Category Archives: black


Malinda Lo, September 2012.  Lo’s third novel and first foray into book-length science fiction is set in 2014 America, where teenage Reese and David get into a car accident and wake up 27 days later in a classified military hospital.  The … Continue reading

Posted in 2012, asian american, biracial, bisexual, black, dystopia, gay male, gaytopia, lesbian, Malinda Lo, queer protagonist, science fiction, secondary queer character, surprise queer character | 1 Comment

Personal Effects

E.M. Kokie, September 2012.  Matt’s a pretty unhappy kid.  His beloved big brother T.J. died in Iraq; he’s in unrequited love with his best friend Shauna; his dad is distant at best and violent at worst; and he’s failing out of … Continue reading

Posted in 2012, biracial, black, E.M. Kokie, gay male, high school, problem novel, queer adult, realistic, romance, secondary queer character, surprise queer character | 1 Comment


Julie Smith, 2011.  I love a good boarding-school story, so I was all set to enjoy this one, set in Santa Barbara and Ojai and featuring a demon masquerading as a cat, a family curse, and time travel to ancient … Continue reading

Posted in 2011, black, fantasy, fat, gay male, gaytopia, historical, Julie Smith, latina/o, problem novel, realistic, romance, secondary queer character | Leave a comment

Truth & Dare: 20 Tales of Heartbreak and Happiness

Liz Miles, ed., 2011. These twenty stories, written by some of YA’s shining lights, form one of the most consistently strong anthologies I’ve ever read in any genre. The best is probably Ellen Wittlinger’s “Rules for Love and Death,” about … Continue reading

Posted in 2011, A.M. Homes, asian, bisexual, black, Cecil Castellucci, Courtney Gillette, Ellen Wittlinger, Emma Donoghue, epistolary, european, fantasy, fat, Gary Soto, gay male, gay-bashing, Heidi R. Kling, high school, historical, Jennifer Finley Boylan, Jennifer Knight, Jennifer R. Hubbard, Jill Wolfson, lesbian, Liz Miles, Luisa Plaja, Matthue Roth, Michael Lowenthal, queer protagonist, realistic, romance, Sara Wilkinson, Sarah Rees Brennan, Saundra Mitchell, secondary queer character, sexual violence, Shelley Stoehr, Sherry Shahan, short stories, sports, surprise queer character | Leave a comment

The End: Five Queer Kids Save the World

Nora Olsen, 2010. Just what the title says: when a war breaks out in 2014, five queer teens find one another and conspire to save the planet. There’s a weird framing device where the war is actually caused by an … Continue reading

Posted in 2010, biracial, bisexual, black, dystopia, european, fantasy, gay male, gaytopia, lesbian, Nora Olsen, queer adult, queer protagonist, trans | Leave a comment

The Good Girl’s Guide to Getting Kidnapped

Yxta Maya Murray, 2010. Fifteen-year-old Michelle straddles two worlds – her comfortable foster home with a doctor for her guardian, and her old life as Princess P in a family of gangsters. Now Michelle is applying to private school and … Continue reading

Posted in 2010, black, gay male, high school, latina/o, passing mentions, queer adult, queer parent, realistic, secondary queer character, sports, Yxta Maya Murray | Leave a comment

The Frenzy

Francesca Lia Block, September 2010. I remember, as a teen, loving the spiky, poppy prose confection that was Weetzie Bat.  I reread it in library school for my YA lit class, and it stood the test of time.  So I … Continue reading

Posted in 2010, black, fantasy, Francesca Lia Block, gay male, secondary queer character, worst ever! | Leave a comment

I Am J

Cris Beam, March 2011. Beam wrote the excellent Transparent: Love, Family, and Living the T with Transgender Teenagers, a nonfiction look at MTF kids in LA.  I couldn’t put that one down, so was delighted to hear about Beam’s foray … Continue reading

Posted in 2011, black, Cris Beam, drag, gay male, gay-bashing, high school, latina/o, lesbian, problem novel, queer adult, queer protagonist, realistic, secondary queer character, trans | 2 Comments

He Forgot to Say Goodbye

Benjamin Alire Sáenz, 2008.  Sáenz is my favorite author discovery since the advent of QueerYA. I loved, and raved about, his latest, and this one was almost as good.  In fact, since this one didn’t have much of a plot, … Continue reading

Posted in 2008, Benjamin Alire Saenz, black, gay male, gay-bashing, latina/o, passing mentions, problem novel, realistic, secondary queer character | 1 Comment

The Misfits

James Howe, 2001. This delightful novel follows the exploits of four seventh-grade outcasts: Addie, the tall nerdy one; Skeezie, a rather uncouth and unclean kid; Bobby, fat and happy; and Joe, proudly gay. They decide to enter a third-party slate … Continue reading

Posted in 2001, asian american, black, fat, gay male, James Howe, middle school, realistic, secondary queer character | 1 Comment