Wednesday, March 14, 2012

LGBT Pick: The Letter Q: Queer Writers' Notes To Their Younger Selves

The Letter Q: Queer Writers' Notes To Their Younger Selves
Sarah Moon & James Lecesne, Editors
Arthur A. Levine Books
272 pages

Available May 1, 2012

Touching, poetic, provocative, and poignant, The Letter Q will resonate with hordes of teens; teens who feel left out, teens who are bullied, teens who bully to cover up deeper problems, teens with issues, and all those who feel they are outsiders looking in will find words of comfort in these pages.

This paramount book is bound to cause a cacophonous commotion in publishing and LGBT circles and among troubled/not so troubled teens. It is frank, in-your-face honesty written by the most prolific and talented authors of our time. Each author writes a letter to their younger self--what would you say to yourself if you could? Teens who feel left out and struggling with issues other than homosexuality will also love reading about famous people who were once young, emotional, and searching for answers just like themselves.

Letters from ya authors include David Levithan, Sarah Moon, Jacqueline Woodson, Amy Bloom and many other fine writers. Each author has a unique voice yet all seem to agree on one important fact: it gets better! Whatever angst, distrust, agony, fatigue, anger, hatred, self-loathing or just plain apathy you are feeling in school, the real world will embrace you and love you for who you are and who you will become. Words of wisdom from Michael Cunningham (author of The Hours), "Worry less. Love being exactly who and what you are...Have faith in the fact that your sexual identity, which sometimes seems to you like an impediment, is one of your greatest gifts."

From Jacqueline Woodson's (Locomotion, Beneath a Meth Moon) letter to her younger self, "I want to tell you, it gets better. There is a whole world of women like you out here. They are amazing! They are mothers and doctors and lawyers and actors and electricians and builders and thinkers and doers." I love how "mothers" is listed first!

From Terrance McNally (Tony Award winning writer), "You will grow up. Adolescence will be a distant, but always a vivid, memory."

From Larry Duplechan (Blackbird), "...take heart. Real life is nothing like high'll get through it, I promise. You're stronger than you know; stronger than you'd ever dream. And don't worry: You won't be alone through this."

Their letters offer advice, sincere empathy, intense and raw emotion, and love. Love for their young, naive, fragile selves and for other young, naive and fragile readers.

Every parent who has a teen who is struggling should read this book and pass it on to their teen. It's not about sexuality and gender; it's about accepting one's self and loving one's own unique character.

Highly, highly recommended grades 9-up. Mature theme and situations. Some sexual references. LGBT.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.

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