Wednesday, March 4, 2015

He Said, She Said - Newbery-Winner Kwame Alexander's YA boy-girl romance with a lesbian best friend

He Said, She Said by Kwame Alexander

"You've heard that men are from Mars and women are from Venus, right? Well, forget that planetary ish –- Omar and Claudia are from different solar systems. Meet Brooklyn transplant Omar "T-Diddy" Smalls: West Charleston High's football god and full-blown playa. He's got a ton of twitter followers, is U Miami bound, and cannot wait to hit South Beach... and hit on every shorty in a bikini.

Then there's Claudia Clarke: headed for Harvard, straight-A student, school newspaper editor, and all-around goody two-shoes. She cares more about the staggering teen pregnancy rate than about hooking up with so-called fly homies and posting her biz on Facebook.

Omar and Claudia are thrown together when they unexpectedly lead (with a little help from Facebook and Twitter) the biggest social protest this side of the Mississippi. The stakes are high, the romance is hot, and when these worlds collide, sparks will FLY! Believe that!

Claudia's best girl-friend Blu is into girls, and while it's not what the story is about, it comes up a few times. I found about about this YA novel in a conversation with the author (who had just won the Newbery for his middle grade novel, The Crossover), where I asked him if he was planning on including any LGBTQ characters or themes in upcoming work. He said he already had!

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