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Bibliographic Info:

Title: Two Boys Kissing

Author: David Levithan

ISBN:  9780307931900

Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf

Copyright date: 2013

Plot Summary

Two Boys Kissing revolves are three sets of boys and two of their friends, the first Harry and Craig used to be a couple but are attempting to set the Guinness World Record for consecutive hours kissed and they must surpass 32 hours.  Peter and Neil are two young boys trying to figure out where their relationship goes next after a year of dating.  Ryan and Avery are still trying to figure out the beginnings of their relationship while trying to understand their gender identities.  Tariq is still healing mentally from a beating by a group of boys yelling gay slurs in his ears as they kicked him.  Cooper is trying to navigate the relationships with his family after they learned that he was gay.

These stories are woven together with the narration of a generation of gay men lost to AIDs, giving their experiences and encouragement to the boys paving the way after them.

Critical Evaluation

What a wonderfully written book.  Though the stories of the individuals aren’t anything new, the way in which Levithan delivers the stories is something I hadn’t seen before.  The Greek chorus of those lost to AID’s is a touching reminder that they had similar experiences, yet not quite the same.

Levithan is in the minds of the characters and really seems to understand their struggles, and I found it to be a deeply moving read.

Reader’s Annotation

The stories of young boys navigating their first homosexual relationships, told by the chorus of men who walked the path before them.  A moving and uplifting novel about coming to terms with one’s sexuality.

Who Should Read It

Anyone looking for an upbeat LGBT story, or just a story about young romance and finding your way within it.

Why I Read It

It was a find at a bookstore on a trip and was recommended by one of the workers as a great YA LGBT novel.

Author Biography

David Levithan is both an editor and a writer of young adult fiction.  His most notable works include Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Boy Meets Boy, and Wide Awake. Levithan collaborates with other writers quite often and says that he might love editing even more than writing.  Levithan’s books quite often have strong gay male characters.

Genre

*LGBT Fiction

*Young Adult Fiction

Curriculum Ties

N/A

Booktalking Ideas

*Why do you think Levithan used the Greek chorus of those that have died of aids to be the narrator?

Reading Level/Interest Age

14+

Challenge Issues

*LGBT

*Sexuality

Two Boys Kissing

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Bibliographic Info:

Title:  Pink

Author:  Lili Wilkinson

ISBN:  0061926531

Publisher: HarperCollins Publisher

Copyright date: 2011

 

Plot Summary

Ava is a high school student that excels in her classes, has a fabulous girlfriend, and wears all black so when she decides to leave her public school to go to the more posh private one it’s a shock to both her extremely liberal parents as well as her girlfriend, Chloe.  Even more shocking is the driving reason behind her decision to change schools: the desire to wear the color pink.  Ava finds she wants to wear pretty clothes and possibly be a part of a popular group of girls, maybe even try to date a boy.

 

As Ava begins her new life she becomes friends with the popular girls who urge her to try out for the school musical and just as her dreams are within her reach, she bombs her audition.  In order to stay close to the musical Ava joins the stage crew, a group of misfits who have just as much disdain for the popular girls who they call “Pastels” as the popular kids do for them. 

 

Ava understands the stage crew group, nicknamed “The Screws,” but is still striving to be a part of the popular crowd, though neither knows about her former days of an all-black wearing lesbian.  As she juggles the three groups in her life, Pastel, Screw, and lesbian at home, Ava becomes even more confused and goes to great lengths to keep the groups separate, but when they all come crashing down, will she have anyone left to stand by her?

 

Critical Evaluation

The most prominent part of the book is the driving force behind Ava’s actions.  As a protagonist, the reader doesn’t always like Ava, instead there are times when I felt as if I didn’t even like the character.  The supporting cast of Pink is where Wilkinson’s writing really shines, the characters are so vibrant that you can visualize them so easily with their descriptions.

 

 At the heart of Pink is the struggle to find who you are, something which most if not all teens can identify, and Wilkinson doesn’t a wonderful job at capturing just how confusing that can all be.

 

Reader’s Annotation

Young adults are at a confusing time in their lives where seemingly you’re supposed to know who you are already; Pink highlights the struggles of finding where you belong.

 

Who Should Read It

Pink is a great book for those struggling with feelings of sexual as well as a personal identity.

 

Why I Read It

Pink was assigned to the class.

 

Author Biography

Lili Wilkinson is an Australian author who writes young adult fiction.  Wilkinson graduated from Melbourne University and then spent some time in Japan teaching English.  She is now getting a PhD as well eight novels as well as a collection of short stories. 

 

Genre

*LGBT Fiction

*Young Adult Fiction

 

Curriculum Ties

N/A

 

Booktalking Ideas

 

 

Reading Level/Interest Age

14+

 

Challenge Issues

*LGBT issues

Pink