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Beacon Books at Audible: Mama's Boy, Preacher's Son by Kevin Jennings

Susie Bright, in addition to being a best-selling author, activist, and podcast host, is editor at large for Audible. This past spring, she approached Beacon with the goal of bringing out some of our titles in audiobook format on Audible, and we couldn't be more excited to announce that the first few books are now available. 

Susie's blog, The Bright List, keeps readers and listeners apprised of new audiobooks, with Aretha Bright reviewing new titles. Here is a cross-post of Aretha's review of Mama’s Boy, Preacher’s Son: A Memoir of Growing Up, Coming Out, and Changing America’s Schools by Kevin Jennings.

Mamas boyKevin Jennings needed an “It Gets Better” video when he was growing up, but there was no such thing in the 1960s.  It was a serious matter to appear “manly” and “Christian” in his home town. Baseball and touch football were expected, and no crying allowed, ever.

Even when his father died at his 8th birthday party, Jennings knew he couldn’t show tears.

The teasing and awkwardness of Jennings’ childhood will make you cringe, but it’s a triumphant feeling when he leaves his trailer park home in North Carolina and heads off to Harvard. But even more surprising is when Kevin decides to go back home and teach, after coming out of the closet. He ends up rocking the whole town and has nail-biting standoffs with the townies. Jennings’s story as a Lone Star gay activist in the south didn’t end in his hometown, though. Today, he’s best known as the founder of the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network (GLSEN), which works in schools nationwide to make sure that things do get better for LGBT youth.