July 20, 2013
by Brent Hartinger
HarperCollins Publishers (2004)
I loved this very real, very sweet book.
It’s about a closeted gay high school student who bravely and cautiously takes a risk to create a safe space for others like himself. Written in 2004, I can only imagine the students it must have inspired and given hope to. This is a book that champions diversity yet maintains its naturalness. In other words, these kids are fully recognizable and relatable. The characters feel very real and empathetic and three-dimensional.
Sweet, funny and clever writing doesn’t hurt either. I’d recommend this to anyone who knows a sensitive teen who marches to his own drumbeat, gay or straight. With all the stuff of adolescence, from crushes to the fear of standing bravely and individually as a potential target for the entire school, this novel is admirable and well-written and hopeful. Highly recommend.