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Openly Straight

By Bill Konigsberg


A funny, honest novel about being out, being proud… and being ready for something else. Rafe is from Boulder, Colorado. He plays soccer. He hates tofu. He’s won skiing prizes. He likes to write.

And, oh yeah, he’s gay. He’s been out since eighth grade, and he isn’t teased, and he goes to schools and talks about tolerance and stuff. And while that’s important, all he wants is to be a regular guy. Not that gay guy. To have that be a part of who he is, but not the headline, every single time.

So when he transfers to an all-boys’ boarding school in New England, he decides to become “openly straight” -- not so much going back in the closet as starting over outside it. The transformation works: Rafe revels in a new group of straight guy friends, and the chance to be “just Rafe” at last. But things get complicated when he falls in love with one of his new friends... Who doesn’t even know that’s a possibility.

A book for anyone who’s ever felt trapped within just one part of who they are, Openly Straight is a funny, smart novel about being out, being real, and all the things “be yourself” can mean.


Reviews and Awards

2014 YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults
2014 Rainbow List
Summer 2013 Kids' Indie Next List
2014 Tayshas High School Reading List
A Los Angeles Public Library Best Teen Book of 2013
Finalist, Lambda Literary Award
2014 Cooperative Children's Book Center Choices

⋆ “Lambda Literary Award-winner Konigsberg has written an exceptionally intelligent, thought-provoking, coming-of-age novel about the labels people apply to us and that we, perversely, apply to ourselves. A sometimes painful story of self-discovery, it is also a beautifully written, absolutely captivating romance between two boys, Rafe and Ben, who are both wonderfully sympathetic characters. With its capacity to invite both thought and deeply felt emotion, Openly Straight is altogether one of the best gay-themed novels of the last ten years.” - Booklist, starred review

⋆ “This unusual treatment of the subject of labels, integrity, and the role of sexuality in identity forthrightly explores life after homophobia…. Readers and discussion groups looking for new and deeper ways to think about what it means to live honestly in a world that sorts by labels will find this fresh and evocative.” - Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, starred review

“Rafe is an effective blend of earnest, perceptive, and flawed, and the deepening hole of deception he digs for himself infuses the plot—a well-constructed web of interpersonal dramas—with almost unbearable tension. Konigsberg eviscerates the “don’t ask, don’t tell” philosophy, slyly demonstrating just how thoroughly assumptions of straightness are embedded in everyday interactions. For a thought-provoking, creative, twenty-first-century take on the coming-out story, look no further.” - Horn Book


Purchase Options
Indiebound Scholastic Store • Amazon • Barnes & Noble


Summer 2013
Young Adult Fiction
ISBN: 978-0-545-50989-3
Price: $17.99/$19.99
Trim Size: 5 1/2" x 8 1/4"
Page Count: 336
Foreign Rights: Scholastic Inc.
Translation Rights: Scholastic Inc.
Rights Available? yes


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