School Library Journal
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Gr 9 Up-This collection's refreshing perspective-that gay, lesbian, and transgendered lives simply are, as Cart states in the introduction, "as wonderfully various, diverse, and gloriously complex as any other lives,"-distinguishes it. Twelve acclaimed authors contribute stories ranging from sweet and nostalgic to lyrical and desperate, capturing the blissful/painful process of self-discovery. Highlights include Margo Lanagan's retelling of "The Highwayman" from a voyeuristic stable boy's point of view and Gregory Maguire's story told from different points in time, in which an 18-year-old Iranian-American boy discovers the impact a summer of accidental love can have on his entire life. The formats and settings of the stories are as varied as the characters. Graphic novelist Ariel Schrag's "San Francisco Dyke March" gives funny tourist observations, and in "Happily Ever After," Eric Shanower illustrates how love, not genies, fixes troubled relationships. William Sleator's compelling Thai character finds a dangerous love. Francesca Lia Block, David Levithan, and Emma Donoghue customize the epistolary story. Julie Anne Peters skillfully voices two teen girls' trepidation and ecstasy during their first sexual encounter. Ron Koertge's "My Life as a Dog" is an ingenious metaphor for coming out, and in "Trev" Jacqueline Woodson gently allows Trev to accept his gender identity. This collection, with some detailed sexual descriptions, is sure to find its intended teen audience.-Amy J. Chow, The Brearley School, New York City (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
In previous Carte Blanche columns for Booklist, Cart has challenged readers to think deeply about the blurry boundary between young adult and adult literature, and his latest collection will likely continue the debate. Contributed by some of the most celebrated YA authors, the often experimental entries explore what it means to be young and gay, lesbian, or transgender today. Included are a range of inventive forms, from the screenplay style of Ron Koertge's My Life as a Dog to Eric Shanower's short comic, Happily Ever After. Poignant magic plays a part in many selections, as in David Levithan's heartrending story narrated by the ghosts of gay men who, from the afterlife, observe the current generation of gay youth. Others are starkly realistic and include frank sexual relationships between teens and adults, including William Sleator's explicit cautionary tale, Fingernail, about a young Thai man's affair with an abusive Frenchman. Cart's eloquent introduction connects these raw, moving stories that, taken together, make a groundbreaking addition to young adult literature and could easily find a readership among adults, too.--Engberg, Gillian Copyright 2009 Booklist