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Hold Me Closer
Cover of Hold Me Closer
Hold Me Closer
The Tiny Cooper Story
Borrow Borrow Borrow
TIME Magazine's Top Ten Children's Books of 2015

"Tiny Cooper stole our hearts." —Entertainment Weekly

Especially for those of us who ordinarily feel ignored, a spotlight is a circle of magic, with the strength to draw us from the darkness of our everyday lives.


Watch out, ex-boyfriends, and get out of the way, homophobic coaches. Tiny Cooper has something to say—and he's going to say it in song.
Filled with honesty, humor, and "big, lively, belty" musical numbers, Hold Me Closer is the no-holds-barred (and many-bars-held) entirety of the beloved musical first introduced in Will Grayson, Will Grayson, the award-winning bestseller by John Green and David Levithan.

Tiny Cooper is finally taking center stage . . . and the world will never be the same again.
"Tiny will have readers falling out of their chairs laughing. . . . It's big. It's gay. It's outrageous and hilarious." —Kirkus Reviews
★"Levithan has turned in another star turn with a book that is witty, wise, and well worthy of an encore." Booklist, starred review
★"Tiny's passion for composing a big, beautiful life and a big, beautiful show overflows in thisthoroughly magical book." BCCB, starred review
★"Tiny Cooper . . . gets his own star turn." —Publishers Weekly, starred review
From the Hardcover edition.
TIME Magazine's Top Ten Children's Books of 2015

"Tiny Cooper stole our hearts." —Entertainment Weekly

Especially for those of us who ordinarily feel ignored, a spotlight is a circle of magic, with the strength to draw us from the darkness of our everyday lives.


Watch out, ex-boyfriends, and get out of the way, homophobic coaches. Tiny Cooper has something to say—and he's going to say it in song.
Filled with honesty, humor, and "big, lively, belty" musical numbers, Hold Me Closer is the no-holds-barred (and many-bars-held) entirety of the beloved musical first introduced in Will Grayson, Will Grayson, the award-winning bestseller by John Green and David Levithan.

Tiny Cooper is finally taking center stage . . . and the world will never be the same again.
"Tiny will have readers falling out of their chairs laughing. . . . It's big. It's gay. It's outrageous and hilarious." —Kirkus Reviews
★"Levithan has turned in another star turn with a book that is witty, wise, and well worthy of an encore." Booklist, starred review
★"Tiny's passion for composing a big, beautiful life and a big, beautiful show overflows in thisthoroughly magical book." BCCB, starred review
★"Tiny Cooper . . . gets his own star turn." —Publishers Weekly, starred review
From the Hardcover edition.
Available formats-
  • Kindle Book
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  • EPUB eBook
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    1
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
    4.8
  • Lexile:
  • Interest Level:
    UG
  • Text Difficulty:
    3

Recommended for you

Excerpts-
  • From the book

    AN INTRODUCTORY NOTE

    CHARACTERS

    MUSICAL NUMBERS

    ACT I

    ACT I, SCENE 1

    It's a dark stage, and at first all you hear are murmurs, a heartbeat, and heavy breathing. Like, serious Lamaze. Then we see, in the middle of the stage, a large piece of paper showing two bare, spread legs, discreetly covered by a hospital sheet. The heartbeat gets louder. The breathing gets heavier and more frantic, like a dinosaur is sitting on Santa and tickling him at the same time. Finally, as it all crescendos, TINY COOPER comes into the world, crashing through the piece of paper and entering spectacularly onto the stage.

    We are not going for realism here. He should not be naked and covered with amniotic fluid. That's gross. He should not be wearing a diaper. He's not into that. Instead, the person who emerges should be the large, stylish Tiny Cooper that you will see for the next two acts. To delineate him from Tiny at other ages, you should have him wearing a button that says AGE: 0.

    Most babies come into the world crying or gasping or snotting.

    Not Tiny Cooper.

    He comes into the world singing.

    Cue: Opening chords of "I WAS BORN THIS WAY." This is a big, lively, belty number—because, let's face it, if Elphaba got to sing "Defying Gravity" at the start of Wicked, she'd be much, much happier throughout the entire show. Tiny has just fallen into the world—some would say he was pushed—and already he has a sense of who he is and what he's going to do. The music and the production value must reflect that. Sparkles, people. Lots of sparkles. Do not get stingy with the sparkles. The reason drag queens love them so much is that you can get them for cheap.

    TINY:

    Hello, my name is Tiny Cooper . . . what's yours? I've just been born and, man, it feels good!

    Cue music.

    ["I WAS BORN THIS WAY"]

    TINY:

    I was born this way,

    big-boned and happily gay.

    I was born this way,

    right here in the U.S. of A.

    It's pointless for you to try

    to pinpoint how I became

    so G-A-Y.

    From my very first swish inflection,

    the rainbow curved in my direction.

    I've got brown hair,

    big hips,

    and green, green eyes.

    And when I grow up

    I'm gonna make out

    with guys, guys, guys!

    Why try to hide it?

    What good would that do?

    I was born this way

    and if you don't like it

    that says enough about you.

    If you find it odd,

    take it up with God.

    Because who else do you say

    could make me shine this way?

    All God's children wear traveling shoes

    whether you've got flat feet

    or twinkle toes.

    I'm going to dance right into this life

    and keep dancing

    as it goes.

    I was born this way,

    big-boned and happily gay.

    I was born this way,

    right here in the U.S. of A.

    It's pointless for you to try

    to pinpoint how I became

    so G-A-Y.

    From my very first swish inflection,

    the rainbow curved in my direction.

    I've got genes that fit me well

    and a spirit all my own

    I was born this way—

    The rest is a great unknown!

    Really belting now.

    I.

    was.

    born.

    this.

    way.

    And I love.

    the way.

    I.

    was.

    born.

    The rest

    is a great unknown.

    But I'm ready,

    oh yes, I'm ready

    to find my own!

    If anyone is going to object to this musical, they will...

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from January 12, 2015
    Tiny Cooper, the memorable best friend from Levithan and John Green’s Will Grayson, Will Grayson, gets his own star turn in this companion volume, which contains the script and lyrics of the autobiographical musical he wrote and staged in the original novel. With stage directions from Tiny (“Like myself, this musical is meant to be loud and spectacular”) and the lyrics to 25 ballads and showstoppers, the show opens (à la Matilda) with Tiny’s birth: “He should not be wearing a diaper. Instead, the person who emerges should be the large, stylish Tiny Cooper that you will see for the next two acts.” The musical charts the course of Tiny’s life as the “big-boned and happily gay” child of wonderful, football-loving parents and his quest for true love (“Mama and Papa didn’t know/ they were lighting the lamp/ the moment they sent me/ to Starstruck Drama Camp”). Though billed as a “musical novel,” there is no sheet music yet written for Tiny’s magnum opus. Levithan is hoping for a crowd-sourced soundtrack, encouraging amateur and professional composers to put music to his words. Broadway, are you listening? Ages 14–up.

  • Kirkus

    January 15, 2015
    Finally, Tiny Cooper gets his own story: the musical. Semifresh (four years later) off the heels of his uber-gay and hilarious collaboration with John Green, Will Grayson Will Grayson (2010), Levithan bites the bullet and pens the actual musical script that his 16-year-old large-and-in-charge gay hero created as a centerpiece for the original novel. Tiny's coming-of-age musical includes his loving parents, his BFF Phil Wrayson (a cautiously disguised straight Will Grayson), a lesbian babysitter named Lynda, the ghost of Oscar Wilde and 18 ex-boyfriends-including the second Will Grayson. There are Barbra Streisand and Idina Menzel references. There are potentially naughty locker-room tableaux. There are debunked stereotypes in the form of song ("OH! What a Big Gay Baby"). There are multiple moments in the spotlight, including solos and addresses to the audience, where Tiny will have readers falling out of their chairs laughing. It's probably wrong to call this a novel since it's written as a script complete with acts, dialogue, musical verse and staging instructions, but whatever it is, it's just as downright ridiculous as its precursor. Shy readers should be warned: Don't read this in a public place unless you're very comfortable chortling out loud. It's big. It's gay. It's outrageous and hilarious. (Fiction. 12-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2015) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    Starred review from March 1, 2015

    Gr 10 Up-Written as a two-act musical complete with stage directions and 25 provocatively titled songs, such as "The Ballad of the Lesbian Babysitter" and "Summer of Gay," this companion to John Green and Levithan's award-winning Will Grayson, Will Grayson (Dutton, 2010) shines a spotlight on the larger-than-life Tiny Cooper, who was born "big-boned and happily gay." Accepted by his supportive parents, Tiny suffers no angst over his sexual orientation, despite having to contend with schoolmate bullies and a homophobic coach. Phil, his straight BFF, offers advice through Tiny's unsuccessful relationships with 18 different boyfriends, helping him eventually to realize that love is painful but worth it. Replete with laugh-out-loud one-liners ("sort of like a gay dance club has opened on Sesame Street"), in-your-face language (faggot and the invented term dickstracting), and showcasing Will and Tiny's "onstage" kiss, this edgy, au courant novel tackles a potentially difficult subject head-on, while giving sound, if liberal, counsel on sexual issues for gays and straights alike. Its solid story line and realistic, "colorful" dialogue will appeal to high school readers. VERDICT A welcome addition to progressive library collections, this unapologetic gem will encourage teens' discussion of a sensitive topic and potentially broaden their understanding of the meaning of "tolerance."-Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, formerly at LaSalle Academy, Providence, RI

    Copyright 2015 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • DOGO Books amouse18 - The book Hold Me Closer by David Levithan is about a gay guy named Tiny. He has been gay for as long as he could remember. He faces troubles throughout the story. Tiny thinks of his life as a musical, so there are songs throughout the story that really convey them message of the story. I thought this book was a very good book. I thought it was a very good book because you don't find many books about overweight gay guys who sing. It really made me understand what gay people go through. This book is realistic fiction because there are gay people in this world and people need to learn to accept it. This book is for anyone to read, boy, girl, old, or young. It is for anyone because it really shows what gay people go through. One internal conflict that Tiny had was that he didn't really know who he was and had to try to figure it out. One external conflict is when Tiny is playing baseball. People start making fun of him because he's overweight and gay. Overall, I thought this was a very good book. (Updated about 5 months ago)
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    Penguin Young Readers Group
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The Tiny Cooper Story
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