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Parents' Corner > Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan

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message 1: by Trista (new)

Trista Boy meets boy. Boy loses boy. Boy does everything he can to win boy back. This is the story of Paul and those close to him. There's his best friend Tony, whose parents are super-religious and won't let him out of the house unless he tells them he's going out on a date with a girl. There's Joni, Paul's other best friend, who appears to think her newest boyfriend is more important than a ten-year friendship with Paul. There's Infinite Darlene, who used to be called Daryl, who is both the homecoming queen and the star quarterback of the football team. There's Kyle, Paul's ex-boyfriend, who wants him back. And then there's Noah, the one Paul is sure he is to give his heart to. Until he blows it. As Paul tries to help each of his friends with their issues, he inadvertently causes huge issues of his own. In the end he must figure out what he wants and how to get it back.

"Boy Meets Boy" is a very charming romantic comedy set in a town like no other. In this town there is a level of acceptance never before seen. The only occurrence of LGBTQ (Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender/Questioning) rejection in the book is in the form of Tony's parents, who live in the next town over. Most LGBTQ fiction focuses on the hardships homosexual students face in their lives. The author has cleverly removed those issues as an obstacle, with the exception of Tony and his parents, by creating this utopia town where all community members, gay or straight, are treated equally. As a result we are left with a well-written book that follows the relationship struggles of everyday teenagers. It is a nice, quick read with a lot of activity packed into the 185 pages. It is an excellent story of love and friendship that I highly recommend.

message 2: by Heather (new)

Heather Bree (blackdotbug) Cool. I'll have to put this on my reading list. I've read Will Grayson, Will Grayson, which was co-written by John Green and David Levithan and I adored it. It also had a quality to it where there was an unusual bubble of acceptance around one of the gay characters. The other was struggling with a large dose of internal homophobia, which is difficult enough in itself to deal with (hence organizations like One in Teen). The world in Boy Meets Boy would be quite the lovely dream to step into for 185 pages I think. :)

message 3: by Kellee (new)

Kellee Moye (kelleemoye) I loved this book. Any insight on how it would be received in a classroom library though? I am worried about no students wanted to read it because of the title... (Just FYI I have other LBGT in my classroom library, but this one just would seem scarier to people needing to read LBGT because of the title... don't you think?)

message 4: by Trista (new)

Trista You have a good point Kellee, the title would turn some people off of the book. I can imagine questioning students would be hesitant to read it in case other students took it as a sign of them being gay. The LGBT students at my school that have read it openly praise the book to both gay and straight students, and as I have a pretty accepting student population at my school I haven't made any observations as to how a homophobic patron would react to the book. Sorry I can't be of more help!

message 5: by Kellee (new)

Kellee Moye (kelleemoye) Trista wrote: "You have a good point Kellee, the title would turn some people off of the book. I can imagine questioning students would be hesitant to read it in case other students took it as a sign of them bein..."

I would like to see it in the school library first so I could see how it is received.

LBGT students haven't really come out at my school (middle school), so I think that would affect the reception as well...

message 6: by Ashley (new)

Ashley (affie) | 468 comments I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. I thought it would be a quick, fun read but was surprised at it's depth.

I believe that this book is and will continue to be important because the main struggle in this book isn't about why life is so much harder when you are homosexual. Most of the LGBT fiction I've come across, which, I admit isn't a lot since I'm new to the genre, but most of it seems to focus on the struggle to fit in and be accepting of yourself as an LGBT teen. While those elements are in this story, they mostly come from some of the secondary characters. Paul most definitely knows who he is, and he goes with it. He has embraced it, and he is lucky enough to live in a town, albeit very unrealistic, that is full of teens who fit the LGBT mold, with a very accepting population. I liked that the whole story wasn't about the struggle of being an LGBT teen, because although that is definitely real, it's nice to read sometimes, about someone who is just in love with someone else, to realize that it's okay, and that someday, things will be looking up for you too.

For that reason, I like the title. I don't know how well it would be received by students, but it's a very fitting and accurate title, I thought.

message 7: by Kellee (new)

Kellee Moye (kelleemoye) Ashley, don't get me wrong- I LOVE the title because that is what the book is about. It is really a romance. But I do think it'll keep some students from reading it.

message 8: by Ashley (new)

Ashley (affie) | 468 comments Kellee, I can see that. I can see the title bing off-putting to students. I do think the cover/title makes the book sound a lot fluffier than it was...

message 9: by Heather (new)

Heather Bree (blackdotbug) I think the concern with the title is that anyone questioning or curious or openly supportive of LGBT might like the book and want to read it, but the title is obviously queer and there may be fear that being seen reading a book with such a title would promote homophobic reactions from peers.
A student may not pick it up and read it if their classmates decide to call them a fag because they are seen with it. People have been beaten up in many a school hallway for much less.

message 10: by Heather (new)

Heather Bree (blackdotbug) Did I scare everyone off with my bluntness?

message 11: by Kellee (new)

Kellee Moye (kelleemoye) Heather wrote: "Did I scare everyone off with my bluntness?"

Nope- you really just said what I meant. The bluntness was much appreciated.
(I just didn't notice that there was another comment.)

message 12: by Heather (new)

Heather Bree (blackdotbug) Thanks Kellee... I was getting worried. :)

message 13: by Sheri (new)

Sheri (sheribo) | 55 comments I have been thinking about reading this, after a recommendation, and after your reviews, and the length of the book, I think I'll pick it up.
But you raise good questions about the title. I work at a library, and we have a pretty small LGBT teen section, and I don't think we circulate a lot of it, although we serve a huge teen population. I am going to look into how often our copy of the book has been circulated, as well as some of the other lgbt titles. We also have a a few lgbt books that are not in the lgbt section, and I wonder if that helps them to circulate more often. For example Will Grayson, Will Graysonis in the general teen fiction section. If the results of my little project turn out that we do not circulate the LGBT books because they are labeled that way I may try to persuade our teen librarian to re-catalogue them. What do you think?

message 14: by Angela Sunshine (last edited May 15, 2011 07:35PM) (new)

Angela Sunshine (angelasunshine) Sheri wrote: "I have been thinking about reading this, after a recommendation, and after your reviews, and the length of the book, I think I'll pick it up.
But you raise good questions about the title. I work a..."

I'm not a teacher or a librarian (but I am a former teen!), and I think that'd probably be very helpful in getting books checked out. While Boy Meets Boy has a pretty blunt title, many books' subjects aren't apparent by title alone. Seems to me that kids would find it easier to read a LGBT book if it wasn't so obviously one.

message 15: by Heather (new)

Heather Bree (blackdotbug) I like the idea of LGBTQ books being circulated among the rest of the YA books in libraries, for the privacy concerns of questioning kids and also because those teens who aren't queer or don't think they know anyone queer or don't know much about the community might stumble upon one and get their eyes opened. It's a win/win.

message 16: by Ashley (new)

Ashley (affie) | 468 comments I like the idea of all books being mixed together in the library because when they are all mixed together, you are more likely to stumble across new titles.

What I've seen done in some libraries that I really like is lists, either top ten, or complete lists.

So, if a kid comes in asking for a LGBT/Fantasy/Sci-Fi/Mystery/etc.etc.etc instead of directing them to a section, you have a list, or bookmark to hand them. That way, you have both- a place with a specific mention of certain specialty titles, but the ability to have all of them mixed together. This way, kids don't have to feel singled out because they are browsing the LGBT section.

message 17: by Heather (new)

Heather Bree (blackdotbug) I like that a lot Ashley. :)

message 18: by Sheri (new)

Sheri (sheribo) | 55 comments Thank you all for your input! I spoke with our teen librarian and out head of collection development today. I am going to start collecting data on the circulation from this section, and we'll see how it turns out. If anyone else has any other opinions I would be glad to hear them, and I'll keep you all posted on the outcome.

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