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Openly Straight

by Bill Konigsberg

Published by Arthur A. Levine Books, 2013
320 pages
ISBN: 978𢠧45-509893

Age 14 and older

Rafe came out in middle school in Colorado. His classmates were okay with it and his parents were beyond supportive. He began working as an advocate for gay teens, giving speeches and presentations, and ended up feeling like a poster child for being gay. It抯 part of what led to his decision to transfer to a boy抯 boarding school in New England in his junior year of high school and assume a new identity as a straight kid. His best friend back home is furious that he would betray himself. His parents are confused and hurt. But from Rafe抯 perspective, he抯 not ashamed of his identity, he抯 just tired of being labeled and defined by it. And indeed, from his first day at his new school, everything is different. He抯 embraced by the jocks, and doesn抰 feel like he抯 living a lie until he falls in love with his new friend Ben. An athlete who doesn抰 tolerate homophobic comments, Ben is sensitive and honest, and vulnerable after his roommate抯 struggle with depression. As Rafe grows closer to Ben, he begins to realize Ben can抰 help but feel he抯 been lied to once he learns the truth. Humor and emotional honestly are deftly balanced in this probing, truly funny novel about coming out梐gain.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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