Am I Blue

Bauer, Marion Dane. Am I Blue. New York: Harper Collins, 1994.
ISBN: 0064405877- Paperback edition
273 pp.

Readers Annotation:
Am I Blue is a collection of stories that answer the fundamental question, “Who Am I?”. The stories in this anthology are the first ever collection of young adult gay and lesbian short stories. These tales offer multiple answers to who we could be and for some may speak to who they might be.

The editor of Am I Blue wraps up the anthology with a short story of her own. The short story, Dancing Backwards, closely mirrors an incident in Bauer’s own childhood. The story chronicles the sexual discovery of two girls. This discovery is not dirty or explicit, it is pure and nebulous. The girls in this story are good girls; girls that stumble upon their sexuality instead of actively pursuing it.

Bauer’s short story is one of the few that is decidedly homo erotic. Most of the characters in this anthology never have a sexual experience. Some of the characters never officially identify as gay or lesbian. However, all of these stories deal with confusion. The characters are unsure, uncertain, and confused. These stories are the tales of their confusion. They serve to reaffirm that it’s okay to be confused, it’s okay to not know, and if you do know that you’re different it’s still okay.

This collection of stories serves as a guide for all young adults. It crafts their understanding of what it means to be gay, lesbian, or just uncertain. It shows that it’s okay to ask, “Am I different?” or perhaps, “Am I Blue?”.

ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers
ALA Best of the Best Books for Young Adults
ALA Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Book Award
Horn Book Fanfare
New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age
Minnesota Book Award

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