Category Archives: historical

When Love Comes to Town

Tom Lennon, 1993 with March 2013 re-release. Irish teen Neil is a rugby player and successful with the girls, so he can’t possibly tell anyone he’s actually gay.  Instead, he puts up a good front to his friends but secretly … Continue reading

Posted in 1993, 2013, blast from the past, drag, european, gay male, gay-bashing, genderqueer, high school, historical, problem novel, queer adult, queer protagonist, realistic, secondary queer character, Tom Lennon | Leave a comment

Way to Go

Tom Ryan, April 2012.  It’s the summer of 1994 and Danny’s got problems: his dad works in distant oil fields and comes home only to nag him about college; he’s not sure what he wants to do after high school; … Continue reading

Posted in 2012, bisexual, canadian, gay male, gay-bashing, historical, lesbian, problem novel, queer adult, queer protagonist, realistic, secondary queer character, Tom Ryan | 2 Comments

Silhouette of a Sparrow

Molly Beth Griffin, September 2012. Garnet is sixteen years old in 1926 and plans to live the life her mother wants for her: she’ll graduate high school in a year and then marry her boyfriend and become a happy homemaker … Continue reading

Posted in 2012, bisexual, historical, lesbian, Molly Beth Griffin, problem novel, queer adult, queer protagonist, realistic, secondary queer character, surprise queer character | Leave a comment

Boys of Summer

Steve Berman, ed., May 2012. This is another uneven collection of short stories from Bold Strokes, this one focusing on summer romances between young men. The standout story here is Alex Jeffers’s “Wheat, Barley, Lettuce, Fennel, Salt for Sorrow, Blood for … Continue reading

Posted in 'Nathan Burgoine, 2012, Aimee Payne, Alex Jeffers, Ann Tonsor Zeddies, asian american, bisexual, canadian, Christopher Reynaga, Dia Pannes, fantasy, gay male, gay-bashing, gaytopia, genderqueer, historical, L. Lark, latina/o, Marguerite Croft, problem novel, queer protagonist, realistic, romance, Sam Cameron, secondary queer character, Shawn Syms, short stories, Steve Berman | Leave a 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


Jane Eagland, September 2010.  Seventeen-year-old Louisa Cosgrove thinks she’s on her way to be a paid companion for a rich friend of her family’s, but when her carriage arrives at her destination, it’s an insane asylum – and the staff … Continue reading

Posted in 2010, european, historical, Jane Eagland, lesbian, queer protagonist, realistic, romance, secondary queer character | 3 Comments

Hidden Voices: The Orphan Musicians of Venice

Pat Lowery Collins, May 2009.  I read a lot of queer YA fiction, and I confess to growing weary of it sometimes; one can only read so many contemporary realistic gay teen novels, set in high schools and featuring closeted … Continue reading

Posted in 2009, european, historical, lesbian, Pat Lowery Collins, queer protagonist, realistic, romance, sexual violence | 1 Comment


Liza Ketchum, 2009.  Twelve-year-old Amelia has just arrived in San Francisco in 1851, and she’s the only girl her age in town.  There are startlingly few women, too – it’s more of a center for shipping and mining, and most … Continue reading

Posted in 2009, historical, lesbian, Liza Ketchum, queer adult, queer parent, realistic, secondary queer character | Leave a comment

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