“Openly Straight” by Bill Konigsberg

Rated 4 stars **** 2013. Arthur A. Levine Books (Scholastic.) 320 pp.

OpenlyStraightRafe came out of the closet when he was in 8th grade. It was surprisingly easy, as Boulder Colorado accepted everyone for everything. His hippie parents had no problem with it and neither did his best friend Claire Olivia, his neighbors, friends, schoolmates or teachers.

By his junior year of high school Rafe began to feel like no one saw the real him because they only saw him as being “the gay guy.” Wanting to live a label free life, Rafe decided to attend an all boys’ school in Natick, Massachusetts and act straight so he could live without a label.

In Natick Rafe guarded his secret, became a jock, and hid his true self. Within a few months, his carefully built house of cards began to crumble when he fell in love with Ben, a jock. Rafe was now faced with a dilemma. If he told Ben his secret, he’d lose him. However, if he didn’t tell would he still lose?

In this humorous look at a serious subject, Konigsberg brings readers into Rafe’s mindset helping them to understand why he would undertake a new life in Natick, the importance of not assigning labels to others, and how to understand if you are running away from yourself to find yourself.

Recommended for readers aged 14 and older.

Listed on the ALA (American Library Association’s) Best Fiction for Young Adults list (compiled by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA)

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Author: Mrs. Mac

As a School Librarian, I was Co-Chair of REFORMA's (The National Association to Promote Library Services to the Latinos and Spanish Speaking) CAYASC (Children & Young Adult Services Committee) for 2 yrs. As Co-Chair, I was in charge of all things YA. I have been a member of YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association) for many years, and have worked as a school librarian for many years. When I'm not blogging, I like to read, run, race and sing - not necessarily in that order. My blog reviews books I enjoyed (or didn't enjoy), which leaves you to ask yourself "Should I Read it or Not?"

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