Hi guys. I just finished reading James Howe's Totally Joe. This piece of fiction is a tale of a gay seventh grader who is completing an assignment for an English class where he has to complete an ABC-Autobiography. For every letter of the alphabet he has to write something about himself. Through these diary entries, the protagonist, Joe, comes out, combats homophobia and sexism at his middle school, forms a GSA with some friends, and experiences his first break up and relationship. Its a sweet read, appropriate for middle school students, not limited to, but especially great for students who are questioning their own sexuality or gender-identification. The book has inspired a national movement to have a No-Name-Calling Week in many schools across the country.
My friend mailed me a copy of this book because she knew I was becoming a teacher. Next year I aim on having a copy of this book in my class library, available upon request, or what have you. It's a bit bold of a read-aloud for my students and the politics of the area where I teach, but in a more liberal environment, it can be used as a great tool to combat homophobia and name-calling more directly. Check it out!