Garden, N. (1982). Annie on my mind. New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux.
This is the 25th anniversary edition of the novel. Annie On My Mind appears on the list of 100 Most Challenged Books. I chose to read this book because it is on the list for my Young Adult Literature book in the fall. Eventhough I am finished with my blogs for Children's Literature, I thought it would be nice to continue blogging about my readings to not only help me remember my thoughts on the works, but to also get into the habit of sharing my thoughts on books that may be added to my library.
Annie On My Mind focuses on two 17 year old girls, Liza and Annie, who meet at a museum. Liza attends a private school and is the president of her student council, while Annie attends a public school in a fairly rough neighborhood. Eventhough they are different, they feel they have a lot in commmon and begin spending a great deal of time together. Over the course of their friendship, they fall in love and begin a physical relationship. Two of Liza's teachers are out of town and Liza offers to feed their cats. She and Annie discover that the two teachers are gay like them. Later, an administrator at the school catches Liza and Annie in a compromising situation at the teachers' home. Liza is almost suspended, and the two teachers are fired. The story focuses on Liza becoming comfortable with and accepting herself and the fact that she is gay.
I understand why this book has been challenged so much over the years. I know that it would probably not be well-received in many school districts. I know that it would meet with a great deal of disapproval in the district where I teach. However, I think it is important to teach tolerance of others and the learn to respect the rights of others as well. I went into the book with an open mind, but I didn't really enjoy reading it. I found that the reason I didn't enjoy the book was not because of the relationship between Liza and Annie, but because the book just wasn't the type of reading I enjoy. I try to avoid romance novels, and essentially, that is what this book is. I just found that parts of it dragged. Towards the end, when the story finally picked up for me and became interesting, then it was over.