Openly Straight
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Openly Straight

By (author) Bill Konigsberg

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A funny, honest novel about being out, being proud . . . and being ready for something else. Rafe is a normal teenager from Boulder, Colorado. He plays soccer. He's won skiing prizes. He likes to write. And, oh yeah, he's gay. He's been out since 8th grade, and he isn't teased, and he goes to other high schools and talks about tolerance and stuff. And while that's important, all Rafe really wants is to just be a regular guy. Not that GAY guy. To have it be a part of who he is, but not the headline, every single time. So when he transfers to an all-boys' boarding school in New England, he decides to keep his sexuality a secret -- not so much going back in the closet as starting over with a clean slate. But then he sees a classmate breaking down. He meets a teacher who challenges him to write his story. And most of all, he falls in love with Ben . . . who doesn't even know that love is possible. This witty, smart, coming-out-again story will appeal to gay and straight kids alike as they watch Rafe navigate being different, fitting in, and what it means to be himself.

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  • Hardback | 320 pages
  • 152.4 x 215.9 x 31.75mm | 453.59g
  • 28 May 2013
  • Scholastic US
  • New York
  • English
  • 0545509890
  • 9780545509893
  • 95,057

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Author Information

Bill Konigsberg won the Lambda Literary Award for Young Adult fiction for OUT OF THE POCKET (Dutton, 2008). Before writing novels, he was a sportswriter for The Associated Press and ESPN.com. He won a GLAAD Media Award for a coming-out essay he wrote while working at ESPN.com, and he blogs at billkonigsberg.blogspot.com. Bill lives in Chandler, Arizona, with his partner, Chuck.

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Review quote

"Now a junior in high school, Rafe, who has been out since he was 14, is thoroughly sick of being labeled "the gay kid." So he does something bold: he leaves his Colorado school to enroll in a private boys' academy in New England where no one knows he's gay and he can be a label-free, "openly straight" part of a group of guys. Does this mean he goes back into the closet? No, he tells himself, not exactly; "It was more like I was in the doorway." But is he fooling himself? Can you put a major part of yourself on hold and what happens when you then find yourself falling in love with your new (straight) best friend?Lambda Literary Award-winner Konigsberg (Out of the Pocket, 2008) has written an exceptionally intelligent, thought-provoking, coming-of-age novel about the labels people apply to us and that we, perversely, apply to ourselves. A sometimes painful story of self-discovery, it is also a beautifully written, absolutely captivating romance between two boys, Rafe and Ben, who are both wonderfully sympathetic characters. With its capacity to invite both thought and deeply felt emotion, Openly Straight is altogether one of the best gay-themed novels of the last ten years.-- Michael Cart, Booklist starred review "

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