David Levithan’s Two Boys Kissing is a collection of stories about a variety of young gay men and their partners. There are two sides to these stories. There are the omniscient gay men of the past, who have struggled with their identities and coming out already. Then there are the gay teens of today who are attempting to come out and live their lives as they wish.
"I was unhappy for a long time, and very lonesome, living with my grandmother. Then it was that books began to happen to me, and I began to believe in nothing but books and the wonderful world in books — where if people suffered, they suffered in beautiful language, not in monosyllables, as we did in Kansas." (From The Big Sea, one of Hughes’ autobiographies)
The main character in Nicola Yoon’s Everything Everything, Madeline, lives in a bubble. Literally. Her house has an airlock and the very rare individuals allowed to enter must go through a decontamination process. Direct contact with anything can be potentially life-threatening, and Madeline has lived this way as long as she can remember. It’s all she knows. She has been comfortable with and understood this life. Until now. Because, when a cute boy named Olly moves in next door, she finds herself wanting more.
The 2017 Youth Media Awards, announced in January, include several awards for teen literature. Read about the winners and honorable mentions below. The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) also creates multiple booklists each year for young adults, that usually have a specific theme. Check them out and read some of the winners.