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Literature / Geography Club

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Geography Club is a novel by Brent Hartinger about Russel Middlebrook, his friend Min, and a group of teenagers who start a Gay-Straight Alliance at their high school. Fearing backlash, they call it the Geography Club, in the hope that no one will join a club so boring.

This is the first book in The Russel Middlebrook Series. The sequels are The Order of the Poison Oak, Double Feature: Attack of the Soul-Sucking Brain Zombies/Bride of the Soul-Sucking Brain Zombiesnote , and The Elephant of Surprise.

Adapted for film in 2013. The trailer is here.


Geography Club provides examples of:

  • The Ace: Kevin, who's a star athlete and one of the most popular guys in the school.
  • Accidental Truth: Someone starts a rumor that Russell is gay middway in the novel.
  • Alliterative Name: Brian Bund, the school's punching bag.
  • Armored Closet Gay: Kevin, who desperately doesn't want to come out since he's on the baseball team and a popular jock.
  • Asian and Nerdy: Russel's best friend Min, though not overtly so.
  • The Beard: Russell gets a girlfriend, though only because his friend blackmailed him into it.
  • Bi the Way: Min, who was dating Terese for awhile.
  • Chew Toy: Brian Bund, the school's outcast and bully magnet.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Gunnar, who is very spacey but sweet.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Poor Gunnar, who desperately wants a girlfriend so much that he lets himself get belittled by Kimberly.
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  • Driven to Suicide: Ike reveals to the group he nearly killed himself. He got better, thankfully.
  • Eating Lunch Alone: Brian Bund, who does it everyday.
  • Fag Hag: Min, to Russel.
  • Gay Bravado: The first chapter in the locker room between both Russel and Kevin. Hilarious in Hindsight, as both characters were in fact gay.
  • Gay Guy Seeks Popular Jock: The Trope Codifier, with Russel crushing on Kevin.
  • Gayngst: Natch.
  • Hard-Drinking Party Girl: Kimberly, annoyingly so.
  • I Am One of Those, Too: A straight girl actually wants to join the Geography Club, to the group complete and utter surprise.
  • Lesbian Jock: Terese, who is on the soccer team.
  • Straight Gay: All the male gays in the book, Russel, Kevin and Ike. Russel is a bit effeminate, but can pass.
  • Token Lesbian: Terese. Min might also be considered a token bisexual.
  • Transparent Closet: Russel's best friends sees through his closeted state. "Come on, Russell. Animated Disney musicals?"

'The Order Of The Poison Oak provides examples of:


Example of: