David Inside Out

Lee F. Bantle, Author Henry Holt & Company $16.99 (184p) ISBN 978-0-8050-8122-0
In this somewhat uneven novel, David comes out as gay, first to himself, and then to friends and eventually to his mother. Along the way, he experiences plenty of angst, from a friend asking him to join the Gay/Straight Alliance he formed, to trying to figure out how to handle a close female friend who wants to be more than his buddy. David even strikes up an intense physical relationship with his track teammate (but while David hopes for romance, Sean tells him, ""Guys fool around, you know. Nobody talks about it, that's all""). Readers will be moved by David's struggles, but he never really comes across as an authentic character, and many of the book's devices (like the reassuring counselor he connects with through a gay hotline) seem contrived. There are some exciting moments (David agonizes over a note he gets from a mysterious male admirer, wondering if it's a set-up, for example), but ultimately David's journey seems like well-tread territory. Ages 14-up.
Reviewed on: 05/11/2009
Release date: 05/01/2009
Genre: Children's
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