Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Big Guy

Robin Stevenson, March 2008. This 106-page novel from Orca Soundings, an imprint for high interest/low level books for teens, is packed with issues. Derek's mom has abandoned the family; his homophobic father doesn't know he's gay; he's dropped out of high school; he's gained eighty pounds in the past year and his online boyfriend doesn't know it; and he's not sure how he feels about his job as a home health aide for Aaliyah, a defensive young woman in a wheelchair. Despite this smorgasbord of problems, the story resolves neatly without being cheesy. Derek's dad turns out to have a human side (barely); his boyfriend doesn't mind that he's fat; and he learns Valuable Lessons from Aaliyah. Recommended where other Orca titles are popular as well as in outreach settings.

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