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#VelshiBannedBookClub: “Two Boys Kissing” by David Levithan

06:32

Harry and Craig have an idea. They’re going to protest a recent homophobic incident by kissing until they’ve broken the world record. And they’re going to do it in front of their entire high school, their families, and rolling cameras. It is an act that is both political and personal. Harry and Craig’s story is just one of four separate narratives that weave together to create David Levithan’s award-winning young adult novel “Two Boys Kissing”. The novel grapples with freedom, equality, intergenerational mobility, and community through a tender, coming-of-age lens. The reader is not alone in observing the impact of that titular kiss -- the book employs the use of a literary device: a Greek chorus. The ghosts of a generation of gay men who died in the AIDS epidemic function as an omnipresent, collective narrator. Something, Leviathan says, was inspired by his uncle, who lived with AIDS for 30 years, and the way he lived his life. “I love the power of a kid walking into a library….,” says Levithan. “They know they’re represented.”