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Grade 10 Up-Russel Middlebrook is a sophomore at Goodkind High School. He has a secret crush on a baseball jock, Kevin Land, and soon discovers that Kevin is also gay. The boys become friendly outside of school and set up the "Geography Club" with three other gay students, one of whom is Russel's closest friend, Min. The club members relish the opportunity to discuss their lives and to relate to one another openly and honestly. Eventually, however, intense peer pressure and insecurity take their toll. Russel's relationship with Kevin ends, but the "Geography Club" becomes the "Goodkind High School Gay-Straight-Bisexual Alliance," and the protagonist gains new insight into himself and his place in the world. Hartinger has written a compelling look at the high school scene and the serious consequences of being "different." The plot never falters. Dialogue flows smoothly and is always completely believable, and the occasional use of profanity adds to the realism of the story. Characterization is excellent, with all of the teens emerging as likable but flawed individuals caught in a situation that few young adults could handle with maturity. This author has something to say here, and his message is potent and effective in its delivery. Many teens, both gay and straight, should find this novel intriguing.
Robert Gray, East Central Regional Library, Cambridge, MN
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 7-12. Russel is gay, and he knows he better keep it secret, or he'll be a total outcast in his small-town high school. But then he discovers that there are others like him--including Min, his longtime best friend, and her lesbian lover, as well as gorgeous, popular jock star Kevin. Seven of them form a support group (the "Geography Club" is their cover-up name), and for a short time, life is blissful. Russel has friends with whom he can be himself, and he also makes love with Kevin. Then things fall apart. Russel refuses to have sex with a girl, and word gets out that he's gay. Kevin can't come out, so he and Russel break up. Things are settled a little too neatly in the end, but there's no sermonizing. With honest talk of love and cruelty, friendship and betrayal, it's Russel's realistic, funny, contemporary narrative that makes this first novel special. The dialogue is right on; so is the high-school cafeteria; so is the prejudice. Booktalk this. Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
This book was amazing. I had to do a project in class about social justice, and my teacher gave me a list of books. I knew this was the right book. Recommend you to read it! Read morePublished 22 months ago by Eddy
Some of the LGBT/Gay books I have read lately have such a poor storyline. This read is much more interesting.Published on Sept. 3 2013 by L. D.
The reason I ask the question in the title is because this book has so much melodrama and unrealistic characterizations that it would fit snugly into the annals of bad fanfiction... Read morePublished on June 23 2004
With his debut novel, Geography Club, Brent Hartinger has created a sharp, witty, and touchingly realistic look into the lives of modern gay high school students. Read morePublished on June 4 2004 by Josh Aterovis
Russell Middlebrook, a witty and remarkably frank high school sophomore is the narrator and protagonist of Brent Hartinger's, GEOGRAPHY CLUB. Read morePublished on May 24 2004 by Jak Klinikowski
Russel Middlebrook is a 16 year old high school sophomore hiding a big secret: he's gay. He keeps a low profile because he doesn't want to be treated like the school outcast and... Read morePublished on April 30 2004 by Lori L. Lake
This book captures all the feelings and emotions and fears that go with growing up gay in a high school setting - brilliantly depicted and wonderfully written - a definite page... Read morePublished on April 21 2004
This book was truly fantastic. There are very few adult characters in it, just teenagers. "The Geography Club" discusses all sorts of issues, from popularity to homophobia. Read morePublished on March 23 2004
As an adult, I found this a swell read. I am glad that there are more and more books like this available that don't focus on sex as much as they do self-awareness and coming to... Read morePublished on March 16 2004 by Edward Aycock