Different for Boys

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Friendship, masculinity, sex--Anthony Stevenson has a lot of questions. Is it different for boys who like boys? A poignant and frank story filled with meta-humor by renowned author Patrick Ness.

Anthony "Ant" Stevenson isn't sure when he stopped being a virgin. Or even if he has. The rules aren't always very clear when it comes to boys who like boys. In fact, relationships of all kinds feel complicated, even with Ant's oldest friends. There's Charlie, who's both virulently homophobic and in a secret physical relationship with Ant. Then there's drama kid Jack, who may be gay and has become the target of Charlie's rage. And, of course, there's big, beautiful Freddie, who wants Ant to ditch soccer, Charlie's sport, and try out for the rugby team instead.

Ant's story of loneliness and intimacy, of unexpected support and heart-ripping betrayal, is told forthrightly with tongue-in-cheek black-bar redactions over the language that teenagers would actually use if, you know, they weren't in a story. Award-winning author Patrick Ness explores teen sexuality, friendship, and romance with a deft hand in this structurally daring, illustrated short novel.

About the Author

Patrick Ness is the author of the critically acclaimed and best-selling Chaos Walking trilogy, which inspired a major motion picture. His other novels include the Carnegie Medal winner A Monster Calls (inspired by an idea from Siobhan Dowd), More Than This, Release, The Rest of Us Just Live Here, and Burn. He has won numerous awards, including two Carnegie Medals, the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, the Book Trust Teenage Prize, and the Costa Children's Book Award. He also wrote the screenplay for the film version of A Monster Calls as well as the BBC's Doctor Who spinoff Class. Patrick Ness lives in Los Angeles.

Tea Bendix is an award-winning illustrator, graphic designer, author, and performer. She works across different media, including picture books, nonfiction, apps, children's radio, and drawings for TV. Tea Bendix lives in Denmark.

Rough pencil sketches add to the heightened emotion, reflecting the jagged, difficult emotional realities... The brevity of this story adds to its power, distilling the plot to its most necessary, brutal, loving elements. [Blanking] masterful.
--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Ness delivers an authentic-feeling story that interrogates the idea that teens are "too young to read about the stuff we actually do." Black-and-white pencil illustrations by Bendix provide an expressive complement to concise, sensitive, and thought-provoking text in this un-put-downable, easily devoured read.
--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Ness superbly blends Ant's philosophical musings with realistically voiced teen thoughts and dialogue, where expletives and sexual content are curtained by heavy black rectangles yet blatantly present. The near-melancholy tone is beautifully matched by Bendix's inspired artwork. . . Within this beautifully crafted package lies a poignant story of a boy reaching out in loneliness to another boy and grasping unvarnished truth.
--Booklist (starred review)

Publisher: Walker Books Us
Pub date: March 14, 2023
104 pages
Format: Hardcover