Publication Date: 04/28/2015
Themes: LGBTQ+, Gender, Friendship
Age: 14+ years old
Pages: 352 pages
The award-winning novel about being out, being proud, and being ready for something else . . . now in paperback.
Rafe is a normal teenager from Boulder, Colorado. He plays soccer. He's won skiing prizes. He likes to write.
And, oh yeah, he's gay. He's been out since 8th grade, and he isn't teased, and he goes to other high schools and talks about tolerance and stuff. And while that's important, all Rafe really wants is to just be a regular guy. Not that GAY guy. To have it 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 keep his sexuality a secret -- not so much going back in the closet as starting over with a clean slate. But then he sees a classmate break down. He meets a teacher who challenges him to write his story. And most of all, he falls in love with Ben . . . who doesn't even know that love is possible.
This witty, smart, coming-out-again story will appeal to gay and straight kids alike as they watch Rafe navigate feeling different, fitting in, and what it means to be himself.
Winner of the Sid Fleischman Award for Humor
YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults Selection
Lambda Literary Award Finalist
"Funny, unexpected, peppered with terrific dialogue -- and best of all, achingly honest." -- Ned Vizzini, author of It's Kind of a Funny Story and House of Secrets
"For anybody who ever wished they could be someone else (and who hasn't?), Openly Straight provides a fun and intriguing, twisting-and-turning romp through sexuality, identity, friendship, and love." -- Alex Sanchez, author of Rainbow Boys and Boyfriends with Girlfriends
"Bill Konigsberg hands a great high concept to a really compelling narrator and presents us with a terrific read. Openly Straight is smart, funny, and unflinching. Read this book." -- Chris Crutcher, author of Deadline, Whale Talk, and Period 8
"Konigsberg's lovely novel invites us to walk with Rafe through his season of assumed identity and his costly emergence into honesty. It's beautiful. It's a story of salvation." -- The New York Times Book Review
* "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... Openly Straight is altogether one of the best gay-themed novels of the last ten years." -- Booklist, starred review
* "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." -- The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, starred review
"For a thought-provoking, creative, twenty-first-century take on the coming-out story, look no further." -- The Horn Book Magazine
"An original, thought-provoking, hilarious story about the importance of embracing your true identity, and the cost to yourself and others when you don't." -- Julie Ann Peters, author of Luna and Keeping You a Secret
"Openly Straight sports a sharp plot with a twist, sympathetic (and totally hot) characters, and universal appeal. It's a must-read for openly everyone!" -- Lisa McMann, bestselling author of the Wake Trilogy