Found Family: Literature That Celebrates Families of Choice

By Estefanía Vélez, Library Information Assistant
December 9, 2020
Woodlawn Heights Library

For many, the holiday season is a time in which we pay special homage to the importance of family, friendship, and community. It is important to remember, however, that these bonds come in all forms. As we explore the diversity and nuances of different homes and communities, literature that focuses on found families proves especially interesting! 

The "Found Family" or “Family of Choice” trope refers to a device in literature and media where a group of characters find themselves united in a family-bond based on shared experiences, mutual understanding, and interpersonal connection. These arrangements often bring familial love they may have otherwise missed into their lives. Rather than the blood ties that may dictate some biological families, found family stories emphasize the connections and communities we choose for ourselves. These narratives are often especially resonant for members of disenfranchised communities, such as those in the LGBTQ+ community, who keenly understand that unconditional love comes in all forms, and so do families.

Whether you’re a fan of The Mandalorian, Naomi Novak’s Spinning Silver, or Pose, media centering on chosen families now abound. This holiday season, consider celebrating the beauty of families of choice through these selections available through The New York Public Library:


Have trouble reading standard print? Many of these titles are available in formats for patrons with print disabilities.

Staff picks are chosen by NYPL staff members and are not intended to be comprehensive lists. We'd love to hear your ideas too, so leave a comment and tell us what you’d recommend. And check out our Staff Picks browse tool for more recommendations!