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Absolutely, Positively, Not . . .

by David LaRochelle

Published by Arthur A. Levine Books / Scholastic Press, 2005
224 pages
ISBN: 0-439-59109-0

Ages 12 and older

Sixteen-year-old Steven is harboring a deep secret: he loves to square dance. But Steven has another secret, too: he thinks he might be gay. Steven is sure that both are far from typical for a teenage boy living in his small Minnesota town, which he describes as the hockey stick capital of the world. In truth, Steven knows he is gay, but he doesn’t want to believe it. As he navigates these and other challenges of his life in high school, from a crush on a (male) teacher to learning how to drive, Steven tries several questionable tactics in order to change his sexuality, all to no avail. David LaRochelle’s extraordinary narrative is an exquisite balancing act with humor as its center point: he takes Steven from denial and aversion to a place of empowerment and self-acceptance in a story that is laugh-out-loud funny—offering witty commentaries on popular culture--even as it shines with moments of poignancy and truth. (Ages 12-18) (MS) ©2005 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

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