logo Practical Dreamers

The male closet
in many a classroom



An annotated book list of teenage novels
on the issues of being gay

3rd  (enlarged)  edition,  2001
Compiler:   William E. Elderton

Compiled for young people,  youth workers,  parents and teachers
by the Community of Women and Men in Church and Society
of the Methodist Church of New Zealand  -
Te Haahi Weteriana o Aotearoa
1st edition  November,  1996
2nd edition  May,  1998
3rd edition  April,  2001

©  1996,  1998,  2001
The Community of Women and Men in Church and Society
P.O. Box 36468,  Merivale,  Christchurch,  New Zealand
ISBN  0-473-07561X


Also available on this site are two other annotated book lists by William Elderton:
Not just a schoolgirl crush  (on the issues of being lesbian)
Crossing boundaries  (on issues of sexual abuse)





Purchasing titles unavailable locally

Collections of gay and lesbian short stories

General collections containing gay and lesbian stories

Novels dealing with gay issues





Novels have the ability to reflect our world,  helping us to feel comfortable in it while providing ways of examining aspects of that world we may never experience in real life.   Furthermore,  good fiction can present a framework in which we may more effectively come to terms with those events in our own lives we might find hard to handle;  we can thus begin to feel that we are not alone.   This is especially applicable to teenagers.

Young people coming to face their sexual development can find through appropriate fictional characters in credible situations an avenue to assist in their coping with inner conflicts.

In the area of sexual orientation high quality fiction is required which can provide a mirror to young readers' uncertainties and which might go some way towards proffering positive guidance.

Many teachers,  youth workers,  and parents are unaware of the growing number of high standard novels being written for the teenage / forms 1 to 5 market on or around the topic of homosexuality.   What follows is an annotated list of contemporary novels for this group which deal with the topic of male homosexuality or  'gayness'  as it is also termed.

Together these titles cover the range of issues involved  -  gay friends,  parental reaction,  self-doubt and self-awareness,  plus the AIDS question and the difficulties of establishing satisfactory gay relationships at this age in life,  and without many public role models.   These novels do all this unobtrusively in the context of strong,  interesting,  and enjoyable story lines with highly relevant characters.   As the annotations will show,  in some books the  'gay theme'  (and characters)  is secondary.

Also it is emphasised that these are not  'sexy'  novels.   There is little,  if any,  sexual description to be found;  rather the authors explore more the emotional and mental aspects of homosexuality as it affects the diverse group of people who are  'involved'  when a young person begins to wonder about sexual orientation.

This is not an exhaustive list,  but comprises books known to be more easily available.

At the conclusion of the annotations there is a bibliography of periodical articles which will provide further information on both the topic and some of the individual authors listed.

The books listed are not all in print,  nor available in every public and school library.   They are,  however,  available through the interloan service provided through your local public library.   The National Library is the other main source for schools in New Zealand.

This list is a companion one to  "Not just a schoolgirl crush:  an annotated book list of teenage novels on the issues of being lesbian",  published in 1997,  and also available on this site.

Introduction to the Third Edition

This edition includes some note-worthy adult novels which focus on gay teenage experiences in realistic,  sympathetic and mainly subdued ways.   Most of these titles come from publishers which have no Teenage Lists.   Marked with a *,  these works are worth considering for purchase for senior students  (15/16 years plus).   Indeed,  some have already been sighted in Young Adult Library collections.



Purchasing titles unavailable locally

High quality and specialized bookshops will order titles still in print from overseas,  where market regulations permit.   In New Zealand and Australia such shops include:
AucklandUniversity Bookshop
Auckland Campus and City Branch
Fax to both:   (09) 309 4278
Unity Books
19 High Street
Fax  (09) 373 4883
WellingtonEpworth Book Shop
75 Taranaki Street
Free Phone   0800 755 355
Unity Books
119 - 125  Willis Street
Fax  (04) 385 4956
Palmerston NorthBennetts University Book Centre Ltd
Massey Campus
Phone  (06) 354 6020
ChristchurchChildrens Bookshop
87 Victoria Street
Phone (03) 366 5274
Fax  (03) 366 4506
Dymocks Booksellers
107 Cashel Street
Phone  (03) 377 8250  
DunedinUniversity Bookshop Otago Ltd
378 Great King Street
Fax  (03) 477 6571
SydneyThe Bookshop Darlinghurst
207 Oxford Street
New South Wales
Phone  0061 2 9331 1103
Fax  0061 2 9331 7021
MelbourneHares and Hyenas Bookshops
135 Commercial Road
South Yarra
Phone  (03) 9824 0110  or  9602 1392
Fax  (03) 9670 4440
The Little Bookroom
185 Elizabeth Street
Melbourne 3000
Phone  (03) 9670 1612   (03) 9602 1392
Fax  (03) 9670 4440
AdelaideKids Books
435 Portrush Road
Glenside 5065
Phone  (08) 379 7022
Fax  (08) 379 5884
Murphy Sisters Bookshop
240 The Parade
Adelaide 5067
Phone  (08) 8332 7508
Fax  (08) 8331 3559
Sisters By The Sea
14 Semaphore Road
Adelaide 5019
Phone  (08) 8341 7088
Fax  (08) 8242 4100

Publishing houses and dates are as on the editions seen by the compiler.   Titles can change with publishers;  and foreign editions may be more readily available than the original UK,  US,  or Australian ones.   Also paperback editions are often issued by other publishers.   (Any good bookshop or library will check this.)   Thus no ISBN numbers are given,  as these change with new editions.



1.       Collections of gay and lesbian short stories
            for teenagers

Bauer,  Marion Dane  (editor)  Am I Blue?   Coming out from the Silence  
NY,  Harper Trophy,  1994

An anthology of sixteen short stories devoted to gay and lesbian themes especially written for young adults.   Contributors include M.E. Kerr,  Francesca Lia Block,  Jane Yolen,  and William Sleator.   A publishing first!

Decarnin, C;  Garner, E;  Paleo, L  (editors)  Worlds Apart:   An anthology of Lesbian and Gay
         Science Fiction and Fantasy
Boston,  AlyCat Books,  1994  (1986)

Eleven finely crafted short science fiction and fantasy stories by acknowledged writers of these genres.   Although not strictly written for teens,  this title is found in many Young Adult Library collections.   It is great that gay/lesbian teenage SciFi fans have access to appropriate stories in this genre.   Brief notes on the authors and their other works are included.

Grima,  Tony  (editor)  Not the only one: Lesbian and gay fiction for teens  
Boston,  Alyson,  1995

Twenty-one short stories by mainly U.S. writers about teenagers coming to terms with gay and lesbian issues. Here are sensitive,  well written self-awareness experiences,  coming out stories,  and accounts of family members coping with the homosexuality of one of their own.

Macleod,  Mark  (editor)  Ready or Not  
Random House,  Australia,  1996

Editor Mark Macleod offers teenagers 20 penetratingly sharp accounts of Aussie youngsters navigating the difficult passage towards self-acceptance of a homosexual orientation.   Some cartoon clusters contribute to the book's appeal,  along with the larger-than-usual print style.   Ready or Not  clearly reflects the excellent handling of gay and lesbian themes for teenagers by Australian writers.

Pausacker,  Jenny  (compiler)  Hide and seek:  Stories about being young and gay/lesbian  
Mandarin/Reed (Australia),  1996

Eighteen Aussie authors who have previously shown their ability to effectively tackle homosexual themes here produce a fine gallery of short stories which,  in a variety of writing styles,  offer us many of the issues and situations facing gay/lesbian youth.   The collection is somewhat more senior teen orientated than Marion Bauer's  Am I Blue.

Puttock, Simon  (editor)  Same Difference  
Mammoth/Reed (London),  1998

Eight fine new stories about gay and lesbian teenagers facing all the vagaries of life.   This is the first such British anthology,  so the inclusion of two New Zealanders,  Margaret Mahy and William Taylor,  along with American Jacqueline Woodson  --  comes as a surprise.



2.       General short story collections for teenagers
            containing gay and lesbian stories

Appelt, Kathi   Kissing Tennessee:  And Other Stories from the Stardust Dance  
New York,  Harcourt Inc.  2000

This sparkling bracelet of vignettes whirls us through the personal odysseys which have assembled an ordinary cluster of graduating Eighth Graders at their Junior High's Graduation Dance.   The pupils' backgrounds include parental abandonment,  being labelled "Trailer Park Trash",  cruel Religious Right abuse and even date rape on the night.   Yet there are experiences of excitement,  expectation and ultimate self fulfilment.   Overburdened in "Starbears" with an inner question,  Cub Tanner can barely articulate the issues which seem to have centralised as mysterious feelings he is experiencing towards his new friend Trent.

Blacklock,  Dyan   Call it love  
Allen & Unwin,  1996  (Ark fiction)

A hard-hitting short story anthology for Australian teenagers which includes  Dead love.   While pursuing a class project in the local cemetery,  the uncovering of what appears to be the joint grave of two 19th century gays provides an outlet for the homophobic machoism of 16-year-old Callum.   This pivotal incident in the story is set within the wider interplay of intimate heterosexual relationships.

Block,  Francesca Lia   Girl goddess #9  
Harper Collins,  1996  (Joanna Colter Books)

These nine brief tales,  by the inimitable Francesca Lia Block,  feature female characters with New Age pizzazz and more than a little guts.   Winnie and Cubby  is a mellow tale of a teenage romance in which,  during one of life's more intimate expressions,  Winnie discovers that Cubby is gay,  and so their friendship must remain forever just that.   For Cubby,  his agonising "coming out" does not invalidate his need of Winnie's platonic love.   First published in a slightly different format in  Am I blue  by Bauer.   Dragons in Manhattan,  the collection's longest entry,  contains a discussion on the growth of AIDS by two mourners at a memorial service.

Blume,  Judy   (editor)   Places I Have Never Meant to Be:  Original Stories by Censored Writers  
New York,  Simon & Schuster,  1999

In this fine batch of stories,  a dozen American writers for young adults push boundaries to open up issues long debatable as suitable for this readership.   After each story the authors provide personal reflections on book and library censorship in the American High School scene,  with Judy Blume herself contributing an excellent foreword.
   In Chris Lynch's  "Lie, no lie"  Oakley,  a junior High pupil,  is unwittingly taken by his best friend Paul to a gay gym and sauna where he undergoes an initiating gay sexual experience.   One suspects that Paul is homosexual and the trip is an attempt to discover,  or uncover,  Oakley's "preferences".   In any case,  here is a perceptive,  if muted,  portrayal of such an establishment.
   "Something Which is Non Existent"  by the late Norma Klein captures teenager Ben,  a loner who recoils from the macho and Bohemian varsity life around him.   He finds a safe harbour with a friend Mike,  whose room becomes Ben's study.   But Mike fails to provide the type of unexpressed companionship Ben seems to be seeking.   Appreciating the original publication date,  1959,  here is an astute, if muffled,  treatment of a young man's closeted gay feelings towards another.   The musical and literary references may,  however,  find little recognition in contemporary teens.

Bode,  Janet  and  Mack,  Stan   Heartbreak and roses:  real life stories of troubled love  
Bantam Doubleday 1996 (1994)

"Heartbreak"  and  "troubled"  are operative words in this realistically readable  -  if often depressing  -  miscellany,  with roses scattered but sparsely through the varied teenage experiences.   The editors allow the probably genuine teenage dialogue and emotive feelings to remain close to the surface in these vignettes.   We meet broken,  uncaring families,  abused  (in every sense)  young people,  and date rape,  along with all kinds of failed and insincere youthful relationships.   In  Undercover love  Seth's self-discovery of his gayness is recounted,  minus much of the detail found elsewhere in this volume,  while there is a final element of hope completing the story  -  a smell of roses among the ashes.   This book appeared in the  "Oprah"  TV show.

Crutcher,  Chris  Athletic Shorts:  Six short stories  
NY,  Greenwillow Books,  1994,   NY,  Dell,  1992

Two stories from Crutcher's collection featuring sporting adolescents are appropriate for this bibliography.   The somewhat amusing  "A Brief Moment in the Life of Angus Bethune"  concerns a boy handicapped not only by his gross overweight,  but also by a gay dad and a lesbian mum.   On a more sombre note  "In the Time I Get"  recounts the friendship between two teenagers in which Loui,  a High School graduate,  overcomes his homophobia to be a support for Darren who is dying from AIDS.

Duber,  Tessa and Nieuwenhuizen,  Agnes  (compilers)  Crossing:  New Zealand and
         Australian Short Stories
Auckland,  Reed Children's Books,  1995

Sixteen exemplary tales from both sides of the Tasman.   In William Taylor's  Who Are You Taking to the School Dance,  Darling?  the news is out!   Young Luke is off to the local High School 'hop' partnering his male friend Robin.   Why?   Because,  as Luke puts it to his family,  Robin is the best dancer.   Mother is on the war path for details about Luke's sexuality,  and the rest of the family scurry for cover.   A delightful piece of writing.

Durant,  Alan  A short stay in purgatory  
London,  Red Fox,  1997  (1994)

Durant gives us 12 accounts of teenagers experiencing periods of intense personal trauma.   The Queen of the Ruck  centres on 18-year -old Nick,  the macho king of the school's rugby scrum.   We follow Nick's inner replay of his last few tortuous years,  and his decision to finally leave the gay closet on reaching University.   But Nick can't quite find the strength to tell his best friend now.

Fraustino, Lisa Rowe  Dirty Laundry: Stories About Family Secrets  
NY,  Viking/Penguin,  1998

Eleven brief accounts about the skeletons knocking around in family cupboards.   Bruce Coville's  "The Secret of Life, According to Aunt Gladys"  recounts how Randy discovers he has an Uncle George when that relative turns up prior to an operation which will render him Aunt Gladys.   Randy's Mum tries to keep the facts from Randy plus George from the neighbours.   She is,  however,  forced from behind the facade of  "the Perfect Family"  to acknowledge that there are more black sheep than white in the family flock.   From all this, Randy learns that there should be no secrets within families.   A rather delightful tale in which the unusual misconcepted links between transgenders,  paedophiles and gays are made.

Gallo, Donald R  Ultimate Sports:  Short stories by outstanding writers for Young Adults.  
NY,  Delacorte Press,  1995

These sixteen short stories about teenage athletes include the Kiwi writer Tessa Duber's  "Sea Changes"  in which a young lass sails from Auckland as chef par excellence on a yacht odyssey through the Pacific.   The wealthy boat owners are two gay men,  one of whom had been a famous pop star.   The girl's matter-of-fact acceptance of the pair makes for refreshing reading.

Harris, Christine  Warped:  Twisted Stories  
Random House Australia,  2000

These brief,  sometimes minuscule,  vignettes sure  'make you squirm,  laugh and think'  and are a mix of 'X Files' and 'The Twilight Zone'.   In "Love at First Byte"  teenager Jon is confronted by a gay computer which 'comes on' to him.

Hill, Anthony  Growing Up and Other Stories  
Ginnindera Press,  1999

Perceptive reflections about being young in Australia fifty years ago.   The first off the block is  "Dance",  a wistful account of Louis's glorious self discovery of,  and involvement with,  music and dance at the age of three.   On breaking the delicate 78 record of his favourite piece,  Handel's 'Largo',  the boy discovers  'grief, guilt and loss'.   When he is six a stage musical electrifies Louis to dance's rhythm.   While allowing his body to meld with the music he is observed by philistinic relatives and labelled a freak, sissy kid.   This is when Louis painfully learns that he must endure the life-long burden of being regarded as different.   A scenario many gays identify with.

Hilton,  Nette  Clouded Edges  
Angus & Robertson,  1997

In 5 raw stories,  Nette Hilton charts the personal annals of 5 spirited if disfunctional Aussie teens.   For Bill,  in the tale which bears his name,  the journey both to a self-acceptance and to a concurrence with his father's homosexuality takes him to a temporary residence among flatmates who are either stoned,  drunk,  or Satan worshipers.

Hodgson,  Miriam  (editor)  Heart to Heart:  Ten love stories  
London,  Mammoth,  1996

Steve May's  Together  qualifies this book for our list,  and of what stirrings in the school fowl yard the tale tells!   Tasha loves Tim;  but Nathan wants Tasha so he spreads the gos that Tim is gay.   Nathan wins Tasha while Tim,  after flirting with suicide,  teams up with the female recounter of the saga.   Told through highly credible dialogue,  this story effectively conveys the plethora of positive and negative reactions to  (unjustifiably in this case)  someone's suspected gayness.

Ivanoff, George  (editor)  Short Stories by George Ivanoff  
Sydney,  Margaret Hamilton Books,  1999

This corpus makes for a gripping read,  even if an occasionally disturbing one,  as Australian teens grapple with a myriad of school weirdoes on top of family dysfunctions.   "He Played Unforgettable"  is a tale of internalised homophobia.   The unnamed hero is teamed up for a school project with Wayne,  leader of the school's band of bullies.   When working together on their shared task,  Wayne turns out to be a classical,  music-loving,  New Age type of guy who initiates a mutual gratifying kiss between the two.   Later,  when observed thus by his "gang",  Wayne leads the homophobic beating of his former "friend".

Malone, John  (compiler)  First Loves  
Sydney,  Collins,  1989

Some fifteen Australian short stories focussing on the joys and pains of first love.   "Outside Collarenabri"  by Alan Close is a tight,  tense piece of writing presented mainly in dialogue form.   Willy,  an artistic teenager,  listens to his parents and brother arguing outside his bedroom door.   The family has learnt that Willy is gay and while his homophobic father disowns him,  his sympathetic mother still desperately hopes the news is not true.

McFarlane,  Peter  Lovebird:  stories by Peter McFarlane  
Puffin Books  (Australia),  1993

Coober,  the first story is this raw collection about often-alienated teenagers,  explores the utter confusion as to one's sexual identity which a surprise incident can spring on a person.   Vince is a young student of ballet,  Gary your basic footy playing Aussie teen.   While recovering from knee injuries they together cycle the 860 km from Adelaide to Coober Pedy as a physio exercise.   En route Gary is "touched up" by a truckie and finds,  to his incomprehension,  that he "sorta liked" the experience.   In his resulting uncertainty Gary adopts some personal-sculpture-through-dance techniques Vince had shown him earlier on.   A unique item,  and the natural friendship between the two very different lads is deftly drawn  -  as is a discussion on gay stereotypes.

Montpetit, Charles  The First Time:  True Stories Book I  
Hodder Headline Australian Pty Ltd.  1996  (A Starlight Book)

Truly,  as one reviewer states on the book's cover,  this is a  'molotov cocktail in the field of children's literature'.   Here is a no-holds-barred,  slightly recast,  gathering of initial sexual encounters.   New Zealand's William Taylor,  in his delightful  "Supper Waltz",  introduces us to teenager Richard.   Our hero is being sexually aroused by various girls,  plus the sight, smell and voice of his friend Mike who is busy chasing Richard's sister Annie.   The dance floor is a russian roulette of passionate chances,  and Richard escapes the dreaded Wilma only to lose his manhood down Merle's dress.   This tale twistingly footnotes with an adult Richard hearing from Annie that Mike is,  and always has been,  gay,  and that as a teen Mike had the hots for Richard.   A book often found in non-fiction sections of Young Adult library collections.

Nieuwenhuizen,  Agnes  (compiler)  Family:  a collection of short stories  
Mammoth/Reed  (Australia)  1994

Here are 16 outstanding stories about young adults caught up in the complexities of "family"  -  its mysteries,  conventions,  realities and joys.   The final narrative  The passing of Aunty Erl  is a poignant account of how an elderly lesbian fares after the death of her partner.   The actions and reactions of Erl's partner's family are reflected on at her funeral by 18-year Pip,  now secure in his own gayness.   Pip's memories of the earlier funeral 8 years ago sharpen his,  and the readers',  perceptions.

The Phone Book  
Random House  (Australia)  1995  (A Mark Macleod Book)

A dozen Australian writers have produced this collection centred around telephone conversations:  tales of alternative realities,  death embarrassment,  love and futuristic spaces.   Jenny Pausacker's  Crowded Wires  narrates phone communications two High School seniors,  Damien and John,  share as they carefully avoid reference to their spontaneous erotic kissing one evening while working on a school project.   Damien's rather unstable Mum adds a richness to the mixture.

Price, Susan   Nightcomers
London,  Hodder Children's Books,  1997

Among these nine ghostly yarns from Britain is found  "Beautiful"  a homoerotic tale of Derek,  a nighttime cleaner in a mall.   Derek develops a strange dependence on a mysteriously ephemeral vampire who irregularily drains his wrist.

Sheahan, Robyn  (editor)  Original Sin
University of Queensland Press,  1996

These fourteen sagas all highlight some facets in the concept of 'sin'.   "Home Truths"  by Nigel Grey is a letter from teenage Jamie to his absent sixteen year old boy friend.   Through the epistle we encounter one Aussie family Yuletide which becomes a nightmare for all involved as Jamie progressively reveals his homosexuality,  an Aboriginal lover,  and their shared HIV status.   Although too much tragedy can sometimes verge on comedy,  Jamie's distress at his family's rejection, and especially that of his beloved sister,  is very moving.

Sussex, Lucy  (compiler)   Shadow Alley:  Nine Crime Stories
Norwood,  Omnibus Books/Ashton,  1995

A clutch of nine tales for teens by acknowledged Australian crime fiction writers who here often transport their 'pen' sleuths back in time to their adolescence.   For Season Geason,  however,  in her  "Totally Divided"  Detective Syd Fisher retains his adult condition.   Commissioned to trace a runaway girl named Skye,  Fish locates her with Ricky her seaman father.   Ricky is dying of AIDS and bailed out from Skye's Mum when he finally had to live honestly as a gay man.

Wheatley,  Nadia  (editor)   Landmarks:  Nine New Australian Stories
Turton and Chambers,  1991

In this general collection of Australian short stories for teens,  two feature gay and lesbian themes.   Off the Wall  by Jenny Pausacker centres on the lead character's lesbianism,  but Joel her  'got-it-all-together'  gay school peer provides a positive role model.   Bron Nicholl's  Only Two Hours by Train  has a minor incident when Kevin inwardly debates the state of his friendship with Theo if the latter were gay.

Wheatley,  Nadia   The Night Tolkien Died
Sydney,  Random House/Mark McLeod Books,  1994

A dozen offerings by a fine Australian writer for teens in which the various characters face multiple choices in life.   "The Most Unforgettable Character I have Ever Met"  is a poignant incident in which a thirty-five year old married man recalls the seemingly mutual attraction he shared with a male school peer years before.   There came for them both a fork in the road to be travelled.   The man who now remembers  married to become a 'gay exile' in the straight world.   His friend reached a successful status while openly homosexual.   Their eventual reunion twenty years on is a shattering experience for the closeted man who is left with the tormenting consequences of his earlier decision.



3.       Novels dealing with gay issues

Arrick, Fran   What You Don't Know Can Kill You
NY,  Bantam Books,  1972

A powerful warning about the spread of AIDS among straight youth.   After a sexual binge during his varsity's Orientation Programme,  Jack becomes infected with HIV.   The virus is then passed on to Ellen,  his hometown girlfriend,  during her High School Prom Night.   Arrick presents the devastating effects on the lives of these young folk and their immediate families.   Also sharply brought into focus are local homophobic prejudices against both the disease and homosexuals in general.

Bargar,  Gary   What happened to Mr Foster?
New York,  Clarion Press,  1981

Discovered to be living in a gay relationship,  Mr Foster,  a sixth grade teacher,  is pressured to resign by parents.   Set in 1950s America,  the story is told from the viewpoint of Louis,  one of Foster's pupils,  whose personality growth the teacher has helped.

Beaglehole, Helen   The Family Album
Cape Catley Ltd,  (NZ),  1997

On a visit to her Granny and Uncle Barry,  teenager Anna discovers a boyfriend and uncovers a raft of intriguing family secrets.   An aunt calls Barry a 'dried out old fag',  but Anna's mum can offer no proof either way as to her brother's possible homosexuality.   Both mother and daughter agree that it doesn't matter if he is gay,  while Barry's portrayal throughout the novel reflects their positive position.   An enjoyable Kiwi novel,  with just a hint of a time shift and set on the South Island's West Coast.

Bechard, Margaret   If It Doesn't Kill You
Viking,  1999

Following his father as his school's football legend loads teenager Ben with a formidable legacy to maintain.   For Ben reality centres on his dad's new,  gay,  live-in relationship beyond the family home.   Within the world of American High School gridiron football Ben successfully lessens the wounds his father's lifestyle inflicts on him.

Bess, Clayton   The Mayday Rampage
California,  Lookout Press,  1993

While accidentally falling in love,  Molly and Jess (a male classmate) research a series of hard-hitting articles on AIDS for their High School magazine.   Censorship by school authorities intervenes but the final denouement is Molly contracting AIDS through an earlier,  first-ever sexual encounter with Jess's best friend,  who,  in the concluding pages,  is uncovered as gay..   Told in the form of typescripts of taped conversations between Molly and Jess,  the novel develops a pace of its own through the twisting plot.   One of the best novels on AIDS available.

Block,  Francesca Lia   Weetzie Bat
London,  Collins,  1990
Block,  Francesca Lia   Witch Baby
London,  Collins  1992

Delightfully zany with surreal new-age characters,  these companion novels explore the experiences and expectations of an extended family of unrelated  'characters'  in California.   Tolerance through love is a constant theme.   Dirk and Duck,  two effectively portrayed secondary players,  are gay partners.

Block,  Francesca Lia   Baby Be-Bop
New York,  Harper Collins,  1995

A powerfully whimsical presequel to Weetzie Bat  in which Dirk at 16 says OK to his being homosexual after some surreal story telling experiences.   Duck,  his lover-to-be,  appears off-stage,  also working through similar confusions.   Possibly this novelbest captures the agonizing inner turmoil a gay teen faces as he wrestles with his sexuality.

Other novels by Block cover the adventures of various characters from the above series and although sometimes Duck and Dirk only appear off-stage there is a positive attitude to homosexual issues in all this author's writings.

Block,  Francesca Lia   Cherokee Bat and the Goat Guys
New York,  Harper Collins,  1992
Block,  Francesca Lia   Missing Angel Juan
New York,  Harper Collins,  1993
Block,  Francesca Lia   I Was a Teenage Fairy
New York,  Joanna Books  (Harper Collins,  1998)

Unwillingly hustled towards a modeling career by a self ambitious mother,  eleven year old Barbie has already been sexually abused by a photographer.   Barbie finds and cultivates a mother-sister-friend substitute called Mab,  a fairy who is obviously the girl's own ultra-ego.   Later Mab injects the now teenage Barbie with the insight to mutually support Griffin,  a gay lad who earlier suffered at the hands of the same photographer.   Griffin has made his own tortuous path to self acknowledgement in much the same way as Barbie.   With its serendipitous blend of fantasy and reality,  this novel is a further maturing of Block's inimitable style.

Blume,  Judy   Forever . . .
London,  Pan Horizons

Controversial upon publication for its explicit coverage of straight teenage sex,  Forever . . .  charts the love affair of 18 year old Katherine and Michael during their final High School year.   Artie is a secondary character whose struggles with his sexual orientation lead to a failed suicide attempt,  then entry into a private psychiatric hospital.   Failing to handle his plight,  Artie's friends do not refer to him again.

Branfield,  John   Brown Cow
London,  Gollancz,  1983
Branfield,  John   Thin Ice
London,  Gollancz, 1983

Two subtle novels set in immediate post-war Britain,  which follow 17 year old Andy's growing friendship with Duncan,  an adult,  and homosexual,  journalist.   In  Thin Ice,  after meeting Duncan's gay friends,  and Duncan's arrest on homosexual charges,  Andy is shocked into realising this path is not for him.

Bunn,  Scot   Just Hold On
NY,  Delacorte,  1982

Troubled by an alcoholic father,  17 year old Stephen finds real friendship and emotional empathy with Charlotte,  a classmate who has been abused by her Dad.   Despite a growing love for Charlotte,  Stephen is confused by his developing feelings towards another school peer  -  Rolf.   The sensitive and deftly handled novel ends with both boys accepting their homosexuality.

Cart,  Michael   My father's scar
New York,  Simon & Schuster Books,  1996

Completing his first year at an American College,  Andy,  18 years old and academically successful,  reflects on some very painful but powerful events and people from his growing years.   Such memories include a bibliophile grand-uncle,  his physically abusive alcoholic father,  and his own self-motivated compulsion to remain thin by running.   All these aspects touch on Andy's desperation to open up his gayness to himself and others.   In this perceptive novel we observe a youthful outsider whose quest for love brings unexpected rewards.

Chambers,  Aidan   Dance On My Grave
Pan Horizon,  1982

A well crafted story about an extremely intense gay relationship which unravels to a tragic conclusion.   The emotional costs are sensitively conveyed.

Chbosky, Stephen   The Perks of Being a Wallflower
New York Pocket Books  (Simon & Schuster Inc.),  1999

A freshman at his American High School,  Charlie is an outsider to his peers with his companions all being older students.   The recent suicide of his best friend is not the underlying cause of Charlie's deep withdrawal from any real intimacy.   Charlie's new best friend is gay,  and the issues from this supportive abuse relationship thread through the novel.   It is Charlie's awareness of the sexual abuse,  perpetrated upon him earlier in his childhood by a now dead aunt,  which finally enables him to live as a whole person.   A most rewarding novel.

Childress,  Alice   Those Other People
New York,  Putnam,  c 1989

Bigotry surfaces at Minitown High when a popular male teacher sexually assaults a delinquent 15 year old girl and the only witnesses are a black boy and a gay student teacher.

Clark, Margaret   No Standing Zone
Random House Australia,  1999

Forced to vacate his prestigious school and home life style on Sydney's wealthy northern shore when his parents divorce,  Link has difficulty adjusting to the raw environment of Westlands.   No Standing Zone  is included here because of Johnno,  Link's best friend in the earlier third of the book.   Johnno is also among the walking wounded from family break-ups,  but in his case the bombshell was Dad's going off with a boyfriend.   Ever since then Johnno has feared homosexuality could be inherited.   Besides bringing his pain up constantly in class discussions,  Johnno goes out of his way to disprove his theory.   The humour of Johnno's reactions makes a very telling point.

Cohen,  Barbara   Fat Jack
New York,  Atheneum,  1980

Published in 1980 and set in 1960,  Fat Jack  is dated as to its cultural references,  but can still be found on some NZ young adult library shelves.   Honour is the theme of the novel,  and the play  Henry IV part One  that the characters,  a group of small town American High School pupils,  stage. They work under the stimulating,  if dictatorial,  direction of Mr Sharf,  the school librarian.   Sharf draws out the latent talents in all participants,  but he lives with another man,  Vic,  who owns an antique store.   The veiled manner of Sharf's forced resignation from the staff at the book's conclusion strongly hints to the contemporary reader that the librarian is gay.   Homosexuality is never mentioned,  however,  but the inference is obvious.

Colman,  Hila   Happily Ever After
New York,  Scholastic,  1986

Despite being close friends since early childhood,  Melanie finds her love for schoolmate Paul is not reciprocated to the same intensity.   At 16,  Paul confesses his homosexuality and Melanie feels her world has ended until she recognizes the real friendship still possible between them,  and stands by Paul as he comes out to his family.

Cooper, Melrose   Life Magic
New York,  Henry Holt Co.,  1996

When Crystal is forced to attend a remedial reading class at her Elementary School,  her family are most supportive  --  especially Uncle Joe.   But Uncle Joe is dying of AIDS,  and the novel recounts Crystal coping with the final stages of the illness and Joe's inevitable death.

Crutcher, Chris   Ironman
NY,  Doubleday/Laurel Leaf,  1995

Beauregard  (Bo)  Brewester expresses an attitudinal problem in rages and outbursts which cost him a place on the football team and earn him a slot in a before-school Anger Management Group.   Here a skillful teacher/facilitator draws out the sources of underlying anger from some hard-edged pupils.   Young Bo has his sights on the Ironman Competition and is supportively encouraged by Lion Serbouseh,  another teacher and swimming team coach.   On discovering that Lion is gay,  Bo needs to undergo further coping techniques to overcome an initially hurtful reaction to his mentor.   A well handled treatment of the effects on both sides of the 'coming out' issue.

Crutcher, Chris   Stotan
NY,  Bantan Doubleday,  1986

In an earlier novel  Stotan,  Crutcher tabulates Lion's early experiences as a teenager in a swimming endurance team termed a 'Stotan'.   No mention is made of the boy's orientation,  but the adult Lion portrayed in  Ironman  is plainly forecast in the teenager of Stotan.

Davis,  Deborah   My Brother has AIDS
New York,  Atheneum, 1994  (A Jean Karl Book)

At 13 Lucy is vigorously training for the Regional Swimming Finals,  but the return home of her 25 year old lawyer brother,  Jack,  who is dying of AIDS,  more than puts Lucy off her stroke.   She writes a Health Project Report on the effects of the disease emphasizing not just the graphic details of Jack's condition,  and how her parents want to keep the truth hidden,  but also her father's early homophobia.   Courageously Lucy shares her experiences with her school class.

Dhondy,  Farrukh   Black Swan
London,  Gollancz,  1992

While taking care of an elderly man,  Rose realises that they are being watched,  and becomes caught up in a mystery going back to Elizabethan England,  involving Shakespeare,  Marlowe,  and an extraordinary black slave.

Donovan,  John   I'll get there.  It better be worth the trip
New York,  Dell,  1969

A relatively early tackling of the topic.   A lonely victim of a dysfunctional family,  Davy at 13 establishes a close friendship with Altschuler,  of similar age and situation.   An over-the-top reaction by Davy's mum to a misunderstood incident tests this friendship more than their earlier kissing.   The happy conclusion,  unsatisfying in the 1990s,  is still understandable for the late 1960s.

*Duplechechan, Larry   Blackbird
New York,  St Martin's Press,  1986

In the mid 1970s,  the final year at High School is an eventful one for Johnnie Ray Rousseau,  an academic seventeen year old Afro-American.   Along with a case of teenage pregnancy and self-abortion,  a peer suicide and general racial distrust,  Johnnie has to deal with his own homosexuality within his school,  a narrow-minded community and a fundamentalist Baptist home.   Johnnie proves to be a fine youth whose talents include acting and singing  (his theme song is  Blackbird  from which the novel's title derives).   We share Johnnie's initial sexual experience overtly,  but acceptably.

Durant,  Penny Raife   When Heroes Die
New York,  Aladdin Paperbacks,  1995  (1992)

At 12 years of age,  fatherless Gary is developing his basketball skills and falling for the charms of Shanna,  his first girl friend.   But his world crumbles when it is revealed to him that his beloved role model,  Uncle Rob,  has AIDS and is gay.   Gary's changing relationships with Shanna,  his best friend Sam,  and with Rob,  are convincingly sketched in a book suitable for Form 1 onward.   Rob's final days and death are,  though starkly shown,  still appropriate for the reading level.

Ecker,  B.A.   Independence Day
New York,  Avon,  1983

During his penultimate High School year the vague awareness of his difference crystalises for 16 year old Mike.   This movement to both the understanding and recognition of his gayness is assisted by a supportive father,  his best friend Tod  (on whom Mike's romantic desires have ever been focused despite a long-term girl friend),  various family friends,  and a teacher with a gay son.   Possibly this novel is a little too satisfactory,  yet the issues are unobtrusively integrated into the plot.   Independence Day  has been sighted
  in several N.Z. libraries' Young Adult collections.

Fox,  John   The Boys on the Rock
New York,  Arrow,  1985

Published as an adult novel,  this title is found in many public library young adult collections.   Billy at 16,  'graduates'  from the unsatisfactory dating of girls to a rather baldly tabulated affair with a slightly older fellow male worker for the 1968 American Presidential campaign.   Often things seem too easy to be credible,  but the tone is positive.

Fox,  Paula   The Eagle Kite
New York,  Orchard,  1995

Liam's father has AIDS,  and his family cannot talk about it until Liam reveals a secret that he has tried to deny ever since he saw his father embracing another man at the beach.
A paperback edition titled  The Gathering Darkness  is available,  publishers Dolphin/Orion.

Fricke,  Aaron   Reflections of a Rock Lobster:  A Story about Growing Up Gay
Boston,  Alyson,  1981

Often to be seen in both the fiction and non-fiction library shelves,  this is the true account of how Aaron won the right,  through the US Federal Court,  to attend his High School prom with a male date.

Gantos,  Jack   Desire Lines
New York,  Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux,  1997.

When he is unjustly accused by a local street preacher of being gay,  16 year old Walker "outs" two lesbian classmates  -  though the experience of a homosexual teacher meant the boy knew the likely fate of the pair in a homophobic Florida town.   The girls attempt suicide with one actually dying,  leaving Walker with unremittable inner guilt for failing to have the courage to do right.   The novel can be over-the-top in places.

Garden, Nancy   The Year They Burned the Books
New York,  Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux,  1999.

An American novel in the mould of Hentoff's  "The Day They Came to Arrest the Book."  Jaimie,  a Senior,  tries to edit the Wilson High Newspaper with integrity.   Wrestling with an increasing appreciation of her own homosexuality,  she is supported by her friend Terry,  who contributes sports articles.   But Terry is gay,  and has an on-again-off-again partnership with a class peer called Ernie.   Jaimie and Terry's families are supportive of their homosexualiy,  but Ernie's is not and his brief attempts to become heterosexual cause Terry considerable pain.   Jaimie's own need for a lesbian friend is not met in her small Eastern Seaboard community.   The 'Telegraph' spearheads a fight against a challenge to the school's liberal health programme,  plus action against all Public and School Library material featuring homosexuality and other alternatives to celibacy for teens.   It is a challenge mounted by locals within the Religious Right who are backed by national interests.
   Garden writes about a common problem for educational and library professionals and users,  with insight,  experience and a balanced approach.

Geras, Adele   Silent Snow, Secret Snow
Penguin  1998

Laurie invites his school friend,  Carlo,  to a family Christmas at the ancestral manor deep in the English countryside.   Just like an Agatha Christie mystery,  the party becomes snowbound,  and over a few days many personal secrets seep out into the festivities.   In Laurie's case it is his homosexuality and love for Carlo;  an attraction which,  although not reciprocated,  is still declined with affectionate understanding.   Delightful.

Gleitzman,  Morris   Two Weeks with the Queen
London,  Blackie,  1989  :  Sydney,  Pan,  1990

A book for readers Standard 3/4 and above,  in which 12 year old Colin is sent from Australia to Britain to escape his brother's death from cancer.   The  'Queen'  is Ted,  visiting his lover who's a terminal AIDS patient in London.   In befriending Colin,  Ted helps the lad appreciate the time he has left with his sibling back home.

Gould, Andre   A Summer's Exile
London, Gay Men's Press,  1996

Set in America's corn belt during the 1950s,  A Summer's Exile  allows young Mickey,  barely into puberty,  the chance to slowly recount a tale of puritanical and unsympathetic parents,  learning disabilities and resulting personality disorders.   All this trauma has led to Mickey's expulsion from school.   Enter Stephen,  a new boy on the next door farm,  whose supportive friendship helps Mickey take the first tentative steps to healing and self-acceptance.   Both lads are on the verge of sexual adolescence,  so as their bond gently finds such an expression Mickey's inner feelings and turmoil over Stephen are softly,  yet vividly shared with us.   Ultimately tragedy shatters the idyll and in the final chapter a now adult Stephen is seen grieving over Mickey's suicide along with the cruel and ignorant adult world which broke into the boys' Eden late in that summer.   Possibly most suitable for older teens,  but a serious contender for purchase.

Greene,  Betty   The drowning of Stephan Jones
New York,  Bantam,  1991

A brutal insight into American small town homophobia as exhibited in a personal vendetta waged by Andy Harris against Stephan and Frank,  a gay couple in their twenties.   Andy is a vicious upper-middle class 18 year old whose actions cause Stephan to drown,  yet his resulting suspended sentence for manslaughter is greeted with applause from most of the town's residents.   Told through the experience of Andy's girlfriend Carla,  daughter of the area's ultra-liberal librarian,  The Drowning  pits Carla's need of a boyfriend against her belief in natural justice.
  The characters often appear wooden caricatures  -  possibly they are over-used by Greene to enunciate various viewpoints.   The novel does air the harsher elements of homophobic ideas,  even if the author overstates and confuses the wider church's role in homophobia.

Griffin, Adele   Split Just Right
New York, Hyperion Books, 1997

At fourteen Dandelion  (or Danny as she prefers)  discovers the father she's never met and finally accepts that her solo mother's propensity for embellishing events is not the way to handle life's vagaries.   Her mum is a delight  --  part actress,  part drama teacher,  part waitress,  while Danny's second mother is a gay neighbour,  Gary,  whose partner has recently died of AIDS.   Gary is a gently caring support,  providing an essential element in Danny's well-being.   Here is a novel which is very emotionally satisfying,  completed by a heroine in the Judy Blume,  Beverly Cleary tradition.

Grimsley, Jim   Dream Boy
London,  Black Swan Books/Transworld,  1996 (1995)

A somewhat difficult novel,  despite Grimsley's highly sensitive coverage of young Nathan's tortuous life journey.   A family secret linked to his guilt-ridden,  whiskey-drinking father compounds the teenager's own gay issues.   Trapped between paternal sexual abuse and maternal compliance,  Nathan is solaced by a developing friendship with Roy,  a school peer from the next farm.   Set in the glades of the Southern United States  Dream Boy  has a mysterious  Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil  touch about it.   There is,  in fact,  more than a suggestion that his emotional and sexual affiliations with Roy are escapist fantasies born of his own terrible position.   The hard back edition found in most libraries is not enhanced by the dull cover.

Hale,  Keith   Cody
New York,  Alyson,  1997  (1987)

An interesting tale of friendship between a couple of teenagers;  the gay Trosky and the initially straight Cody.   The relationship eventually becomes sexual,  but it is the intellectual side of the bond which is the novel's main thrust.   Trosky and his folks are totally at ease with his gayness which,  while showing homosexuality in a positive light,  injects a slightly unreal element.

Hall,  Lynn   Sticks and Stones
New York,  Dell,  1972

Recently isolated in a small American town,  Tom's last high school year is lonely until meeting up with Ward,  a homosexual discharged from the Army.   The story is really about how gossip and prejudice can destroy lives.   There is no sexual relationship,  and Tom is always seen as  'straight'.

Hall,  Lynn   The Giver
New York,  Charles Scribner's Sons,  1985

Homeroom teacher,  45 year old James Hicket,  despite his hunger for emotional affection,  resists the temptation to cross the boundaries between teacher and pupil and reciprocate the loving crush of a student,  Mary McNeil,  30 years his junior.   The story is told from Mary's standpoint and,  though she records rumours that Mr Hicket is gay,  the novel is included here due to James's acidic 85 year old mother who lives with him.   Twenty years earlier this crusty old lady ended her son's chance of happiness with his high school sweetheart by informing the girl,  wrongly,  that James was gay,  and wanted to marry her to cover his tracks in the teaching profession.

Hamilton,  R.J.   The 'Pride Pack' Series
Boston,  AlyCat,  1995+

Pithy offerings in which a mixed group of American teens from a Gay and Lesbian community centre successfully sleuth some fairly life-and-death mysteries.   Although the series is in the Carole Keene / Hardy Boys adventure mould,  the Pride Pack story lines throw into sharp perspectives entrenched homophobia.   More importantly it is positive for gay/lesbian teens to read of themselves in what is a highly popular younger teens genre.

Who framed Lorenzo Garcia?
Boston,  AlyCat,  1995  (Pride Pack: 1)

The Pride Pack discover who is trying to discredit a homosexual policeman.

The case of the Missing Mother
Boston,  AlyCat,  1995  (Pride Pack: 2)

Straight Rebecca lives with her lesbian mum and mum's girlfriend,  Mica,  an outspoken advocate for homosexual rights.   The Pride Pack help Rebecca free her "other mother" when Mica is kidnapped by a homophobic group out to silence her championship of AIDS education in schools.   A less self-conscious book than Who Framed Lorenzo Garcia,  and more lesbian focused.

Hilton,  Nette   Square Pegs
Sydney,  Collins and Angus Robertson,  1991

Again,  peer prejudice against gays affects a friendship,  this time between 15 year old Denny and a homosexual schoolmate,  Stephen.   The novel realistically portrays the strife of being a gay teenager within the milieu of straight Aussie society.

Hines, Sue   The Plunketts
Random House Australia,  2000

Surrounded by her 'crazy' family a cheerful Bernice Plunkett keeps her gran out of the 'home' her dad has earmarked.   Our gutsy teen is aided in the battle by her gay and down-to-earth Uncle Paul and his partner 'Uncle Chris'.   The latter is gifted with a fabulous drag-act persona which overflows the stage into ordinary life.   Hines impeccably launches onto teenage fiction a superb portrayal of a camp gay male.

Holland,  Isabelle   The Man Without a Face
New York,  Dell,  1972

Fourteen year old Charles,  also from a dysfunctional family,  develops an increasingly close emotional attachment to the disfigured Justin  -  an adult loner who coaches Charles for a school entrance exam.   Events cover one summer,  and after Charles experiences a crisis at home his bond with Justin becomes fleetingly sexual.   Justin dies just after this and later Charles accepts the incident as a passing phase.   The recent movie omitted the homosexual element.

Homes,  A.M.   Jack
New York,  Vintage,  1990  :  Sydney,  Penguin,  1993

Here we explore the modern concepts of a  'family'.   Aware,  prior to his 16th birthday,  that his absent father is  'gay',  Jack now has to accept that he is part of a unique  'family'  consisting of himself,  his dad,  Bob,  his father's promiscuous lover,  and Bob's teenage daughter Maggie.   Meanwhile,  the seemingly stable family of his best friend,  Max,  collapses.   The resulting plethora of feelings Jack works through is gently expressed.

Hoy,  Linda   Kiss:File JC110
London,  Walker,  1988

A modern  '1984'  type thriller about state surveillance.   This time a disillusioned teenager,  Julian,  is investigated by an intelligence agent called Jamie.   Betrayed after a mutual homosexual affair with Jamie,  Julian enters a crushing downward spiral.   The novel's themes are about true relationships,  along with the relevance of personal selfhood and purpose,  rather than gay liaisons.

Ireland,  Timothy   To Be Looked For
London,  Bodley Head,  1981

Not specifically about homosexuality, nevertheless an important book to offer teenage boys uncertain as to their orientation.   It's an  'eternal triangle'  novel about three older teens  -  Paul,  Anne,  and Graham  -  coping with loneliness and the search for friendship and love.   In Graham's case,  the needs for a sexual lover and for an old-fashioned friend get confused in his initial relationship with Paul.

Ireland,  Timothy   Who Lies Inside
London,  Gay Men's Press,  1997  (1984)

Complete with a girlfriend,  at 18 Jumbo is the school macho hero.   Puzzled as to his sexuality on falling in love with a male peer,  Jumbo decides labels like  'homosexuality'  and  'heterosexuality'  are not useful descriptions for people.

Isensee,  Rik   We're not alone
Lavender Press (USA),  1992

A convincing story about 16 year old Mike and Susie who,  on discovering their homosexuality,  "come out" to themselves,  each other,  peers and parents.   Through their mutually supportive friendship they establish  -  but not without homophobic opposition  -  a gay/lesbian group in the High School.   Ultimately the pair find true love,  each in their own small corner of the homosexual scene.   A difficult book to review as there is a tendency towards subjectivity from a writer so closely involved with gay/lesbian youth.   Also,  a high proportion of dialogue,  coupled with a tight type face,  could make for an off-putting read.

Jenkins,  A.M.   Breaking Boxes
New York,  Delacorte,  1997

Charlie is a teenage loner,  contentedly living with his older brother,  Trent,  since their parents' deaths.   An unexpected friendship with school peer,  Brandon,  leads to the wider community knowing about Trent's homosexuality and to a crisis of family loyalty for Charlie.   An exceptional novel about loyalty,  friendship's costs,  and general maturing in difficult circumstances.

Laurie, John   No Rules
New York,  Bantam,  1999 
(Sweet Valley University  --  SVU 48  --  Created by Francine Pascal)
Laurie, John   Stranded
New York,  Bantam,  1999  (SVU, No. 49)
Laurie, John   Summer of Love
New York,  Bantam,  1999  (SVU, No. 50)
Laurie, John   Living Together
New York,  Bantam,  1999  (SVU, No. 51)
Laurie, John   Fooling Around
New York,  Bantam,  1999  (SVU, No. 52)
Laurie, John   Truth or Dare
New York,  Bantam,  1999  (SVU, No. 53)
Laurie, John   Rush Week
New York,  Bantam,  1999  (SVU, No. 54)
Laurie, John   The First Time
New York,  Bantam,  1999  (SVU, No. 55)
Laurie, John   Dropping Out
New York,  Bantam,  2000  (SVU, No. 56)
Laurie, John   Who Knew
New York,  Bantam,  2000  (SVU, No. 57)
Laurie, John   Elizabeth in Love
New York,  Bantam,  2000  (SVU, No. 59)

So far  (August 2000)  Laurie John has written eight novels in the popular Sweet Valley University series in which he includes a gay character,  Neil Martin.   The sequence chronicles an ongoing tale of the banal doings of a group of trendy young personalities who are akin to flat,  TV soapies.   Several equally important plot sequences run side by side throughout each book.   This said,  Neil comes across rather well although naturally stereotyped:  he makes his own curtains,  keeps his room so tidy,  and is a warm sensitive male.   But Neil's gay issues form honestly presented sub-plots.
   In  No Rules  (No. 48)  he joins an already established group in a car rally.   Pursued romantically by Jessica,  Neil finally admits his homosexuality to her.   Stranded  (No. 49)  deals with the consequences of his revelation:  Jessica is bitter,  and Neil fears she will out him.   His concerns continue in  Summer of Love  (No. 50)  until he eventually shares his orientation with the rest of the accepting gang.
   Living Together  (No.51)  and  Fooling Around  (No. 52)  see the road trip team sharing student life at SVU,  with Neil flatting with Jessica and her twin sister.   Here Neil takes a back seat plotwise,  though he takes centre stage again in  Truth or Dare  (No. 53)  when standing for Student Presidency.   Not only is his gayness a campaign issue,  but Neil himself must come to terms with his leaving his first university after an affair with a staff member.
   Virtually absent in  Rush Week  (No. 54),  Neil pops up irregularly in  The First Time  (No. 55)  until his star appearance during a party when his new love interest,  Jason,  causes Jessica problems  --  problems which further develop as a main plot device in  Dropping Out  (56)  and  Who Knew  (57).   Neil and Jessica hold firmly conflicting views as to Jason's orientation  --  as does Jason himself.   Although finally claiming the gay card,  Jason is too raw to form a relationship,  so Neil is left lamenting.   Absent in  The Dreaded Ex  (No. 58)  Neil resurfaces briefly in  Elizabeth in Love  (59)  where,  as he is searching for new 'digs' it seems Neil is quitting the series.
   Once again,  gay/lesbian readers have a popular genre featuring identifiable characters.

Jones,  Rhodri   Different Friends
London,  Andre Deutsch,  1967   (Adlib Paperbacks)

A group of male teens find their lives and friendships change as school ends.   From his friend Azhans's affair with an older man,  Charles learns to see beyond the anti-gay attitudes he's been surrounded with at home and school.

Kaye,  Marilyn   Real Heroes
Harcourt Brace Jovanovich  c 1993

When his father joins other parents in demonstrating against a teacher who is  HIV-positive,  Kevin is torn between his loyalty to his father whom he has always considered a hero and his admiration for his favourite sixth grade teacher.

Kerr,  M.E.   I'll Love You When You're More Like Me
New York,  Harper and Row,  1977   (Dell Books)

Wally,  a  'straight'  high school senior,  wants to escape his small home town and the prospect of working in his family's undertaking business,  and his best friend Charlie becomes the key to his escape.   Charlie,  with his gay lifestyle and problems is sympathetically and naturally conveyed.   A delightful novel.

Kerr,  M.E.   Night Kites
London,  Pan Horizon,  1986

At 17,  Erick discovers his 27 year old brother Pete is a homosexual with AIDS.   This is a warm story of the family accepting responsibility for loving and caring for Pete and also a tale of straight friendship in the sub-plot of Erick's longstanding comradeship with Jack.

Kerr,  M.E.   'Hello',  I Lied
New York,  Harper Collins,  1997

Lang is 17,  still at school,  gay and in a closeted relationship with Alex,  a young actor on the way up.   During a summer spent with his mother on the estate of a famous rock star,  Lang temporarily falls in sexual love with Anguille,  a young female visitor of the famed musician.   Lang's inner confusion is highlighted by his difficulty in "coming out" to his childhood friends whose frustrations over Lang's relationship with them is a strong plot element.   The reader can become irritated with Lang,  but Kerr clearly conveys his mixed emotions.

Klein,  Norma   Family Secrets
New York,  Dial,  1985

Ostensibly  Family Secrets  is a novel centring on family disruption which accompanies divorce and remarriage.   As two teenage friends,  Peter and Leslie,  begin an affair,  both sets of parents divorce with Peter's father remarrying Leslie's mother.   Family Secrets  sports several gay and lesbian characters,  while discussions about homosexuality abound in school and home environments.

Klein,  Norma   The Cheerleader
NY,  Knopf,  1985

A borderline inclusion,  but this merry tale of 14 year old Evan's establishing of a male cheerleading squad for the school's female softball team includes some relevant cameos.   There are the stereotypical accusations of being gay hurled at Evan's best friend,  and the surprising,  for Evan,  revelation that his father knows and has friends who are gay.

Klein,  Norma   My life as a body
NY,  Knopf,  1987

As she works through her relationship with a physically disabled male school peer,  Augustine is helped by her best friend Claudia who is lesbian,  and by Gordon who is gay.

Klein,  Norma   Now That I Know
New York,  Bantam,  1988

Aged 13,  Nina must face both her parents' divorce and her dad's gay relationship.   Klein tackles the issues with care and credibility.

Koertge,  Ron   The Arizona Kid
London,  Pan Horizon,  1990

A gentle but humorous novel about Billy's Arizona holiday where he stays with his gay Uncle Wes.   Billy becomes sexually involved with the lovely Cara Mae,  but supports Wes whose friend dies of AIDS.   Billy's straight teenager acceptance of Wes and his non-conventional circle is part of his growth as a person while  'out West'.

Lanagan,  Margo   Touching earth lightly
Allen and Unwin (Australia) 1996,  (Little Ark Books)

Cloe is 18,  when she finds the body of Janey,  her best friend  -  gang-raped and murdered  -  in a car wrecker's yard.   This compelling Australian novel reveals both Janey's life of family sexual abuse and the stabilizing influence Cloe and her family provided.   A gay family friend who's lost his partner from AIDS proves a solid prop for Cloe as she slowly sifts through the issues of Janey's life and death.

Larson,  Roger   What I Know Now
New York,  Henry Holt,  1997

1957 is the year that 14 year old Dave Ryan's parents split,  his older brother joins the US Marines,  and Gene Tole is employed to landscape the garden.   Gene proves to be a father/brother substitute for Dave  -  and much more.   As this slow moving but emotionally satisfying novel unfolds we realise that Dave's growing attachment for the older man is possibly the initial stirrings of a gay self-awareness.   Yet nothing "happens" between Dave and Gene because Dave himself  "doesn't understand [his] feelings or know what to call them,  all tied up inside".   Also,  Gene's gayness is revealed only after he's all but exited the scene,  leaving a confused Dave to struggle with the appreciation that despite there being many kinds of love,  he will discover the one appropriate for him.

Leeson,  Robert   Red,  White and Blue
London,  Collins,  1996

Gawain  (Wain)  is at a new school,  his father is "missing" from the Falklands War,  while his domestic life is a tad unpleasant.   He copes by writing three versions of what is happening to him now and what people say about his family past.   With grand-parental help Wain unravels the truth about his Dad,  and his home situation eventually brightens.   Also,  Wain rescues Keith,  an older,  gay,  school mate who is being tormented by peers.   Wain's appreciation of difference  -  a theme of the novel  -  is sharpened by this new bond with Keith:  a friendship which causes him to be labelled gay by association.

Levy,  Marilyn   Rumours and Whispers
New York,  Fawcett Juniper,  1990

Gays were people in distant cities,  and AIDS was only something in the news.   That's what Sarah believed until both came close to home.

Limb,  Sue   Big Trouble
London,  Orchard Books,  1990

Janie,  our teenage heroine,  has many emotional hurdles to overcome in this novel  -  including the sexual attentions of her mum's live-in boyfriend.   The young gay couple next door,  who are portrayed very matter-of-factly,  provide Janie with a supportive friendship.

Lucashenko, Melissa   Killing Darcy
University of Queensland Press, 1998

In the league of Ruth Park's  Playing Beattie Bow  Lucashenko's  Killing Darcy  is a brilliant time-shift drama set in the Australian bush.   The plot involves indigenous people's rights,  an early settler's mysterious death,  plus contemporary teens from a broken home,  and with everything focusing on a weird camera whose developed photos portray the past,  not the present.   Young Darcy Mago is an Aboriginal youth attempting to survive his parole restrictions.   On his becoming involved with the liberal thinking McKenzie family,  who accept his unobtrusive homosexuality,  all the threads begin to coalesce.   Darcy is somehow connected with the family,  while his Dream Time awareness helps unravel their dimensional shift mystery.   A fine read.

McClain,  Ellen Jaffe   No Big Deal
New York,  Dutton,  1994  (Lodestar)

In company with the bulk of her Junior High class,  14 year old Janice is more than content with Mr Padovano,  their charismatic form teacher.   It is no big deal,  therefore,  when rumours circulate that Mr P. is gay.   Janice's mother goes against the supportive tide, however.   She is a home-centred matron who,  with a genuine nervousness to change,  clings to conservative values.   The collision between mother and daughter,  with its accompanying family pressures,  forms a dynamic vein in the plot.   Also crucial is Janice's friend Kevin,  whose anti-gay activism against the teacher stems from bitterness that though his older brother is dying from AIDS Mr Padovano is healthy.

MacNeill,  Ian   Red and Silver
Mieli Press  (Australia),  1992

A very positive picture of teenage homosexuality as seen through the relationship of Phillip and Ben who attend a Sydney high school.   A teacher provides an affirming role model,  both as a gay and as an educator.   Humorous incidents abound,  including a class discussion on the possibility of Hamlet being gay.

Magorian,  Michelle   Cuckoo in the nest
Methuen,  1994

Set against the desperate English winter of 1946/47  Cuckoo in the nest  charts the ultimately successful efforts by 17 year old Ralf to commence an acting career.   Working class Ralf has spent the war years evacuated to a middle class home in Wales,  but the main thrust of his father's continual opposition to the theatre is based on the man's belief that the profession is one of "poofs",  "pansys"  and "nancy men".   No homosexuals appear in the novel.

Manos,  Helen   Snapshots
Omnibus/Scholastic,  1995

Six schools in eight years,  with all the attendant heartbreak of broken friendships,  have created in 11 year old Ali a resistance to her mother's constant need to move on.   A year in the country with her mum's friends  -  the caring Simon and the photographer Angelo  -  helps Ali mature and accept change and the permanence inherent in true friendships.   Slowly we,  and Ali,  appreciate that Angelo is dying of AIDS;  yet his illness and death are a catalyst for the house and countryside affecting the growth in Ali.   This is a story of relationship  -  between Simon and Angelo,  Ali and her mother,  and Ali and her old friend Fiona  -  all are deftly portrayed and inter-related.   A short,  gentle book for readers Standard 3/4 upwards.

Martin, Kenneth   Aubade
London,  Gay Men's Press,  1989  (1957)

First published in 1957 when the author was but sixteen years old,  Aubade  has surfaced in many Young Adult library collections.   Very autobiographical,  Martin's novel takes us through the summer a teen called Paul spends between High School and Varsity working in a shop.   He develops a relationship with an older medical graduate he calls  "Gary".   One fails to warm to Paul as he starkly recounts his pilgrimage to self approval.   Paul's comments are hard hitting,  while his actions at times,  to his weak dad,  overbearing mum,  and tossed-aside-after-being-sexually-used girl friend,  verge on the brutally egotistical.   In fact Paul sends everyone apart from  "Gary"  over the top.   Martin writes as a teenager because he is one and is sorely lacking any mellowness of mature reflection.   However,  teen readers obviously still connect to this novel which also introduces them to the homophobic pre Reform Bill era.

Marsden,  John   Checkers
Pan Macmillan (Australia),  1996

Through the memories of an unnamed 15 year old girl we trace an interconnecting business and political scandal which finally unwinds to cripple her family and an Australian State Premier.   The narrator is incarcerated in the Young Adult Ward of a Psych hospital.   "Checkers" her pet dog is the vital key to the exposure of the total affair and the pup's hasty despatch unhinges our heroine.   Daniel,  a strongly presented patient,  with a compulsive cleanliness disorder,  is gay.   His comments along with the explanations as to why he makes jokes against his own orientation are revealing.   A compulsive novel which reinforces Marsden's top ranking among Australian writers for teens.

Meeker,  Richard   Better Angel
Boston,  Alyson,  1933,  '86',  '95'

Said to be the first positive gay novel from the US,  Better Angel  gives a never surpassed insight into the struggles a teenage boy has between his being both gay and a Christian.   Kurt,  from a small town in the Bible Belt with a fundamentalist Methodist family background has some high hurdles to overcome,  before a happy ending.

Meyer,  Carolyn   Elliott and Win
New York,  Atheneum,  1986

Fatherless,  14 year old Win finds a cultured and single niddle-aged friend named Elliott through an organisation designed to provide supportive adult male role models for teenagers like him.   This relationship increasingly "works" for Win and is crucial in assisting his coping with the gang rape of his girl friend which he is forced to witness.   Paul,  Win's best friend,  constantly tosses out accusations that Elliott must be gay,  but his discovery that his natural father is homosexual causes a crisis in Paul's life.   Elliott's sexual orientation is never revealed.

Miklowitz,  Gloria D.   Goodbye Tomorrow
London,  Lion Collins,  1987

A novel in the  Beverly Hills 90210  genre with no gay characters,  but in which Alex,  the all American heterosexual teenage hero contracts AIDS through a blood transfusion.   We trace both his  friends' and family's reaction to this situation,  and the boy's uncertainty.   However,  Night Kites  is by far the superior tackling of the AIDS question.

Moss, Merrilee   Triller and Me
Melbourne, Silver Gum Press,  1994

Angry at her parents' inexplicable separation and her dad's consequent disappearance,  twelve year old Angelica finds distraction in helping a maltreated dog called Triller.   Actually this involvement with Triller leads Angelica to her father who,  she discovers,  has exited his closet to live with another male.   Our heroine is a survivor,  with a vivid vocabulary and deep sensitivities,  all of which makes for a most humorous book.

Murrow,  Liza Ketchum   Twelve days in August
New York,  Holiday House,  1993

Twelve days in August change a 16 year old soccer player's perceptions of himself,  his family,  girls and gays.

[Murrow] Ketchum,  Liza   Blue Coyote
New York,  Simon & Schuster,  1997

This companion volume to  Twelve days in August  lacks the overall excellence of the earlier work.   Blue Coyote is set on the fringes of California's surfing scene.   17 year old Alex discovers his gayness while searching for his best friend Tito who has been disowned by his family on "coming out".   Taunts from Alex's school peers hint that Alex has recognized his situation before he himself does.

Nelson,  Theresa   Earthshine
New York,  Doubleday,  1994  (Laurel Leaf)

We empathise with 14 year old Slim as her father's condition inexorably proceeds through the closing stages of AIDS,  with the various effects honestly outlined.   The tension inherent in the situation leads us to share the unrealistic sense of hope posed by a supposed miracle man  -  though the miracle proves to be emotional peace for Slim's dad and his lover.   A fascinating secondary character is Isaiah,  whose pregnant mother has AIDS while his late father died from the disease.   Both Isaiah and Slim belong to a group for relatives of AIDS patients run by a liberal church.   There are no "happy endings",  yet Earthshine reflects the force of human love,  the diverse meanings of "family",  and the resilience of the human spirit.

Nicholls,  Bron   Mullaway
Sydney,  Penguin,  1986

The year when 16 year old Mully proves herself a real  'little Aussie battler'  by running both her home and her family when mum falls ill.   Among the traumas,  her boyfriend and her brother have a homosexual affair.   This is no  Sweet Valley High  stuff,  but a sincere,  often amusing and fully rewarding novel of contemporary Australian life.   A sympathetic gay adult teacher is but one of a finely drawn supporting cast.

Noonan,  Michael   McKenzie's Boots
University of Queensland Press,  1987

Hiding his real age,  15 year old Sydney-sider Rod McKenzie joins the Australian Forces and is decorated for service on New Guinea's infamous Kokoda Trail.   Here he re-encounters "Prick Head" Hillyard,  a former school teacher who,  as an actively predatorial homosexual,  enlisted before being sacked.   Both soldiers mutually agree to keep each other's secrets.   This is a masterful insight into a teenager's maturing in the framework of a brutal jungle war,  where the enemy,  when confronted,  does not always fit the propaganda stereotype.

Pascal, Francine  (Sweet Valley University):   see  John, Laurie
Pausacker,  Jenny   It's Not Over Till You're Over It
Sydney, Red Fox/Mark McLeod, 1998   (Home Girls 3)

Emma's famous ability to develop a strategy for all eventualities life can throw her way fails on her birthday  --  a day when she's dumped by the beguiling Neil who then takes up with Emma's best friend.   Emma's resulting depression continues as she doubts that a deepening relationship with the handsome Lachlan will come through for her.   A sturdy male peer,  Wolf,  proves a tower of strength in assisting Emma to get her life back on track.   Slowly the reader,  along with Emma,  sasses out that Wolf is homosexual,  and his own unfolding troubles of the heart and societal acceptance form an important sub plot.

Pausacker,  Jenny   Mr. Enigmatic
Mammoth/Reed  (Australia),  1994

Through a series of linked vignettes written in various "styles" for his Senior High School English teacher,  Rhett Foley unfolds to us his life,  hopes,  family,  and friends.   Although he is desperate to appear "cool" and enigmatic,  this autobiographical experience actually transforms Rhett along with his appreciation of others close to him.   Rhett's involvement with his oldest pal Justin,  who is gay,  provides some enlightening incidents and insights,  and not a little humour.

Peck, Richard   Strays Like Us
London,  Hodder Children's Books,  1999

Moly and Will are in their early teens when,  due to family crises,  they are forced to live both next door to each other and with elderly relatives.   Will's father is dying of AIDS,  while Moly's mother is a drug addict.   Home is now a small mid-West American town where social prejudices necessitate the youngsters keeping 'mum' about their respective situations.   Here is a positive,  yet touching,  story of two growing teenagers feeling socially isolated and trapped in an alien environment,  but with nowhere to go.

Petkovic, D,  Kokokiris, M,  Kalinowska, M   Livin' Large  (This Is How It Is)
Sydney,  Pan,  1994

If this novel is a fair guide  (and other titles in this list support the assumption)  then some teens in western Sydney experience a variegated existence as they cope with drug-related complications,  gang and ethnic conflicts,  plus sexual abuse.   Among the varied characters is Max who drops out of Year 12 after the revelation of his homosexuality prompts a vicious homophobic gang fight.   This Is How It Is  is the work of three young writers who convey the immediacy and language of their school days.   A must.

Peyton,  K.M.   A midsummer night's death
Oxford University Press,  1978

Not actually a "gay" story per se,  but this tense psychological thriller set in a respected English boys' boarding school which has just commenced enrolling girls in the senior forms,  illustrates where a teenage male's infatuations can centre in a basically female-scarce area.   Robinson,  an unpopular master,  seemingly commits suicide,  but Senior Boy Jonathan Meredith has witnessed Charles Hugo,  a successful teacher,  with Robinson just prior to the "accident".   Jonathan's problem is his serious crush on Hugo who provides for the otherwise heterosexual youth a needed emotional focus.   Three other people stalk Jonathan after learning what he has seen on that Midsummer's Night.   But all ends successfully,  and our hero's deepening friendship with a female classmate enables him to adjust to Hugo's eventual death/suicide.

Poole, Josephine   Paul Loves Amy Loves Christo
London,  Red Fox,  1994 (1992)

While on a sea-side holiday with their vicar father,  Paul and his older sister Amy continue to grieve over their mother's recent death.   Paul is the one most wanting a friend,  and the wealthy,  charmingly handsome Christo seems all Paul could ask for.   In fact Paul becomes obsessed with the other boy to the extent of experiencing intense bitterness when Christo and Amy become an item.   Although not a gay novel per se,  Paul's need of love and resulting attachment to Christo hint that in certain cases love will cross gender lines without either person necessarily being homosexual.   The novel is a companion in theme to Timothy Ireland's  To Be Looked For  earlier in this bibliography.

Provenzano, Jim   PINS
San Francisco,  Myrmidude Press,  1999

Provenzano's title stands for  "Persons in Need of Suspension"  while also being a jock catchphrase in American High School wrestling.   The hero,  Joey Nicci of Italian Catholic descent,  is deeply involved in both meanngs of the term as he struggles with competitive wrestling and his own gayness.   His awakening sexuality is centred on his team mate,  Dink,  with whom there is ample opportunity for close bodily contact.   Needing to turn States Evidence after witnessing a gay bashing by his peers,  and enduring loving pressures to be straight from Catholic parents who fear for his soul's future torment,  render Joey feeling very isolated.   Yet he works toward a positive self perception despite Church dogma and community expectations.

Pullman,  Philip   The Broken Bridge
Piper  (Pan MacMillan),  1992

Finding she has a white half-brother makes Ginny realise there's a lot for her to discover about her family.   A self-centred,  arrogant teenager,  she still copes well with a further crisis  -  Andy,  her heart throb,  is in a gay relationship with another of her male friends.   Stuart,  a third friend,  is also gay.

Rees,  David   The Colour of His Hair
Exeter,  Third House,  1989

Sighted in some New Zealand Public Library Young Adult collections,  The Colour of His Hair  is listed with some reservations.   David Rees writes of the gay relationship between Mark and Donald,  firstly as final year High School students in 1976 and then a decade later,  as their love disintegrates in bitter recriminations along with Donald's AIDS related death.   The book's adolescent period is a worthwhile introduction to the feelings,  parental attitudes,  friends' opinions and school policies which are all inherent in theteenage gay experience.   The novel's second section is really for senior teens and might well carry some younger readers out of their comfort zones.

Rees,  David   In the Tent
London,  Dennis Dobson,  1979;   Boston, Alyson

Increasingly aware of his gay inclinations,  17 year old Tim takes a pivotal walking holiday with three school friends.   Holed up in a tent by rain and fog the party interacts,  while Tim explores his inner tensions through a fantasy immersion into the English Civil War period.   A satisfactory conclusion ends a tightly written novel.

Rees,  David   The Milkman's On His Way
London,  Gay Men's Press,  1997   (1982)

A difficult book to place in a secondary school library for,  although it presents a clear insight into young Ewan's gradual acceptance of his gay orientation,  the author places strong emphasis on the lad's physical experiences.   The cover picture is consistent with the publisher.

Rees,  David   Out of the Winter Gardens
London,  Olive Press,  1984

Thirteen years after his father left home when Mark was three,  contact is resumed and the boy finds his parents' marriage foundered on his father's homosexuality.   Time with his dad  -  who is painted positively  -  helps Mike in his own growing up.

Rees,  David   Quintin's Man
London,  Dennis Dobson,  1976

In their final year at Secondary School,  18 year old Luke and Cheryl begin a sexual affair just when Luke's widower father dies suddenly.   The novel focuses on Luke's self-awareness as a person alone without a family.   Luke's reaction to the discovery that a brother of a school friend is gay,  and later contact with a gay couple,  are interesting interludes in his inner development.   The same characters,  along with some from  The Tent,  re-appear in a sequel  The Estuary,  but teens would probably find this latter novel an unsatisfactory read.

Rinaldo,  C.L.   Dark Dreams
London,  Victor Gollancz,  1975

Weakened by rheumatic fever,  and afflicted with bad dreams,  young Carlo is sent to live with his Italian grandmother when his widower father leaves America for World War II.   A friendship with Joey J,  a retarded boy/man,  helps Carlo regain his self-confidence,  but also spurs the homophobic neighbourhood youths to treat Carlo mercilessly.

Salat, Christine   Living in Secret
New York,  Bantam Doubleday, 1993  (A Yearling Book)

Young Amelia is separated from her lesbian mother by the Court which has awarded her father custody upon her parents' divorce.   She escapes to live secretly in California with her mother and partner Jenny and where Amelia must adopt a fresh identity.   One of her school mates living openly with her father and his male partner gives Amelia much encouragement.

Scoppettone,  Sandra   Trying Hard to Hear You
New York,  Harper & Row,  1997  (1974)

Sixteen year old Camilla spends a troubled summer when a male peer closest to her and her new boyfriend Phil establish a gay relationship.   The reactions of Camilla and others in the group lead to Phil and a girl being killed in a car crash.

*Scott, D Travis   Execution,  Texas: 1987
NY,  St Martin's Press, 1997

An adult novel with a special place in this list for older teens.   Like the cover photograph,  Travis Scott evokes the barren environment of America's suburban Mid West in a tale which captures the confusion of young Seeger King's last months at High School,  and that in-between limbo prior to University.   Seeger's problem is a struggle with his sexuality  --  caught as he is twixt love for his girl friend and a new boy at school.   Further complications are provided by his hallucinations of apocalyptic type calamities,  and we wonder if these are triggered by Seeger's drug intake and/or a rather offbeat Mother Dearest.   Actually the visions,  plus a slightly erratic narrative sequence,  could cause some readers their own complications.   But a must for mature teen levels.

Shannon,  George   Unlived affections
Los Angeles,  Alyson,  1995 (1989)

Long secreted letters tell 18 year old Willie that his father,  who left his mother without knowing she was pregnant,  broke up the marriage when he owned his homosexuality.   Willie's personal growth as he gradually unearths the family skeletons while systematically reading the epistles in a single sitting is movingly conveyed.   A tensely dramatic novel.

Shaw, Diana   What You Don't Know Can Hurt You
Boston, Little Brown & Co, 1990  (A Carter Colborn Mystery)

A teenage amateur sleuth,  Carter Colby,  investigates ominous acts of violence against those trying to instigate a secondary school sex education curriculum.   Homophobic attitudes to gays and lesbians,  with AIDS seen as a Divine vengeance on homosexuality,  are freely aired within the local community.   One lass, fearful she is lesbian,  attempts unsafe heterosexual sex and then contemplates suicide.   Although the cover has the appearance of a Nancy Drew look-alike,  this is a novel which faces up to the effects flowing on from a lack of effective sex education programmes in an American High School.

Simons,  Wendy   Harper's Mother
London,  Pan Horizons,  1986  (1979)

Since birth 13 year old Harper has moved with Kitty,  her solo mother,  from one housekeeping position to another,  but only in the home of a gay man,  Eric,  has the girl ever felt happy.   This readable New Zealand novel centres on the mother-daughter relationship and how Kitty's probable marriage will affect that bond  -  especially from Harper's perspective.   The lass learns that Eric is her natural father,  though her feelings are complicated by comparing him to Ted,  her future step-father.   Eric has been kept at bay by Kitty for some years,  and he is a somewhat stereotyped,  flamboyant Gay.   Harper decides to stay with Kitty and Ted,  but keeps open potential avenues of contact to Eric,  and his boy friend with whom she felt a rapport.

Singer,  Marilyn   The course of true love never did run smooth
New York,  Harper & Row,  1983

How true to the title runs the plot of this novel!   A group of American High School youngsters put on  A Midsummer Night's Dream  and while it isn't strictly a  Kiss Me Kate  scenario the students find their various emotional entanglements do knot and twist akin to a Shakespearean play.   Although told from Bechy's viewpoint,  and thus centring on her changing feelings for Nehemiah and Blake,  the plot has two gay secondary characters  -  Richie and Craig.   The boys' evolving affair is accepted by their peers and forms an interesting subplot.

Spence,  Eleanor   A Candle for Saint Antony
Oxford,  OUP,  1977

Dated now,  but still a readable inoffensive and gentle tale about the growing friendship between two Aussie teenage boys,  Justin,  the all round lad,  and Rudi,  from Central Europe.   In the face of peer pressure the straight Justin breaks with the suggested gay Rudi.   Justin later realises he could have better understood and respected his friend as a person.

Springer,  Nancy   Looking for Jamie Bridger
New York,  Dial,  1995

Earnestly seeking the most basic of information about her unknown parents from ultra-secretive grandparents,  14 year old Jamie's quest is highlighted by grandpa's fatal heart attack and gran's resulting mental breakdown.   A lass of fierce practical determination,  Jamie struggles on to a successful homecoming which includes a supportive gay older brother and the knowledge that her grandparents were really her parents.   The ongoing pain suffered by her brother  -  also called Jamie  -  over his brutal expulsion by a cruel fundamentalist father is movingly tabulated.

Starke,  Ruth   Coming Out
Omnibus Books,  1996  (Scholastic Australia)

Briefly but breezily,  Coming Out chronicles the strife Freemont High's Seniors endure once they advocate holding a Debutante Ball to celebrate their exit from school and entry to the real world.   Not only do they achieve their vision but,  in this humorous encapsulation of contemporary Aussie social attitudes,  young Tom seizes the day and uses the presence at the Ball of the State Commission for Equal Opportunity to  "Come Out"  in a way beyond the expectations of ye olde British society and the School Board.

Stewart, Leslie   The Two of Us
London, Arlington Books,  1990  (1989)

Seemingly happily in love with his girl friend,  Sharon,  London teenager Phil gradually understands his sexual orientation as his emotions for,  and relationship with,  Matthew,  another peer,  develop.   Escaping to the Coast together,  the boys continue to explore the implications of both their sexuality and society's misconceptions.   Originally a film in BBC TV's  "School Scene"  series.

Storr,  Catherine   Two's Company
London,  Patrick Hardy Books,  1984

A superficial holiday story about a family holiday in France where teenagers Kathy and Claire double-date Steve and Val who they later perceive are a gay couple.   Unfortunately for Claire,  Steve can also be bi-sexual.

Sweet Valley High   see  John, Laurie
Sweet Valley University   see  John, Laurie
Taylor,  William   The Blue Lawn
Auckland,  Harper Collins,  1994

A highly tuned ear for credible dialogue is employed by the author to explore the attractions and tensions in a growing gay friendship between streetwise 16 year old Theo and country town David who is 15.   The same technique fails in the sub-plot concerning Theo's grandmother and her Jewish-Polish refugee story.   For all this is a New Zealand book,  The Blue Lawn  lacks really believable characterisation and is second rate when compared with most other entries in this list.

Taylor,  William   Jerome
Dunedin,  Lonacre Press,  1999

Young Jerome's suicide unites his two beloved friends,  the macho Marko in New Zealand and Kate,  on school exchange in America.   Via email,  faxes,  and on-line communications,  the pair grieve and comfort each other as they chart the mysteries behind Jerome's death.   Kate alerts Marko to her and Jerome's homosexuality,  coupled with Jerome's abiding love for Marko which the dead boy could never speak of in life.   Out of the mists within his own self,  Marko comes to appreciate his own gayness and mutual love for Jerome.   Taylor has gifted us an authentic and strongly crafted novel which is a fine advance on his earlier  The Blue Lawn.   Although one could wonder if three homosexuals is coincidence pushing,  this is a must purchase.

Tchudi,  Stephen   The Burg-o-rama Man
Angus and Robertson,  1986.

Chosen as typical "Middle American Youth" some High School students are aggressively courted by a national Burger Chain to front a TV advertising campaign.   In the process the teenagers learn plenty about personal priorities,  business ethics,  and everybody's corruptibility levels.   One "promo" features a pupil who is derogatorily labeled as gay by his peers.   The defence mounted on his behalf by a classmate emphasises the stereotypes held by much of society.

*Thorogood, Stuart   Outcast
London,  Gay Men's Press,  1998

This coming-to-terms-with-my-gayness novel is highly suitable for secondary school readers.   The central character,  Mark,  seems rather younger than his stated twenty years, and his gradual acceptance of his homosexuality is very credible.   Mark's experiences will help those gay teens who,  despite attractions to girls,  have still harboured over-riding sexual feelings towards other males since early puberty.   The youth's ambivalence towards,  then slow awakening to,  the joys of being freely himself are wellpresented.   The novel's latter section,  where Mark's home life disintegrates on his coming out, is convincingly reflected to us through other family and friends.

Ure,  Jean   There's Always Danny
London,  Corgi Freeway,  1989
Ure,  Jean   Say Good-bye
London,  Corgi Freeway,  1989

The last two volumes in a trilogy which follows the fortunes of a group of arts and drama students at a sixth form college in Britain.   Trouble with Vanessa,  the first novel in the series,  has no mention of homosexuality,  but the ones above do,  with one character,  Alan,  contracting AIDS,  while the orientation of another,  Josh,  is a plot factor.   Jean Ure reconstructs convincing teenage dialect.

Ure,  Jean   The Other Side of the Fence
London,  Corgi Freeway,  1993  (1986)

Bonny,  street smart and 16,  teams up with the young and wealthy Richard.   The resulting bond seems to answer her emotional problems,  but slowly she and the reader appreciate Richard is in conflict with his parents over his live-in gay relationship.

Ure,  Jean   Play NIMROD for Him
Bodley Head,  1990

Isolated in an intensely exclusive friendship which is characterised by a shared sophisticated inner world,  17 year old Christopher and Nick are assumed by families and peers to be gay.   Not only are they straight,  but the boys are quite dissimilar to each other.   Christopher's growing affinity with Sal triggers a crisis for Nick who attempts to kill himself and Christopher in a fast car.   Although with similarities to Chambers's  Dance on my grave  this title isn't a gay novel,  but the reactions of other characters to the friendship warrant its inclusion.

Ure,  Jean   You Win Some,  You Lose Some
London,  Corgi Freeway,  1984

A sequel to  A Proper Little Nooryeff.   Now Jamie successfully pursues both a ballet career and sexual kudos with the opposite gender.   En route,  however,  Jamie's seduction skills are copied by a male classmate eager to  'make it'  with him!

Van Dijk,  Lutz   Damned Strong Love:  the true story of Willie G and Stefan K
translated by Elizabeth O. Crawford
New York,  Henry Holt & Co,  1995 (1991)

Originally published in Germany,  this novelistic account of a World War II homosexual friendship sensitively illuminates for young readers a special period in gay history and highlights the legalised horrors gay teenagers have faced.   A teenager in occupied Poland,  Stefan owns his gayness before entering into an intense emotive bonding with Willie who is a member of the German occupation forces.   A naive letter from Stefan to Willie incriminates both youths and we follow Stefan's imprisonment and torture under the Nazi anti-gay regulations.   Although the book suffers in translation,  with Stefan and Willie somewhat flat and unengaging to the reader,  some aspects of their trauma come over sharply.

Velásquez,  Gloria   Tommy stands alone
Houston,  Texas,  Pinata Books,  1995

Tommy's traditional Mexican-American culture adds extra complications to his taking on board his gay sexuality.   His guilt and self-loathing heightens a drinking problem,  while peer abuse finally prompts a suicide attempt.   Slowly Tommy develops a calmer awareness of himself as a total person through the support of a female classmate and an empathetic counselor.   Although illuminating the universality of youthful homosexual issues,  this is inclined to be a stolidly paced novel with a liberal sprinkling of Mexican words and phrases explained in a glossary.

Voigt,  Cynthia   David and Jonathan
Scholastic,  1992

A tight novel with several levels of imagery.   Jonathan and Henry are inseparable teenage friends until Jonathan's cousin David arrives.   A Jewish refugee from Hitler's War,  David monopolises his cousin's time and very being.   A prologue and epilogue set in the Vietnam War zone provide guidelines for the reader's appreciation of the main plot.   Henry's teenage jealousy seems to be based on his homosexuality,  though one wonders if he can acknowledge his orientation even to himself.

Walker,  Kate   Peter
Omnibus Norwood,  1991

At 15,  Peter's orientation uncertainty is increased by an attraction to David,  a friend of his older brother.   Taunts from peers,  the attempted seduction by a girl,  and his dad's response to specific smears against Peter in local graffiti  all lead to Peter doing considerable self-evaluation.   He decides he'll let the question lie open for a few years  -  whatever,  time will tell.   A compelling Australian adolescent novel,  though Peter's open-ended attitude to his sexuality might not impress some adults.

Walker, Paul Robert   The Method
New York,  Harcourt Brace & Company,  1996  (1990)

Self centred,  yet gifted,  fifteen year old Albie attends a select summer course on Method Acting.   Besides his dramatic range,  Albie's knowledge of the changes inherent in human relationships is also vastly extended.   Mitch,  a fellow student,  takes him to a Gay Pride March as a way of coming out to Albie.   While there the two boys observe that their drama instructor is also gay and having an affair with the course's most macho male member.   The gay issue is but one in Albie's summer of "new growth" experiences.

Wersba,  Barbara
With her zany book titles and superbly drawn characters,  Barbara Wersba is currently one of the exceptional authors for teenagers.   In the several novels below she completely handles the complex issues associated with gender orientation.   Yet deftly sketched gay characters often pop up in very brief 'walk-on' roles within other titles.   The Best Place to Live is the Ceiling  published in New York in 1990 by Harper Row can serve as a case in point.
Wersba,  Barbara   Run Softly,  Go Fast
New York,  Atheneum,  1970

An early,  slightly daunting,  but still highly effective Wersba title,  detailing the intense bond between two older teenage males.   David is the perfection-seeking,  affection-starved,  son of a self-made business man,  while Rick with his inner freedom offers David stimulative companionship and wider horizons.   Threatened by the relationship,  David's father tries to break it when he stumbles on an incident which he thinks validates his belief in Rick's homosexuality.   In consequence David leaves home and,  at his dad's early death two years later,  the pair are still unreconciled.   The novel is David's working through his feelings about the years spent growing up.   The pivot of this inner wrestling lies in his father's calling Rick "a queer".   A novel of the period  (late 1970s)  set in the late 60s "scene".

Wersba,  Barbara   Crazy Vanilla
London,  Pan Horizon,  1986

A gentle novel about a loving straight friendship founded in photography between 14 year old Tyler and an inner-directed 15 year old lass called Mitzi.   The relationship helps Tyler accept his brother Cameron whose gayness has disrupted the family.

Wersba,  Barbara   Just Be Gorgeous
London,  Pan Horizon,  1990

Another superb Wersba novel!   Heidi Rosenbloom is guided to a state of positive self-acknowledgement through the friendship of Jeffrey,  a young,  gay tap-dancing busker.   Jeffrey's love of life persuades Heidi to accept his view of her rather than buy into her parents' frustrated expectations.

Wersba,  Barbara   Whistle Me Home
New York,  Henry Holt,  1997

Toli is 17 with alcoholic and shop lifting problems,  plus an inability to communicate with her parents.   Her intense love affair with a classmate,  the popular,  god-like,  T.G.,  offers Toli an emotional lynch pin until she gradually appreciates that all is not developing smoothly between them.   T.G. is gay and so cannot give Toli the consummative bond she craves.   This is more than a yarn about star-crossed lovers and doomed passion.   Wersba is a most competent writer in this field,  and in revealing T.G.'s struggle and sexual turmoil she possibly gives the sharpest insight into a gay teenage male's anguish at his ability to provide only platonic love across gender lines.

Wheat, Chris   Loose Lips
Melbourne,  Hyland House,  1998

The colourful tapestry of life at Melbourne's Vistaview Secondary College provides another peep into contemporary Aussie teenage culture.   Loose Lips  follows the adventures of a cluster of sixteen year olds.   We have Matilda who was protected by dingos when younger and Zeyne's obsession with tidiness,  while the entrepreneurial Chel utilises her unsuspecting male peers as 'escorts' when she establishes her own teen escort agency.   Finally there is gay Joshua whose cross is his 'born again' Christian parents.   The fortunes of the group are intricately and often amusingly interconnected,  and the myriad tensions endemic within Australia's ethnic components are vital to the plot.

Wheatley,  Nadia   The Blooding
Puffin,  1989  (1987)

The green struggle against logging in New South Wales with all its public conflict is the main theme of the novel.   However Colum,  the main character,  has inner conflict as to his sexuality,  and the older Garry,  from the Ministry of Conservation,  is able to assure Colum he isn't gay.   Though a minor element in this worthwhile story,  the gay element is well handled while Garry and his lover Rick are positively drawn.

Whitebeach, Terry   Watersky
Freemantle Arts Centre,  1998

Possibly Watersky might prove rather heavy going for some readers.   There are too many sub,  yet interlocking,  plots and characters  --  each of which would make an interesting novel in itself.   Brodie is nineteen and the death of his girlfriend in a car accident for which he is responsible leaves Brodie struggling to find meaning to his life.   Helped by Heather,  a colleague and friend of his girl,  Brodie succeeds in passing through his despair.   A secondary character,  Jeremy,  is a confident and contented homosexual.   In a delightful interlude,  Jeremy both outs himself to his parents  AND introduces his theatrical-director boy friend over family afternoon tea.   The parental response is standard,  but for Heather,  Gerry and Brodie,  Jeremy is always treated as a friend who just happens to be gay.

Wieler,  Diana   Bad Boy
New York,  Delacorte Press,  1992

A.J. Brandiosa becomes the bad boy of the Cyclone hockey team,  and learns that his best friend is gay,  as he tries to cope with his own sexuality during his senior year in high school.

*Willard, Guy   Foolish Fire
London,  Gay Men's Press,  1999

Ostensibly  Foolish Fire  is published as an adult 'biographical' novel,  but it is admirably suited for inclusion here.   Willard charts the coming-to-awareness of his gay sexuality during his pubescent High School years.   Various friends help and hinder his self discovery.   There's the annual visit from cousin Bobby,  a slowly deepening of sexual feelings centred on his best,  but hetero,  friend Jack,  while the lovely Vanessa proves to Guy that  'the love of a good woman'  is not always the cure for what is not just a passing phase.   Although there are some sharply centred sexual experiences recounted,  these are consistent both with a male teen's struggle to contextualise such incident within his widening self-appreciation,  and with what is occurring in contemporary teenage literature.   Well worth considering for purchase.

William,  Kate   Amy's True Love
Bantam,  1991  (Sweet Valley High No 75)

What?   A Sweet Valley High  gay novel!   Yes,  and the topic is sensitively,  if rather unrealistically,  tackled.   Everyone's desired boyfriend Tom just doesn't seem to be able to hold a relationship with a girl until one of the group,  Enid,  has her gay cousin Jake to stay.   Jake and Tom hit it off and Tom begins his journey into self discovery,  with his earlier  'problems'  explained.   There is little judgement by the other characters,  and that this popular  'cult'  series should handle homosexuality  and  in such a positive manner is a very great plus.

Willmott,  Frank   Suffer Dogs
London,  Fontana Lions,  1985

A realistic account of tough inner-city Australia centring on John and Eric,  two teenage friends,  who find different fates by the book's conclusion.   Two gays appear as secondary characters  -  one a peer,  another a teacher.   If this novel's treatment is a guide,  gays in that culture fare better than women.

Wright, Bil   Sunday You Learn to Box
New York,  Simon & Schuster,  2000

Louis is thirteen,  black,  and lives in lower-class, 1960s New York.   We follow his relationship with a devoted but flawed mother and a step-father who despises him.   A growing attachment to an older peer,  Ray Anthony Robertson,  draws Louis into the first stirrings of homosexual longing.   This is a novel about people on the margins,  mentally,  sexually,  economically and racially.   Wright highlights the ignorance most youth in the 1960s had towards all aspects of sexuality.

Zalben,  Jane Breskin   Unfinished Dreams
New York,  Simon & Schuster,  1996

Outside his lovingly supportive Jewish American family,  12 year old Jason's enabling mentor is Evan Carr,  the Headmaster of his Elementary School.   Carr is the model educator to his pupils,  snd he encourages Jason's talented violin playing.   When the rumours about Carr's AIDS status become reality,  Jason's family stand by the teacher in contrast to others.   For Jason his Principal's terminal status is devastating,  not just for himself,  but for the school as a whole,  and so he writes wonderfully supportive letters to his teacher and friend.   A richly rewarding book about family love,  growth towards maturity,  artistic strength,  and the honouring of innate goodness.   For Std 3/4 upwards.



4.     Appendix  -  bibliography

Articles and books which will help put a framework around the bibliography and provide further information on the theme and some individual authors.

I)     Some General Issues in the Writing of Young Adult Fiction

Aronson, Marc  "The Y.A. novel is dead" and other fairly stupid tales.
School Library Journal  January 1995  p36-37
The value of young adult novels in articulating relevant social issues.
Blume, Judy  Letters to Judy:  What kids wish they could tell you   London Heinmann 1986
Letters to a controversial Y A writer from her readers.
Caywood, Carolyn Risky business
School Library Journal  May 1995  p44
Books can battle peer pressure and help teens avoid risks.
Donelson, K.C.  and  Nilsen, A   Literature for today's young adults
Scott Foresman & Co,  1980
Note pages 407-413  Sex,  because it's there
Egoff,  Sheila A.   Thursday's Child:  Trends and Patterns in Contemporary Children's Literature
Chicago,  American Library Assoc,  1981
Note pages 66-79  The problem novel
Goforth,  Frances  and  West,  William W.  
How should teachers handle the literature students are reading?
Language Arts Vol 52  No 8  Nov/Dec  1975  pp1135-1140
Grant,  Cynthia  
Tales from a Y.A. author:  Slightly uneasy
School Library Journal  October 1995  p48-50
Mazer,  Norma Fox  
Silent censorship
School Library Journal  August 1996,  P42  (Make your point)
Fearing controversy,  a school abruptly cancelled a writer's visit.
Nagelkerke, Bill  
Censorship in a Public Librarian's Perspective
Magpies vol 15 No. 3 July 2000  (NZ supplement p1-3)
Sheahan-Bright,  Robyn  
How real is "too real"?
Viewpoint,  vol. 5,  No. 3,  Spring 1997 p.5-6
Taylor,  Anne   What shall we tell the children?
Changing social attitudes as reflected in literature for young readers.
Emergency Librarian  Jan/Feb 1988.   p9-15
Tucker,  Nicholas   Children's books and unwanted pregnancies
Books for Keeps  No 78  Jan 1993  p4-5
Ulbrich,  Ingrid   Don't read this!
Colorado teens learn about censorship
School Library Journal  January 1996  p46
Yates,  Jessica   Controversial teenage fiction
School Librarian Vol 32  No 3  Sept 1984  pp206-213

II)     The Issue of Homosexuality

Anderson,  Douglas E   Gay Information:  Out of the closet
School Library Journal  June 1992  p62
Aubrey,  Sean   Queer Reading
Librarians for Social Change:  4  Winter 1973  p17
Auchmuty,  Rosemary   You're a dyke,  Angela
Trouble and Strife  19  Spring 1987  p23-30
An interesting item discussing the rise and decline of the girls' school story
Borofsky, Amelia   If Harry Potter were a gay girl:  Young adult fiction for queers is both powerful
         and overlooked
   Girlfriends Vol 6 No. 9  March 2000 p.14
Campbell,  Patty   The Sand in the Oyster
Horn Book Magazine  Sept/Oct 1993  p568-572
An examination of how homophobic violence is handled in recent teenage novels
Clyde,  Laurel A.  and  Lobban,  Marjorie
Out of the Closet and into the Classroom:  Homosexuality in books for young people
Melbourne,  ALIA Thorpe,  1992
An invaluable tool for fiction on gay and lesbian themes.   The excellent introduction is followed by 132 pages of detailed annotations.
Fischer,  Debra   Young,  gay . . . and ignored?
Orana vol. 31,  No. 4,  November 1995 p220-232
Examines how well American School libraries address the needs of gay and lesbian teenagers.
Flicker, Seth   Young Adult Literature    Genre July 2000  p. 64/5
Hanckel, Frances,  Cunningham, John Can young gays find happiness in young adult books?
Wilson Library Bulletin  March 1976  p528-534
Jenkins,  Christine A   Young adult novels with gay/lesbian characters and themes 1969-92:
a historical reading of content,  gender,  and narrative distance
Youth Services in Libraries  Vol. 7,  No. 1,  Fall 1993 p43-55
Jones, Nicolette   Teen spirit:  Nicolette Jones meets Aidan Chambers
A detailed interview in association with  Postcards From No Man's Land
The Dominion    September 6th,  2000
Misson,  Ray   Getting it right by not telling it straight
Viewpoint  Vol. 4  No. 1,  Autumn 1996  p22-24
A thoughtful reflection on  Am I BlueReady or Not,  and Hide and seek 
-  three short story collections listed earlier.
Robinson,  Moira  A look at . . .
Magpies  Vol. 11,  No. 2,  May 1996  p46
A review of  Hide and Seek  and  Ready or Not.
Slayton,  Paul  and  Vogel,  Brenda
People without faces:  adolescent homosexuality and literature.
English in Education
White,  David   The young adult gay novel
S.R.R.T. Newsletter  No. 3  p21-23
Wolf,  Virginia L. The gay family in literature for young people.
Children's Literature in Education  Vol 20  No 1  1989  p51-58

III)     Articles by or about Authors of Novels
Handling the Homosexual Theme

The Gay/Lesbian connection:  two authors talk about their books
Bookbird   Vol. 32,  No. 2,  Summer 1994  p25-30       [Marion Dane Bauer]
Bauer,  Marion Dane  
Sexism and the world of children's books
Horn Book Magazine  Sept/Oct 1993  p577-580
Campbell,  Patricia J.  
People are talking about . . . Francesca Lia Block.
Horn Book Magazine  Jan/Feb 1993  p57-63       [Francesca Lia Block]
Sutton,  Roger  
Forever . . . yours:  an interview with Judy Blume.
School Library Journal  June 1996  p25-27       [Judy Blume]
Jenkin,  Ann  
The study of  'real'  issues in the novels of John Branfield
School Librarian  Vol 36  No 1  February 1988  p3-5       [John Branfield]
Forrestal,  Peter
An interview with Aidan Chambers.
Magpies No 4  September 1987  p16-18       [Aidan Chambers]
Fox,  Paula
On language
School Library Journal  March 1995  p122-126
Paula Fox muses on language's power versus lingo and labels
Fox,  Paula
To write simply
Horn Book Magazine  Sept/Oct 1991  p552-555
Holland,  Isabelle
Tilting at taboos
Horn Book Magazine 49 (3)  June 1973 p299-305
Kerr,  M.E.
Me, Me, Me, Me, Me:  not a novel
NY Harper Collins 1983
A delightful autobiographical ramble by M.E. Kerr through her early years,
highlighting how certain experiences and people in her life appeared in her novels.
Graham,  Joyce L.
An interview with  M.E. Kerr
Youth Services in Libraries  Vol. 7  No. 1  Fall 1993  p31-36       [M.E. Kerr]
Sutton,  Roger
A conversation with  M.E. Kerr
School Library Journal  June 1993  p24-29       [M.E. Kerr]
Klein,  Norma
Being banned
Top of the News  Spring 1985  p248-255
Klein,  Norma
Growing up human:  the case for sexuality in children's books
Children's Literature in Education  1977  p80-84
Kroll,  Jeri
'Ready or Not':  an interview with Mark Macleod
Viewpoint  Vol. 5  No. 4  Summer 1997  p16-17       [Mark Macleod]
Marsden, John
Marsden on Marsden:  the stories behind John Marsden's bestselling books
Pan Macmillan Australia 2000      
John Marsden shares personal experiences,  ideas,  insights and writing developments behind each of his novels.   One chapter is devoted to  Checkers.
Fox,  Geoff
Writing about Cool  (an introduction to Philip Pullman)
Books for Keeps  No 74  May 1992  p25       [Philip Pullman]
Rees,  David
On Katherine Paterson,  Alexander Pope,  myself and some others
Children's Literature in Education  1983  p160-170
Ure,  Jean
Who Censors?
Books for Keeps  No 58  September 1989  p19
Ure,  Jean
Some more golden rules
Books for Keeps  No 66  January 1991  p5
The Gay/Lesbian connection:  two authors talk about their books
Bookbird   Vol. 32,  No. 2,  Summer 1994  p25-30       [Kate Walker]
Kroll,  Jeri 
Kate Walker's 'Peter' revisited.
Reading Time  Vol. 4  No. 3  p15-17       [Kate Walker]
Walker,  Kate 
'Peter' by Kate Walker.
Reading Time  Vol. 35  No. 3  1991  p9-11
Wersba,  Barbara  and  Frank,  Josette
Sexuality in books for children:  an exchange
Library Journal  February 1973  p44-47       [Barbara Wersba]
Saunders,  Sally 
Sweet Valley High in S E 7
Books for Keeps  No. 90  January 1995  p16-17       [Kate William]
Gascoigne,  Toss
Frank Willmott
Magpies No 5  November 1987  p16-17       [Frank Willmott]
Willmott,  Frank
Why YA?
Magpies No 5  November 1987  p17-18
Lehoczky, Etelka
Life Lessons:  Bil Wright's own personal experiences imbue the characters of his first novel
Advocate  April 25th 2000  p.80..             [Bil Wright]



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