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The Letter Q: Queer Writers' Notes to their Younger Selves
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The Letter Q: Queer Writers' Notes to their Younger Selves

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  683 ratings  ·  107 reviews
Life-saving letters from a glittering wishlist of top authors.

If you received a letter from your older self, what do you think it would say? What do you wish it would say?

That the boy you were crushing on in History turns out to be gay too, and that you become boyfriends in college? That the bully who is making your life miserable will one day become so insignificant that
...more
Hardcover, 281 pages
Published May 1st 2012 by Arthur A. Levine Books
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The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen ChboskyWill Grayson, Will Grayson by John GreenBoy Meets Boy by David LevithanAristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire SáenzTurning 16 by Perie Wolford
LGBT for YA
136th out of 298 books — 501 voters
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire SáenzSpit and Passion by Cristy C. RoadSBF Seeking by LaToya HankinsCrossroads by SkyySeasonal Velocities by Ryka Aoki
Queer PoC Books Published in 2012
16th out of 30 books — 7 voters


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Community Reviews

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Krys

The Letter Q is a series of letters written from several gay authors to their younger selves. Many of these letter are affirmations, positive declarations about who the younger person will become. This collection is edited by Sarah Moon.

Within the pages of this slim book the reader will find 64 of the most provocative, sad, enlightening, inspiring tales you may ever read. The tales vacillate from comic to tragic and all of the in-betweens. I found a little bit of wisdom to come out of ever sing
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Jordan
I inhaled the first one hundred pages of this volume in one sitting, and then I was trying figure out why that was. Moreover, I was trying to figure out why I was enjoying this book so much more than It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying, and Creating a Life Worth Living, which I anticipated loving... and then didn't.

After another hundred pages of The Letter Q, I figured it out: I liked the specificity. The authors, actors, artists, and other creatives in this volume are addressing th
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Jennifer Rayment
The Good Stuff

David Levithan's essay was so hilarious yet sweet and honest - will now be looking for some of his writing
A good mixture of humour, sadness and anger
The message of hope and forgiveness is so prevalent and beautifully and honestly done
Very powerful and inspiring
Brian Selznick's essay was extremely funny and tender
Martin Moran's essay is heartbreaking, so brave to have told his story - such strength of character and a very inspiring story to those LGBT youths with thoughts of su
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Christina G
3.5 stars. Perhaps it would have been a better experience if I hadn't wolfed down the book in two or three sittings, because at times the stories started feeling redundant. But all the pieces were heartfelt, many were beautifully written, and there are diverse voices in here, though a little more diversity is always a desirable improvement.

The comics were great, especially the ones by Lucy Knisley and Michael DiMotta. And I loved Diane DiMassa's piece for its grit and refusal to sugar coat adul
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Alan
This is a collection of letters, notes, and comic strips from sixty-four award-winning writers and illustrators such as Michael Cunningham, Terrence McNally, Amy Bloom, Armistead Maupin, David Leavitt, Christopher Rice, and Susan Stinson. Each of these “letters” are messages the authors have written to their younger selves to ease the bumpy road of growing up an lgbt youth, all in the tone of “It Gets Better.” They give bracingly honest reasons for young people to tough it out, and hold out for ...more
Rachel
This collection of letters from LGBT writers to their younger selves is, for the most part, a fascinating and marvelous compilation. Infused with hope, these letters are projected as the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel, many of them containing universal truths that stretch far beyond simply the measure of gay or straight. Serving as a reminder that each of the trials of adolescence will carve a path towards a full and enriched life, the messages confront the deeply personal struggles o ...more
Christa  Seeley
Originally posted at Hooked on Books

How do I even begin to write a review of this collection? No matter what I write it won't be enough to express the impact this The Letter Q had on me.

Every single letter in this collection was incredibly thoughtful, moving and most of all brave. These authors really put themselves out there. All their fears, struggles, confession - they didn't hold back. And I have a huge amount of respect for them. It couldn't have been easy for Julie Anne Peters to admit tha
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Barbara
What a wonderful idea for a book! Sixty-four authors and illustrators write letters to their younger selves, offering advice and inspiration. In a sort of "If I'd known then what I know now" fashion, the short entries offer insight into their lives as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered individuals. All are reminders that it does get better if you can just hold on. After all, high school is not life, and there is hope for everyone. Because the letters come from so many different creative spi ...more
Lelia Taylor
The Letter Q:
Queer Writers’ Notes To Their Younger Selves
Sarah Moon, editor
James Lecesne, contributing editor
Arthur A. Levine Books, May 2012
ISBN 978-0-545-39932-6
Hardcover (ARC)

The title of this remarkable anthology says it all—a multitude of LGBT authors, more than sixty of them, have come together to tell themselves as young adults what they wish they had known back then. In doing so, they also are reaching out to today’s youth who are struggling with their sexual identities, letting them kno
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Melissa (YA Book Shelf)
Many of the letters to the authors' teen selves in The Letter Q knotted up my stomach and / or brought tears to my eyes. They write with an honesty that is at times poignant, and at other times, are funny and heartwarming. Although it's directed toward LGBT teens, I think readers of all ages and sexual orientations will enjoy this book, and of course, buying this book is sure to save lives. Why? Well, part of the profits will go toward the Trevor Project, the leading, national nonprofit organiza ...more
kimberly
really, smashingly, fantastic; often moved me to tears.

this compilation works so well because it's so personal and partly because they're all following a prompt - to write a letter to your younger self.

it was so interesting and enlightening to see how these writers thought of themselves, to see how they struggled, the love they have now (whether physical, emotional, or general) and to see at what age they choose to address themselves. at what point in their lives did they choose and for what re
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Danielle Mohlman
I got picked up in a Metro station while I was trying to read this book. I had just finished what was an eleven-hour work day after pinch-hitting on my second job and after telling this (kind, very courteous) guy that I typically don’t read science fiction so his book recommendations were playing to deaf ears, I explained to him what “queer” meant. And why I feel that it’s a word we should use without tripping over it. This book does the rest.

I read It Gets Better around the same time last year
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Cal
I think the idea for this book was great on paper, but the execution not so great. Aiming the letters at an audience that will never actually read them (their younger selves) seems pointless when they could be talking directly to the real audience about their experiences. There is a lot of cryptic language, references to things only their younger self would know that aren't really explained, and it gets quite annoying. But mainly, the letters feel very repetitive, the same sort of advice over an ...more
Stephanie Folarin
Sarah Moon and James Lecesne enlisted award-winning lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender authors and illustrators for the creation of The Letter Q: Queer Writers’ Notes to their Younger Selves . The artists were asked to compose letters to their younger selves about the realities of being LGBT.

Located within the pages of this brilliant collection, the reader will find 64 provocative, illuminating, despondent, and inspiring tales of bravery and triumph. Each story touches upon many social issu
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Bradley
A spin-off from the "It Gets Better" project, this book is a collection of essays by GLBT writers who are writing letters of encouragement to their younger selves. While the concept is interesting, and many of these are really great, there are a LOT of them. I literally started getting bored about half way through and began skimming through an essay to see if it was more-of-the-same or worth reading more carefully.
anonymous
This is the kind of book that saves lives. This is a must read for anyone who has every struggled with any aspect of their identity, particularly their sexual orientation. It is a compilation of letters that queer writers wrote to their younger selves, and it is truly fantastic. I recommend getting this book for yourself, or for anyone who is struggling, or has just come out, or is confused and miserable. You can read from start to finish, or you can jump around from author to author, either way ...more
Robin
Honest, encouraging, humorous, loving, sincere -- this collection of letters by queer writers captures why it's beautiful to be alive. The diversity of the authors featured in terms of age, race, sexual orientation, and gender identity is also refreshing.
Heidi Gonzalez
Uplifting letters from authors to their younger selves. These letters cover everything from self-acceptance, keep pursuing your dream because it will happen, to stop being a bully and hanging out in parks at night. For every kid who thought they were weird, different or didn't know where they fit in this shows that it does indeed get better. I also like the idea of writing to yourself, one of the authors actually wrote a letter to his older self when he was 13 then stumbled upon it later and use ...more
Saleena Davidson
The Letter Q is a simple premise, but effective. Writers of all sorts send notes back to themselves as when they were in middle school or high school. The emotion and information provided is intense and will be most appreciated by teens. I don't know if teens will pick this up by themselves, but perhaps if you leave it laying around, they will thumb through it......and perhaps, they will draw some comfort from those who have been there that it gets better. That is really all we can do....and hon ...more
Morgen Love
This book was one of my favorites. Just being able to see all the stories from LGBTQ adults was inspiring. It puts a sense of hope within your heart. Some of them tell the stories of what they feel and others tell the stories of what they went through to get to where they are today. This is a truly amazing book. I would recommend this to anyone, even if you aren't LGBTQ or an ally...maybe it would open your eyes to what they go through and what they have went through all their lives. I'm so glad ...more
Nicole
This was a vey powerful and interesting book, containing letters that chosen LGBTQ writers wish they could have sent to their younger selves. Unfortunately, I think I read the letters in exactly the wrong order. I made a beeline for an essay written by someone I actually knew when we were both teenagers. Her letter gave me goosebumps and stirred up all kinds of bittersweet emotions when I thought of how we both share this experience of having been small-town queer youth--in the same town--but we ...more
Matt Cresswell
The ‘Dear Me’ series of books all started with a letter written by Stephen Fry to his sixteen-year-old self in Attitude magazine. The books took the concept and extended it to a host of mid-level celebrities. Some are wonderful, some are pointless, some are surprising. My favourites, unsurprisingly, are those from the gay celebrities–I may be biased, but it feels like their letters contained the most hope, the most advice, and were the most ‘necessary’. And now we have The Letter Q, edited by Sa ...more
Emily
Why I picked it up: interesting idea. And one of the letters is from David Levithan, who I am currently in book love with.

Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual writers were asked to write letters to their younger selves. There are writers of all types here: novels, editors, playwrights, essayists, and cartoonists. And outside the scope of this book, they write for many different age groups.
I enjoyed it. Some letters were funny, some were sad, and some made you just want to hug random teenagers in hopes you
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Nafiza
The Letter Q is a poignant collection of countless letters from several LGBT authors to their younger selves holding hope, wisdom and hindsight. The book is beautifully bound, its pages smooth and able to withstand time and tears. The short letters invite the reader into the heads and personal lives of not the children these authors were but also the adults they have become. While many of the letters entreat their younger selves not to give in, not to give up and not to capitulate to what societ ...more
Liviania
When I picked up THE LETTER Q: Queer Writers' Notes to Their Younger Selves, I was super excited to have another book to add to my QUILTBAG list. I love sharing books that can change someone's life and THE LETTER Q looked very promising. The list of authors on the front (beautifully designed by Chip Kidd) included big names like Armistead Maupin, Gregory Maguire, and Jacqueline Woodson.

What lay inside lived up to the promise of that off-pink, off-blue cover. Each writer's letter is personal, but
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Elizabeth
What would you write if you could send a letter to your young adult self? This question is explored in The Letter Q: Queer Writers’ Notes to their Younger Selves as sixty-four LGBT authors, including Michael Cunningham and Amy Bloom, create an anthology of letters written to themselves as teenagers. While each letter is unique and distinctive, the collection as a whole discusses topics such as: exploring self-identity, the sometimes painful process of coming out, and encouragement and hope for b ...more
Alexandra
I really enjoyed reading this book-- so much that I couldn't help but feel a twinge of sadness as I turned the final page.

The letters are well-written-- besides, these are writers (and illustrators), this is their element. They are also witty, sad, thoughtful, joyful-- but most of all, heart-felt. Though I'm not 100% sure that today's queer teens coming-out (or not coming-out) will see themselves in this book (they're in the thick of junior high/high school), I feel that 'The Letter Q' covers t
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Jennie
This is a great book that I think anyone could relate to, it's a more polished, sophisticated version of the It Gets Better project. I enjoyed seeing inside the lives of these authors, many of whom I deeply admire, and hearing what they regret or miss or cherish about their younger selves. And because these stories come from professional storytellers the writing is excellent. As many people mentioned the David Levithan piece is particularly insightful - I love his point that anyone can be both b ...more
Maya
First of all: a great idea, and an awesome cause. The Trevor Project always gets my support.

Now then, as for the book... the rating I give is a little deceptive. As with any anthology, it's a grab-bag in a sense. There were a few letters (and comics!) that I would have rated five stars, and a few that would have gotten maybe two from me - these were the ones I found myself skimming when I couldn't connect to the writing at all. Some of these authors I know and love (Malinda Lo, Julie Ann Peters,
...more
Lorraine
First off, let me say that one of the editors is my brother, James Lecesne. That aside this book is a wonderful young adult resource for any person who wonders if life will get better. The editors have solicited letters from a wide range of authors to their younger selves offering encouragement and some perspective from further out on the time continuum. Some writers deal with LGBT issues while others focus on grappling with the struggle to find and own one's passions which will ultimately be th ...more
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Bookbent: July/August/September 2012 - The Letter Q 4 9 Aug 27, 2012 03:52PM  
BLOG: Have You Heard of The Letter Q? 1 8 May 06, 2012 12:52PM  
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“Once is sometimes enough and once is sometimes necessary.” 6 likes
“One day many years later you will ask her if she wishes you were straight. She will hesitate, then say,"I love you just the way you are." You will never forget that.” 0 likes
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