Queer as a Five Dollar Bill

Lee Wind
Narrator: Michael Crouch

YOUNG ADULT/LGBTQ:  Wyatt is a gay teenager growing up in the middle of homophobic America. No one knows that he’s gay, not even his best friend Mackenzie. When he discovers that Abraham Lincoln might have been gay in real life, he uses the information as an opportunity to open the eyes of his narrow-minded town of Lincolnsville, Illinois. The plan backfires, however, and he has to continue the lie. The only problem is, he’s met the guy of his dreams. Will Wyatt be able to overcome his fears for true love? And will he find the acceptance he craves?

Mr. Wind has a wonderful narrative style that makes Wyatt feel real. His hopes and fears are on point for a teenage boy. Any reader, regardless of sexual orientation, can relate to them. Layered throughout the novel are multiple issues teens face, and all of them are treated with a wonderful subtlety that keeps them interesting without coming across as a soap box. What’s especially fun is the way historical context is woven throughout, and the way social media is portrayed. There are a few moments in the plot where it takes a bit of a dramatic turn to the point where believability could be strained. Overall, however, this novel is an eye-opening experience.

Mr. Crouch’s narration is one full of emotion and connection to the story. His voice is wonderful to listen to as he takes us through Wyatt’s head. A few times, his tone falls a little flat and some of the energy is lost. For the majority of the book, though, he holds his own as a narrator and tackles all of the characters throughout the story.

This is a novel for fans of YA who are looking for an authentic teen experience told with lots of heart!

Chelsea Andersen