Kw-logo-smaller

Geography Club Book Review

Brent Hartinger writes about being a gay kid in high school in the novel Geography Club.
Courtesy of Harper Collins
Some gay kids, like the school jock, hide their sexuality in the teen fiction book Geography Club.
Courtesy of Harper Collins
Geography Club Book Review - Reviewed by Kidzworld on Dec 27, 2006
( Rating: 4 Star Rating)

Brent Hartinger writes about the loneliness and fear of being a gay kid in high school in the teen fiction book, Geography Club, published by Harper Collins.

Author: Brent Hartinger

High school isn't always easy. In fact, most of the time, it's a pretty rough ride. There's trying to fit in, trying to be popular, trying to make the team, trying to pass the test - the list goes on. But, it's even rougher if you're gay. Geography Club is about the tough time of being gay in high school.


Geography Club Members

Russel Middlebrook is your typical, average teen. He's not a nerd, but not a jock. He's not a loser, but not a winner. What he is - without a doubt - is gay. Russel knows it, but no one else does, and he feels like the only gay teen on the planet. Until he finds another gay teen from his high school in a chat room. Turns out it's one of the hottest guys - and biggest jocks - in the school. Then Russel discovers one of his best friends is bi-sexual - and her girlfriend also attends their high school. Looking for a way to bond, they decide to start the Geography Club, an afterschool club where they can - without the rest of the world knowing about it - share the pressures involved in hiding their sexuality.


Geography Club Hits

The book is interesting because it shows you how something that is easy for straight teens (like dating), is super-hard for gay teens. Some of the characters, like school loser Brian Bund and quirky club-joiner Belinda, are really interesting characters. They show how some straight issues can be just as painful and lonely as gay issues. They also are less annyoing and self-involved as characters like Kevin Land or Russel Middlebrook. Min is also a really cool, smart character, but despite being Russel's best friend, she's not in the story much.


Geography Club Misses

This book has all the makings of a compelling and compassionate read, but it just isn't. The storyline moves along too quickly. We don't really get to develop a bond with the gay characters because they are just exposed too easily. It might have been a better read if the whole thing wasn't from Russel's perspective only. It would have been cool to get to know Min or Belinda or Ike a little better and really see their struggles. The way Russel will do anything for his secret boyfriend is just lame.


The Bottom Line

By the end of the book, you do have a better understanding of the characters, but it's the end of the book. Too little too late. And yes, Russel gets a backbone and you actually start to like him again, but again - too little, too late.


Geography Club Rating: 4


Related Stories:

  • Boy Meets Boy Book Review
  • The 411 on Gay Parents
  • Stargirl Book Review
  • >
    >

    readers voted!

    Comments

    Azmaria55_1614622
    One of the best books I have read and very inspirational~
    commented: Mon Mar 26, 2012

    there are 1 more comments

    Please login or register to add comments


    like this article?
    Sign up now to get more just like it!

    latest videos

    Gay-sun

    Do You Know Any Gay Poeople?

    • I know peeps who are gay.
    • I don't know anybody who is gay.
    • I think some of my friends are gay.
    • I am gay.

    related stories

    Random in the forums

    Kirarin12
    Kirarin12 posted in Say Anything:
    My last book was The Blade of Shattered Hope by James Dashner
    reply 4 minutes
    AskIzzyAnything
    Okay - just learned that you can't post videos here...sorry, I'm a newbie! 
    reply 5 minutes
    AskIzzyAnything
    Hi Everyone! I run a kids advice column for the local paper and am looking for new questions...anything goes! Thanks everyone! My columns go up every Saturday...Here is todays!
    reply 7 minutes
    Kirarin12
    Kirarin12 posted in Debating:
    a lawyer!  ;)
    reply 8 minutes
    Mentally_Hilarious
    4
    reply 38 minutes

    play online games

    Candy-100

    A great online version of the famous Candy Crush. This is the best game launched...

    Big_icon_(7)

    Have you ever fancied being a ranger like those fantasy characters you love so m...

    Big_icon_(4)

    You run across the city in a car chase with the police officers.

    Big_icon_(6)

    The evil master kidnapped all of your friends!

    Ow_fright_ad_100x100

    Explore the world or hang out with friends in your own condo. Get a unique look,...