and for Alan, the new guy who wears dresses to school.
Can A be for acceptance, too?
Life can be complex in high school for any kid. Adonis is trying to become a better football player, live up to his firefighter dad's expectations, deal with little sister Jeannie being in the same high school. The macho attitudes he's learned aren't helping him stay cool when Jeannie brings Alan over for dinner.
For Alan, scorned by his Army colonel dad, it's simple - accept him for who he is, Fashion Club president, cross-dressing, intelligent.
The author puts current news stories about bullying into perspective when he asks "how do you decide when to stand by and when to take a stand?" Big question, strong story.
Book info: Crossing Lines / Paul Volponi. Viking Juvenile, 2011. [author's website] [author interview video] [publisher site]
My Recommendation: It’s simple – Adonis will be a great football player, little sister won’t embarrass him at school. Then cross-dressing new guy Alan is elected president of her fashion club. And Jeannie brings him home for dinner!
Adonis thinks Alan will be a pushover when they’re in the same group for an English project, but is surprised at his quick wit and intelligence. The rest of the football team isn’t – antigay slurs fill the air during practice and spill over into classes they reluctantly share with Alan. But Adonis’ mom and Jeannie and that cute Melody from fashion club won’t tolerate outright homophobic statements or even jokes – Adonis feels like he’s walking a tightrope all the time, trying to keep the team from grouping him with Alan, trying to keep Melody from labeling him a dumb, prejudiced jock.
Alan’s grandmother raised him until her recent death; now he gets moved from school to school because his dad is an Army recruiter. Has his dad thrown him out of the house? Is Alan gay? Why can’t he just be another guy instead of wanting to be called Alana?
As Alan determinedly forges his own path at school, wearing lipstick and dresses, the football guys get more uncomfortable and plan to teach him a lesson. Will Adonis participate in the dangerous plan? How far can bullies push someone before they snap?
Readers will see Adonis grow up, page by page, as he must decide for himself when to let things slide and when to take a stand. (One of 5,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com) Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.