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Young adult book reviews for ages 12 and up - middle school and high school students




*The Last Exit to Normal* by Michael Harmon- young adult book review  
The Last Exit to Normal
by Michael Harmon
Grades 7+ 288 pages Knopf March 2008 Hardcover    

At the age of fourteen, Benís life is pretty simple. He has a mother and father who live together, and he spends most of his life in school or on a skateboard. Then his life is turned upside down when his father announces that he is gay, and his mother storms out of the house, never looking back. Benís response to the news is to get into any kind of trouble that looks interesting. When Ben has a brush with the law, his father decides to take Benís familiar surroundings away and move the two of them, plus Edward, his fatherís boyfriend, to a small town in Montana.

Benís new home has its own set of problems. Ben must learn to deal with emotions and prejudices that are aimed at his father but affect his life as well. Benís companionship with the young boy next door will bring out the best in this now seventeen-year-old and cause Ben to call upon strengths that he does not yet know he has.

The novel presents discussions of homosexuality and homophobia. It also deals with child abuse, child abandonment and bullying. This authorís style should hold the interest of even the most difficult of teen readers. The characters are strong and endearing, and the issues they are presented with will be ones with which teens are familiar. It is the solutions reached that point out the nobility in all of us.

 
Young adult book reviews for ages 12 and up - middle school and high school students

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