Normal Public Library Teens

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    This is a space for teens and teen librarians to discuss books, library events and activities, and news related to teen services at Normal Public Library.
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    Normal Public Library
    206 W. College Ave.
    Normal, IL 61761
    Teen Services Librarian: Kristi Cates
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GLBT Fiction

The Vast Fields of Ordinary by Nick Burd 

It’s Dade’s last summer at home before college. He has a crappy job at Food World, a “boyfriend” who won’t publicly acknowledge his existence, and parents on the verge of a divorce. Then he meets the mysterious Alex Kincaid. Falling in real love finally lets Dade come out of the closet—and, ironically, ignites a ruthless passion in Pablo. But just when true happiness has set in, tragedy shatters the dreamy curtain of summer, and Dade will use every ounce of strength he’s gained to break from his past and start fresh with the future. (S)

Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You by Peter Cameron 

Holden Caulfield, meet James Sveck, a white, middle-class New Yorker who disdains his peers and most of the adults in his life, except for the gay man who manages his mother’s art gallery. (S)

Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan 

Naomi and Ely are best friends. Naomi loves and is in love with Ely, and Ely loves Naomi, but prefers to be in love with boys. So they create their “No Kiss List” of people neither of them is allowed to kiss. And this works fine—until Bruce. Bruce is Naomi’s boyfriend, so there’s no reason to put him on the List. But Ely kissed Bruce even though he is boring. The result: a rift of universal proportions and the potential end of “Naomi and Ely: the institution.” Can these best friends come back together again? (S)

Down to the Bone by Mayra Lazara Dole 

Here’s what it means to be a tortillera. It means you’re a girl who loves girls. Which means you get kicked out of Catholic school faster than Mother Superior Sicko can say “immoral.” Which means your wacko Mami finds out. Which means you’re kicked to the curb with nowhere to go, and the love of your life is shipped off to Puerto Rico to marry a guy. But this is Miami, and if you have a bighearted best friend and a loyal puppy at your side, and if your broken heart is still full of love, you just might land on your feet. (S)

Wildthorn by Jane Eagland

They strip her naked, of everything—undo her whalebone corset, hook by hook. Locked away in Wildthorn Hall—a madhouse—they take her identity. She is now called Lucy Childs. She has no one; she has nothing. But, she is still seventeen—still Louisa Cosgrove, isn’t she? Who has done this unthinkable deed? Louisa must free herself, in more ways than one, and muster up the courage to be her true self, all the while solving her own twisted mystery and falling into an unconventional love… (S)
Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden 

Liza puts aside her feelings for Annie after a disaster at school, but eventually she allows love to triumph over the ignorance of people. (S)

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan 

One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, two teens—both named Will Grayson—are about to cross paths. As their worlds collide and intertwine, the Will Graysons find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, building toward romantic turns-of-heart and the epic production of history’s most fabulous high school musical. (S)

Geography Club by Brent Hartinger 

Russel Middlebrook is convinced he’s the only gay kid at Goodkind High School. Then his online gay chat buddy turns out to be none other than Kevin, the popular but closeted star of the school’s baseball team. Soon Russel meets other gay students, too. In order to meet without drawing attention to themselves, the teens decide to form a “Geography Club”—a club so boring, nobody in their right mind would join. (M, S)

The Order of the Poison Oak by Brent Hartinger 

Tired of being the school freak, gay 16-year-old Russel tries to escape as a summer camp counselor in a rural summer camp only to be attracted to the same counselor as his bisexual friend Min. (M, S)

The Misfits by James Howe 

Four students who do not fit in at their small-town middle school decide to create a third party for the student council elections to represent all students who have ever been called names. (M)

Totally Joe by James Howe 

As a school assignment, a thirteen-year-old boy writes an alphabiography – life from A to Z – and explores issues of friendship, family, school, and the challenges of being a gay teenager. (M, S)

The Bermudez Triangle by Maureen Johnson 

Lifelong best friends Nina Bermudez, Avery Dekker, and Melanie Forrest face their first separation the summer before their senior year when Nina attends a ten-week summer program at Stanford. Nina returns home bursting with stories about Steve, her summer romance. But she soon learns the shocking truth about what her friends were up to while she was gone when she sees Mel and Avery…kissing. The friendship is rocked by what feels like the ultimate challenge. But it’s only the beginning of a sometimes painful, sometimes funny, always gripping journey as three girls discover who they are and what they really want. (S)

Almost Perfect by Brian Katcher
New student Sage Hendricks befriends Logan Witherspoon at a time when he no longer trusts or believes in people. Sage has been homeschooled for a number of years and her parents have forbidden her to date anyone, but she won’t tell Logan why. One day, Logan acts on his growing feelings for Sage. Moments later, he wishes he never had. Sage finally discloses her big secret: she’s actually a boy. Enraged, frightened, and feeling betrayed, Logan lashes out at Sage and disowns her. But once Logan comes to terms with what happened, he reaches out to Sage in an attempt to understand her situation. But Logan has no idea how rocky the road back to friendship will be. (M, S)
My Most Excellent Year by Steve Kluger 

Best friends and unofficial brothers since they were six, ninth-graders T.C. and Augie have got the world figured out. But that all changes when both friends fall in love for the first time. T.C. falls hard for Alé, but she’s playing hard to get. Meanwhile, Augie realizes that he’s got a crush on a boy. It’s not so clear to him, but to his family and friends, it’s totally obvious. Told in alternating perspectives, this is the story of three friends who discover love, themselves, and how a little magic and Mary Poppins can go a long way. (M, S)

Boy Girl Boy by Ron Koertge 

Larry, Teresa, and Elliot are so tight, there’s no room in their circle for more than three: boy, girl, boy. And when they graduate, they plan to move to California to start their real lives -together. But who are they fooling? Larry is gay and trying to come to terms with his sexuality. Teresa is tired of hanging out with boys she loves who don’t want to be her boyfriend. And Elliot is realizing that he may like himself more if he isn’t always in the shadow of his friends. (S)

Out of the Pocket by Bill Konigsberg 

Despite being a popular member of the football team, Bobby Framingham has never been able to find the courage to tell them all that he is gay, but when a reporter reveals his secret without his consent, Bobby realizes that now is the time to see where he stands with the people he has called his friends. (M, S)

Absolutely, Positively Not by David LaRochelle 

Fifteen-year-old Steven conscientiously collects photos of girls in bikinis and dates his female classmates in this humorous attempt to fit into his Minnesota high school, only to find out some surprising things about the people around him—and himself. (M, S)

Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan 

In this school, the gay kids and the straight kids all get along just fine, the quarterback is a cross-dresser, and the cheerleaders ride Harleys—yet the road to true love is still a strange and winding path, as Paul discovers when he meets the boy of his dreams. (M, S)

Hero by Perry Moore 

The last thing in the world Thom would ever want is to disappoint his father.  So Thom keeps two secrets from him: First is that he’s gay.  The second is that he has the power to heal people.  When Thom is asked to join the League of Superheroes, he can’t resist, even though he knows it would kill his dad.  In the League, he meets a motley crew of other heroes, including tough-talking Scarlett, who has the power of fire from growing up near a nuclear power plant; Typhoid Larry, who makes everyone sick by touching them, but is actually a really sweet guy; and wise Ruth, who has the power to see the future.  Together these unlikely heroes become friends and begin to uncover a plot to kill the superheroes. (M, S)

M or F? by Lisa Papademetriou and Christopher Tebbetts 

Frannie is desperate to get the attention of her crush, Jeffrey, but too shy to make a move. Frannie’s gay best friend, Marcus, advises her to get the ball rolling by chatting with Jeffrey online, but Frannie won’t type a word. Marcus takes over at the keyboard, and soon his plan is a success! But the more he chats, the more it seems Jeffrey is falling for Marcus, not Frannie. Whose romance is this, anyway? (S)

Luna by Julie Anne Peters 

Regan’s brother Liam can’t stand the person he is during the day. Like the moon from whom Liam has chosen his female namesake, his true self, Luna, only reveals herself at night. In the secrecy of his basement bedroom Liam transforms himself into the beautiful girl he longs to be, with help from his sister’s clothes and makeup. Now, everything is about to change – Luna is preparing to emerge from her cocoon. But are Liam’s family and friends ready to welcome Luna into their lives? (S)

Keeping You a Secret by Julie Anne Peters 

With a steady boyfriend, the position of Student Council President, and a chance to go to an Ivy League college, high school life is just fine for Holland Jaeger. At least it seems to be. But when Cece Goddard comes to school, everything changes. Cece and Holland have undeniable feelings for each other, but how will others react to their developing relationship? This moving love story between two girls is a worthy successor to Nancy Garden’s classic young adult coming out novel, Annie on My Mind. With her characteristic humor and breezy style, Peters has captured the compelling emotions of young love. (S)

Saints of Augustine by P.E. Ryan  

Sam and Charlie used to be best friends.  But then Sam cut Charlie out of his life–no explanations, no discussion, nothing.  Fast-forward one year, and both Sam’s and Charlie’s lives are spiraling out of control.  Sam has a secret he’s finding harder and harder to hide, and Charlie is dealing with an increasingly absent dad and a dealer whose threats are anything but empty.  Now, during the summer before their senior year, the ex-best friends are thrown together once again when they have no one else to turn to. (S)

Rainbow Boys by Alex Sanchez 

Three high school seniors – a jock with a girlfriend and an alcoholic father, a closeted gay, and a flamboyant gay rights advocate – struggle with family issues, gay bashers, first sex, and conflicting feelings about each other. (S)

The God Box by Alex Sanchez 

High school senior Paul has dated Angie since middle school, and they’re good together. They have a lot of the same interests, like singing in their church choir and being active in Bible club. But when Manuel transfers to their school, Paul has to rethink his life. Manuel is the first openly gay teen anyone in their small town has ever met, and yet he says he’s also a committed Christian. Talking to Manuel makes Paul reconsider thoughts he has kept hidden, and listening to Manuel’s interpretation of Biblical passages on homosexuality causes Paul to reevaluate everything he believed. (M, S)

A Tale of Two Summers by Brian Sloane 

Even though Hal is gay and Chuck is straight, the two fifteen-year-olds are best friends. When they find themselves spending the summer apart for the first time, the two keep in touch by setting up a blog, where Hal records his budding romance with a young Frenchman and Chuck falls for a summer theater camp diva. (S)

Freak Show by James St. James 

Having faced teasing that turned into a brutal attack, Christianity expressed as persecution, and the loss of his only real friend when he could no longer keep his crush under wraps, seventeen-year-old Billy Bloom, a budding drag queen, decides the only way to become fabulous again is to run for Homecoming Queen at his elite, private school near Fort Lauderdale, Florida. (S)

What They Always Tell Us by Martin Wilson 

Brothers James and Alex have barely anything in common anymore—least of all their experiences in high school, where James is a popular senior and Alex is suddenly an outcast. But at home, there is Henry, the precocious 10-year-old across the street, who eagerly befriends them both. And when Alex takes up running, there is James’s friend Nathen, who unites the brothers in moving and unexpected ways. (S)

Love & Lies: Marisol’s Story by Ellen Wittlinger 

When Marisol Guzman, a self-confident eighteen-year-old lesbian, moves to Cambridge, Massachusetts to work and try to write a novel, she falls under the spell of her beautiful but deceitful writing teacher, while also befriending a shy, vulnerable girl from Indiana. (S)

Parrotfish by Ellen Wittlinger 

When Angela, who has never felt comfortable as a girl, finally comes out as transgendered and begins life as a boy, she isn’t prepared for everyone’s reactions. (S)


Grade Level Interest
M Middle School (defined as grades 6-8).
S Senior High (defined as grades 9-12).
A/YA Adult-marketed book recommended for teens.

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