A Phallic Dog, a Stuffed Coyote, and the Boy Who Won’t Come Out: Revisiting Queer Visibility in John Donovan’s I’ll Get There. It Better Be Worth the Trip.
- Children's Literature Association Quarterly
- Johns Hopkins University Press
- Volume 41, Number 3, Fall 2016
- pp. 295-311
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John Donovan’s I’ll Get There. It Better Be Worth the Trip., first published in 1969 and recently reissued in a fortieth anniversary edition, is widely hailed as the first North American young adult novel with gay content. Contemporary critics tend to characterize the novel as outdated, stereotypical, and potentially harmful to young readers given the unresolved way that Davy, Donovan’s young protagonist, navigates his same-sex attraction. This article, however, argues that the novel’s omissions, invisibilities, and queer relations—in particular, Davy’s relationship with his dog—are much more relevant to contemporary notions of sexuality and queerness than many critics suggest.