A historical-fiction anthology shines the spotlight on queer teens, from as far back as the 1300s up to the turn of the 21st century.
Two boys who fall for each other while assisting competing magicians, an asexual roller skater who navigates a crush, and a transgender Robin Hood on the run from a female Sheriff of Nottingham are only a hint of what readers can expect to find in these stories from 17 authors for teens. The vast majority come to life through sumptuous language, plentiful historical detail, and satisfying endings. Most stories acknowledge—and sometimes directly deal with—the hardships of being queer in these settings, but that’s not the focus here. Instead, the collection centers on adventure, first love, and self-discovery. Nearly every tale ends with a sense of hope, even triumph. Although the casts are somewhat ethnically diverse, about half the stories take place in the 1900s, and most are set in the United States, which may leave readers wishing for more scope. The stories, both realistic and fantastical, primarily feature lesbian and gay teens, although transgender and asexual characters also make appearances. Author’s notes follow some stories to provide background and further insights.
Readers searching for positive, nuanced, and authentic queer representation—or just a darn good selection of stories—need look no further than this superb collection. (Short stories/historical fiction. 14-18)