Trevor

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Overview

Trevor is an exuberant, sociable, and witty thirteen year old. So how come, when he takes that nerve-wracking turn toward his locker at school, he feels scared and alone? Shunned by his friends, misunderstood by his parents, and harrassed at school for being different, Trevor goes from wondering what color glitter to choose for his Lady Gaga costume at Halloween, to wondering why some feelings "are so intense it makes you just want to lay down and die rather than go on feeling it," and making an ...

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Trevor: A Novella

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Overview

Trevor is an exuberant, sociable, and witty thirteen year old. So how come, when he takes that nerve-wracking turn toward his locker at school, he feels scared and alone? Shunned by his friends, misunderstood by his parents, and harrassed at school for being different, Trevor goes from wondering what color glitter to choose for his Lady Gaga costume at Halloween, to wondering why some feelings "are so intense it makes you just want to lay down and die rather than go on feeling it," and making an attempt on his life. Trevor mixes humor and realism in an urgent look at what it is like to feel alienated from everything around you. And more importantly, what critical ties can step in at the most unlikely moment, to save you from despair, and give you reason to go on living. 

Trevor 
is an update of the film version of the story, directed by Peggy Rajski, which won the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short in 1994. The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, and questioning youth. As the recent attention to youth suicides has received increased media attention, and Dan Savage's IT GETS BETTER campaign has gone viral around the world, the public is finally beginning to face hard facts. Thirty-three percent of suicides among teenagers involve LGBTQ youth, one-third of all LGBT kids report having attempted suicide, and nine out of ten report overt harassment at school. Trevor is an effort to make those kids feel loved and supported, so they will find the strength to go on living.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Lecesne (Virgin Territory) updates his Oscar-winning short film, Trevor (itself developed from his one-man stage show), turning it into a novella. It’s the story of 13-year-old Trevor, a boy who stages a re-enactment of Jacques-Louis David’s La Mort de Marat in his bathtub and plans to dress up as his idol, Lady Gaga, for Halloween. (In the Trevor film, the teenager was a diehard Diana Ross fan.) While Trevor isn’t ready to declare himself gay, he doesn’t want anyone else doing so on his behalf, either (“Some of us prefer to remain a mystery—even to ourselves”). Trevor’s interests (Lady Gaga, theater, his baseball-playing buddy Pinky) make him a target, however, culminating in the word “faggot” being scrawled on his locker and a subsequent suicide attempt. Given the story’s long history, it’s no surprise that Lecesne nails Trevor’s personality and voice, a combination of self-assuredness, sharp humor, and enthusiasm. The author also contributes pencil drawings that are as affecting as the prose; the gentleness of his shading echoes Trevor’s softness, which the world is more than ready to harden. Ages 11–15. Agent: Bill Clegg, William Morris Endeavor. (Aug.)
From the Publisher
"Lecesne has updated Trevor’s world from the original story, incorporating modern elements like Gaga and Facebook while still maintaining the innocence and optimism that makes the teen so lovable and sympathetic."—Daily Xtra

“A beautiful, moving, funny, original book is rare at any time. A beautiful, moving, funny, original book that can dramatically alter young lives arrives about as often as the blooming of the century plant. Trevor is not only a remarkable book, it's an important book.”—Michael Cunningham

"Lecesne nails Trevor’s personality and voice, a combination of self-assuredness, sharp humor, and enthusiasm. The author also contributes pencil drawings that are as affecting as the prose; the gentleness of his shading echoes Trevor’s softness, which the world is more than ready to harden."—Publishers Weekly

"Trevor is important because its protagonist does not represent a single character, but serves as a vessel for the joy, despair, and alienation that LGBTQ youth can encounter every day at school and at home."—Porter Square Books Blog

School Library Journal
Gr 6–9—Trevor, a successful play and film in the early '80s, spawned the Trevor Project, an LGBT help line for young people struggling with their sexual identity. This is the updated book version, told in Trevor's voice, which is engaging, funny, and appealing. Trevor is an outgoing, quirky 13-year-old, an only child who drives his busy parents a little nuts. In the opening chapter, he is lying on the lawn, seemingly with a knife in his back, trying to get the attention of his father, who is cutting the grass around him. He is a Lady Gaga fan and plans to dress up as her for Halloween. However, his friends start to draw some conclusions and avoid him. Subsequently, he is forced into a humiliating counseling session with his parents' priest about sexuality and then bullied at school. The culmination of this angst and misery results in a suicide attempt. Homosexuality as a theme in teen literature was not as common (even prolific) as it is now, so this novella is not as memorable as it would have been 30 years ago. Because the story is so brief, there is little buildup to the point where Trevor makes the decision to take his own life. His suicide attempt seems rather abrupt and detracts from the impact it could have made on readers. The book is relatively solid in its development of a unique character, more so than as a commentary on homophobia. Pencil sketches add an engaging component, but the story lacks depth.—Corrina Austin, Locke's Public School, St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada
Kirkus Reviews
Trevor, after which LGBT helpline the Trevor Project is named, began its life as a theater piece, was sold as a short film in 1997, and here is adapted to a contemporary setting in novella form. Thirteen-year-old Trevor narrates in a voice that is initially exuberant. He wants more attention from his parents and seeks it by theatrically pretending to be dead. He loves Lady Gaga and is surprised when his best friend Zac derisively suggests he shelve his Gaga Halloween costume in favor of something "less gay." Zac ultimately shuns Trevor and so does the new friend Trevor finds after Zac. Finally, after a bullying incident at school, Trevor attempts suicide (leaving a suicide note that requests that "Born This Way" be played at his funeral). Trevor's voice is engaging, but the novella is short enough that both the change in his character and the resolution happen jarringly quickly. The slightness of the novella is reinforced by pencil drawings that add warmth but give the impression of having been quickly sketched. Teen fiction about gay boys in middle-class, suburban homes struggling with their sexuality is common enough now that this volume is no longer groundbreaking. Instead, it is simply a compassionate but slight portrait of a likable young person whose unique, impassioned spirit is dampened by bullying and homophobia. (Fiction. 12 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781609804206
  • Publisher: Seven Stories Press
  • Publication date: 9/25/2012
  • Pages: 112
  • Sales rank: 962,580
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

JAMES LECESNE is co-founder of The Trevor Project, the only nationwide 24-hour crisis intervention and suicide prevention lifeline for LGBT and Questioning teens. He has published two young adult novels, Absolute Brightness and Virgin Territory. His solo show, Word of Mouth, was awarded both a NY Drama Desk Award and an Outer Critics Circle Award.

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