Annie on My Mind
Author: Nancy Garden
Publisher: New York: Random House/Listening Library 2008
Read by Rebecca Lowman
Classification: Young Adult Fiction
Media Type: unabridged audiobook
Grade level: 9th - adult
Reader's annotation: After Liza and Annie discover each other and their love for each other, they discover how love can end up hurting and healing.
Summary: Liza a senior at private school Foster Academy, and lives in Brooklyn Heights with her parents and younger brother. President of the student council, she hopes to get into MIT. Annie lives uptown in the Bronx with her immigrant father and grandmother. She wants go back to CA as soon as she finishes high school, hopefully to UC Berkeley.
But when they meet at the Metropolitan Museum these differences only make them more interested in each other and romance blossoms. By Christmas they have acknowledged their feelings and have exchanged rings. They continue to see each other throughout the winter and into spring getting only so close but keeping their relationship from getting physical. Then over spring break Liza offers to feed the cat belonging to two teachers’ who live nearby while they are gone. Liza and Annie discover they can spend all day there “playing house”, and their relationship goes beyond platonic. When they discover that the teachers are gay themselves this gives both of them strength and validation. However, when judgmental people discover their love, both their lives are turned upside down. Now Liza is at MIT trying to write to Annie and decide if she can get beyond what happened.
Originally written in 1982, it was rereleased in 2007. Audiobook includes an interview with the author discussing what it was like to grow up gay in the ’50’s, what her experiences have been, the process of writing the book, reactions to it and how times have changed, (or not changed).
Evaluation: Somewhat dated now, this gentle love story holds universal truths that will never be outdated. A good portrayal of teenage angst that could be centered around any love story but is sensitively told about two teenage girls in NYC. A beautiful love story told with concern and compassion, we feel their isolation and wish they had more support.
- I grew up outside of Boston, went to college in western MA and lived in NYC dancing for several years before getting my teaching credentials and unintentionally moving to Santa Cruz CA. Married and divorced with two kids almost grown, a daughter in college and a son in high school, I am thrilled to be a librarian now, something that I should have done years ago. I love the applications of technology and realize that I have been interested in that since my first computer class back in 1986 - a new requirement for teaching degrees. Finally I can combine my love of curriculum, educational resources, working with adults and children, and technology applications.