While there are baffling and scary problems and ideas to challenge young adults, writer Bill Konigsberg provides a high wattage shining light to guide our young adults, with his books for teens--Out of Pocket, Openly Straight, The Porcupine of Truth, and his latest, Honestly Ben, available March 28, 2017.
His characters are well-drawn and relatable, to both teens and adults. His young men and women are confronted with problems with family, secrets from the past, religion, first romances, friendships, academics, sexual orientation, figuring out who one is, and how one is going to walk through life.
Konigsberg is funny. His characters are smart and funny. If a teen reader is gay, closeted or not, Konigsberg's books bring clarity, courage, and resolve to keep moving forward. Read one of them, and you will have laughed and wept at least once in its early chapters, I promise. I sat in on an informal gathering of school librarians this past year. The dozen or so librarians shared their favorite books and
writers just published on various topics. When The Porcupine of Truth was mentioned, all the librarians smiled and said, almost in unison, "Isn't it great that he is writing these books?"
Bill Konigsberg has won many awards for his books, including The Stonewall Book Award for Young Adult Literature and the PEN Center Literary Award for Young Adult Literature (Porcupine of Truth), the SCBWI's Sid Fleischman Award for Humor (Openly Straight),and the Lambda Literary Award (Out of Pocket). He is the Assistant Professor of Practice at the Piper Center for Creative Writing at Arizona State University. Previously, he was an award-winning sports writer and editor with the Associated Press, where he covered the New York Mets baseball team.
- Annye Camara