Review Blog

Oct 29 2014

This book is gay by James Dawson

cover image

Hot Key Books, 2014. ISBN 9781471403958
(Age: Senior students, adults) Highly recommended. This book is gay and very frank. It lays out its LGBTI qualifications with its rainbow flag colours. This is a book for LGBTI adolescents and their friends and family. It is also a very comprehensive guide to current social policy and knowledge although it is a British publicationand many of the useful links are for UK sites.
This enters every area of gay life including sexuality, online dating, nesting, coming out and the party scene. It also covers areas of self acceptance, depression and how to avoid isolation. I particularly liked a section on Gay saints which provides a very strong link to gay culture. I also enjoyed the cheat sheet for anxious year ten boys who could go straight to the glossary for their fill of risque words.This would also be an excellent reference and resource for senior students seeking material for assessment tasks.
James Dawson is a YA author and an former PSHCE teacher so appears quite qualified
to speak to adolescents. His style is easy, relaxed and witty. He is not proscriptive or judgemental, rather he presents choices and consequences. This is very much an approach that I feel works best with young people.
Because of the nature of the topic and the frankness of the language, this book may not be for all school libraries. However in some of the schools I have worked in I would have been very happy to shelve the book secure in the knowledge that it will be discovered and devoured by the boys, well thumbed and never issued! I would certainly make your school counsellor aware of this book as they will undoubtedly wish to add it to their collection because somewhere in your school there is a student who needs this book. This is an excellent resource.
Michael Jongen

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