Gay and Lesbian Youth — It’s All About You; YA Author Kim Wallace Launches Third Release in "Erik & Isabelle at Foresthill High" Series

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YA Author Kim Wallace releases "Erik & Isabelle Junior Year at Foresthill High" in August 2006. It is the third in her groundbreaking 4-book series about gay and lesbian youth.

“It’s the Harry Potter for gay kids,” a self-proclaimed ‘E&I groupie’ recently e-mailed Kim Wallace, author of the YA fiction series Erik & Isabelle at Foresthill High. “I’m going crazy waiting for Junior Year! Do Erik and Mark fall in love? What’s the deal with Isabelle and Maxine on New Year’s?” The message goes on to speculate about other cliffhangers left from Sophomore Year and goad the author into divulging secrets of the next book in the series.

“The wait is almost over,” Wallace assures the young man from Baltimore. “And you won’t believe what happens in this one,” she can’t resist teasing.

Readers all over the country have been not-so-patiently waiting for the latest contribution to the budding gay and lesbian young adult genre that Wallace helped launch just a few years ago. The most commonly asked question she hears is, “When's the next one coming out?”

'Coming out' is most aptly chosen verb to describe the hit series about GLBTQ youth by this teacher-turned-author. All across America, not only are students expressing their sexual identities at a younger age, but they're seeking out resources that will reflect their lives in authentic ways. Fortunately, teachers, counselors, administrators, and caregivers now have Erik & Isabelle as a valuable resource on which to rely in addressing the many questions that students have about being GLBTQ.

Slated for an August 2006 release, "Erik & Isabelle Junior Year at Foresthill High" (ISBN 0-9755848-2-0) follows right on the heels of Wallace’s wildly successful first two Foresthill High books. The third in this cutting edge four-book series catapults readers into the middle of Erik and Isabelle’s junior year. Eccentric Isabelle returns to her artistic roots and creates a compelling public art project that forces open Foresthill’s eyes. Yet these aren’t the only roots she reconnects with–Mandy’s back, determined to reclaim Isabelle’s heart from Maxine. Meanwhile, having developed a secret relationship over the past year, rising scholar Erik and celebrated athlete Mark Slater tackle their school’s most sacred institution: the Junior Prom.

Educators everywhere long for books that will spark interest in reading for pleasure. A student from a New York City alternative high school confided, “I have to say this book is excellent. Yet that word is not strong enough. I do not like to read. As a matter of fact, I will do almost anything to get out of it, but when I read 14 chapters in one night instead of watching my regular television shows, that is something. Never in my life have I even felt so interested in reading or able to relate to anything truly heartfelt in a book before. In yours I can. What a difference that makes when reading.”

What makes a difference for this YA author? “Giving a voice to the voiceless. Maybe my work will give others courage to speak up and live their lives without apology.” Content to serve as that voice for the time being, Wallace launches yet another high interest book onto the publishing radar that crosses cultural, gender, and social lines with compassion and vitality.

E&I groupies beware: Don’t rush through Junior Year when you finally get your hands on it this August. Wallace is closed-lipped about the already completed Senior Year except to say, “This final book surprised even me ...”

For a sneak preview of chapter one of Erik & Isabelle’s Junior Year, go to http://www.foglightpress.com. Order all three books as a package on the publisher’s website for just $30. Books are also available online at Amazon.com or can be ordered at any bookstore through Bookazine Distributors 1-800-221-8112.

About the Foresthill High Series:

Boys taking other boys to the prom? Girls holding hands as they stroll through school hallways? Students working together to educate their community or just enjoy a queer flick together? This is not your parents’ closet anymore. Ripe with the angst and comedy that embody high school life, the teens of Foresthill prevail with optimism and hope that resonates in young people everywhere.

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