Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Diversity Countdown: Brent Hartinger's "Shadow Walkers"

Brent Hartinger is the second panelist I'm highlighting in preparation for my panel discussion on diversity at the upcoming KidLitCon 2011 this upcoming Saturday September 17, 2011 - "Blogging Diversity: "Prejudice and Pride!"

Brent Hartinger

He's the author of eight books, most of which I've featured here on this blog because he often writes books with gay teen characters. In fact, I've been a fan ever since Brent's ground-breaking "The Geography Club," where the queer teens at Robert L. Goodkind High School decide that there's only one way they can form a Gay Straight Alliance without their fellow students becoming suspicious:

"We just choose a club that's so boring nobody in their right mind would ever in a million years join it. We could call it the Geography Club!"

How genius is that?

His latest title is "Shadow Walkers," a gay teen supernatural romance thriller - with a fascinating parallel between the internet and online relationships and astral projection!

In it,

Zach lives with his grandparents on a remote island in Puget Sound in Washington State. With only his little brother, Gilbert, to keep him company, Zach feels cut off from the world. But when Gilbert is kidnapped, Zach tries the only thing he can think of to find him: astral projection. Soon, his spirit is soaring through the strange and boundless astral realm — a shadow place. While searching for his brother, Zach meets a boy named Emory, another astral traveler who's intriguing (and cute).

As Zach and Emory track the kidnappers from the astral realm, their bond grows, but each moment could be Gilbert's last. Even worse, there's a menacing, centuries-old creature in their midst that devours souls and possesses physical bodies. And it's hungry for Zach.

Brent also does great (and funny) videos online (dare I call it "vlogging?"), including this one - "Seven reasons you should read Shadow Walkers":

He also does a cool thing on his website, where you can read the first chapter of all of his books for free. (That's to get you hooked. And watch out - you will be!)

He's been a mainstay of as the Associate Editor over there, holding forth on queer content on TV and in our culture. One of my favorite articles he wrote was "Why Can't You Just Butch Up?" which speaks to why high school students tell me every year 'it's harder to be an effeminate straight boy than a masculine gay boy.' Brent did just step down from his Associate Editor gig to focus more on his writing, but he's still going to be contributing posts at, and heck, that means we'll get more great books...

I am delighted to have Brent on the Diversity Panel!

And now you know more about him and his books, too - so once again, it's a win-win!


1 comment:

Avi de Turenne said...

Brent Hartinger's GEOGRAPHY CLUB was one of the first gay teen books I read and it was an awesome story and inspirational for my writing. Have a good trip Lee and looking forward to your notes from the conference.