Geography Club

( 148 )

Overview

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. There's his best friend Min, who reveals that she is bisexual, and her soccer–playing girlfriend Terese. Then there's Terese's politically active friend, Ike.

But how can kids this diverse get ...

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Overview

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. There's his best friend Min, who reveals that she is bisexual, and her soccer–playing girlfriend Terese. Then there's Terese's politically active friend, Ike.

But how can kids this diverse get together without drawing attention to themselves?

"We just choose a club that's so boring, nobody in their right mind would ever in a million years join it. We could call it Geography Club!"

Brent Hartinger's debut novel, what became first of a series about Russel Middlebrook, is a fast–paced, funny, and trenchant portrait of contemporary teenagers who may not learn any actual geography in their latest club, but who learn plenty about the treacherous social terrain of high school and the even more dangerous landscape of the human heart.

A group of gay and lesbian teenagers finds mutual support when they form the "Geography Club" at their high school.

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Editorial Reviews

Out Magazine
“Hartinger’s novel is geared toward young adults but should also speak volumes to youth allies.”
Horn Book Magazine
“Pitch-perfect. Artful and authentic.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
“Lively and compelling... there's heart-palpitating romance... and there's plenty of humor in the witty writing.”
The Bulletin for the Center for Children's Books
“Lively and compelling... there’s heart-palpitating romance... and there’s plenty of humor in the witty writing.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Lively and compelling... there’s heart-palpitating romance... and there’s plenty of humor in the witty writing.”
Out Magazine
"In the age of chat rooms and instant messaging, is life easier for gay youth, at least in a coming-of-age novel? Russel Middlebrook, the teen protagonist of Geography Club, does find a queer classmate to commiserate with online, but his share of tumoil begins when he steps out of the real-world closet. While Geography's story line is familiar, first-time novelist Brent Hartinger tells the story imaginatively by documenting the beginnings of a gay-straight alliance--under the guise of a geography club--and the impact the group has on Russel and his fellow students at Goodkind High. Hartinger's novel is geared toward youth but should also speak volumes to youth allies."
Horn Book
"Pitch-perfect...This is the most artful and authentic depiction of a gay teen since M.E. Kerr's groundbreaking Charlie Gilhooly in I'll Love You When You're More Like Me."
School Library Journal
"Russel Middlebrook is a sophomore at Goodkind High School. He has a secret crush on a baseball jock, Kevin Land, and soon discovers that Kevin is also gay. The boys become friendly outside of school and set up the "Geography Club" with three other gay students, one of whom is Russel's closest friend, Min. The club members relish the opportunity to discuss their lives and to relate to one another openly and honestly. Eventually, however, intense peer pressure and insecurity take their toll. [....] Hartinger has written a compelling look at the high school scene and the serious consequences of being "different." The plot never falters. Dialogue flows smoothly and is always completely believable, and the occasional use of profanity adds to the realism of the story. Characterization is excellent, with all of the teens emerging as likable but flawed individuals caught in a situation that few young adults could handle with maturity. This author has something to say here, and his message is potent and effective in its delivery. Many teens, both gay and straight, should find this novel intriguing."
Publishers Weekly
Gay high school students form a small support group called the Geography Club. According to PW, "Overall, this novel does a fine job of presenting many of the complex realities of gay teen life, and also what it takes to be a `thoroughly decent' person." Ages 13-up. (Mar.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
From The Critics
Robert L. Goodkind High School could be any small high school in any small town in America today. Even though it is a small town, there is a diverse group of students under the conformist façade. In the lunchroom everyone sticks to their cliques, the jocks, the smart kids, the political kids, and the "losers." Russel Middlebrook is an average teen at Goodkind; he's not super popular, not a loser, just average, but he does have a secret. He is gay, and no one, not even his best friends, know. Russel often searches online for other gay teens that he can talk to until one night when, to his surprise, he connects with a classmate in a chat room and they agree to meet. Russel discovers that he's not the only gay kid at Goodkind, and things begin to happen pretty quickly. Russel and his newly discovered gay (and bisexual) friends decide to start up a club where they can meet and talk about their lives, but they don't want anyone else at school to notice them as a gay club, so they decide to call themselves the Geography Club. This book is an eye-opening look into the life of a gay teen, and the difficulty of figuring out teen and gay identities simultaneously. This book does a great job of pointing out that gay teenagers are just like everyone else; they are the smart kids, the jocks, and the political activists. Most importantly, they go through the same identity crisis that all teens do. 2003, Harper Tempest, 226 pp., Ages young adult.
—Maria Hernandez
VOYA
Russel goes to school in a small town. Russel is gay. While surfing the Internet, he enters a gay chatroom for his hometown and meets a boy from school. One thing leads to another, and they meet in person. The boy turns out to be Kevin Land, star athlete. Russel tells his friend Min. She laughs and reveals that she is bisexual and has been in a lesbian relationship for some time. They form a gay-lesbian-bisexual support group in school with some other students. Knowing that calling it a gay club would be risky, they pick the most boring name they can find-the Geography Club. In the interim, much to Russel's chagrin, Russel's best friend, Gunnar, keeps hounding him to go out with a girl so that her friend will go out with Gunnar. When a rumor spreads that there is a gay student in the small school, Russel worries. Brian Bund, the butt of jokes and torments, however, takes the heat although he is straight. And so it goes. Hartinger grasps the melodrama and teen angst of high school well. Russel's narration rings true, as he walks through the social jungle that is high school. The main characters ultimately come off as rather shallow-accurately reflecting the surface of high school dynamics. Brian Bund seems to be the only truly sympathetic, noble character. Russel's first forays into romance do not read too differently from traditional love stories. Frank language and the intimation of sexual activity might put off some readers. VOYA Codes: 4Q 3P S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Will appeal with pushing; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2003, HarperTempest, 226p,
— Mike Brown <%ISBN%>0060012218
School Library Journal
Gr 10 Up-Russel Middlebrook is a sophomore at Goodkind High School. He has a secret crush on a baseball jock, Kevin Land, and soon discovers that Kevin is also gay. The boys become friendly outside of school and set up the "Geography Club" with three other gay students, one of whom is Russel's closest friend, Min. The club members relish the opportunity to discuss their lives and to relate to one another openly and honestly. Eventually, however, intense peer pressure and insecurity take their toll. Russel's relationship with Kevin ends, but the "Geography Club" becomes the "Goodkind High School Gay-Straight-Bisexual Alliance," and the protagonist gains new insight into himself and his place in the world. Hartinger has written a compelling look at the high school scene and the serious consequences of being "different." The plot never falters. Dialogue flows smoothly and is always completely believable, and the occasional use of profanity adds to the realism of the story. Characterization is excellent, with all of the teens emerging as likable but flawed individuals caught in a situation that few young adults could handle with maturity. This author has something to say here, and his message is potent and effective in its delivery. Many teens, both gay and straight, should find this novel intriguing.-Robert Gray, East Central Regional Library, Cambridge, MN Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Much to his surprise (and relief), a closeted gay boy in high school discovers that he isn't the only homosexual teenager in his community. Russel Middlebrook, a sophomore at Goodkind High School, has a secret. Although he hasn't had physical sex yet, he knows in his heart that he's gay. News like that is tantamount to dynamite; socially it could blow him out of the "border region of high school respectability" he inhabits and into the land of the ostracized and set upon. Then Russel finds out that classmate Kevin Land, a handsome and popular star athlete, is a clandestine homosexual too. In a necessary but not very plausible plot twist, Russel confesses to his close female friend Min, who in turn admits to having a girlfriend. The teens desperately need to talk about their shared situation, so in an effort to find a safe haven and discourage other kids from coming around, they create the dullest after-school organization they can think of, the Geography Club. The group survives the addition of a straight girl with another kind of secret and Kevin and Russel's growing attachment, but its undoing comes when Min, knowing that they are only a whisper away from social ostracism themselves, fights to have Brian Bund, the "unquestioned outcast" of Goodkind, join their organization. Hartinger has to jiggle the plot to make it work, Russel's adventures in heterosexual dating feel forced and the conclusion strains credibility, yet overall the book is provocative, insightful, and in the end comforting. (Fiction. 12+)
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Lively and compelling... there’s heart-palpitating romance... and there’s plenty of humor in the witty writing.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060012236
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/17/2004
  • Edition description: First Paperback Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 98,664
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.12 (h) x 0.48 (d)

Meet the Author

Brent Hartinger has been a full-time author for many years, writing novels, plays, and screenplays. He lives in Washington State. Among his books are Geography Club and its sequel, The Order of the Poison Oak, as well as The Last Chance Texaco and Split Screen. Like Dave and his friends, as a teenager he resisted getting a job for as long as possible but finally was forced by his parents to go to work as a lifeguard at age sixteen. He still smells like coconut sunblock.

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Read an Excerpt

Geography Club EPB

Chapter One

I was deep behind enemy lines, in the very heart of the opposing camp. My adversaries were all around me. For the time being, my disguise was holding, but still I felt exposed, naked, as if my secret was obvious to anyone who took the time to look. I knew that any wrong action, however slight, could expose my deception and reveal my true identity. The thought made my skin prickle. The enemy would not take kindly to my infiltration of their ranks, especially not here, in their inner sanctum.

Then Kevin Land leaned over the wooden bench behind my locker and said, "Yo, Middlebrook, let me use your shampoo!"

I was in the high school boys' locker room at the end of third period P.E. class. I'd just come from the showers, and part of the reason I felt naked was because I was naked. I'd slung my wet towel over the metal door of my locker and was standing there all goosebumpy, eager to get dressed and get the hell out of there. Why exactly did I feel like the boys' locker room after third period P.E. was enemy territory — that the other guys in my class were rival soldiers in some warlike struggle for domination? Well, there's not really a short answer to that question.

"Use your own damn shampoo," I said to Kevin, crouching down in front of my locker, probing the darkness for clean underwear.

Kevin stepped right up next to me and started searching the upper reaches of my locker himself. I could feel the heat of his body, but it did nothing to lessen my goosebumps. "Come on," he said. "Where is it? I know you have some. You always have shampoo, just like you always have clean undies."

I had justfound my Jockey shorts, and I was tempted to not give Kevin the satisfaction of seeing he'd been right about me, but I was cold and tired of being exposed. I sat down on the bench, maneuvering my legs through the elastic of my underwear, then pulled them up. I fumbled for the shampoo in my backpack and handed it to Kevin. "Here," I said. "Just bring it back when you're done." Kevin was lean and muscled and dark, with perfect sideburns and a five o'clock shadow by ten in the morning. More important, he was naked too, and suddenly it seemed like there was no place to look in the entire locker room that wasn't his crotch. I glanced away, but there were more visual land mines to avoid — specifically, the bodies of Leon and Brad and Jarred and Ramone, other guys from our P.E. class, all looking like one of those Abercrombie & Fitch underwear ads come to life.

Okay, maybe there was a short answer to the question of why I felt out of place in the boys' locker room. I liked guys. Seeing them naked, I mean. But — and this is worth emphasizing — I liked seeing them naked on the Internet; I had absolutely no interest in seeing them naked, in person, in the boys' locker room after third period P.E. I'd never been naked with a guy — I mean in a sexual way — and I had no plans to do it anytime soon. But the fact that I even thought about getting naked with a guy in a sexual way was something that Kevin and Leon and Brad and Jarred and Ramone would never ever understand. I wasn't the most popular guy at Robert L. Goodkind High School, but I wasn't the least popular either. (Kevin Land at least spoke to me, even if it was only to ask for shampoo.) But one sure way to become the least popular guy was to have people think you might be gay. And not being gay wasn't just about not throwing a bone in the showers. It was a whole way of acting around other guys, a level of casualness, of comfort, that says, "I'm one of you. I fit in." I wasn't one of them, I didn't fit in, but they didn't need to know that.

Kevin snatched the shampoo, and I deliberately turned my back to him, stepping awkwardly into my jeans.

"Hey, Middlebrook!" Kevin said to me. "Nice ass!" Leon and Brad and Jarred and Ramone all laughed. Big joke, not exactly at my expense, but in my general vicinity. Some tiny part of me wondered, Do I have a nice ass? Hell, I didn't know. But a much bigger part of me tensed, because I knew this was a test, the kind enemy soldiers in movies give to the hero who they suspect isn't one of them. And from a guy I'd just lent my shampoo to, besides. So much for gratitude.

Everything now depended on my reaction. Would I pass this, Kevin Land's latest test of my manhood?

I glanced back at Kevin, who was still snickering. Halfway down his body, he jiggled, but of course I didn't look.

Instead, I bent over halfway, sticking my rear out in his direction. "You really think so?" I said, squirming back and forth.

"Middlebrook!" Kevin said, all teeth and whiskers and dimples. "You are such a fag!"Mission accomplished, I thought. My cover was holding — for another day at least.

Once I'd finished dressing, I met up with my friends Gunnar and Min for lunch at our usual table in the school cafeteria.

"The paint is flaking off the ceiling in Mr. Wick's classroom," Gunnar said as we started to eat. "Sometimes the chips land on my desk." Gunnar and I had been friends forever, or at least since the fourth grade, when his family had moved from Norway to my neighborhood. I'd always thought he should be proud of being from somewhere different, but kids had teased him about his accent and his name (they called him "Goony" or "Gunner"), so he desperately tried to ignore his heritage. Gunnar was a thoroughly nice guy and perfectly loyal as a friend, but — and this is hard to admit, him being a buddy and all — just a little bit high-strung.

Geography Club EPB. Copyright © by Brent Hartinger. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Reading Group Guide

Synopsis

Russel Middlebrook is convinced he's the only gay kid at Robert L. 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. There's his best friend, Min, who reveals she's bisexual; Min's soccer-playing girlfriend, Terese; and Terese's politically active friend, Ike.

But how can kids this diverse get together without drawing attention to themselves? "We just choose a club that's so boring nobody in their right mind would ever in a million years join it. We could call in the Geography Club!"

Geography Club is for anyone, gay or straight, who's ever felt like an outsider -- a fast-paced and funny tale of teenagers who may not learn any actual geography in their latest club, but who discover plenty about the treacherous social terrain of high school, and the even more dangerous landscape of the human heart.

Major Themes and Ideas

  1. Bullying can come in many forms, and can even exist between friends.

  2. Superficial differences sometimes mask underlying similarities; people are not always what they appear.

  3. Forgiveness is an essential part of friendship.

  4. Being a fully mature, ethical person sometimes means putting the concerns of other people ahead of oneself.

Discussion Questions

  1. At the beginning of the book, Russel feels different from everyone else in his school. Is he really that different? Is what ways is he the same? Some critics have called Russel an "everyboy" and a "universal character"? How can a character who feels "different" also be called "universal"?

  2. The Geography Club never discusses actual geography, but the members do learn about a geography of sorts. What do they learn? Why does Russel compare the locker room to a battle zone, and why does he think of the school's various cliques and social groups as "countries"? Is that an accurate description of a high school campus?

  3. Adults almost never appear in the book. Why do you think the author chose to do this? In what areas are adults an important part of your life? In way areas are adults not an important part?

  4. In the book, bullying takes many forms. Give examples. Can a friend bully a friend? What about sexual partners? What is bullying anyway? Is a person who claims he or she is being harassed always right?

  5. When Russel is trying to decide whether to forgive Gunnar, he remembers how Min had forgiven him, and he thinks, "It was funny how everything was fitting together like this." In what ways do the different characters in the book reverse roles? Was Min right to forgive Russel? Was Russel right to forgive Gunnar? Kevin?

  6. Through the course of the book, Russel experiences life as a not-so-popular kid (in the "Borderlands of Respectability"); an extremely popular kid ("the Land of the Popular"); and a total loser ("Outcast Island"). Why do you think the author had Russel see life from all those points-of-view? Have you ever experienced a shift in popularity?

  7. In the end, Russel and Min decide to break up with Kevin and Terese. Did they both make the right choice? Could their relationships have worked out if they'd stayed together? How were the two relationships the same? How were they different? Is Kevin a bad person? Is Terese a bad person?

  8. Several times in the book, Russel compares Brian Bund to Jesus Christ. What point is he trying to make? What role does Brian play in the book, and in the school?

  9. These days, some high schools are very accepting of openly gay students, other less so. What was/is your high school like in this respect? If a school is accepting of gay students, does that make the book less relevant?

Suggested Class Projects

  1. Have students make a map or globe of the "countries" (i.e. cliques) at their own school. Which "countries" are the largest, and why? If they were real countries, which would be the largest? The most powerful?

  2. Hold a "United Nations" meeting, where the different "countries" (i.e. cliques) at your school have a session. Have the "ambassadors" to the countries list their major grievances, and have other "ambassadors" respond. End with a discussion of the ways in which the "countries" share common ground. (For an interesting twist, require all students to represent a clique other than the one they're actually in.)

  3. Have the class brainstorm to come up with all the words that people use to harass or bully other people. Use a poster or blackboard to list them all. Talk about the ways in which a person might feel being called these names. Encourage students to be creative in words that could be used to bully.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 148 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(86)

4 Star

(33)

3 Star

(23)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 151 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 28, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Jennifer Wardrip, aka "The Genius" for TeensReadToo.com

    Russel Middlebrook is pretty sure that he's gay. After all, he's not attracted to girls, and he spends every day after gym class studiously avoiding the other half-naked guys in the locker room. He's never had an actual experience with another guy, though, so maybe the attraction he feels toward them is something he'll outgrow--or maybe not. <BR/><BR/>While surfing the Internet one night, he finds chat rooms for different towns and cities, where you can talk to other people who are also gay. And amazingly enough, there's a boy he meets with the name GayTeen-- who not only lives in his town, but also attends his high school. Another gay boy, in his very own school? There's no way that could be true-- especially when he finds out that the kid with the handle GayTeen is none other than Kevin Land, star of the baseball team, one of the most popular guys in school. <BR/><BR/>As Kevin and Russel get to know one another, outside of school and hidden away from prying eyes, they realize that there's no way for them to be together inside school walls. The same is true for Russel's friends Min and Terese, who although they claim to just be really close friends, are actually in love. So along with a few others, including Gunnar, who is straight, and Brian Bund, the loser of Goodkind High School, the boys form The Geography Club. After all, no one else is going to want to join such a boring club--especially if they knew it was just a front for a gay/ lesbian school group. <BR/><BR/>As events at school heat up, with Brian eventually being outed as gay even though he's not, Russel, Kevin, and their friends will have to learn what's most important in life. And that sometimes, no matter how much you might wish for things to be out in the open, you're just not ready. <BR/><BR/>GEOGRAPHY CLUB is a great, quick read from author Brent Hartinger, about the ups and downs of daily high school life, and the struggle to find ones identity.

    14 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2006

    Freakin' Amazing

    I read this one a while ago and I absolutely adored it. It's an amazing story of a group of students growing up, learning to love, and accepting themselves. This book is definitely a must-read.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 14, 2011

    Wonderful

    Russel Middlebrook believes that he is the only gay teenager at his High School. However, he finds that a popular baseball player, Kevin, is also gay and there are more than just a few gay teenagers at his High School. In an attempt to share secret struggles and find new friends, they create a school group under the title of The Geography Club. At the same time, Russel helps out his friend by going on a double date with a girl. Believing that this would only be a one time thing, Russel feels pressure by his friend to go on another double date. Russel also joins the school's baseball team, secretly to be close to Kevin, but finds he is actually quite good and even wins his first game for the team. Soon after Russel's new found popularity a rumor is spread that he is gay and has started a gay club. Not only is Russel's popularity in jeopardy, but so are old and new friendships, as well as his secret of being gay.

    It was very refreshing to read a novel by a male and the main character is male. This does not seem to be very common to do this in young adult literature. However, this book was very disappointing. I came into this book with high hopes but found the characters to be a bit flat. For example, Russel states that he is struggling as a gay teenager but the conflicting and painful emotion was very absent. It would have been nice to read more about Russel's feelings and struggles. However, as this is the first book in a series, I will read the next book(s), The Order of the Poison Oak, to see how Hartinger grows as an author, as he himself is a Gay author.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2008

    Good, but predictable

    Read it in one day. It was good, but predictable. I liked it and would recommend it to any teen.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2005

    You'll love it!

    This books amazing! I finished it the same day that I got it-- when you're reading it you get a mixture of emotions. As humans we want things to work out like we want them to, but sometimes they dont. We see the world in one form while others on the other hand dont, this books make me relize that as much as one would want something to happened other people may want something else. But, one needs to always make a choice and if it means losing the love of your dreams or even youre friends to make your self feel good them sometimes its worth it. The ending made me cry -blushing- we think that every ending is a happy ending, but sometimes it doesnt and its ok as long as we know it can get better from there on. I would tell everyone to read this book!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2005

    FANTABULOUS BOOK!!!

    I cannot say enough about this book. As a professional educator and soon to be school counselor, I wish it were required reading in every school. (Okay, back to reality for me.) The characters in this book are real people we all know and love. I hope Hartinger, the author, keeps up the great work and continues to bring Russ, et al to life in more of his work.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2003

    I loved this book

    I thought it was funny and sad. I fell completely in love with Russell. Everyone should read this book! It shows life as a high school student, feeling like an outsider, which gay or straight anyone can relate to.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2011

    Good book!

    I loved this book! It made me feel all sorts of emotions. From happy- I actually loled a few times- to sadness. The endign was not what I was expecting/or hoping for. However, it was a great read

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 8, 2010

    Excitement, Understandable, Helpful and Love able. Not everything in the world turns out like you want it to.! Must read to find out.!!!

    I just finished the book Geography Club by Brent Hartinger. Let me just tell you that this book is now one of my favorite G.L.B.T book ever! This book actually taught me a lot of things and I could make connections with the book. This is a book shows a bound of friendship, finding out who you are not what other people think or may want you to be and nothing works as humans want it to work. Brent Hartinger really knows how to write a creative scene. With his great word and use of vocabulary it makes you want to keep reading more and more. Of course thats how I felt once I started reading. I couldn't put the book down. I even read it out loud to my best friend and she loved it too. When I was reading the book to my friend just kept telling me to read it to her she liked how the author how they described the characters. She said that the characters were insecure of himself and didn't want to do anything with being gay. She now has her hands on the book. With this book it is hard not to make connections. We made a connection with the Queer as Folk with the characters Brian and Justin. One of them wanted to be together like Justin and Russel have a lot of things in common but so does Brian and Kevin. They feel like being together with the person does not go along with them. So it is a very twisted story that would be great for anyone to read ans focus on real life problems. I would consider me more like Russel, In the book Geography Club it showed me that when it comes to friendships you do anything and thats what me and Russel have in common. Also in finding out who you are not trying to be someone your not. Now Russel Is gay and doesn't want no one to know. He becomes a popular kid at school but, he turns the cards around now he is the bully something he never wanted . See me and Russel are alike in so many ways but I would do more for my friends than for me. Now in this book love is one of the major problems Russel is looking, he finds, and he lets go. This might be wired but thats life. Same goes for me. Like I said this book teaches me things that I couldn't teach myself. Like finally accepting who I am and having enough courage and standing up for . me, myself and I.
    This is a must read book . You would be surprised of what you can learn about life and everyone around you.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 9, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    this was defiantly an all around good book!

    I would put this in a high school humor section of reading. It was obviously written for teenagers. The book started off about a teenagers that goes to an average American high school With the jocks, Gothic, punk, preps and the losers. Well he mainly fell under the loser section that many people did not talk to or even notice. Well for Russel this was all going to change. Almost every night he would go on the computer and chat with people online. They were chat websites for gay people, and one night he saw one in his hometown. he brought it up and there was a guy in there. Well to Russel this sounded to good to be true so he asked that mysterious person a few questions. Like what they had for lunch that day and some of the people that were in his class. Sure enough this person was real. So they met up at this park that night, and had one of the most awkward and long talks they would ever both have. The funny thing about the whole part was the mysterious boy was Kevin Land, one of the biggest jocks at they're school. He soon comes out of the closet to his best friend Lin and finds out shes a lesbian and has had a girlfriend for about 3 years and he had never knew that. Later on in the story they start a club called the "Geography Club". They decide they are going to meet up and talk about there experiences and thoughts.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2006

    Amazing Book

    The story of a gay boy and how he deals, this is my favorite boook of all time. Written in Russel Middlebrook's point of view, it makes you feel as if all people were gay... THere really is nothing wrong about being Bisexual.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2006

    Pretty good

    If you're into the gay teen genre then this is probably a good read. Its short and has a pretty good messege but really overall I felt that it was something of a clone of other gayteen books I'd read, and not as good of a one at that. Don't get me wrong, the basic story is tried and true, a teenager discovering hismself in the world and learning to respect everyone but there are frankly better books on the subject. Another thing that I suppose could be good or bad, depending on how you look at it, is the overly simple language of the book. It would seem like its written for a fourth grader if the themes weren't at a teen level. This was annoying to me but its rare to find a book that can get to the point and I suppose it achieved that. I recommend it for gay teen book junkies, anyone who's ever had a secret or someone looking for a good quick read. I've also seen that there's a sequel out so that should be good.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2006

    IT'S GREAT!!!

    I loved this book, I read it with in the day. I couldn't put it down. This book is a great page turner

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2006

    Courtesy of Teens Read Too

    Russel Middlebrook is pretty sure that he's gay. After all, he's not attracted to girls, and he spends every day after gym class studiously avoiding the other half-naked guys in the locker room. He's never had an actual experience with another guy, though, so maybe the attraction he feels toward them is something he'll outgrow--or maybe not. While surfing the Internet one night, he finds chat rooms for different towns and cities, where you can talk to other people who are also gay. And amazingly enough, there's a boy he meets with the name GayTeen-- who not only lives in his town, but also attends his high school. Another gay boy, in his very own school? There's no way that could be true-- especially when he finds out that the kid with the handle GayTeen is none other than Kevin Land, star of the baseball team, one of the most popular guys in school. As Kevin and Russel get to know one another, outside of school and hidden away from prying eyes, they realize that there's no way for them to be together inside school walls. The same is true for Russel's friends Min and Terese, who although they claim to just be really close friends, are actually in love. So along with a few others, including Gunnar, who is straight, and Brian Bund, the loser of Goodkind High School, the boys form The Geography Club. After all, no one else is going to want to join such a boring club--especially if they knew it was just a front for a gay/ lesbian school group. As events at school heat up, with Brian eventually being outed as gay even though he's not, Russel, Kevin, and their friends will have to learn what's most important in life. And that sometimes, no matter how much you might wish for things to be out in the open, you're just not ready. GEOGRAPHY CLUB is a great, quick read from author Brent Hartinger, about the ups and downs of daily high school life, and the struggle to find ones identity.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2005

    Great Book

    I liked the book,because it was a really fast read and It was really interesting. You could never put it down when you opended the book. I would Highly recomended this book to young teens.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2005

    Its Tells the truth

    its it a really good boook it explains how highschool is like for gay and lesbian teens who go to a high school where gay kids are ridiculed and ect. i go to high school were if your gay your gay your o different then the next person. everyone doesn't get phased by all the gay kids in our school its just normal.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2005

    SEXELLENT

    purely awesome, nothinf less than amazeing i finished the book today and i LOVED it is was so real, so true...ever so true!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2005

    Entrancing

    I really must say, I was surprised at how much I liked this book. It's the first book that I really felt that I could connect with. I felt like everything Russel was going through was a lot like some of the things I am. I think any person could find some part of this story to relate to, which is why it's such a great book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2005

    truth

    this story was amazing . it showed the true feeling you feel , it also was belivable which make it easy to fall in love with the great charactors. i can't wait to read order of poison oak whcih is a sequel to this amazing heart warming story

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2005

    Loved This Book

    I thought it was great. Everything seemed to flow and all of the characters stayed themselves thoughout the whole story. There was a plot and it was great. This book really showed you what Russ is going through.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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