Gay and Lesbian Youth (Other America)

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9781560063377: Gay and Lesbian Youth (Other America)

First-person accounts of four homosexual Americans--three teenagers and a twenty-year-old university student.

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From School Library Journal:

Gr 8 Up--In each of these well-written titles, Stewart profiles four teens trying to cope with gay or lesbian sexual orientations or an intolerably dysfunctional home. Based on extensive personal interviews, the books are authentic and brutally honest. Although some of the black-and-white photographs look posed, they are effectively placed and personalize the narratives. These books have definite YA appeal, particularly for reluctant readers. The weaknesses of the series, however, begin with a title that could be perceived as validating separation and an attempt to cover a gamut of conditions ("otherness") too broad for any common denominator. There is something troubling about placing a book about young gays and lesbians in a lineup that includes teenage prisoners and gang members. Further disappointments are posed by the choice of subjects. It's hard for readers to focus on just one aspect of the subjects' lives, such as sexuality, when in many instances the youths are also facing poor relationships; low socioeconomic status; plus school, health, or legal difficulties. "The Other America" series may belong in some collections because of its readability, but the presentation has both the limited appeal and the questionable value of television talk shows that offer viewers models of misery. Teens in similar situations may draw some comfort from reading these sketches, but aside from a brief list of further reading, addresses of a handful of support organizations, and a few other suggestions, there is little substantive information in these pages.

Sue A. Norkeliunas, Arlington Senior High School, LaGrangeville, NY

Copyright 1997 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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