Thursday, June 10, 2010


June is Gay and Lesbian Pride Month!

It's important for both boys and girls to read novels portraying sexually confused and or curious characters.  It allows them to work out their own feelings of confusion and curiosity.  

I'll admit, I read these books a while back when I decided to read banned books to see if they were as horrible as challengers made them seem.  Usually the reason was "Oh my gosh! Gay People!" To which I respond: *steps onto soap box* Get over it!  Teens really have to deal with these issues and its important for them to have resources available that (as I guess I said above) allow them to safely and confidently work through their feelings. *steps off soap box*

Below are two titles that provide such characters and situations.

Geography Club by Brent Hartinger
HarperTeen, 2003
ISBN: 0060012234
226 pages

I knew that any wrong action, however slight, could reveal my true identity...

Russel is still going on dates with girls.  Kevin would do anything to prevent his teammates on the baseball team from finding out.  Mine and Terese tell everyone they're just really good friends.  But after a while, the truth's hard to hide--at least from each other--so they from the "Geography Club."  Nobody else will come.  Why would they want to?  Their secret should be safe.

Set in a typical high school, this novel provides a real look at how difficult it is to keep this type of secret.  These kids create a "Geography Club" in order to meet and discuss their sexuality related troubles.  Problems arise when a few other heterosexual students decide to join the club too.  Who knew geography would be interesting to people?

I like this book for its realistic experience.  Characters come to an understanding about themselves and show that falling in and out of love hurts whether its with someone of the same or opposite sex.

Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan
Alfred A. Knopf, 2003
ISBN: 0375824006
185 pages

This is the story of Paul, a sophomore at a high school like no other: the cheerleaders ride Harleys, the homecoming queen used to be a guy named Daryl (she now prefers Infinite Darlene), and the gay-straight alliance was formed to help the straight kids learn how to dance.

When Paul meets Noah, he thinks he's found the one his heart is made for.  Until he blows it.  The school bookie says the odds are 12 to 1 against getting Noah back, but Paul's not giving up without playing his love really loud.  His best friend Jon might be drifting away, his other best friend Tony might be dealing with ultra-religious parents, and his ex-boyfriend Kyle might not be going away anytime soon...but sometimes everything needs to fall apart before it can really fit together right.

In this celebration of love in all forms, David Levithan has crafted a world full of engaging and enduring characters that readers will want to visit again and again.

Tinged with magical realism, Boy Meets Boy offers a perfect world scenario where teens are accepting and understanding of differences.  It provides an escape to a place where sexuality is always accepted and right for the individual.  Even with the perfect world, Tony's character is fearful is the repercussions of admitting his sexuality to his parents.  They are zealously religious and poor Tony feels (and is) trapped. 

My only problem with this novel is the cover.  I realize it is a love story and blue is a "boy" color, but the combination of a slightly darker baby blue and candy hearts screams femininity and could definitely steer boys away. 

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