Trevor: The Story That Inspired the Trevor Project

illus. by author. 112p. websites. Seven Stories. 2012. Tr $14.95. ISBN 978-1-60980-420-6. LC 2012016377.
Gr 6–9—Trevor, a successful play and film in the early '80s, spawned the Trevor Project, an LGBT help line for young people struggling with their sexual identity. This is the updated book version, told in Trevor's voice, which is engaging, funny, and appealing. Trevor is an outgoing, quirky 13-year-old, an only child who drives his busy parents a little nuts. In the opening chapter, he is lying on the lawn, seemingly with a knife in his back, trying to get the attention of his father, who is cutting the grass around him. He is a Lady Gaga fan and plans to dress up as her for Halloween. However, his friends start to draw some conclusions and avoid him. Subsequently, he is forced into a humiliating counseling session with his parents' priest about sexuality and then bullied at school. The culmination of this angst and misery results in a suicide attempt. Homosexuality as a theme in teen literature was not as common (even prolific) as it is now, so this novella is not as memorable as it would have been 30 years ago. Because the story is so brief, there is little buildup to the point where Trevor makes the decision to take his own life. His suicide attempt seems rather abrupt and detracts from the impact it could have made on readers. The book is relatively solid in its development of a unique character, more so than as a commentary on homophobia. Pencil sketches add an engaging component, but the story lacks depth.—Corrina Austin, Locke's Public School, St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada

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