Category Archives: black

Rhythm and Blues

Jill Murray, February 2010.   Here’s a protagonist with her head on straight.  She’s part of a breakdance crew, and comfortable with her place in it – she’s not the star, not the best gymnast, just a solid performer and … Continue reading

Posted in 2010, black, canadian, gay male, Jill Murray, lesbian, queer protagonist, realistic, secondary queer character | 2 Comments

Angry Management

Chris Crutcher, 2009.  These three novellas are linked by an unnecessary framing device: the main characters in each are attending the same anger management class, and the counselor provides a little bit of commentary and a data sheet on each of … Continue reading

Posted in 2009, black, Chris Crutcher, fat, gay male, gay-bashing, gaytopia, high school, lesbian, mystery, problem novel, queer adult, queer parent, queer protagonist, realistic, religion, secondary queer character, short stories, sports | 2 Comments

From the Notebooks of Melanin Sun

Jacqueline Woodson, 1995. Melanin Sun has been keeping a diary since he was little, and collecting stamps too, despite his friends’ taunts of “faggot” when he pursues these activities. Mel has it all figured out, though: “I knew it was … Continue reading

Posted in 1995, black, Jacqueline Woodson, lesbian, problem novel, queer adult, queer parent, realistic | 6 Comments

How Beautiful the Ordinary: Twelve Stories of Identity

Michael Cart, ed., 2009.  The long break since my last post reflects my difficulty with finishing books of short stories.  I have trouble getting into them; they’re just too short and I don’t have the chance to identify with the … Continue reading

Posted in 2009, Ariel Schrag, asian american, biracial, bisexual, black, college, David Levithan, drag, Emma Donoghue, epistolary, Eric Shanower, fantasy, Francesca Lia Block, gay male, gay-bashing, gaytopia, Gregory Maguire, high school, historical, Jacqueline Woodson, Jennifer Finley Boylan, Julie Anne Peters, lesbian, Margo Lanagan, Michael Cart, problem novel, queer adult, queer parent, queer protagonist, realistic, romance, Ron Koertge, secondary queer character, short stories, trans, Willam Sleator | 2 Comments

Freaks and Revelations

Davida Wills Hurwin, November 2009. This superb, hard-hitting novel is based on the true story of a teenage white supremacist and his confrontation with a runaway turning tricks.  Jason’s born-again mother kicks him out when she finds out he’s gay, so he … Continue reading

Posted in 2009, asian american, black, Davida Wills Hurwin, gay male, gay-bashing, latina/o, problem novel, prostitution, queer adult, queer protagonist, realistic, secondary queer character, sexual violence | Leave a comment

Liar

Justine Larbalestier, September 2009.  Micah is a compulsive liar, which she admits right away, so how can we believe anything she says? She swears she will tell the truth in the book, though, and she promises this in a very … Continue reading

Posted in 2009, biracial, bisexual, black, fantasy, gaytopia, high school, Justine Larbalestier, mystery, problem novel, queer protagonist, secondary queer character, surprise queer character, trans, unreliable narrator | Leave a comment

Last Night I Sang to the Monster

Benjamin Alire Sáenz, September 2009. This powerful first-person narrative is set in a rehab center, where eighteen-year-old Zach has woken up with no memories of how he got there. It’s clear that he and his father are alcoholics and that his … Continue reading

Posted in 2009, Benjamin Alire Saenz, best ever!, black, gay male, gaytopia, latina/o, problem novel, queer adult, queer protagonist, realistic, secondary queer character, sexual violence | 5 Comments

Punkzilla

Adam Rapp, May 2009.  Fourteen-year-old runaway Jamie, also known as Punkzilla, is on a trip across America, hoping to reach Memphis and his older brother P before P dies of cancer.  P is gay, living with his long-term boyfriend, and … Continue reading

Posted in 2009, Adam Rapp, best ever!, black, epistolary, gay male, latina/o, problem novel, prostitution, queer adult, realistic, secondary queer character, trans | 1 Comment

No Such Thing as the Real World: Stories about Growing Up and Getting a Life

An Na, M.T. Anderson, K.L. Going, Beth Kephart, Chris Lynch, and Jacqueline Woodson, April 2009.   Six stories by six award-winning YA authors, and I can’t decide which I like best.  It’s not Going’s tale of a girl living in her … Continue reading

Posted in 2009, An Na, Beth Kephart, biracial, black, Chris Lynch, fat, gay male, gay-bashing, gaytopia, high school, Jacqueline Woodson, K.L. Going, M.T. Anderson, problem novel, prostitution, queer adult, queer protagonist, realistic, romance, secondary queer character, short stories | Leave a comment

The Vast Fields of Ordinary

Nick Burd, May 2009. As the story opens, Dade is quasi-dating (it’s really just sex) a jerk named Pablo, who’s known as the Sexican because of his exploits with women, not men.  He’s so far in the closet he lets … Continue reading

Posted in 2009, black, college, gay male, gay-bashing, latina/o, lesbian, mystery, Nick Burd, queer protagonist, realistic, secondary queer character, surprise queer character | Leave a comment