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Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden

Annie on My Mind (1982)

by Nancy Garden

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banned books (12) coming of age (50) coming out (33) fiction (178) friendship (10) gay (23) glbt (35) high school (33) homosexuality (29) lesbian (137) Lesbian Fiction (28) lesbians (25) lgbt (46) LGBTQ (30) love (30) New York (22) New York City (16) novel (10) queer (33) read (30) realistic fiction (13) relationships (23) romance (66) sexuality (21) teen (35) teen fiction (13) to-read (12) YA (107) young adult (129) young adult fiction (26)

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Showing 1-5 of 54 (next | show all)
Surprisingly contemporary for an early 80s novel, especially a YA novel about homosexuality. I wish I could say some I the moralizing and preening in the name of religion some of the antagonists do is anachronistic, but these days it's actually a political platform. Nevertheless, this novel also does a great job of foregrounding many of the challenges adolescents face gaining autonomy over their own bodies (not just sexually). Very well written (save the lack of clarity as to why the girls lose touch)--HIGHLY recommended. ( )
  JWarren42 | Oct 10, 2013 |
From Back Cover: A few months into her freshman year at MIT, Liza Withrop relives in reflective retrospect the past year, when she met and fell in love with Annie Kenyon ... A tender, bittersweet love story." [ALA Booklist].
  rschwed | Oct 5, 2013 |
I loved this book so much, I just couldn't put it down. It really resonated with me. ( )
  alyslinn | May 25, 2013 |
Annie on my Mind by Nancy Garden is number 42 on the list of the most banned / challenged books and according to the description on the 1992 reissue, it was even burned in Kansas City. For all of that publicity, it's an absolutely charming story of love.

The book opens with Liza in college writing a lengthy letter to Annie. The letter is the segue into a number of flashbacks about how Liza and Annie met. Just as Claudia (From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konisburg) finds herself through her adventures at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Liza finds Annie.

Although both young ladies are in high school, they like to partake in roll playing and other childish behavior. While it may strike some readers as quaint or unrealistic, it struck a chord with me. My then boyfriend (now husband) once pretended to be Robin Hood to woo me. We were in college at the time — only a year or two removed from Liza and Annie.

As far as the romance goes, it's a pretty tame book. There's one mostly hinted at scene near the end. What is more shocking and saddening (because of its continued timeliness in some parts of the country) is the bigotry Liza faces at her private school.

I read the novel on a BART ride to and from San Francisco. It made an hour and a half round trip journey go by quickly. I plan to check out more of Nancy Garden's novels as I have time. ( )
1 vote pussreboots | May 3, 2013 |
I heard about this several times in my Young Adult Literature class, and am glad I hunted it down. It's relatively undated (i.e. not out of date, although it was first published in 1982), and this copy has an interview with the author.

Annie On My Mind is the story of Annie and Liza, told from Liza's point of view; the two girls have different backgrounds but slowly fall in love. (As the author emphasizes in the interview, the book is a love story at its core.) The narrative alternates between the recent past - the girls' senior year of high school, told in first person - and the present, their first semester at college (MIT for Liza, UC Berkeley for Annie), told in the third person.

Unlike David Levithan's more modern LGBTQ fiction (Boy Meets Boy; Wide Awake), Nancy Garden writes about a more realistic and less welcoming world for gay teens. However, though some at Liza's school are outraged/offended/disgusted by homosexuality, Liza's parents and some teachers are supportive - overall, it seems like a fairly accurate depiction of the likely mix of reactions at the time it was written (and, to some extent, today).

"This is the thing to remember: the very worst thing...would be to be separated from each other...Anything else..."
"Anything else is just bad," said Ms. Widmer. "But no worse than bad. Bad things can always be overcome."
"If you two remember nothing else from all this," Ms. Widmer said, "remember that. Please. Don't - don't punish yourselves for people's ignorant reactions to what we all are."
"Don't let ignorance win," said Ms. Stevenson. "Let love." (p. 232) ( )
  JennyArch | Apr 3, 2013 |
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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:30:05 -0400)

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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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