they came onto it with a BANG with their debut book I Wish You All the Best last year, which also features a nonbinary main character. Bright things lie ahead of them, and I for one cannot wait to see what comes next!
Looking for queer adventures in space? Then author/librarian M.K. England has got you COVERED with their two books- I have a copy of The Disasters recently purchased and waiting on my book cart, and I can’t wait to dive in!
Looking to walk into the world of fairy tales, or looking for a master of magical realism? Then you must must MUST read Anna-Marie McLemore’s works- they are lyrically beautiful and transport you to new (realistic) worlds. Also if you want some serious outfit envy, follow their twitter…seriously stunning.
With their English debut This Is How It Ends, Marieke Nijkamp blew up on the YA scene. In addition to writing downright consumable fiction, they are a disability advocate, founded DiversifYA, and was a founding presence in We Need Diverse Books.
Pat has been a staple and pioneer author in young adult and middle grade circle for decades, and their work has explored gender, sexuality, and other tough and thought-provoking topics. Rightfully, their work has been awarded many honors and is much beloved by children and adults alike.
As they write on their Twitter, Jen Wilde “writes the gay shit”, and boy oh boy do teens LOVE IT! Their storys are full of fun, fandom, and feminism and in addition to this representation, Jen also brings light to neurodiversity and autism both in their work and in their social media/activism. They’re a true light in the YAverse!
Have a fave genderfluid, agender, nonbinary, or genderqueer YA author that I didn’t feature? Please list them in the comments below!
Until next time…