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Am I Blue?: Coming Out from the Silence Paperback


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Am I Blue?: Coming Out from the Silence + Queer: The Ultimate LGBT Guide for Teens + It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying, and Creating a Life Worth Living
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen; Reprint edition (April 15, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0064405877
  • ISBN-13: 978-0064405874
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #55,692 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

For the first-ever anthology of YA fiction devoted to lesbian and gay themes, Bauer ( On My Honor ) has assembled original stories by a stellar list of popular children's and YA authors, among them M. E. Kerr, Nancy Garden, William Sleator, Jane Yolen, C. S. Adler and Bruce Coville. With subjects ranging from first love to coming out, self-discovery to homophobia, the collection offers an eclectic mix of voices. Newbery winner Lois Lowry, for example, contributes "Holding," a poignant tale of a high school student who confides in his best friend after the death of his gay father's lover, while Francesca Lia Block weighs in with the wonderfully quirky "Winnie and Teddy," in which a teenager comes out to his girlfriend during a momentous road trip to San Francisco. Perhaps the book's most powerful moments are provided by Jacqueline Woodson's shimmering "Slipping Away," a painful look at one girl's discovery that there are some tests that a friendship simply cannot withstand; and Gregory Maguire's "The Honorary Shepherds," which deftly employs the language of a film treatment to describe two mixed-race students who collaborate on a school video project. Honest, well-written and true to life, these stories will do much to address the gap in gay literature for teens. Part of the proceeds from the book will be donated to Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. Ages 12-up.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 7 Up-This collection of 18 short stories by recognized children's and young adult authors explores the various meanings of gay/lesbian identity in the lives of teenagers. The book begins and ends with thoughtful commentaries by Bauer, and each story is followed by an afterword by its author that ranges from ho-hum to fascinating; the best tell the "story behind the story" and reveal the ways in which gay/lesbian issues or individuals have touched the authors' lives. Most feature white, middle-class, suburban/urban milieus, although several stories have a more diverse cast than is generally found in YA fiction. All seek to convey the very mixed emotions that accompany the acceptance of sexual difference at an age that places a high value on conformity to an established norm. Although the title story is a humorous fantasy featuring a camp fairy godfather who comes to the aid of a gay-bashing victim, most of the tales are realistic portrayals of contemporary YAs. In Nancy Garden's "Parents Night," an unexpected reconciliation occurs between a young lesbian and her father, while in Bauer's "Dancing Backward," the trauma of two young women's boarding school expulsion is offset by the revelation of their love. In Lois Lowry's "Holding," a young man returns from the funeral of his father's partner and finally tells his best friend that his father is gay, while James Cross Giblin's "Three Mondays in July" captures the isolation of small-town life in the early '50s. As is the case with most short story collections, the overall quality is uneven, but the best stories are memorable. They speak of survival and hope; they say, like the man on the beach in Giblin's story, "You're not alone."-Christine Jenkins, University of Illinois, Champaign
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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It ranges from funny to serious and all of the stories are great.
Amazon Customer
I would say even though the book is aimed at preteens, I believe anymore could read this relate to the stories one way or another.
ROFLChopper
This collection really allowed me to see that there were people in the world with whom I could identify.
Joshua Decker

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 36 people found the following review helpful By R. Michael on December 29, 2000
Format: Paperback
What an awesome book! "Am I Blue?" is a collection of sixteen stories dealing with what it's like to grow up as a gay or lesbian teenager. The story that came closest to me personally was M.E. Kerr's "We might as well all be strangers" because it talks about a Jewish girl who comes out to both her mother and her grandmother. Surprisingly, her grandmother is much more accepting of the girl's sexuality since she had visited Nazi Germany under Hitler and knew what it was like to feel excluded. And in a twist of irony, the girl's mother says that her grandmother would be upset if she found out - perhaps just an indication that we don't know our parents quite as well as we think that we do! As it is my family, tolerance has appeared to have skipped a generation from grandparents to grandchildren, making the generation inbetween "strangers" in the family. To quote the book... "strangers take a long time to become acquainted, especially when they come from the same family."
Another story that I liked was "Am I Blue?" by Bruce Coville since it has let me see the world in shades of blue rather than black and white. Editor Marion Dane Bauer's contribution, "Dancing Backwards", is not only well-writen, but also has a good moral: don't look to others for direction - trust yourself. Finally, "Three Mondays in July" by James Cross Giblin was just the most fascinating story in the entire book. It helped me put a good perspective on what it would have been like to grow up gay in 1951.
Overall, as I said, the book was excellent. And the best part is that you don't have to be gay to read the book or to appreciate the stories - I'd bet that straight readers would get just as much out of the book as the intended gay audience! If you're thinking about reading it - don't hesistate! It will please even the most cynical readers :)
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 13, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful book. It's funny, it's involving, it's moving, it's just fabulous. Not only that, it can do so much good. These stories are honest and this book is one no teen should go without reading. I can honestly say this book is one of the best I've ever read and it's probably going to be the first thing I give my parents when I come out to them, yes I know, it's time already! Hey, I'm only 15, give me a few more years!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo on April 18, 2006
Format: Paperback
Written over ten years ago, AM I BLUE? is still as important today as it was then. A short-story collection dealing with GLBT (gay/lesbian/ bisexual/transgender) issues by some of 1995's top authors, this book is a true gem for teens searching for their identity--or just looking for a good read. With stories ranging from contemporary paranormal, to ones set in the 1950's, to one based during the Vietnam War, and even one in another world of Amazon warriors, there's something here for everyone.

Stories include:

AM I BLUE? by Bruce Coville

WE MIGHT AS WELL ALL BE STRANGERS by M. E. Kerr

WINNIE AND TOMMY by Francesca Lia Block

SLIPPING AWAY by Jacqueline Woodson

THE HONORARY SHEPHERDS by Gregory Maguire

RUNNING by Ellen Howard

THREE MONDAYS IN JULY by James Cross Giblin

PARENTS' NIGHT by Nancy Garden

MICHAEL'S LITTLE SISTER by C. S. Adler

SUPPER by Leslea Newman

HOLDING by Lois Lowry

BLOOD SISTER by Jane Yolen

HANDS by Jonathan London

50% CHANCE OF LIGHTNING by Cristina Salat

IN THE TUNNELS by William Sleator

DANCING BACKWARDS by Marion Dane Bauer

It's hard to pick a favorite from this collection, as each story has something different to offer. From allowing everyone in the world to see who is gay, to wondering what it would have been like to have two gay shepherds at the birth of Christ, to manning a booth about gays and lesbians at a school parents' night, each short story has an engaging story to tell.

The only thing that would make this book better is to have a part two--another AM I BLUE? published in 2006 with some of today's best GLBT authors like Julie Anne Peters, Brent Hartinger, David Levithan, and more.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 24, 1996
Format: Paperback
This treasure should be everywhere because it will save lives. Really. All of these stories, because they are written by authors who frequently write for a very demanding reading audience (i.e.teenagers), are immediately involving, beautifully crafted, truly oustanding. Ease on in with the first story "Am I Blue" by Bruce Coville a clever, light and amusing play on the word "blue." William Sleator's "In The Tunnels" will surprise because much of it is true. In M.E. Kerr's story, Alison's grandmother thanks her for confiding in her about being gay. Her grandmother tells her she is proud that Alison told her first because, as she explains in detail to Alison, she experienced being Jewish in Germany in the 1930s, and "...you don't have to tell me about what it feels like to be an outsider." James Cross Giblin explores the coming-of-age of a young many in the 1950s, a different, yet not so different, world. The editor collected these stories because, as she writes, "On
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Megan Brown on October 15, 2002
Format: Paperback
As a straight college student who has many gay friends, I thought this book was phenomenal. Am I Blue is a collection of 16 different short stories dealing with common problems facing the gay community. I feel that there is something that everyone can take away from this book, gay and straight alike. I was really touched by each characters story and now I can better understand what the gay community is going through. Am I Blue does a really good job of putting the truth out there. So many people are scared to talk about controversial issues such as homosexuality but this book does not sugarcoat it. Topics such as sex, confusion, homophobia, and harassment are all addressed in these short stories.
The many authors that contributed to this work took time in their writing. You can tell that they were not just writing these stories to pay the bills. There was passion and concern, a real drive to make a difference with each and every author. They each took a personal risk and put themselves on the line when they spoke out. I admire that.
When reading this book, one must keep an open mind. Because like I said many controversial issues are discussed. If one goes in with a set idea in their head then, one will not be able to except the book for what it is really worth.
Again, Am I Blue is an amazing book. I would recommend it to anyone with an open mind who is looking for some comfort or is just wanting a glimpse of what it is like to be gay in this world.
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