Am I Blue? Coming out from the Silence
Am I Blue? Coming out from the Silence
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Annotation: A collection of short stories about homosexuality by such authors as Bruce Coville, M.E. Kerr, William Sleator, and Jane Yolen.
Catalog Number: #8964
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Special Formats: Inventory Sale Inventory Sale
Publisher: HarperCollins
Copyright Date: 1994
Edition Date: 1994
Pages: xi, 273 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-06-440587-7 Perma-Bound: 0-605-08822-5
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-06-440587-4 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-08822-1
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 93029574
Dimensions: 21 cm.
Language: English
Horn Book
Bauer's exciting, moving collection includes stories by Bruce Coville, Lois Lowry, Jane Yolen, Nancy Garden, and others. While all the pieces center on themes of coming to terms with homosexuality, they also are stories of love, coming of age, adventure, and self-discovery. A powerful commentary about our social and emotional responses to homosexuality and our human need for love and acceptance.
Kirkus Reviews
When gay and lesbian adults write about their youthful struggles to come to terms with their gayness, they frequently lament that there was little in books to help them understand their sexuality and accept themselves. In contrast, these stories by 16 luminaries of YA literature will help such young people realize that they are not alone, unique, or abnormal in their sexual orientation. The viewpoint here is sometimes that of a gay protagonist, sometimes that of someone whose life has been affected by a gay person. Bruce Coville's title tale of a modern fairy godfather is wonderfully campy and humorous; in Francesca Lia Block's ``Winnie and Teddy,'' a young man comes out to his girlfriend; in James Cross Giblin's ``Three Mondays in July,'' a young man's chance encounter with an older one turns his life around; Lois Lowry's ``Holding'' depicts a boy whose life has been a lie because he couldn't acknowledge his father's gayness; and the editor tells a delightful tale (``Dancing Backward'') of two young lesbians reacting to the rigid orthodoxy of a Catholic boarding school. Many of the other stories—which include entries by M.E. Kerr, Jacqueline Woodson, Jane Yolen, and William Sleator—are equally fine. Each is followed by comments by the author on his or her life and writing; these can be as interesting as the stories themselves. A book that belongs in every YA collection. (Fiction. 12+)"
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-This collection of 18 short stories by recognized children's and young adult authors explores the various meanings of gay/lesbian identity in the lives of teenagers. The book begins and ends with thoughtful commentaries by Bauer, and each story is followed by an afterword by its author that ranges from ho-hum to fascinating; the best tell the ``story behind the story'' and reveal the ways in which gay/lesbian issues or individuals have touched the authors' lives. Most feature white, middle-class, suburban/urban milieus, although several stories have a more diverse cast than is generally found in YA fiction. All seek to convey the very mixed emotions that accompany the acceptance of sexual difference at an age that places a high value on conformity to an established norm. Although the title story is a humorous fantasy featuring a camp fairy godfather who comes to the aid of a gay-bashing victim, most of the tales are realistic portrayals of contemporary YAs. In Nancy Garden's ``Parents Night,'' an unexpected reconciliation occurs between a young lesbian and her father, while in Bauer's ``Dancing Backward,'' the trauma of two young women's boarding school expulsion is offset by the revelation of their love. In Lois Lowry's ``Holding,'' a young man returns from the funeral of his father's partner and finally tells his best friend that his father is gay, while James Cross Giblin's ``Three Mondays in July'' captures the isolation of small-town life in the early `50s. As is the case with most short story collections, the overall quality is uneven, but the best stories are memorable. They speak of survival and hope; they say, like the man on the beach in Giblin's story, ``You're not alone.''-Christine Jenkins, University of Illinois, Champaign
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* Sixteen short stories by a stellar group of YA writers--some gay, some not--all of whom have something meaningful to say about gay awareness and want to present readers with positive, credible gay role models. Wonderfully diverse in tone and setting, the stories cut across color and class lines to incorporate everything from a contemporary, feminist story about a girl's coming out and a tale written with a nod to the Vietnam War to a fantasy that takes place in a mythical Amazonian kingdom and a story set in a Catholic girls' school. If there's one off note, it's the title tale. A campy, messagey piece by Bruce Coville, the story, which is actually humorous as well as pointed, would have been more effective had it been placed elsewhere in the collection. As leadoff to the anthology, it gives readers the impression they're in for sermons, not good storytelling, and nothing could be further from the truth. Bauer's anthology, with stories recognizing both the physical and the emotional pull of being gay or lesbian, includes a number of particularly good selections. One of the finest, "Three Mondays in July," comes from Jim Giblin, best known for his young people's nonfiction; another comes from Newbery Medal winner Lois Lowry, who gives us a moving tale about a teenager who can't bring himself to be honest about his father's significant other. With stories that go beyond struggle and stereotype to show individuality, pride, and affection, this is an important book that should be in every YA collection. A portion of the proceeds will be shared with the Federation of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.
Word Count: 55,652
Reading Level: 5.4
Interest Level: 7-12
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 5.4 / points: 9.0 / quiz: 68890 / grade: Upper Grades
Lexile: 760L

Original stories by C. S. Adler, Marion Dane Bauer, Francesca Lia Block, Bruce Coville, Nancy Garden, James Cross Giblin, Ellen Howard, M. E. Kerr, Jonathan London, Lois Lowry, Gregory Maguire, Lesléa Newman, Cristina Salat, William Sleator, Jacqueline Woodson, and Jane Yolen

Each of these stories is original, each is by a noted author for young adults, and each honestly portrays its subject and theme--growing up gay or lesbian, or with gay or lesbian parents or friends.

Am I blue? / Bruce Coville
We might as well all be strangers / M. E. Kerr
Winnie and Tommy / Francesca Lia Black
Slipping away / Jacqueline Woodson
The honorary shepherds / Gregory Maguire
Running / Ellen Howard
Three Mondays in July / James Cross Giblin
Parents' night / Nancy Garden
Michael's little sister / C. S. Adler
Supper / Leslea Newman
Holding / Lois Lowry
Blood sister / Jane Yolen
Hands / Jonathan London
50% chance of lightning / Cristina Salat
In the tunnels / William Sleator
Dancing backwards / Marion Dane Bauer.

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