6. Liza Winthrop – Annie on my Mind
Coming to terms with your sexuality is typically not an easy thing to do, especially when you’re a bit different from the rest of the crowd. Going through it alone is absolutely terrifying, which is why having someone to go through it with you can help such a great deal. That’s why young girls will find a great deal of solace in Liza Winthrop, from Annie on my Mind. Even though you may not be able to sit down and talk with her about the things that both of you are experiencing, simply knowing that she’s feeling them too and watching her reactions and decisions can help quite a bit.
Liza’s story starts when she meets and befriends Annie at an art museum one rainy afternoon. Liza, a privileged private school student, and Annie, who lives in a poor neighborhood and attends public school, become quick friends. Despite different interests, with Liza wanting to be an architect and Annie an aspiring singer, the two girls find that they have much in common and start spending time together more and more frequently. When an opportunity to housesit arises, the girls start to explore their relationship in a more intimate way.
Throughout the story, Liza is forced to slowly confront the fact that Annie means a lot more to her than just being a really good friend. She’s unsure, exactly, of how to process this and Liza slowly works her way through these feelings. Everything from excitement at these new experiences to feelings of shame and confusion cross Liza’s mind. These are all common feelings for young LGBT people, but knowing how to deal with them can prove tricky.
This is why Liza Winthrop is such an important character. By going on her journey with her, young people can see how these feelings are natural and by watching how she deals with those feelings, young people can start making their own decisions. Liza, in the end, comes to trust herself and begins to follow her heart, knowing that it will lead her into a better place. In such a confusing climate today, this is precisely the friend that young people everywhere need to have to give them strength and help to figure out their own paths.
Tags: acceptance, annie kenyon, annie on my mind, books, coming out, gay character, gay-nerds, high school, lesbian character, lesbian nerds, LGBT teens, literature, liza winthrop, love, nancy garden, puberty, schoolgirls, Top 10