Finding H.F.

by

Author: Julia Watts

Title: Finding H.F.

Genre: GLBTQ, YA

Publication Date: 2001

Number of pages: 165

Geographical Setting: Kentucky, Georgia, Florida

Time Period: Present day

Series (if applicable): N/A

Plot Summary: H.F. is a sixteen your old girl who is living in Morgan, Kentucky and being raised by her grandma.  H.F.’s mother left her shortly after she was born and was never to be heard from again.  H.F. stands for ‘Heavenly Faith’, representing her Memaw’s hopes for her when she was born.  H.F. loves her devoutly Baptist Grandmother, but would not dare let Memaw know she is a lesbian.  After falling for Wendy, the new girl in school, H.F. is sure that an eternity of Memaw’s hell would be worth it to be with Wendy.  Wendy reciprocates H.F.’s feelings for her, but is not ready to accept who she is.  After one night together at Wendy’s house, Wendy tells H.F. to leave and forces her walk across town back to Memaw’s.

H.F. discovers a letter hidden in her Grandmother’s room one night that prompts her to take a road trip to Florida.  She drags along her best (and only) friend Bo.  Bo is an outcast at school and at home for being too effeminate and not living up to his dad’s expectations.  He may also be gay like H.F., but she can’t be sure.  Bo happens to also own an old beat-up Ford Escort.  Together they leave Kentucky for the first time in Bo’s old Ford.  On their way to Florida they make several stops in the towns and cities along the way.  The two friends discover how different and big the world is outside of small town Morgan, Kentucky.

Subject Headings: lesbian fiction, southern fiction, homelessness – youths, homophobia

Appeal: descriptive writing, the south, character centered, religion in the GLBTQ community, class distinctions, optimistic outlook, coming of age, romantic, road trips, lesbian relationships, alcoholism, bullying, self-discovery, adopted children, encouraging

3 appeal terms that best describe this book: coming of age, lesbian relationships, self-discovery

Similar Authors and Works (why are they similar?):

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:

Living at the Edge of the World: How I Survived in the Tunnels of Grand Central Station by Tina S. and Jamie Pastor Bolnick

This book is an autobiographical story of a teenage girl who is trying to survive homeless in the city.  This is similar to the story of the three homeless teenagers H.F. and Bo meet in Atlanta.

Ties That Bind: Familial Homophobia and its Consequences by Sarah Schulman

This nonfiction work outlines the cultural problem of the domestic abuse of gay and lesbian youth.  Homophobia in family members is a constant theme in Finding H.F..

Lifeguarding: A Memoir of Secrets, Swimming, and the South by Catherine McCall

This memoir is about the harsh family life of a lesbian girl growing up in Kentucky.  This story also deals with  alcoholism.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden

This book is an award winning classic GLBQ YA novel.  Liza and Annie struggle with the consequences of homophobia in their schools and at home in New York.  This story also deals with class distinctions, as does Finding H.F.

Finding Somewhere by Joseph Monninger

This Ya novel is about two sixteen year old girls who go on a road trip west to save a horse who was scheduled to be euthanized.

Gravity by Leanne Lieberman

This coming of age story is about a teenage girl who struggles with being caught between her family’s Jewish religion and her own sexual orientation.

Name: Noel M.

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