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Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden
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Annie on My Mind (1982)

by Nancy Garden

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Classic (published in 1982) coming of age story, this book was one of the first to positively portray teen lesbians finding both themselves and each other. Highly controversial in the early 80s, it is now found in most school and public libraries serving young teens. One of the first "coming out" stories to not end in violence/suicide/or some other horrible fate for the main characters. (Karen) ( )
  GayCityLGBTLibrary | Jun 6, 2015 |
Oh for pete's sake. I was going to say that this book is somewhat dated, a little contrived, but overall lovely and still valuable to those who still feel a bit squeamish about lesbian love.

But then I read the gr community reviews. Such bigotry, such hate... I'm appalled that there are still people, apparently people with access to the English language and to books, who don't recognize that love is what matters, and that it's none of their business what happens in other people's bedrooms.

So, read this book and get the word out so fewer people have to deal with being called 'sinful' or 'disturbed' or 'sick' just because they love someone of the same gender. Some day this book will be only of relevance to historians. Would that day come soon. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Apr 14, 2015 |
Annie on My Mind. By Nancy Garden. McGraw-Hill Ryerson, Ltd. 1982. 234 pages. 0374303665. Grades 8-12.

When Liza happens upon Annie at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, she feels despite their different personalities and backgrounds that she has met a lifelong friend. As they grow closer, however, Liza realizes that her feelings for Annie run deeper than just friendship – and luckily Annie feels the same way. Their relationship blooms tenderly until it is discovered, and Liza feels like her life is crashing down around her. Though societal attitudes towards homosexuality have changed (for the most part), Garden’s novel is still a seminal text in the canon of lesbian YA fiction, especially for lesbian youth awash in pop-culture depictions of male homosexuality (not that the “gay best friend” trope does much in advancing representation of gay male youth). The novel’s themes are universal – teenage love, acceptance, self-discovery – and Garden’s deft portrayal of the girls’ romantic intertwining from Liza’s point of view is a compelling and realistic depiction of teenage emotions. The work has aged well (in both its New York setting and observant representation of adolescence, it reads like a lesbian Judy Blume novel) – slight chronological dissonances do not detract from the emotional journey upon which the invested reader accompanies Liza, as many gay teenagers do face similar issues in forging romantic relationships, coming out, and discovering themselves. Keep Annie on My Mind on the shelf for all the young women, questioning or self-affirmed, who would like to read and learn from the experiences of those who came before them. Recommended. ( )
  tierneyc | Oct 23, 2014 |
Nancy Garden, the author of Annie on my Mind died recently and to honor her memory I had to go back and re-read her amazing book. Why is it amazing? Because it's a story of two high school girls who fall in love -- romantic, physical and sexual love -- and its not smarmy or sensational, or shocked or silly about it.

The shocking thing is that this warm wise, down to earth book was banned and burned and forbidden to people who would have enjoyed reading it and might have even taken some comfort from it.

Two teenagers fall in love. Happens all the time. Written in the 1980's and so perhaps a little - careful - about telling the tale. But real and true and solid all the same.

Gets inside the mind of a teen age girl discovering what love is and what growing up is and what right is and what wrong is.

Not great writing but a great story. It will stick in your mind. It sticks in mine. I'm smiling now as I type this. ( )
  magicians_nephew | Oct 9, 2014 |
this isn't a spectacular story and it isn't gorgeous prose, but this is solid, and i very much enjoyed reading it. i think there's a lot to relate to in this story about two girls who discover love together. they could just as easily been different races a couple of decades earlier, or the focus could have been more on their class differences, or they could have been two boys, or of different religions in a more devout area/time, etc. it's a story about discovering something about yourself and deciding what to do about it. well, as garden says in the interview at the end of this edition, ultimately it's about love, this story, and i feel like she captures young love so accurately. ("young" as in early stages, not "young" as in high school, although that is where this takes place.)

really, the only thing that didn't seem believable to me was how much time they were allowed to spend together. being suspended from school and not being grounded, but instead being allowed to hang out with your best friend? not in my young adult life.

this was written in the early 80's and it seemed to take place a little before that, and looking at it as a story from that time, it feels like an accurate representation. (except for the never being grounded thing.)

i really, really enjoyed a few of the characters in this book (in particular annie, ms stevenson and ms widmer, chad), which made it even more nice to read. and maybe the best part of this book, especially because it's a young adult novel, is that garden doesn't dance around any of the issues. she tells the story she wants to tell, and in so doing she addresses head on the issues that these girls (and the teachers) face. they have an intense friendship, they fall in love and they question their sexuality, their relationship is about spending time together but not just that - she's realistic about sex, and coming out (or not) and what that means (in the time it takes place) are all at least touched on if not more fully addressed. being up front about these things, i think, makes me, as a reader, feel the book has an honesty that i appreciate.

"Annie pulled her collar up around her throat and I wanted to touch her skin where the collar met it. It was as if I'd always wanted to touch her there but hadn't known it."

"I went downstairs to Dad's encyclopedia and looked up HOMOSEXUALITY, but that didn't tell me much about any of the things I felt. What struck me most, though, was that, in that whole long article, the word "love" wasn't used even once. That made me mad; it was as if whoever wrote the article didn't know that gay people actually love each other." ( )
1 vote elisa.saphier | Sep 26, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374400113, Paperback)

This groundbreaking book, first published in 1982, is the story of two teenage girls whose friendship blossoms into love and who, despite pressures from family and school that threaten their relationship, promise to be true to each other and their feelings.
 
Of the author and the book, the Margaret A. Edwards Award committee said, "Nancy Garden has the distinction of being the first author for young adults to create a lesbian love story with a positive ending. Using a fluid, readable style, Garden opens a window through which readers can find courage to be true to themselves."
 
The 25th Anniversary Edition features a full-length interview with the author by Kathleen T. Horning, Director of the Cooperative Children's Book Center. Ms. Garden answers such revealing questions as how she knew she was gay, why she wrote the book, censorship, and the book's impact on readers - then and now.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:48 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Liza tries to put aside her feelings for Annie after the disaster at Foster Academy, but eventually she allows love to triumph over the ignorance of others.

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