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Nancy Garden (1938–2014)

Author of Annie on My Mind

40+ Works 3,589 Members 142 Reviews 8 Favorited

About the Author

Nancy Garden was born in Boston, Massachusetts on May 15, 1938. She attended Columbia University School of Dramatic Arts, which lead to work in community theater and four seasons of professional summer stock. She received a master's degree in speech from Columbia Teachers College. She taught for a show more while and then became an editor. Her first two books, What Happened in Marston and a nonfiction book entitled Berlin: City Split in Two, were published in 1971. Her other works include Molly's Family, Endgame, and Annie on My Mind. She received numerous awards including the Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing books for young adults in 2003, the Katahdin Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2005, and the Lee Lynch Classic Award from the Golden Crown Literary Society in 2014. She also received the Robert B. Downs Intellectual Freedom Award in 2001 for her work defending Annie On My Mind from an attempt to ban it from libraries in a Kansas school district, and for her anti-censorship efforts in general. She died of a massive heart attack on June 23, 2014 at the age of 76. (Bowker Author Biography) show less

Includes the name: Nancy Garden


Works by Nancy Garden

Annie on My Mind (1982) 2,063 copies
Endgame (2006) 187 copies
Molly's Family (2004) 171 copies
Good Moon Rising (1996) 128 copies
Nora and Liz (2002) 93 copies
Prisoner of Vampires (1985) 51 copies
Favorite Tales from Grimm (1982) — Retelling — 49 copies
Lark in the Morning (1991) 42 copies
Werewolves (1973) 37 copies
Holly's Secret (2000) 37 copies
Vampires (1973) 35 copies
Fours Crossing (1981) 33 copies
My Sister, the Vampire (1992) 27 copies
Meeting Melanie (2002) 20 copies
Awake (2011) — Contributor — 14 copies
Loners (1972) 8 copies
My Brother, the Werewolf (1995) 7 copies
Watersmeet (1983) 6 copies
What Happened in Marston (1971) 5 copies
The Door Between (1987) 5 copies
Maria's Mountain (1981) 3 copies
Peace O River (1986) 1 copy
Untitled Garden Cloth (2005) 1 copy
Nattens ögon (1990) 1 copy

Associated Works

Am I Blue? Coming Out from the Silence (1994) — Contributor — 802 copies
Dear Bully: Seventy Authors Tell Their Stories (2011) — Contributor — 317 copies


1980s (21) acceptance (17) children (18) children's (31) coming of age (70) coming out (54) family (63) fiction (333) friendship (21) gay (33) glbt (36) high school (68) historical fiction (45) history (18) homosexuality (48) Joan of Arc (17) lesbian (220) lesbian fiction (41) lesbians (33) lgbt (105) LGBTQ (83) love (41) New York (29) New York City (20) novel (27) picture book (30) queer (69) read (45) realistic fiction (31) relationships (31) romance (135) school (23) sexuality (32) teen (40) teenagers (20) to-read (180) vampires (23) YA (193) young adult (273) young adult fiction (51)

Common Knowledge



I will basically read anything by Nancy Garden -- Annie on My Mind was my first LGBTQA book -- and I always love her stuff. This was no exception! Molly is upset before Open School Night because the kids in her classroom tell her she can't have both a Mommy and a Mama when she draws a picture of her family. Molly's mothers explain to her that there are all kinds of families and, reassured by that, Molly takes her family portrait back to school to proudly hang it up next to the other kids' pictures.

This is a good, solid story that explains that it's okay to have two mommies, and that it's love that makes a family, no matter who is in it.
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kerribrary | 29 other reviews | Mar 5, 2023 |
Some books you pick up and it takes you ages to read (see: Ben Hur). Some books you pick up and never finish reading coz you get bored (see: Women in Love). Some books pick up in the middle and leave you gasping for more (see: The Picture of Dorian Gray).

This book is none of those. This book I finished reading in about three hours. This book hit all the right points, and it’s taken me so long to write this review because I couldn’t bring myself to write it and not give it the justice it deserves as a wonderful novel.

I feel a bit of historical context is also important here, first. This novel was written in the 1980s, and takes place in what I believe is the 1970s. The novel was banned for a VERY long time in a lot of public libraries, because of its depiction of homosexuality as the main romance in the novel. The main characters of the novel, Annie and Liza, fall very quickly and very deeply in love, which must have twisted a few panties back when this novel first came out. A cursory search shows that the novel is actually the 44th most challenged novel by censorship in the United States in the 1980s.

But here’s why this novel is so important for the LGBT community. When reading this novel, while it’s not got the WOW factor that some other novels might have in terms of writing, the story line is happy. Imagine that – a queer story line where nobody dies in the end. That’s a big leap there, considering that the majority of queer characters in the media up to that point had been mercilessly killed off in their depictions.

Liza, as the novel’s main narrator, is actually a very wonderful narrator who actually gives you an insight into her emotions, not making it too emotional and trying to show you what her side of the story is without undermining anything that happened, or placing the blame on others. Liza takes full accountability for her actions and acknowledges that some things she said or did in the course of the story she’s telling might have been terrible decisions. Liza is a mature narrator, and I like how she tells her story.

What I also like about this novel is how realistic the characters feel. Liza goes through her own moments of doubt and internal homophobia, questioning if what she feels is even right or real, but she also goes through her moments of falling in love for the first time that makes you blind to all other consequences and situations. Liza is, really and truly, all of us when falling in love for the first time.

I don’t want to tell you how the novel will play out, because there’s a lot more to the story than just two girls who happen to fall in love. All I can really tell you is that you have to sit down on a quiet evening, switch off your phone, and get ready for your heart to crack open just a smidge (or maybe more than that) while you’re reading this novel.

Final rating: 6/5. Honestly, though the writing isn’t perfect, it’s one of my favourites for the story line alone.
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viiemzee | 73 other reviews | Feb 20, 2023 |
I gotta respect this book, even though I didn't love it.
dirtytoes | 73 other reviews | Feb 14, 2023 |
Kind of dumb and boring. I heard really good things about it and I have no clue why. It was so unrealistic and every single plot point was just ridiculous. Absolutely don't recommend.
ninagl | 73 other reviews | Jan 7, 2023 |



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