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  • Boy Meets Boy
  • Written by David Levithan
  • Format: Trade Paperback | ISBN: 9780375832994
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  • Boy Meets Boy
  • Written by David Levithan
  • Format: eBook | ISBN: 9780307482440
  • Our Price: $8.99
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Boy Meets Boy

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Written by David LevithanAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by David Levithan

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List Price: $8.99

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On Sale: February 19, 2009
Pages: 240 | ISBN: 978-0-307-48244-0
Published by : Knopf Books for Young Readers RH Childrens Books
Boy Meets Boy Cover

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ABOUT THE BOOK ABOUT THE BOOK
ABOUT THE AUTHOR ABOUT THE AUTHOR
PRAISE & AWARDS PRAISE & AWARDS
Tags for this book (powered by Library Thing)
fiction (140) young adult (115) romance (90) gay (82) ya (82)
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Synopsis|Excerpt

Synopsis

This is the story of Paul, a sophomore at a high school like no other: The cheerleaders ride Harleys, the homecoming queen used to be a guy named Daryl (she now prefers Infinite Darlene and is also the star quarterback), and the gay-straight alliance was formed to help the straight kids learn how to dance.

When Paul meets Noah, he thinks he’s found the one his heart is made for. Until he blows it. The school bookie says the odds are 12-to-1 against him getting Noah back, but Paul’s not giving up without playing his love really loud. His best friend Joni might be drifting away, his other best friend Tony might be dealing with ultra-religious parents, and his ex-boyfriend Kyle might not be going away anytime soon, but sometimes everything needs to fall apart before it can really fit together right.

This is a happy-meaningful romantic comedy about finding love, losing love, and doing what it takes to get love back in a crazy-wonderful world.

Excerpt

Now away we go

9 p.m. on a November Saturday. Joni, Tony, and I are out on the town. Tony is from the next town over and he needs to get out. His parents are extremely religious. It doesn't even matter which religion--they're all the same at a certain point, and few of them want a gay boy cruising around with his friends on a Saturday night. So every week Tony feeds us bible stories, then on Saturday we show up at his doorstep well versed in parables and earnestness, dazzling his parents with our blinding purity. They slip him a twenty and tell him to enjoy our study group. We go spend the money on romantic comedies, dimestore toys, and diner jukeboxes. Our happiness is the closest we'll ever come to a generous God, so we figure Tony's parents would understand, if only they weren't set on misunderstanding so many things.

Tony has to be home by midnight, so we are on a Cinderella mission. With this in mind, we keep our eye on the ball.

There isn't really a gay scene or a straight scene in our town. They got all mixed up a while back, which I think is for the best. Back when I was in second grade, the older gay kids who didn't flee to the city for entertainment would have to make their own fun. Now it's all good. Most of the straight guys try to sneak into the Queer Beer bar. Boys who love boys flirt with girls who love girls. And whether your heart is strictly ballroom or bluegrass punk, the dance floors are open to whatever you have to offer.

This is my town. I've lived here all my life.

Tonight, our Gaystafarian bud Zeke is gigging at the local chain bookstore. Joni has a driver's license from the state where her grandmother lives, so she drives us around in the family sedan. We roll down the windows and crank the radio--we like the idea of our music spilling out over the whole neighborhood, becoming part of the air. Tony has a desperate look tonight, so we let him control the dial. He switches to a Mope Folk station, and we ask him what's going on.

"I can't say," he tells us, and we know what he means. That nameless empty.

We try to cheer him up by treating him to a blue Slurp-Slurp at the local 24-7. We each take sips, to see whose tongue can get the bluest. Once Tony's sticking his tongue out with the rest of us, we know he's going to be okay.

Zeke's already jamming by the time we get to the highway bookstore. He's put his stage in the European History section, and every now and then he'll throw names like Hadrian and Copernicus into his mojo rap. The place is crowded. A little girl in the children's section puts the Velveteen Rabbit on her shoulders for a better view. Her moms are standing behind her, holding hands and nodding to Zeke's tune. The Gaystafarian crowd has planted itself in the Gardening section, while the three straight members of the guys' lacrosse team are ogling a bookstore clerk from Literature. She doesn't seem to mind. Her glasses are the color of licorice.

I move through the crowd with ease, sharing nods and smiling hellos. I love this scene, this floating reality. I am a solo flier looking out over the land of Boyfriends and Girlfriends. I am three notes in the middle of a song.

Joni grabs me and Tony, pulling us into Self-Help. There are a few monkish types already there, some of them trying to ignore the music and learn the Thirteen Ways to Be an Effective Person. I know Joni's brought us here because sometimes you just have to dance like a madman in the Self-Help section of your local bookstore. So we dance. Tony hesitates--he isn't much of a dancer. But as I've told him a million times, when it comes to true dancing, it doesn't matter what you look like--it's all about the joy you feel.

Zeke's jive is infectious. People are crooning and swooning into one another. You can see the books on the shelves in kaleidoscope form--spinning rows of colors, the passing blur of words.

I sway. I sing. I elevate. My friends are by my side, and Zeke is working the Huguenots into his melody. I spin around and knock a few books off the shelves. When the song is through, I bend to pick them up.

I grasp on the ground and come face to face with a cool pair of sneakers.

"This yours?" a voice above the sneakers asks.

I look up. And there he is.

His hair points in ten different directions. His eyes are a little close together, but man, are they green. There's a little birthmark on his neck, the shape of a comma.

I think he's wonderful.

He's holding a book out to me. Migraines Are Only in Your Mind.

I am aware of my breathing. I am aware of my heartbeat. I am aware that my shirt is half untucked. I take the book from him and say thanks. I put it back on the shelf. There's no way that Self-Help can help me now.

"Do you know Zeke?" I ask, nodding to the stand.

"No," the boy answers. "I just came for a book."

"I'm Paul."

"I'm Noah."

He shakes my hand. I am touching his hand.

I can feel Joni and Tony keeping their curious distance.

"Do you know Zeke?" Noah asks. "His tunes are magnificent."

I roll the word in my head--magnificent. It's like a gift to hear.

"Yeah, we go to school together," I say casually.

"The high school?"

"That's the one." I'm looking down. He has perfect hands.

"I go there, too."

"You do?" I can't believe I've never seen him before. If I'd seen him before, it would have damn well registered.

"Two weeks now. Are you a senior?"

I look down at my Keds. "I'm a sophomore."

"Cool."

Now I fear he's humoring me. There's nothing cool about being a sophomore. Even a new kid would know that.


From the Hardcover edition.
David Levithan

About David Levithan

David Levithan - Boy Meets Boy

Photo © Beth Levithan

"A story doesn't have to always reflect reality; it can create reality as well."--David Levithan

David Levithan is a children’s book editor in New York City. He lives in Hoboken, NJ.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Levithan finds it downright baffling to write about himself, which is why he's considering it somewhat cruel and usual to have to write this brief bio.  The factual approach (born '72, Brown '94, book '03) seems a bit dry, while the emotional landscape (happy childhood, happy adolescence - give or take a few poems - and happy adulthood so far) sounds horribly well-adjusted.  The only addiction he's ever had was a brief spiral into the arms of diet Dr Pepper, unless you count My So-Called Life episodes as a drug.  He is evangelical in his musical beliefs and deathly afraid that his bio will end up sounding like the final paragraph in an on-line dating ad.
 
Luckily, David is much happier talking about his book than he is talking about himself.  Boy Meets Boy and The Realm of Possibility started as stories he wrote for his friends for Valentine's Day (something he's done for the past sixteen years) and turned themselves into teen novels. When not writing during spare hours on weekends, David is a senior editor at Scholastic, and the founding editor of the PUSH imprint, which is devoted to finding new voices and new authors in teen literature. With Boy Meets Boy, he basically set out to write the book that he dreamed of getting as an editor - a book about gay teens that doesn't conform to the old norms about gay teens in literature (i.e. it has to be about a gay uncle, or a teen who gets beaten up for being gay, or about outcasts who come out and find they're still outcasts, albeit outcasts with their outcastedness in common.)   He's often asked if the book is a work of fantasy or a work of reality, and the answer is right down the middle - it's about where we're going, and where we should be.
 
Of Boy Meets Boy, the reviewer at Booklist wrote:  "In its blithe acceptance and celebration of human differences, this is arguably the most important gay novel since Annie on My Mind and seems to represent a near revolution in the publishing of gay-themed books for adolescents" - which pretty much blew David away when he read it.  Viva la near revolution!


PRAISE

BOY MEETS BOY
“In a genre filled with darkness, torment, and anxiety, this is a shiningly affirmative and hopeful book.”—The Bulletin, Starred

“Levithan’s prophecy of a hate-free world in which everyone loves without persecution makes this a provocative and important read for all young adults, gay or straight.”—School Library Journal, Starred
Praise | Awards

Praise

The Horn Book, March 26, 2013:
"Using a diverse cast of queer characters, David Levithan’s semi-utopian Boy Meets Boy...affirm[s] that there is a whole rainbow of ways to be gay."


"In its blithe acceptance and celebration of human differences, this is arguably the most important gay novel since Annie on My Mind and seems to represent a revolution in the publishing of gay-themed books for adolescents."—Booklist, starred review

"In a genre filled with darkness, torment, and anxiety, this is a shiningly affirmative and hopeful book. —The Bulletin, starred review

"Levithan's prophecy of a hate-free world in which everyone loves without persecution makes this a provocative and important read for all young adults, gay or straight."—School Library Journal, starred review


From the Hardcover edition.

Awards

WINNER 2004 ALA Best Books for Young Adults
WINNER 2004 ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers
NOMINEE 2006 New Jersey Garden State Teen Book Award

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