TEEN BOOKS

 

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Annotated Booklist of Teen and Adolescent Topics

Bargar, G. W. (1981). What happened to Mr. Forster? Ticknor & Fields.
Twelve-year-old Louis, a shy, unathletic outsider, is befriended by a new teacher. When parents find out that Mr. Forster is living with a male roommate, they become suspicious. Perceptive story about anti-gay prejudice. For intermediate-secondary grades.


Brett, C. (1989). S. P. likes A. D. The Women's Press.
Adolescent Stephanie explores her fascination and attraction to classmate, Anne. Deals with a young person's confusion and inability to identify the very intense feelings being experienced. For secondary grades.


Carson, M. (1988). Brothers in arms. Pantheon.
Fourteen-year-old Benson is overweight, religious, and enamored of other boys. To escape harassment at school and "irregular motions of the flesh" he joins the seminary (!). Eventually he finds happiness and gay liberation. A very funny, very Roman Catholic coming-of-age tale.


Duplechan, L. (1986). Blackbird. St. Martin' s.
A gay black teenager deals with first love, an uncomprehending girlfriend, a psychic girl with split personality, a straight male friend in trouble, and parents who want to exorcise the "gay" demon out of him.


Fricke, A. (1981). Reflections of a rock lobster: A story about arowina up asy.-Alyson. - -
A realistic memoir about a painful and finally joyful growing up gay. First person narration is a strength. For secondary grades.


Garden, N. (1982). Annie on my mind. Farrar, Straus, & Giroux.
Two high school girls fall in love. Although both have trouble accepting these feelings, this is a positive story, capturing the intensity of first love. For secondary grades.


Hall, L. (1972). Sticks and stones. Follett.
Sixteen-year-old Tom, newly arrived in town, makes friends with Ward, a man in his 20's who is rumored to be gay. The story illustrates the ugliness of gossip and the damage that labeling can produce. With greater self-understanding, Tom can finally accept Ward's valued friendship. For secondary grades.
 

Hanlon, E. (1980). The wing and the flame. Bradbury.
Fourteen-year-old Eric divides his time between Owen, a 70-year-old otherworldly sculptor, and his best friend Chris, with whom Eric has a sexual encounter. A sensitive description of the many ways one can accept and express love. The boys' physical attraction is seen as only one aspect of-a many-faceted relationship. For-secondary grades.


Hautzig, D. (1989). Hey, dollface. Knopf.
Fifteen-year-old Val falls in love with classmate and realizes she is sexually attracted to her. A non-homophobic exploration of bisexuality. For secondary grades.


Homes, A. M. (1989). Jack. Macmillan.
This first person narrative follows Jack from age 12 to 16 as he comes to terms with his divorced father's homosexuality. In the process, he has help from Maggie, whose father is also gay. Jack finally realizes that he has his own identity, separate from those of his family and loved ones. For secondary grades.


Levy, E. (1981). Come out smiling. Delacorte.
Fourteen-year-old Jenny struggles with unresolved questions about her sexual identity, while two other women at her summer camp provide positive lesbian role models. For secondary grades.


Meyer, C. (1986). Elliott and Win. Anaheim.
Fourteen-year-old Win meets Elliott when his divorced mother signs him up for Big Brother type organization. Win becomes uneasy when a friend insists Elliott must be gay but over time Win and Elliott become friends. The issue of Elliott's sexual orientation becomes irrelevant. For secondary grades.


Mohr, N. (1977). In Nueva York. Dial.
Collection of stories about the lives of Puerto Ricans in Lower East side of New York, including Johnny and Sebastian, two gay lovers. When Johnny is drafted, he marries a lesbian who agrees to turn over her dependent's allowance to Sebastian--all with the neighborhood's approval. For secondary grades.


Newman, L. (1989). Heather has two mommies. In Other Words Publishing.
Heather, about 5-years-old, lives with her two lesbian mothers. The story illustrates how this and other nontraditional families are loving and supportive. For primary grades.


Rees, D. (1988). In the tent. Alyson.
Seventeen-year-old Tim is sensitive and intellectual, and deeply distressed by his homosexuality. His conflicts are worsened by his strict Catholic upbringing and the fact that Aaron, the boy he has fallen in love with, is attracted to girls. A crisis helps Tim begin to come to terms with his gayness. For secondary grades.


Scoppettone, S. (1974). Trying hard to hear you. Harper & Row.
Sixteen-year-old Camille has to come to grips with love relations between her friend, Jeff, and boyfriend, Phil. Powerfully explores the cruelty of homophobia peers and the anguish and internal conflict felt by the gay boys. A bit dated in that Phil tragically dies in the end. More a book for heterosexual students to learn about gay people. For secondary grades.


Scoppettone, S. (1978). Happy endings are all alike. Harper & Row.
Eighteen-year-olds Jaret and Peggy, are lovers, when a boy, Mid, rapes Jaret and threatens to expose the lovers if she presses charges. Jaret, not ashamed of her lesbianism, does press charges and the lesbian relationship is the object of vicious prejudice in their small town. The two lovers weather the storm: "So what if happy endings didn't exist? Happy moments did." For secondary grades.


Severance, J. (1979). When Megan went away. Lollipop Power.
Young Shannon's life is disrupted when Mom and Megan, her lesbian parents, break up. Shannon misses Megan and worries that it may be her fault. Excellent story of "divorce" of lesbian parents. For intermediate grades.
 

Severance, J. (1983). Lots of mommies. Lollipop Power.
Six-year-old Emily lives with her mother and four other women in a commune. When Emily tells her classmates that she has lots of mommies, they laugh disbelievingly. But when she falls and all her mommies come to the rescue, the other children come to respect and admire her family. Excellent portrayal of an all-female nontraditional family. For primary grades.


Spence, E. R. (1979). A candle for Saint Anthony. Oxford University Press.
Fifteen-year-olds Justin and Rudi develop a love and friendship that is neither romantic nor sexual, but become victims of a world that sets limits on the variety of acceptable human relationships.


St. George, J. (1981). Call me Margo. Putnam.
Fifteen-year-old Margo separates friends from enemies in her new boarding school. When she learns her admired tennis coach is gay, she doubts her own sexuality, but eventually relaxes and finds her own strengths. For middle school grades.


Wersba, B. (1986). Crazy vanilla. Harper & Row.
Fourteen-year-old Tyler becomes involved with streetwise 15-year-old Mitzi, who can beat up any kid on the block. Mitzi challenges all of Tyler's beliefs--especially those about his gay older brother. For secondary grades.


Wersba, B. (1988). Just be Gorgeous. Harper & Row.
Sixteen-year-old Heidi falls in love with Jeffrey, a gay boy who is trying to become a dancer. Friends warn Heidi that "there's nothing in it for you," but Jeffrey's determination to be himself and do what he loves encourages Heidi to trust herself. Avoids easy answers. For secondary grades.

 

 

(From: Dworkin, editor)


 

 


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