Title: Boy meets Boy Author: David Levithan Illustrator: n/a Publisher: New York; Alfred A Knopf
Genre: Realistic Fiction Level: Upper Number of pages: 185 Pub. Date: 2003
Paul has known he was gay his life but it was confirmed for him in Kindergarten when his teacher wrote it on his report card for his parents. Now a sophomore in high school, Paul is out proud and has found a boy, Noah, who he thinks he might love. Unfortunately for Paul, life is not that easy and his whole world starts to fall apart. First his best friend for ten years, Joni, finds a new boyfriend who changes how she acts. Then his ex-boyfriend decides he wants to get back with Paul. In the end, Paul figures out how to get everything he wants and the story ends on a happy note.
This book is both a becoming your own person and a living in a diverse world book. This is a diverse world book because it talks about a group of people who are normally marginalized, individuals who consider themselves lesbian, gay, bisexual or transsexual. The main character Paul is gay while other main characters classify themselves as LGBT. This book gives insight into the struggles that these teens face. At the same time this book talks about the importance of friendship. When Paul is at his lowest point it is through talking with his friends that he figures out how to get his life back on track. Finally, this book talks about the importance of family and how different families react to different things, like having a gay child. This ties the two categories this book represents together.
This book was really good, and I found that it was easy to relate to the main character, Paul. All teenagers feel like their whole world is falling apart every once in a while. It is helpful to see that other individuals, even if they are fictional, struggle with that same feeling. The only real problem I had with this book is trying to keep all the characters and their relationships straight. I made this nifty chart to keep them all straight in my head.
Another thing I found interesting about this book is that it has struggled, like many books, with teachers and librarians trying to ban it. The main reason for this is that it shows a LGBT viewpoint that many adults believe is unacceptable. They do not want to expose their children to what they think are bad morals. The thing I find interesting about this book is that other than the gay undertones, overall this book is written pretty cleanly. There is no serious swearing, sexual content or talk of politics. If this was a book about a straight individual I don’t believe that as many parents would want to ban this book.
After: Students will compare this to other similar stories with heterosexual main characters.