The Openly YA tour, which celebrates gay characters in YA literature, hits the East Coast with authors David Levithan (Hold Me Closer), Adam Silvera (More Happy Than Not), Bill Konigsberg (Openly Straight) and James Dawson (This Book is Gay).
Hold Me Closer by David Levithan
"Tiny Cooper stole our hearts." —Entertainment Weekly
Especially for those of us who ordinarily feel ignored, a spotlight is a circle of magic, with the strength to draw us from the darkness of our everyday lives.
Watch out, ex-boyfriends, and get out of the way, homophobic coaches. Tiny Cooper has something to say—and he’s going to say it in song.
Filled with honesty, humor, and “big, lively, belty” musical numbers, Hold Me Closer is the no-holds-barred (and many-bars-held) entirety of the beloved musical first introduced in Will Grayson, Will Grayson, the award-winning bestseller by John Green and David Levithan.
Tiny Cooper is finally taking center stage . . . and the world will never be the same again.
David Levithan is the New York Times bestselling author of many novels including, Every Day; Will Grayson, Will Grayson (with John Green); and Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist (with Rachel Cohn). His most recent novel, Two Boys Kissing, won a Lambda Literary Award. He lives in Hoboken, New Jersey.
Part Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, part Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, Adam Silvera's extraordinary debut confronts race, class, and sexuality during one charged near-future summer in the Bronx.
The Leteo Institute's revolutionary memory-relief procedure seems too good to be true to Aaron Soto -- miracle cure-alls don't tend to pop up in the Bronx projects. But Aaron can't forget how he's grown up poor or how his friends aren't always there for him. Like after his father committed suicide in their one bedroom apartment. Aaron has the support of his patient girlfriend, if not necessarily his distant brother and overworked mother, but it's not enough.
Then Thomas shows up. He has a sweet movie-watching setup on his roof, and he doesn't mind Aaron's obsession with a popular fantasy series. There are nicknames, inside jokes. Most importantly, Thomas doesn't mind talking about Aaron's past. But Aaron's newfound happiness isn't welcome on his block. Since he's can't stay away from Thomas or suddenly stop being gay, Aaron must turn to Leteo to straighten himself out, even if it means forgetting who he is.
Adam Silvera was born and raised in the Bronx. He was a bookseller before shifting to children’s publishing and has worked at a literary development company, a creative writing website for teens, and as a book reviewer of children’s and young adult novels. He is tall for no reason and lives in New York City.
Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg
A funny, honest novel about being out, being proud . . . and being ready for something else.
Rafe is a normal teenager from Boulder, Colorado. He plays soccer. He's won skiing prizes. He likes to write.
And, oh yeah, he's gay. He's been out since 8th grade, and he isn't teased, and he goes to other high schools and talks about tolerance and stuff. And while that's important, all Rafe really wants is to just be a regular guy. Not that GAY guy. To have it be a part of who he is, but not the headline, every single time.
So when he transfers to an all-boys' boarding school in New England, he decides to keep his sexuality a secret -- not so much going back in the closet as starting over with a clean slate. But then he sees a classmate breaking down. He meets a teacher who challenges him to write his story. And most of all, he falls in love with Ben . . . who doesn't even know that love is possible.
This witty, smart, coming-out-again story will appeal to gay and straight kids alike as they watch Rafe navigate being different, fitting in, and what it means to be himself.
Bill Konigsberg won the Lambda Literary Award for Young Adult fiction for "Out of the Pocket" (Dutton, 2008). Before writing novels, he was a sportswriter for The Associated Press and ESPN.com. He won a GLAAD Media Award for a coming-out essay he wrote while working at ESPN.com, and he blogs at billkonigsberg.blogspot.com
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