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Best LGBT Coming of Age / Young Adult

And the Rainbow Award goes to:



1) Robin Reardon - The Evolution of Ethan Poe
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Kensington; Original edition (August 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0758246803
ISBN-13: 978-0758246806
Amazon: The Evolution of Ethan Poe

Thought-provoking! Great characters. Ms. Reardon's writing style is effortless, easy to read, and truly pulls you into the life, persona and internal conflict of the main character. -- Bobby

In the space of a few months, sixteen-year-old Ethan Poe's life has become a complicated mix of facts, theories, and hypotheses. Things he knows beyond doubt: his parents are divorcing, his older brother Kyle is exhibiting alarming behavior, and his best friend is turning into a spiritual fanatic. Then there are the shifting uncertainties-including his feelings toward his father and his desire to both blend in and stand out in his rural Maine hometown. Most pressing of all, there's his attraction to Max Modine, a boy he wants to know much better than he does. Despite Ethan's initial reluctance, he gets pulled into a heated and sometimes violent conflict about whether to introduce Intelligent Design into science classrooms. Family and friends are turning against each other, school is a battleground, and Ethan will have to take a stand. Because some facts are irrefutable and some bonds unbreakable, even when they can't be seen. And once Ethan finds the courage to become who he was meant to be, the outcome could be absolutely extraordinary…

2) David-Matthew Barnes – Mesmerized
Reading level: Ages 13 and up
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (November 16, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1602821917
ISBN-13: 978-1602821910
Amazon: Mesmerized

A gay story directed at young adults - that's still a rare thing I guess. I'm glad that some authors think about young people when they write - maybe the next generation will be more accepting and sensitive :-) -- Caroline

Serious and sad, painful honest in the way that stories about the loss of innocence are. 'Mesmerized' is a story about grief--the varied, unpredictable, inconsistent ways people deal with it, the ups and downs of life after loss, and the moments of joy and loving bonds that find their way through anyway. The hurt and anger are very real, very stark, and the way they coexist with the giddiness of young love and having close friends is very real too. – Aoife

While being punished for writing a controversial article in her high school paper, Serena Albright is befriended by the enigmatic loner Brodie Wiles. Serena witnesses the first time that Brodie meets Lance Royal, who is secretly rehearsing to compete in The Showdown, the biggest dance contest of the year. Immediately, Serena is drawn into their world, inspired by the love she recognizes between them. Through her close friendship with Brodie and Lance, Serena finds comfort for the grief and guilt she feels over the brutal death of her older gay brother, the victim of a hate crime. Frustrated that her deep-in-denial parents spend endless hours in front of the television and refuse to acknowledge the death of their son, Serena accepts the challenge to have a face-to-face meeting with the boy who killed her brother.

3) Catherine Ryan Hyde - Jumpstart the World
Reading level: Ages 14 and up
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Ember (November 8, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0375866264
ISBN-13: 978-0375866265
Amazon: Jumpstart the World

I wish I could give this book a 100. This was the best book I've read in a long, long time. It stays with me, and so the all the characters. And I think as far as YA books go, this is a must read for every YA who has ever thought they were "different." The writing is what most writers should aspire to do. It's simple, it's clean, it's tight, and it's what writing fiction should be all about. I can't recommend this book enough to everyone. If I had kids, I'd sit them down and force them to listen while I read it to them. – Ryan

Elle is a loner. She doesn't need people. Which is a good thing, because now she has to move out of her apartment so her mother's boyfriend won't have to deal with her. Then she meets Frank, the guy who lives next door to her new place. Being with him is impossible: he's a grown-up and has a girlfriend. Still, Elle can't stop thinking about him. Frank isn't like anyone Elle has ever met. He listens to her. He's gentle. And Elle is falling for him, hard. Then Elle discovers that Frank is different in a way that Elle was never prepared for: he's transgender. Elle's head and her heart explode; her world is turned upside down. But when an accident nearly takes Frank's life, Elle must search inside herself to find not only the true meaning of friendship but her own role in jumpstarting the world. Tender, honest, and compassionate, Jumpstart the World is a stunning story to make you laugh, cry, and honor the power of love.

Honourable Mention:



4) Elliott DeLine – Refuse
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1463650922/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

A very rewarding novel. An excellent reading as young trans struggle through their lives. I really enjoyed the quickness of the story, immersing myself in the tale and reading almost straight through. I'd say you have a winner in this one. Congrats. Young, confused trannies going through the motions. Written very well, easily understood, showing their angst of being young or being a trannie. -- Mick

5) Tracey Pennington – Awake
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0982826761/?tag=elimyrevandra-20
 
This collection of stories is very insightful and readable. Although the crises of identity and sexuality that the young characters are undergoing is touching and sometimes upsetting there is also a message of hope that shines through in these stories. Anyone who has a GLBT teenager in their lives should definitely read this book. -- Bobby

6) Andrew Ashling - A Dish Served Cold
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004A8ZVRA/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

A Dish Served Cold is well written, a moving story of love and devotion set against the injustices of an inflexible system of legalised slavery. The characters are well drawn and include a number of very appealing individuals, plus a few out right rogues. It all makes for a fascinating read, one that is hard to put down, an imaginative, well explained and ultimately positive story. -- Ben

7) Greg Herren - Sleeping Angel
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/160282214X/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

Eric Matthews survives a near-fatal accident only to find his whole life has changed. Eric Matthews wakes up in the hospital with no memory of how he wound up there—and soon learns that it’s vital that he remember. Apparently, he was in a car accident—and the body of classmate Sean Brody was found in his car, shot to death. But nothing makes sense to Eric. He and Sean weren’t friends. In fact, they disliked each other--Sean was gay and Eric is...well, he's not sure of much right now!

8) Jeff Erno – Bullied
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1613721676/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

I saved this one for last because I was a little afraid that I wouldn't be able to stop crying. It is a subject matter that is so relevant and can be handled either too stridently or maudlin. Jeff really captured the voices of young people -- all the stories seemed so authentic and realistic. Excellent all around. -- Janet

9) K.E. Payne - 365 Days
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1602825408/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

One mixed-up girl, one dull boy, two hot distractions. How does one figure it all out? Life sucks when you’re fifteen years old, confused about your sexuality, and the girl of your dreams doesn’t even know you exist. The sudden entrance of a hot new emo at school only adds to the confusion. Clemmie Atkins thinks she's in love with her school friend, the mysterious and alluring J. Devastated that J doesn’t even seem to know she exists, Clemmie tries to escape her feelings by dating the nice but dim Ben.

10) J.P. Barnaby - Little Boy Lost, Enlightened
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1615818162/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

Little Boy Lost, Book One Little Boy Lost is the story of Brian McAllister, the boy next door. Brian goes to school, does his homework, and helps his foster parents around the house. Brian also has a secret: he is in love with his best friend, Jamie. But in Crayford, Alabama, being in love with another boy is the worst kind of sin. Brian and Jamie will discover just how deep their emotional bond runs, and at what cost. What will they do if their secret is discovered?

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