Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Boy Meets Boy

Bibliographic Information: Levithan, D.  (2003).  Boy Meets Boy.  New York: Alfred A. Knopf
ISBN: 978-0375832994

Plot Summary: Paul, a gay high school sophomore, lives in a world where he is loved and accepted for who he is. Paul spends his days hanging out with his best friend, Joni, dealing with school drama, and trying to understand his past relationships. Paul recognizes his luck as he spends time with his friend, Tony, who is also gay and comes from a strict religious family. Tony, unlike Paul, must hide who he is and exists on the fringes of Paul's reality.

Paul's world suddenly changes when Noah, a new boy at school, unexpectedly comes into his life and challenges the way in which he views love and being in a relationship. Paul must learn to recognize what he wants, while paving the way for his friend Tony who is also struggling to come into his own.

This novel offers a complex story of being true to one's own feelings, finding what is right amidst the chaos, and really appreciating what one has before it is gone.

Critical Evaluation: Levithan creates an almost magical world in Boy Meets Boy by emphasizing the whimsical nature of the novel's setting. From the way in which Noah's room is arranged to the "Death Ball" that the students put on for the school, the entire world of Boy Meets Boy vibrates with an uncommon air of acceptance, whimsy, and congruency. Every detail that Levithan chooses to describe Paul's world, from Infinite Darlene to Tony's slowly accepting parents, paints the picture of a world that is far more socially developed than the present world we exist in. In Paul's world no one questions that the quarterback is a crossdressing student who plays football and sashays through school in miniskirts, no one questions Paul's romantic indecisions and conflicting feelings when he is met by the decision of having two boys he may love, and absolutely no one questions the fact that Paul loves boys at all. Levithan uses the setting and its characters to send out a powerful message of love, inclusion, and how things could be if people were accepted as simply being who they are and who they wish to be.

Reader’s Annotation:
Paul, an openly gay teen, must learn how to make things right after several relationship blunders that may dictate the rest of his high school experience.
Information About the Author: David Levithan does not enjoy writing biographies about himself and has disclosed little to no information about his life (Levithan, 2012). . Besides the following facts;  Levithan was born in 1972, graduated from Brown in 1994, and published his first book in 2003, Boy Meets Boy (Levithan, 2012). Levithan, though, does love to talk about his book and shares much details about why he wrote certain books, including Boy Meets Boy (Levithan, 2012)

Levithan began Boy Meets Boy as a Valentine's story for his friend
(Levithan, 2012). It then developed far beyond that, becoming a book he would wish to read (Levithan, 2012). Levithan wanted Boy Meets Boy to be be about characters that do not deal with the usual challenges of being outcasted, bullying, or being related to someone who is gay (Levithan, 2012). Levithan wanted to create a story of hope, an expectation of how the world should be and where we should be in terms of LGBT acceptance (Levithan, 2012).

Levithan has also written:
The Realm of Possibility (2004), Are We There Yet (2005), Wide Awake (2006), Love is the Higher Law (2009), Will Grayson, Will Grayson with John Green (2010), and many other books (Levithan, 2012).


Subgenre: Humorous Romance, Sexual Identity

Curriculum Ties: Can tie into a discussion on LGBT rights, bullying and community presence.

Booktalking Ideas:

1). Why do all of Paul's friends tell him that he's so lucky to be himself?
2). What does Tony's experience show about community support of individuality and sexuality?

Reading Level/Interest Age: Lexile Reading Level 730/YA (Follett's Titlewave, 2012)

Challenge Issues: This book contains LGBT themes and characters. I would use the following items to defend this book if it was challenged:

1) Refer to Library Bill of Rights, see items: I, II, and III (http://www.ala.org/advocacy/intfreedom/librarybill).
2) Refer to San Diego Public Library collection policy - (http://www.sandiego.gov/public-library/about-the-library/freedom.shtml).  Original site: The American Library Association (ALA) Freedom to Read/View Statement (http://www.ala.org/offices/oif/statementspols/ftrstatement/freedomreadstatement).
3) Refer to California School Library Association (CSLA), Model School Library Standards - September 2010 (http://www.csla.net/index.php/publications/school-library-standards). PDF: (http://www.cde.ca.gov/be/st/ss/documents/librarystandards.pdf).
4) Refer t0 American Association for School, Librarians Standards for the 21st Century Learner (http://www.ala.org/aasl/sites/ala.org.aasl/files/content/guidelinesandstandards/learningstandards/AASL_Learning_Standards_2007.pdf)
5) Contact Office of Intellectual Freedom for any further support, 800-545-2433, ext. 4223 or oif@ala.org.
6) Refer to legitimate book reviews, such as: School Library Journal, Booklist, Kirkus Reviews, Horn Book and others; found on either Academic Search Premier, Follett's TITLEWAVE, or Amazon.com.

Why did you include this book in the titles you selected?:
This book deals with themes of LGBT teen relationships which are very important to for teens who may be unsure or may need further support exploring their sexuality. I included this book as a positive example of teens who are working to understand their identities and the way in which they explore their love and affection for others, same sex or otherwise.

Reference Page:

Follett's Titlewave.  (2012).  Boy meets boy.  Retrieved July 26, 2012 from Follet's Titlewave iPhone App.

Levithan, D.  (2012).  About David Levithan.  Retrieved July 26, 2012 from http://www.davidlevithan.com/about_davidlevithan.html

cover art: http://jodysparks.com/tag/boy-meets-boy/

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.