Tuesday, January 21, 2020
One True Way, written by Shannon Hitchcock, reviewed by Amanda Davies
Straight Talk for Librarians: Allie and Sam's story is a lovely and realistic first love story. Like many middle grade books, the main characters are dealing with issues of identity, belief, popularity, grief, and problems at home. Hitchcock reveals the feelings that Allie and Sam have for each other gently and gradually, so it's no surprise when they admit that they both have feelings for each other. There are discussions of whether the girls have kissed but Hitchcock doesn't include any physical contact between them beyond them sitting shoulder to shoulder.
Parents like Sam's mom in the book, who believe that homosexuality is an abomination, might object to the content. Any challenges could be easily defended with a selection policy that emphasizes the importance of a collection that provides both windows and mirrors (Sims Bishop) of students' experiences.
Librarians looking only for #ownvoices representations of what it's like to be a gay middle school student may want to look elsewhere, although Hitchcock was intentional in having the books reviewed for authenticity.