Stay Gold

McSmith, T.
This novel broaches timely issues and themes around the complexity of teenage experiences and the challenges faced by people who are LGBTQ+. As Pony, a new trans student at Hillcrest High, tries to fit in at his new school and win over his new love interest, he is faced with other students’ homophobic, transphobic, and sexual language and jokes. While Georgia initially rejects him because he is trans, she later realizes that she is wrong and stands up for Pony publicly to bring attention to the school’s lack of support for SOGI issues. Suitable for mature senior students, the book’s themes provide extensive opportunities for classroom discussions, text-to-world connections, and critical thinking. It may provide an opportunity for LGBTQ+ learners to see themselves and their struggles in the novel and its characters, and it may give others a glimpse into their experiences, also inspiring written reflections about personal experiences. This resource lends well to a classroom or school library for independent reading or as a literature circle choice, particularly if classrooms focus on justice literature.
LGBTQ, Novel
English Language Arts
  • 11-12

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