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GEOGRAPHY CLUB by Brent Hartinger (HarperCollins, ). Russel Middlebrook has a secret from even his best friends at high school, that he’s gay. But an. A modern classic about a group of teens discovering sexuality and identity, perfect for fans of Becky Albertalli, Adam Silvera, and David Hart. A closeted gay high school sophomore narrates Hartinger’s uneven yet realistic first novel. The story starts out strong, when Russel meets a jock from his school, .

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Geography Club is a young adult novel [1] by American author Brent Hartinger. It is the first book in The Russel Middlebrook Series.

The novel follows a group of high school students who feel like outsiders, some because of their sexual orientations. The narrator, Geogrsphy Middlebrook, then finds himself helping his friend Min to form an after school club for the students, so that they can hang out together for support. Russel Middlebrook is keeping a secret from his two best friends, Min, a bright Chinese American girl, and Gunnar, a bright and socially awkward boy.

Neither of them knows he is gay and that he has been visiting an internet chat room to chat with other gay teens. When he discovers another guy from his hartinver school in the room Russel is keen to meet up. He is surprised but pleased to find out his online friend is the popular Kevin Land.

Russel shares this news with Min who says that she is bisexual and has a girlfriend, the soccer-playing Terese. The group meets and decides on the Geography Club name to keep it private. At school Gunnar, who is unaware of Russel’s sexuality, persuades Russel to go on a double date with him and two popular girls from their school.


Russel is reluctant to go on the date, but agrees to do it for Gunnar, as this would be the only way for him to go on a date.

When Gunnar and Russel go on their double date, Gunnar is happy but Russel only puts up with it for his friend’s sake. Russel’s date tries to have sex with him and he puts her off by saying he’s a virgin and he wants his first time to be special. Russel joins the school football team so he can be part of Kevin’s crowd.

Russel plays well and wins a game for his team. Russel persuades Hartinge to come to the Geography Club meeting. At school Kevin and his jock friends make fun of the school outcast Brian Bund and Russel joins in. Min sees this and is disgusted. Brian wants to join the Geography Club but Kevin and Russel vote against this.

Min wanted to let him join and is angry with Russel for voting with Kevin. Min suggests they make the club public, making Kevin and Terese nervous. Terese breaks up with Min. Gunnar persuades Russel to go on a second double date with the girls, this time at a cabin outside town. Russel is again pressured for sex and when Gunnar refuses to drive him home, Russel storms off. He phones Kevin who drives out to get him and they end up making out.

Kevin starts avoiding him. By lunchtime, Russell has nowhere to sit in the cafeteria except by Brian, as they are now both outcasts. Brian writes in an application for a Gay Straight club making people think he’s the “gay kid”. Russel asks Brian whether he’s gay, and Brian says No but he doesn’t want others to get treated like he is.


The Geography Club resumes meeting this time seeking more open membership as an official club.


After a showdown with the principal, approval is given and a liaison teacher appointed. Gunnar apologises to Russel and says he always knew he must be gay and he’s sorry he pushed him into geographh dates. Kevin isn’t willing to be out and he ends his romance with Russel. Hartinger later adapted his novel into a play, Geography Club.

GEOGRAPHY CLUB by Brent Hartinger | Kirkus Reviews

The DVD was released on March 25, From Wikipedia, the clib encyclopedia. This article is about the book. For the play, see Geography Club play. For the film, see Geography Club film. This article needs additional citations for verification.

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Geography Club (Russel Middlebrook, book 1) by Brent Hartinger

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The Order of the Poison Oak.