Rainbow Book List

How Beautiful the Ordinary

Posted by: michaelfrombrooklyn on: October 31, 2009

Cart, Michael. How Beautiful the Ordinary: twelve stories of identity.  October 2009. 368 p. Harper Teen, $16.99 (978-0-06-115498-0). Gr. 9-12.

How Beautiful the Ordinary By Michael Cart, Francesca Lia Block, David Levithan, Ron Koertge, Eric Shanower, Julie Anne Peters, Jennifer Finney Boylan, William SleaterWatching two lovers exchange words in the night.  The excitement of your first kiss, your first sexual experience, your first Dyke March.  Meeting someone new on myspace.  The stories from Michael Cart’s new collection relate to the variety of identities and experiences in the LGBTQ community: transgendered, gay, lesbian, questioning , but also the variety of experiences of being human: love, regret, betrayal, discovery.  Contributors include well known names from young adult literature: Francesca Lia Block, Margo Lanagan, David Levithan, Jackie Woodson, Julie Ann Peters, and Gregory Maguire.  Most of the entries are short stories, but Cart has included two graphic stories and a novella (Maguire’s piece).  While the reader will have  favorites among the collection, it would be difficult to think of one that was not worth the read.  Not only is each strong in language and character, all the stories are true page turners, with the reader hardly able to wait to see what happens on the next page or in the next story. —Michael Santangelo

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