What had happened to my beautiful boy? To our family? What did I do wrong? Those are the wrenching questions that haunted every moment of David Sheff’s journey through his son’s drug addiction. David’s story is a first: a teenager’s addiction from the parent’s point of view—a real-time chronicle of the shocking descent into substance abuse and the gradual emergence into hope.
Before meth, Sheff’s son, Nic, was a varsity athlete, honor student, and award-winning journalist. After meth, he was a trembling wraith who lied, stole money from his eight-year-old brother, and lived on the streets. With poignant candor, Sheff traces the first warning signs—denial, 3 a.m. phone calls—the attempts at rehabilitation, and, at last, the way past addiction. He shows us that, whatever an addict’s fate, the rest of the family must care for one another too, lest they become addicted to addiction.
Beautiful Boy is a fiercely candid memoir that brings immediacy to the emotional rollercoaster of loving a child who seems beyond help.
A stunning debut novel set in the late 1990s as an androgynous youth arrives in small-town Minnesota, searching for the mother who abandoned him as a child
On a clear morning in the summer of 1997, Shane Stephenson arrives in Holm, Minnesota, with only a few changes of clothes, an old Nintendo, and a few dollars to his name. Reeling from the death of his father, Shane wants to find the mother who abandoned him as an adolescent—hoping to reconnect, but also to better understand himself. Against the backdrop of Minnesota’s rugged wilderness, and a town littered with shuttered shops, graffiti, and crumbling infrastructure, Holm feels wild and dangerous.
Holm’s residents, too, are wary of outsiders, and Shane’s long blonde hair and androgynous looks draw attention from a violent and bigoted contingent in town, including the unhinged Sven Svenson. He is drawn in by a group of sympathetic friends in their teens and early twenties, all similarly lost and frequent drug users: the reckless, charming J and his girlfriend Mary; Jenny, a brilliant and beautiful artist who dreams of escaping Holm; and the mysterious loner Russell, with whom Shane, against his better judgment, feels a strange attraction. As Sven’s threats of violence escalate, Shane is forced to choose between his search for his mother, the first true friendships he’s ever had, and a desire to leave both his past and present behind entirely.
At its core, Northern Lights is the story of a son searching for his mother, and for a connection with her, dealing with issues of abandonment and forgiveness. But it also addresses the complications, tensions, and dysfunction that can exist in those relationships, presenting an unforgettable world and experience often overlooked, with a new kind of hero to admire.
Inspired by real historical evidence that Abraham Lincoln was in love—romantic love—with another man, this debut YA novel was too controversial for traditional publishing. Crowdfunded in six days with a successful Kickstarter campaign that ultimately 182 backers supported, Queer as a Five Dollar Bill asks LGBTQ teens (and everyone else), What if you knew a secret from history that could change the world?
Wyatt is fifteen, and nobody in his homophobic small town of Lincolnville, Oregon, knows that he's Gay. Not even his best friend (and accidental girlfriend) Mackenzie. Then he discovers a secret from actual history: Abraham Lincoln was in love with another guy! Since everyone loves Lincoln, Wyatt's sure that if the world knew about it, they would treat Gay people differently and it would solve everything about his life. So Wyatt outs Lincoln online, triggering a media firestorm that threatens to destroy everything he cares about—and he has to pretend more than ever that he's straight. . . . Only then he meets Martin, who is openly Gay and who just might be the guy Wyatt's been hoping to find.