This Book Is Gay

James Dawson, illus. by Spike Gerrell. Sourcebooks Fire, $15.99 (272p) ISBN 978-1-4926-1782-2

First published in the U.K., this irreverent, informative handbook offers a wide-ranging overview of gender identity, sexual orientation, coming out, dating, and more. Adopting a humorous tone that should help set anxious readers at ease, Dawson dismantles stereotypes, such as “Gay women hate men” (“I imagine they’d hate men who said that to them, yes”); defines a range of terms from “camp” to “cubs”; and offers (very) frank information about sex (“A bit of spit, Brokeback Mountain–style, is NOT a substitute for a proper water-based lubricant”). Gerrell’s playful b&w cartoons help maintain an encouraging atmosphere, even when Dawson turns to homophobia/transphobia, anti-gay legislation, and STDs. Readers will find guidance to navigating their sexual identities and more general advice about self-esteem, forming respectful relationships, and seeking personal fulfillment. Ages 14–up. Agent: Jo Williamson, Antony Harwood Ltd. Literary Agents. (June)