All Boys Aren’t Blue

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George M. Johnson’s Young Adult memoir All Boys Aren’t Blue is an honest and authentic depiction of a young man growing up the intersection of his race and sexuality. As a gay, black man, Johnson illustrates how those two identities shaped him in this fresh book.

As he writes, Johnson grew up in an accepting family, unlike many of his peers. While he did not come out until later in life, the signs of his homosexuality were present early. He references coining the term “honeychild” in grade school and using mannerisms, like “switching” when he walked and a “sassiness” in his physical presence that he recognizes as performances derived from his friendships with girls. Though later in life he displayed an appetite and talent for sports—a traditionally masculine endeavor—in his younger years, he describes himself in more feminine terms. It is these descriptions that make the case for the title, “all boys aren’t blue;” Johnson clearly and directly recounts a life that cannot be defined by one binary idea—in this case, the traditional connection of the color blue to boys. For Johnson, his own life is a study in how a boy can be anything, defined by anything, and determined by the specific boy in question and his experiences.

The book includes stories of several important people and moments in Johnson’s life. His sexual abuse at a young age, as well as the loss of his virginity, is rendered honestly, though readers under the age of fourteen may be too young for this content. In any event, All Boys Aren’t Blue is an emotional and true portrayal of one young man’s life; the writer’s bravery to tell this story cannot be lauded enough.

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Author George M. Johnson
Star Count /5
Format Hard
Page Count 320 pages
Publish Date 2020-04-14
ISBN 9780374312718 Buy this Book
Issue July 2020
Category Biographies & Memoirs


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