Side Door, The - eBook

The Side Door

by
On her first day of high school, fifteen-year-old Melrose Bird sees Alex Weber's mother on a park bench staring at Drift High School where her teenage son died five years ago.

Alex's death has never been discussed in the town or at the school. But Mel and her best friend Frank become obsessed with Alex's grave and consumed by the why of his suicide. When Mel happens upon a pair of Alex's cargo pants, she takes them. And what she finds inside the pockets brings into focus the story of Alex's brief life and his death.

Determined to pressure the school and the town into recognizing why Alex died, Mel confronts a world of adult secrecy and deception. Even her own peers are giving her trouble. Mel's assertion of her identity — her buzz cut and the pants she wears — is met with condemnation from her classmates.

But anyone who thinks Mel Bird will retreat from disapproval or opposition is badly mistaken.

THE SIDE DOOR is an affecting story about a couple of Superman-loving kids who discover that it's by revealing their secret identities that they come into their true super powers. - Alison Bechdel
eBook
Add To Wishlist
Price: $4.99


Paperback
$14.95
Genre Young Adult, General Fiction
Publisher Spinsters Ink
ISBN 9781935226123e

Extras

  • Insightful, well-written and thoroughly engaging - a perfect read for teens and growns-ups about the cost of bullying and the bravery of being who you are.
  • A Katherine V. Forrest selection.
  • Read the appetizer! Click to open a PDF in a new window.

 

Reviews

American Library Association

GLBTQ Roundtable (Children and Teens) 2012 Annotated Bibliography of Notable Books for YA Readers

GCLS Goldie Awards

The Side Door - WINNER, Lesbian General/Dramatic Fiction; Finalist, Lesbian Debut Fiction

The Eric Hoffer Award

The Side Door: Honorable Mention

US Review of Books

Omar Figueras, July 2011: ...The Side Door touches every aspect of what it is to be a young and gay in today's world, but it also speaks directly to the human heart as Donley's treatment of her characters is sincere and warm. The author's prose is rhythmic and enchanting, at times beguiling, but it is always authentic and grounded in reality.

The Lesbian News

Teresa DeCrecenzo, June, 2011: This is a book that ought to be bought by the tens of thousands by PFFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays), and widely distributed to its members and suppoters. It also ought to be required reading for high schools all over the country.

Just About Write

June, 2011: The Side Door is a well-written story because it captures the way a fifteen-year-old sees the world with great accuracy. Mel has the conviction of someone with a limited world view because of her age. From her perspective, she is the only one who is seeking the truth; anyone who disagrees with her is wrong; anyone who won't help her is a coward. She faces situations with great bravery, but also with a total disregard of the feelings of other people, just like a fifteen-year-old.

November, 2010: This story deals with teen issues on a deep level. The main character is fully realized with profound emotional struggles and a strong desire to be herself, while bringing truth to the larger community... The Side Door is a stunning read and a timely topic in today's world.

October, 2010: Jan Donley has beautifully captured the angst felt by many gay and lesbian teenagers. Her characters, young Melrose (Mel to all who know her) and Frank, must face their parents and their classmates as they struggle with defining who they are. [As Mel] uncovers layers and layers of secrets she muses, "How many of those walking secrets did we pass every day, thinking they were just mild-mannered people going about their business?" Side Door is an engrossing story, with well-developed characters, and some surprising twists.

OUT-FM

2010 Wrap-up - January 2011: I really wish there was a book like this when I was fifteen and coming out. I love the way she conjures the voice, true voice of this fifteen-year-old girl struggling with her budding lesbianism. I recommend this book for anybody.

Bay Windows

September, 2010: ...The story of two teenagers who come out of the closet on the eve of their first day of high school, and through the exploration of a classmate's suicide five years earlier, discover the truth about bullying, teen suicide, and the fatal silence around adolescent sexual orientation and gender identity.

Book Marks by Richard LaBonte

Syndicated - 08/09/2010: Though it's set in 1988 — when teens still scribbled phone numbers on napkins rather than synching their smart phones — the parallel themes in Donley's debut of queer self-discovery and the destructive power of secrets pack a contemporary punch. Melrose Bird — she really, really prefers to be called Mel — and her artistic pal Frank are 15-year-old outsiders coming to terms with the truth that she's a dyke and he's a fag. Their realization coalesces around the hushed-up suicide five years earlier of a boy named Alex, whose heartbroken mother's sad vigil in the park across from their high school leads Mel to dig into his death. What she discovers — a closeted football jock who rebuffed him and a closeted school counselor who ignored him — galvanizes her own coming out. Donley's young adult novel touches all the relevant bases: parents whose emotions evolve from anger to understanding and fellow students whose attitudes range from intolerance to acceptance — in a story that nicely balances humor and emotion.

 

Customer Reviews

Sign In  to write a review.
Be the first to write a review.

More Titles

All Bets Off

Jaime Clevenger
Amateur City

Katherine V. Forrest
Apparition Alley

Katherine V. Forrest
Arusha

J.E. Knowles
Assisted Living

Sheila Ortiz-Taylor
Backslide

Teresa Stores
Benediction

Diane Salvatore
Beverly Malibu

Katherine V. Forrest
Choices

Nancy Toder
The Coming of the Mojo

Barbara Treat Williams
Command of Silence

Paulette Callen
Commitment to Die

Jennifer L. Jordan
The Creamsickle

Rhiannon Argo
Day of the Dead

Victoria A. Brownworth
Disorderly Attachments

Jennifer L. Jordan
Existing Solutions

Jennifer L. Jordan
Eyes of Gray

Dani O'Connor
Faultline

Sheila Ortiz-Taylor
Hancock Park

Katherine V. Forrest
Hard Times

Blayne Cooper
High Desert

Katherine V. Forrest
Homestead (Spinsters Ink)

Sheila Ortiz-Taylor
If No One's Looking

Jennifer L. Jordan
A Killing Kindness

Barbara Treat Williams
The Labrys Reunion

Terry Wolverton
The Last Train Home

Blayne Cooper
Lesbian Nuns: Breaking Silence

Nancy Manahan & Rosemary Keefe Curb (eds)
Liberty Square

Katherine V. Forrest
Mermaid

Michelene Esposito
Murder by Tradition

Katherine V. Forrest
Night Diving

Michelene Esposito
Out of the Pumpkin Shell

Nancy Werking Poling
OutRageous

Sheila Ortiz-Taylor
The Palace Blues

Brandy T. Wilson
Paxton Court

Diane Salvatore
Piper's Someday

Ruth Perkinson
Qualities of Light

Mary Carroll Moore
Relative Stranger

Barbara Treat Williams
Risk of Change

Kathleen Collins
Saddled with Murder

Barbara Treat Williams
A Safe Place to Sleep

Jennifer L. Jordan
Same Socks Marriage

Dani O'Connor
Selective Memory

Jennifer L. Jordan
The Side Door

Jan Donley
Sleeping Bones

Katherine V. Forrest
Slow Burn

Marlene Leach
Stealing Angel

Terry Wolverton
Stranded

Blayne Cooper
Surviving Madness

Betty Berzon
Unbearable Losses

Jennifer L. Jordan
Unbreakable

Blayne Cooper
Vera's Still Point

Ruth Perkinson
When We Were Outlaws

Jeanne Cordova
Winterkill

Joyce K. Walsh
Women's Studies

Julia Watts
Women. Period.

Watts, Jones, Ruby & Slade (eds)