Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010 12:20 pm

(Buy from Amazon.ca or direct from Second Story Press)

Summary: (Taken from GoodReads) In this quirky collection, award-winning author for young people Kathy Stinson offers characters and plotlines that reflect the many ways teens learn about lust and love. From the first stirrings of same-sex desire on a lakeside beach to troubling paternity questions around a teen pregnancy, 101 Ways to Dance reflects the spectrum of teen sexuality from the very sweet to the very scary. These stories offer many opportunities for important and engaged discussions, while content and writing style ensure a great selection for reluctant readers. A must-have for all junior high and high school libraries.

Thoughts: Readers of this blog might think this is an unusual choice of book for me, but really, when you feel passionately about something, there comes a time to step outside the bounds of "usual" and take a chance on something that could be awesome.

Which is what I did. And I don't regret it one bit.

What this book is about isn't love, but lust, and all the associated feelings behind and it and reasons for it and the things that young people experiencing those feelings will actually do. It's a wonderful departure from all the books that present sex in a purely clinical way, or all the teen novels that only deal with sex and lust in the sense of characters wanting it but deciding, for the ultimate good, that they will wait because, well, teens just shouldn't have sex. Or the very opposite, portraying teens as little but horny people who don't know the meaning of the word "consequence".

Whether teens should or shouldn't get down and dirty wasn't the issue for this collection of short stories. It deals with teens wanting to, or at least wanting to explore aspects of their sexuality that many adults would rather avoid discussing with them. From heterosexuality, sexuality among those with disailities, homosexuality, and masturbation, this book protrays a wide variety of characters in diverse situations that feel, at the heart of it, so very real. They're not sanitized, they're not cardboard cutouts masquerading as people, and it's a treat to find a book that deals with teen sexuality so openly and honestly.

Finding a book that portrays positive sexuality for teens is more difficult than people may think. With stories ranging from sweet to bittersweet to fantastically erotic, this book should be in teen sex-ed programs across the country!