cover image The Letter Q: Queer Writers’ Notes to Their Younger Selves

The Letter Q: Queer Writers’ Notes to Their Younger Selves

Edited by Sarah Moon and James Lecesne. Scholastic/Levine, $17.99 (272p) ISBN 978-0-545-39932-6

In a thoughtful, humorous, and moving collection of letters and comics (not all seen by PW), 64 queer authors and artists tell “their younger selves what they could do to make their lives a little better, a little lighter.” Though largely hopeful, these correspondences often include painful references to bullying, self-harm, feelings of isolation, and thoughts of suicide. Readers may be surprised by entries from contributors like Marion Dane Bauer and editor Arthur Levine, who remember growing up in a world that depicted gay people as perverts (“I may as well be one of those inverts you once saw pictured in an old psychology book,” writes Richard McCann). But the stories are also frequently funny, as the authors tell of successful careers (“you get to be friends with some of your heroes,” writes Gregory Maguire. “Like oh not to name names but like Maurice Sendak! I know!”), friendships, marriages, sex lives, and repaired relationships with parents. Read together, the letters become a powerful refrain. Jacqueline Woodson concludes hers by writing, “The world is big—and there is so much love in it. I promise you—you will find it.” Ages 14–up. (May)