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July 14, 1996|CHARLES SOLOMON

FREE YOUR MIND: The Book for Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Youth--and Their Allies by Ellen Bass & Kate Kaufman (HarperPerennial: $14, 417 pp., illustrated, paperback original). Gay and lesbian high school students account for disproportionately high numbers of teenage runaways, suicides and substance abusers. Aimed at both teens and concerned adults, "Free Your Mind" stresses the vital message that all young people have the right to grow up in an environment that is free of hostility and affirms their worth as human beings. Interviews with gay and lesbian teenagers lend an immediacy to the discussions of academic programs, community organizations, etc. The recent controversy in Salt Lake City over a gay and straight student organization underscores the need for this compassionate book.

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