Oddly Normal: One Family's Struggle to Help Their Teenage Son Come to Terms with His Sexuality (Google eBook)

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Penguin, Nov 8, 2012 - Biography & Autobiography - 304 pages
21 Reviews
A heartfelt memoir by the father of a gay teen, and an eye-opening story for families who hope to bring up well-adjusted gay adults.

Four years ago, John Schwartz, a national correspondent at The New York Times, got the call that every parent hopes never to receive: his thirteen-year-old son, Joe, had tried to commit suicide. Hours before, he had come out to his classmates— and was met by dismay and confusion. After school he took an overdose of pills.

Oddly Normal is Schwartz’s very personal attempt to address his family’s own struggles within a culture that is changing fast, but not fast enough to help gay kids like Joe. Schwartz follows Joe through childhood to the present day, interweaving his narrative with common questions, including: Are effeminate boys and tomboy girls necessarily gay? Is there a relationship between being gay and suicide or mental illness? Should a child be pushed into coming out? Parents, teachers, and counselors alike will welcome Oddly Normal and its crucial lessons about helping gay kids—and any kid who is different—learn how to cope in a potentially hostile world.


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Oddly Normal: One Family's Struggle To Help Their Teenage Son Come to Terms with His Sexuality

User Review  - Lisa N. Johnston - Book Verdict

New York Times correspondent Schwartz's memoir begins with his son Joe's suicide attempt after coming out at school. He traces his son's development as a "different" child and relates how he made sure Joe got the help he needed. A bonus: Joe's own charmingly illustrated story. (LJ 6/15/12) Read full review

Review: Oddly Normal: One Family's Struggle to Help Their Teenage Son Come to Terms with His Sexuality

User Review  - Shirley Freeman - Goodreads

I liked this memoir about raising a non-conformist child. John Swartz and his wife, Jeanne, knew early on that their third child, Joseph, was somehow different. Their older children, a daughter and a ... Read full review

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Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Chapter Five
Chapter Eight
Chapter Nine
Chapter Eleven
Chapter Thirteen
Leo The Oddly Normal

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About the author (2012)

John Schwartz is a national correspondent with The New York Times. He currently lives in New Jersey with his college sweetheart, Jeanne Mixon. They have three children and two difficult cats.

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