The Full Spectrum: A New Generation of Writing about Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, and Other Identities

The Full Spectrum: A New Generation of Writing about Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, and Other Identities

4.4 17
by David Levithan
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Teens are more aware of sexuality and identity than ever, and they’re looking for answers and insights, as well as a community of others. In order to help create that community, YA authors David Levithan and Billy Merrell have collected original poems, essays, and stories by young adults in their teens and early 20s. The Full Spectrum includes a

…  See more details below

Overview

Teens are more aware of sexuality and identity than ever, and they’re looking for answers and insights, as well as a community of others. In order to help create that community, YA authors David Levithan and Billy Merrell have collected original poems, essays, and stories by young adults in their teens and early 20s. The Full Spectrum includes a variety of writers—gay, lesbian, bisexual, straight, transitioning, and questioning—on a variety of subjects: coming out, family, friendship, religion/faith, first kisses, break-ups, and many others.

This one of a kind collection will, perhaps, help all readers see themselves and the world around them in ways they might never have imagined. We have partnered with the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and a portion of the proceeds from this book will be donated to them.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This collection succeeds in being truly inclusive. Editors Levithan (Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, reviewed May 1) and Merrell have carefully selected young people with various identities, from gay and bisexual to transgendered, who tell their own stories through essays, poems and, in one case, photography. The candor of these tales will immediately grab the attention of readers. Narrators range from a gay Boy Scout backpacking instructor to a college student in Iowa struggling to carve out an ambiguous gender ("My problem is that I don't want this `girl-thing' hanging over me. I'm caught between the effort of being a guy and the struggle to not forget where I'm from") to a girl finding the strength to tell her best friend that she loves her. Often heartbreaking, the stories also include plenty of difficult material, from physical abuse to homelessness, but also warm moments, such as a gay man remembering the night his older military-bound brother "telling me he loved me just the way I was." They can be funny, too (one gay student, who had always had a lot of female friends, begins carrying feminine hygiene products to school in order to show support for his girlfriends, something that "gained me the importance of a drug dealer"). The quality varies, but overall, readers will be impressed by the bravery of the young authors here, and the clarity with which they present their experiences. Ages 12-up. (May) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
VOYA
Forty people contributed to this collection, presenting the experiences of a new generation of young adults. The talent herein is as obvious as the pain, the sadness is as real as the relief, and the ugliness is as true as the beauty. The diversity in these stories seems amazing and logical as each person is unique from the others. Although a few entries get lost in ramblings and memories, the reader quickly realizes how it would be inappropriate to silence their voices yet again. Other stories are so skillfully crafted that the reader will become part of the experience and will wish that the story is one chapter in a full novel available now. This reviewer missed the interesting author biographies that one finds in other anthologies. The styles vary, with some stories told in straight narrative, and others in verse or letters. These last became favorites. Queer: Five Letters contains letters written to people whom Kat Wilson had known while growing up, including a fifth grade teacher, a chosen teenage role model, mother and father, the mother of a girl she tutored, and a family friend who died of AIDS. These brief letters weave together a survival story. Another person's story is told in The Most Important Letter of Our Life, written by JoSelle Vanderhooft at twenty-three to her sixteen-year-old self, warning and encouraging her teen self not to give up. Find it at http://www.glsen.org. VOYA CODES: 4Q 4P J S A/YA (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12; Adult-marketed book recommended for Young Adults). 2006, Random House, 288p., PLB and Trade pb. Ages 12 to Adult.
—C. J. Bott
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up-Using works submitted anonymously through the Web site the authors created in conjunction with the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), Levithan and Merrell have selected 40 essays, mini-autobiographies, poems, and photographs that chronicle the lives of 21st-century young people, ages 13 to 23. The handsomely dense package includes real-life stories about coming out, falling in and out of love, mistaken identities, families and friends, misplaced affection, confronting homophobia, and more. A female-to-male transsexual teen describes a first trip into the men's restroom. A young man recalls his close relationship with a trash-talking, pot-smoking, horror-movie-loving burnout, illustrating the blurry lines that exist between romance and friendship. While nearly half of the installments tell the stories of young gay men, a sizable chunk is devoted to lesbians, and more than half a dozen pieces are about transgendered youth. While many of the stories recall memories of isolation, others delve into a young person's awareness and involvement in a queer community. As a whole, the collection is comprehensive, complex, and the perfect title to put into the hands of teens who approach the information desk asking for real stories about coming out and coming to terms with anything remotely GLBTQ.-Hillias J. Martin, New York Public Library Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Forty essays by 13- to 23-year-olds range from sweet to salty to bitter-the flavors of growing up gay, lesbian or transgender in the contemporary world. Subjects include first love and first breakups, and relating to parents, siblings, friends and God. A queer Christian woman fights and preaches and waits until she can be ordained in the United Methodist Church. A femme gay boy supplies tampons to girls at school. Voices range from vernacular ("My dad found out I'm gay. Isn't it funny how, like, last week I was thinking about coming out to him and then BAM! he finds out)" to startlingly poetic ("My poems used to be shy; they used to stand in front of the mirror / and complain about their bloated syntax and pimpled thematic structure. / But now they leave the house in couplets. . . . "). Bisexual-themed content is under-represented, but transgender voices emerge strong. No story here will raise a blush-there's no explicit sex-but this emotionally spicy collection will inspire identification, compassion and hope in readers queer or not. (Nonfiction. YA)

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781417731916
Publisher:
Turtleback Books: A Division of Sanval
Publication date:
09/28/2006
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
5.56(w) x 8.22(h) x 0.88(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >