The Side Door
Fifteen-year-old Melrose Bird, a.k.a. Mel, steps into high school and out of the closet, bringing her best friend Frank along for the ride. She wonders about Alex Weber—the guy who hanged himself behind Drift High School five years ago. She wonders why his mother haunts the park bench across from the school. In delving into the mystery of Alex Weber, Mel happens upon a pair of his pants—waiting to be donated. She tries them on. They fit. Mel and the pants become inseparable, and the contents of the pockets change everything. In learning the truth about Alex’s death, Mel uncovers a town secret that unlocks the school’s closet doors for good.
“There is magic in putting pen to paper,” their favorite English teacher tells Mel and Frank. But when this buzz-cut girl and football-hating boy start to tell the truth in their drawing and writing, the adults around them don’t want to hear it. And when they begin investigating the mystery of Alex, a student who killed himself five years earlier, they break a silence that changes everything. The Side Door is a story about a couple of Superman-loving kids who discover that it’s by revealing their secret identities that they come into their true super powers.”
—Alison Bechdel, author of Fun Home and Dykes to Watch Out For