Synopsis from Macmillan Publishers:
In a series of personal essays, prominent journalist and LGBTQIA+ activist George M. Johnson explores his childhood, adolescence, and college years in New Jersey and Virginia. From the memories of getting his teeth kicked out by bullies at age five, to flea marketing with his loving grandmother, to his first sexual relationships, this young-adult memoir weaves together the trials and triumphs faced by Black queer boys.
Both a primer for teens eager to be allies as well as a reassuring testimony for young queer men of color, All Boys Aren’t Blue covers topics such as gender identity, toxic masculinity, brotherhood, family, structural marginalization, consent, and Black joy. Johnson’s emotionally frank style of writing will appeal directly to young adults.
About: All Boys Aren’t Blue is a queer memoir written by George M. Johnson. It was recently published on 4/28/2020 by Farrar, Straus, Giroux Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Macmillan Publishers, paperback, 320 pages. The genres are memoir, LGBT, queer, and nonfiction. This book is intended for readers ages 14 to 18. This book is the author’s debut. According to the publisher’s website, “Farrar, Straus and Giroux Books for Young Readers, established in 1953, is an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group. We are committed to publishing books of the highest literary quality for children and teenagers. FSG BYR is known for its award-winning list of fiction, nonfiction, and picture books.” Please see below for more information about the author and publisher.
My Experience: I started reading All Boys Aren’t Blue on 4/28/2020 and finished it on 5/8/2020. This book was an informative and interesting read. I liked the story about the author’s name. One thing we all have in common is worrying about what other people think of us, queer or not, it happens to all of us. Growing up with cousins and all being taken care of by granny, awesome as she was, sounds fun. She’s definitely the coolest grandma ever. The cowboy boots story had me smiling. I liked the advice about speaking up and other advices, including time.
This book started with an introduction about the author, how he came out to the world with a full head of hair and his aunt thought he was a girl. He discussed about gender and what society decide for a person and the activities that shape a person into that of boy or girl. He discussed about how the “n word” was buried so that the black community could be treated with respect. The author recalled being five and was a good actor so no other kids would make fun of him for the truth of his wants. This book is divided into four acts: a different kid, family, teenagers, and friends.
All Boys Aren’t Blue is well written and full of honest disclosures. I’m glad that George did have relatives that were lgbt to support him and his family the basic knowledge while growing up. It would have been harder if his family didn’t accept him being different. I like the letters within the story. The family photos are an added bonus. I’m glad someone taught him sex, better a trusting someone than a stranger who will take advantage of an innocent first time. I like the reasons of the book title. This memoir sure pulled out all emotions from me. I highly recommend everyone to read this book!
Pro: family, humor, fast paced
I rate it 5 stars!
About the Author:
George M. Johnson is a writer and activist based in New York. He has written on race, gender, sex, and culture for Essence, The Advocate, Buzz Feed News, Teen Vogue, and more than forty other national publications. He is a columnist for AFROPUNK, and has appeared on BuzzFeed’s AM2DM as well as MSNBC. All Boys Aren’t Blue is his debut. (Photo obtained from the author’s Twitter profile and info obtained from Macmillan’s website).