We Are Lost and Found

Sourcebooks/Fire. Sept. 2019. 304p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781492681045.
Gr 9 Up–The year is 1983. When Connor came out publicly at his graduation, his father kicked him out. Now his younger brother, Michael, is trying not to make waves as he counts down the days until he graduates from high school. The AIDS epidemic is on the rise, and the gay community of New York is reeling with fear. Michael finds himself falling in love with Gabriel, whom he meets at a club, but he isn’t sure if he’s ready to commit to a relationship or come out. The setting of this book is historical enough that today’s teen readers will not have lived through that time but recent enough that they will not likely study it in school. The slow pace of the plot places the focus on the characters. However, characters are mostly flat and underdeveloped by the conclusion, and Michael remains a nearly invisible character in his own story. While it is true that there is a dearth of young adult novels about the AIDS crisis, readers may wish to wait for a more compelling story before filling that gap. This book may resonate more strongly with adult readers of YA fiction who were alive in the early 1980s.
VERDICT A suggested purchase for libraries housing a special collection of LGBTQ+ works. For most libraries, give readers Robin Talley’s LGBTQ+ historical fiction or Adam Silvera’s novels

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