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All Boys Aren't Blue
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All Boys Aren't Blue

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  12,227 ratings  ·  2,501 reviews
In a series of personal essays, prominent journalist and LGBTQIA+ activist George M. Johnson explores his childhood, adolescence, and college years in New Jersey and Virginia. From the memories of getting his teeth kicked out by bullies at age five, to flea marketing with his loving grandmother, to his first sexual relationships, this young-adult memoir weaves together the ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published April 28th 2020 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Byr)
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Amanda Belcher Check and see also if your library offers access to Hoopla. It's a library app that has a ton of e-books, audiobooks, and also movies, tv shows, and m…moreCheck and see also if your library offers access to Hoopla. It's a library app that has a ton of e-books, audiobooks, and also movies, tv shows, and music. The whole collection is immediately available, so you don't have to wait on a holds list for material.(less)

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Average rating 4.31  · 
Rating details
 ·  12,227 ratings  ·  2,501 reviews


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Cindy
Jun 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Update: Changing my GR rating to 4 stars because I'm trying to keep my goodreads more consistent to my personal impressions rather than what I think the book should be "objectively"!

4 stars for me personally, but I believe it deserves 5 stars for young adults that this is geared towards. This is a lovely and wonderful memoir that I think would be perfect for LGBT+ teens and allies who are seeking to learn more about gender identity, toxic masculinity, and themselves. Johnson puts himself in the
...more
Kai
Jun 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: important, owned, queer
so who the fuck let it slip that I cannot resist books with beautiful people wearing beautiful flower crowns on their covers

What baffles me most about this book is the realisation that heteronormativity and homophobia sit so deeply within society that even when you have a loving and queer-friendly family and friend-circle you will fear and avoid coming out (to yourself as much as to others) for decades. Let that sink in.

Honestly though, this book was everything I hoped it would be: An exploratio
...more
Riley
Jun 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
this is a very powerful memoir about being black and queer, and the intersection of those identities. the author narrates the audiobook and you can tell he is a natural born story-teller. i highly highly recommend this
emma
Truly I don’t know how to review this book, so I’m just going to list a few things about it here.

- Rarely have I encountered a memoir as honest as this one.
- Eventually I felt like it was a little dumbed down???
- And it’s called a “YA memoir”...I don’t know what that means but it seems unnecessary
- Despite that & feeling kind of slumpy when I picked this up, I fell into it right away.
- It’s so well-written and compulsively readable!!!
- There is just so much forgiveness and truth and wisdom in th
...more
Jesse bowtiesandbooks
"No amount of money, love, or support can protect you from a society intent on killing you for your blackness, and shows that a community that has been taught that anyone "not straight" is dangerous."

All Boy's Aren't Blue is Johnson's memoir-manifesto; designed to encourage queer black boys to uncrate the layers of their masculinity and racialized existence. All Boys Aren't Blue is an effervescent interrogation of compulsory heterosexuality and crushing gender-centric expectations, a kaleidosc
...more
megs_bookrack
Jul 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
At the conclusion of this stunning Memoir, the author writes, if one person is helped by my story, than it was all worth it.

I think we can be confident that many, many people will be helped by reading this. Lives will be inspired, changed and possibly saved; not just young people either.



I am not even going to bother writing a full review for All Boys Aren't Blue. The bottom line is this book should be read by everyone.

Pick it up for yourself and you will see just what I mean. I highly recommen
...more
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
Jun 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: queer
While this book was hard to listen to at times, it packed SUCH a powerful punch and was an amazing memoir that touched on the intersections of being Black and queer. Definitely recommend checking this one out!!
Gabby
This book was so good, it was so powerful. This is a powerful YA memoir about George exploring his sexuality, telling stories from his childhood, and it's written so beautifully. The story-telling in this book is so raw and I loved feeling as if we were growing up alongside him and rooting for him the whole way through. I listened to the audiobook which is read by the author and it was the best experience.

I think this is a great place to start if you are new to nonfiction and you are looking fo
...more
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Oct 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Isn’t this cover stunning? I listened and read All Boys Aren’t Blue back in June. Memoirs are especially good on audio when they are narrated by the author, and in this case George M. Johnson’s voice added sincerity and so much emotion to the reading.

The book is structured in a series of essays where the author shares his childhood, teen years, as well as college. Johnson wrote his book as a tool for teens who want to be allies, as well as a strong voice for queer teens of color.

It’s honest an
...more
Kevin (Irish Reader)
I absolutely loved this book. It might be a short book, but it will leave such a long lasting impression. This book also educated me on black lives and black queer lives, and for that I am so grateful that I read it. I would highly recommend you check out this memoir.

I also read this during a 24 hour readathon, you can check out the video to hear more of my thoughts: https://youtu.be/_xMcY58rFaw
...more
Ashleigh (a frolic through fiction)
I won't be writing a review in the typical sense, since it just feels wrong to review somebody's life experiences, especially when so far from my own. What I will say though is that despite this not being my usual kind of book to pick up, I'd highly encourage everyone to read it. It's so worth it. This memoir is geared towards a teenage audience who wouldn't typically hear about this kind of experience, a fact that often proves dangerous for so many people growing up without the right kind of su ...more
Elle
Jul 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
I’m going to try to keep this short, mostly because I don’t think I’m the person most equipped to give a full analysis of George M. Johnson’s life and memoir. But despite this book not being written for me, specifically, I believe there’s still a lot that can’t be learned from the author’s words and experiences.

“The spectrum of our traumas can be as broad as our identities.”

Johnson’s stated goal in All Boys Aren’t Blue is to offer some guidance to kids navigating an LGBTQ+ and/or black identity
...more
✨    jamieson   ✨
All Boys Aren't Blue is George M. Johnson's memoir, double manifesto, exploring his life as a Black gay man in America and what his queer identity means to him. This feels too personal to rate because it's intensely and painfully honest at times. Johnson brilliantly delineates the story of his life, sometimes with hope and humour, with retrospective sadness or anger, sometimes as means to educate or inform. It's the kind of queer book that just didn't exist a few years ago but needed to. This is ...more
Bookishrealm
THIS BOOK SHOULD BE READ BY EVERYONE. And I genuinely mean everyone especially the black community. Sometimes I don't feel like people understand the stories and experiences of those who are both POC and identify as Queer especially black women and men. I'm so happy that George decided to share his story. He talked about everything from coming out to toxic masculinity. Sometimes I'm proud of how far the Black community has come in relation to the LGBTQIA+ community; however, I'm also always remi ...more
Jasmine from How Useful It Is
This book was an informative and interesting read. I liked the story about the author's name. One thing we all have in common is worrying about what other people think of us, queer or not, it happens to all of us. Growing up with cousins and all being taken care of by granny, awesome as she was, sounds fun. She's definitely the coolest grandma ever. The cowboy boots story had me smiling. I liked the advice about speaking up and other advices, including time.


This book started with an introductio
...more
fanna
June 23, 2020: If you've come across my status updates, you already know how much this book has made me feel. It's such a perfect collection of personal essays. There are real stories dipping into the author's thoughts and messages. It does great justice to both the perspectives of George's identity: being Black and being gay. A definitive recommendation. Full review to come! ...more
sarah
All Boys Aren't Blue is powerful, real and honest. Storytelling at its rawest.

All Boys Aren't Blue covers a myriad of topics from sexual discovery to family dynamics to internalised homophobia through short essays and anecdotes. Johnson pulls stories from his childhood and own experiences, then explores and relates them to issues others might be struggling with. The storytelling style is unembellished and blunt. No words are wasted, and the message hits home. We follow him from a child through
...more
Christy
4 stars

This was an intense, brave, and beautifully written memoir by George M. Johnson. His stories were powerful, and although most were unrelatable to me, I think it's an important book to read and I would recommend it to all.

Audio book source: Libby (library borrow)
Story Rating: 4 stars
Narrator: George M. Johnson
Narration Rating: 4 stars
Genre: Memoir
Length: 5 hours and 12 minutes
...more
unknown pokemon
3.5/5

trigger warnings for rape, use of the F word, use of the N word... other triggers are in the foreword of the book bc i can’t remember.

Instagram | youtube

an important story for an important voice, i highly recommend you to listen or read this book, it’s about the black queer experience in the US and if you want to be more educated on the black experience, this seems like a good place to start bc it’s YA non fiction. very easy to read, short and although redondant, the story does makes it poi
...more
Peyton Reads
Very important read! I don’t rate memoirs because it feels odd to me but it’s great book!
Sophia
Jun 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
for the right readers, i have no doubt that this book could fundamentally change their lives. george m. johnson believes that we always have the opportunity to be the blueprint for the next generation, and i think he lays his attempt to be that very beautifully in this book.

this memoir/manifesto is a candid, chatty exploration of Blackness and queerness and how those two identities intersect. george m. johnson tackles a lot in a relatively short book. there are letters to his family (these were
...more
Gavin
Jun 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020-reads, lgbtq
Wow. I really don't read non-fiction to be honest, but after so many incredible reviews, I really wanted to read 'All Boys Aren't Blue' by George M. Johnson. I related so, so much to many of George's experiences growing up as a confused, gay teenager. I just loved this book so, so much, it was emotional to say the least. 5 stars! ...more
Shaun Hutchinson
A really wonderful exploration of growing up Black and queer. I listened to the audio, and I thought the author did a really fantastic job. Hearing his story in his own words made it that much more special.
Lindsay (pawsomereads)
This memoir was absolutely beautiful.
It was an incredibly impactful read as we learn about George M. Johnson’s life, growing up as a black gay man in America. It was equally saddening and uplifting at the same time. I felt that I learned so much from Johnson’s account of their personal experiences. They really opened up about so many of the people and events in their life that helped them find themself and made them into who they are today, as they worked to accept who they truly were in an int
...more
Isabella
At times heartbreaking, at times uplifting and hopeful, this memoir-manifesto does for young queer kids what mainstream media still doesn't do: show that they're not alone, that they're not "weird" for being different, that they have a community and that they are valid.

Beautifully written, raw and honest, this memoir was an incredible read that I will be thinking and cherishing for a long time :)
...more
Reading_ Tam_ Ishly
💫This memoir is exactly what people expect from memoirs and it delivered a thousand fold!

This is one memoir which is really personal and outspoken revealing some of the worst (if I can call it that) and the heartwarming memories for the author.

This memoir is also a powerful representation of the black community and details some of the events that depict racism, discrimination and how the black queer community is regarded by the families and the black community; how this particular queer communit
...more
Julie Zantopoulos
My only regret is that I listened to the audiobook (not a bad thing) and didn't wait for my copy to arrive so I could annotate/tab it. Such a powerful series of essays that traverse the topics of black family, queerness, acceptance, and finding your way in the world. I loved it. It wasn't always an easy read but it was a very powerful one and I'm glad I have it coming my way. ...more
Corina
Jul 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars

This book is another MUST READ that opens eyes, tells experiences most of us readers won’t be able to understand until we live them.

Which makes this book incredibly powerful.

I love that the book and its message is directed towards queer Black boys. But also to anyone who is struggling with their identity. The message is clear: There is hope. You are not alone. There are people who went through the same. You are seen!

Overall the audiobook was a quick read for me. It’s only 5 hrs and 12 m
...more
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Isn’t this cover stunning? I listened and read All Boys Aren’t Blue back in June. Memoirs are especially good on audio when they are narrated by the author, and in this case George M. Johnson’s voice added sincerity and so much emotion to the reading.

The book is structured in a series of essays where the author shares his childhood, teen years, as well as college. Johnson wrote his book as a tool for teens who want to be allies, as well as a strong voice for queer teens of color.

It’s honest an
...more
Sol ~ TheBookishKing
I started this on a whim because a friend of mine was reading it, not knowing what it was about or what to expect. But what I got was such a gripping story that I listened to it all in one sitting.

I laughed and cried, and cried some more and that last line ... had me crying again lmfao.

This is a memoir about a Queer Black Boy growing up and facing the racial/homophobic issues that come w/ the Country we live in. At times it was heartbreaking, at times it put the biggest smile on my face. And th
...more
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A prolific and powerful voice, George M. Johnson is an award-winning Journalist, Consultant, and Activist located in Brooklyn NY.
From the scores of places that he’s written for to the outlets who have written about him, his connections in the media world run deep with his knowledge and expertise being called upon from publishing to the big screen.
On social media, he has an impressive presence, wit
...more

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