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All Out - The No Longer Secret Histories of Queer Teens, edited by Saundra Mitchell - Review

Friday, January 3, 2020

I got this book for my birthday in January from my BFF Lucinda, who is a children's librarian and is queer and who often combines the two in the books she reads. I was looking for something on my shelves and saw this, and realised that I hadn't yet read it. I find reading anthologies of short stories is really useful over the Christmas period when I don't have a lot of time to sit and read and am often tired at night, so I picked it up.

The premise is that each story features at least one queer protagonist from a different period in history. Queer people have always existed, but thanks to cruel and homophobic societies, it hasn't always been possible for people to be out. The authors included in this anthology are well known YA voices including Malinda Lo, Dahlia Adler, Elliot Wake, Alex Sanchez and Robin Talley. There are gay characters, lesbian characters, some trans characters, and even some asexual ones. As with all short story anthologies, there are some that the reader will connect with more than others thanks to their own histories and so on. I particularly enjoyed the stories of a deaf and queer Will Scarlet and a queer Robin Hood, and need a whole book of this immediately please! I enjoyed the stories about two girls mourning the death of Kurt Cobain in 1994, and I loved the story about an asexual girl who loved rollerskating. I liked all the stories; there weren't any that I disliked. 

It's a fantastic anthology for any reader, but especially for queer teenagers of all shades. 

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