The Mariposa Club by Rigoberto Gonzalez
It’s tough being a Latino and a gay teen, but Maui does the best he can. Danger is around every corner; the local Los Calis gangs are not fans of homosexuals. If he didn’t have his other gay friends Trini, Isaac, and Liberace he might just go insane. The boys realize there’s strength in numbers and decide to form a LGBT alliance at their school. When they unexpectedly lose one of their number, the club fizzles until there’s just one boy left trying to get it off the ground. When someone starts a fight with him at school, the club gains newfound support. But will it be enough to start the Mariposa Club?
I'll be honest; I have mixed feelings about The Mariposa Club. While I think the story, which positively features gay Latino boys, had some great moments, it was initially very hard for me to get past many of the main characters' names. In particular, Liberace. Really? The book even tries to give a reason for his name, which almost makes it worse. My favorite character was Isaac, in particular his relationship with Maui. Many teens, both gay and straight, can hopefully relate to having a friend they not-so-secretly wish was something more. This is a quiet title with very little action in it until the climax towards the end. Despite that lack of action, I couldn't put the book down. I read the whole thing in less than a day. For any teen looking for a good book about fun and friendship, I recommend The Mariposa Club.
The Mariposa Club appears on the Stuff for the Teen Age 2010 List.