Thursday, February 26, 2009

Project Sweet Life

Brent Hartinger, February 2009. Dave, Curtis, and Victor are fifteen years old and, they feel, exempt from having to get summer jobs; unfortunately, their fathers disagree. How can the boys manage to have the awesome summer they've planned while working at the same time? This conundrum launches Project Sweet Life, their plan to make a whole summer's worth of income in one fell swoop. They start out simple: have a garage sale, selling everything they own that has a market value. When that backfires, they try to win reward money for catching a bank robber. This also doesn't go well, so they decide to find hidden treasure...and so on, throughout the summer, until they've logged more hours on these schemes than they would have at their fictional jobs lifeguarding, mowing lawns, and frying chicken.

Hartinger is known for his sensitive, funny portrayals of gay teens in Geography Club and Order of the Poison Oak, but there isn't a lot of homo action in Project Sweet Life. This is a new type of gay novel altogether, where the gay characters - Dave's uncle and his "friend" - are in the background, assisting the boys with the least illegal of their plots, and the word "gay" isn't even mentioned. That makes this a good pick for a conservative community and for middle-schoolers. Recommended for all public and school libraries.

1 comment:

Shooting Stars Mag said...

I haven't read any of Brent's stuff, but I want too at some point. This sounds funny.