Hi. My name is Tami. I am the author of this blog. You can contact me by posting a comment or emailing me at readaton@gmail.com. I am also happy to add you as a friend at www.goodreads.com where I keep track of everything I am reading.

I LOVE to read. I am pursuing my master's degree in library and information science at San Jose State University. Right now I mostly use this blog for class assignments.

No matter your reading tastes you will find books for you here. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

How Beautiful the Ordinary

How Beautiful the Ordinary: Twelve Stories of Identity

edited by Michael Cart
HarperTeen, 2009
ISBN 9780061154980
350 pages

4 (out of 5) STARS

Contributing authors: Francesca Lia Block, David Levithan, Gregory Maguire, Margo Lanagan, Jacqueline Woodson, Emma Donoghue, William Sleator, Eric Shanower, Ron Koertge, Jennifer Finney Boylan, Ariel Schrag, Julie Anne Peters.

Plot Summary

A girl thought to be a boy steals her sister's skirt, while a boy thought to be a girl refuses to wear a cornflower blue dress. One boy's love of a soldier leads to the death of a stranger. The present takes a bittersweet journey into the past when a man revisits the summer school where he had "an accidental romance." And a forgotten mother writes a poignant letter to the teenage daughter she hasn't seen for fourteen years.

Poised between the past and the future are the stories of now. In nontraditional narratives, short stories, and brief graphics, tales of anticipation and regret, eagerness and confusion present distinctively modern views of love, sexuality, and gender identification. Together, they reflect the vibrant possibilities available for young people learning to love others—and themselves—in today's multifaceted and quickly changing world.


Critical Evaluation

I really enjoyed reading this book. I have not read very much GLTBQ materials. I was hesitant to read such books because I did not know what it would entail. I really did not want to read any actual graphic sex materials. But I was laboring under a misconception. The very first GLTBQ book I read was Luna by Julie Ann Peters. It was a beautifully written book. I felt for Luna. I felt his pain, sorrow, confusion, and later courage. Because of that book I feel that I am more compassionate of other's lives and difficulties. I also have no fear of reading GLTBQ books and have found some wonderful novels of such.

This book is beneficial because it is GLTBQ and a collection of short stories. One of the stories really spoke to me. It was entitled Dear Lang by Emma Donoghue. It is about a non-birth morning who lost her daughter in a break-up with the bio-mother. I am currently going through a divorce and a custody evaluation and losing children and/or the fear of losing children is a horrific pain to go through. This letter made me cry. A parent is a parent no matter how they became a parent.

Reader’s Annotation

Twelve authors write twelve stories about gender and sexual identity.

Information about the author

Because there are twelve authors that contributed. I will only provide information here about Michael Cart, the editor.

Former Director of the Beverly Hills (CA) Public Library and a Past President of the Young Adult Library Services Association, Michael Cart is a nationally recognized expert in children's and young adult literature. Now a columnist and reviewer for ALA's Booklist magazine, he is the author or editor of eight books, including From Romance to Realism, a critical history of YA literature; MY FATHER'S SCAR, a young adult novel that was an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, and the anthology LOVE AND SEX: Ten Stories of Truth, also a Best Book for Young Adults and a Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers.

Michael teaches young adult literature at UCLA and is the recipient of the 2000 Grolier Foundation Award. He lives in northern California.



GLTBQ. format - short story collection.

Curriculum Ties

health. relationships. sexual identity.

Booktalking Ideas

*Do you enjoy short stories? *Do you know what GLTBQ means? *Do you relate to this term? *Do you want to know more about some of your peers?

Reading Level

age 14 and up

Challenge Issues

GLTBQ issues.

It is best to be prepared for a book challenge before it is challenged. It is important to read the book all the way through and to have read both positive and negative reviews of the book from professionals and teens as well. Be aware of the library’s collection policy. Also check for any awards the book may have won. It would be beneficial to see how other library’s may have handled challenges for this particular book in the past.

Why Included?

This book was a wonderful find for many reasons. I just found it will I was shelving books at my library job. The editor is Michael Cart who is the author of one of our textbooks this semester. this book is a collection of short stories about GLTBQ issues. This book covered so many categories for this database.

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