How Beautiful the Ordinary : Twelve Stories of Identity
by Cart, Michael (EDT)

Stories of Identity
Michael Cart
A Word From the Nearly Distant Past
David Levithan
Happily Ever After
Eric Shanower
My Life As a Dog
Ron Koertge
Jacqueline Woodson
My Virtual World
Francesca Lia Block
A Dark Red Love Knot
Margo Lanagan
William Sleator
Dyke March
Ariel Schrag
The Missing Person
Jennifer Finney Boylan
First Time
Julie Anne Peters
Dear Lang
Emma Donoghue
The Silk Road Runs Through Tupperneck, N.H.
Gregory Maguire
About the Authors353

Presents 12 contemporary stories by today's award-winning young adult authors-some presented in graphic or letter format-that explore themes of gender identity, love and sexual orientation. 20,000 first printing.

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. Copyright 2009 Booklist Reviews.

Twelve renowned authors, some of whom contributed to the classic YA collection Am I Blue?: Coming Out from the Silence, use diverse points of view, settings and characters to bring readers stories of sexual and gender identity. Standouts in this collection include Eric Shanower's "Happily Ever After," a graphic-format story of two boys granted wishes that go horribly wrong, and Francesca Lia Block's "My Virtual World," in which social networking enables two troubled teens to form a bond of friendship. Three stories include transgender characters, further expanding this subgenre. In another two, nationality and language barriers serve as a vehicle for a meaningful exploration of sexuality. This collection focuses on older teen and 20-something characters, with even one character in her 40s, meaning that most are solid in their sexuality and gender identification and are exploring what it means to be part of a family, form different kinds of loving relationships and exist as they've accepted themselves. Provocative, quality content. (Short stories. 14 & up) Copyright Kirkus 2009 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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