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THE FULL SPECTRUM by David Levithan Kirkus Star


A New Generation of Writing About Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, and Other Identities

edited by David Levithan & Billy Merrell

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: July 25th, 2006
ISBN: 0-375-83290-4
Publisher: Knopf

Forty essays by 13- to 23-year-olds range from sweet to salty to bitter—the flavors of growing up gay, lesbian or transgender in the contemporary world. Subjects include first love and first breakups, and relating to parents, siblings, friends and God. A queer Christian woman fights and preaches and waits until she can be ordained in the United Methodist Church. A femme gay boy supplies tampons to girls at school. Voices range from vernacular (“My dad found out I’m gay. Isn’t it funny how, like, last week I was thinking about coming out to him and then BAM! he finds out)” to startlingly poetic (“My poems used to be shy; they used to stand in front of the mirror / and complain about their bloated syntax and pimpled thematic structure. / But now they leave the house in couplets. . . . ”). Bisexual-themed content is under-represented, but transgender voices emerge strong. No story here will raise a blush—there’s no explicit sex—but this emotionally spicy collection will inspire identification, compassion and hope in readers queer or not. (Nonfiction. YA)