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My Most Excellent Year: A Novel of Love, Mary Poppins, and Fenway Parkby Steve Kluger
Synopses & Reviews
Best friends and unofficial brothers since they were six, ninth-graders T.C. and Augie have got the world figured out. But that all changes when both friends fall in love for the first time.
Enter Alejandra. She's pretty, sassy, and on her way to Harvard. T.C. falls hard, but Alejandra is playing hard to get. Meanwhile, Augie realizes that he's got a crush on a boy. It's not so clear to him, but to his family and friends, it's totally obvious.
Told in alternating perspectives, this is the hilarious and touching story of their most excellent year, where these three friends discover love, themselves, and how a little magic and Mary Poppins can go a long way.
"Three teens complete an English assignment detailing their 'most excellent year' in this big, warmhearted tale about musical theater, political organizing, baseball, friendship and love. Tony Conigliaro Keller (named like everyone in his family for a Boston Red Sox player) and Augie Hwong have been self-declared brothers since age six, when T.C.'s mother died. Entering high school, everyone but Augie knows that Augie is gay, which finally dawns on him when he falls for another student. Meanwhile, T.C. develops an intense crush on the novel's third essayist, Al Perez, daughter of a Mexican diplomat now teaching at Harvard. While T.C. and his father share a baseball obsession, Augie and Al get close when both are cast in Kiss Me, Kate. The essay segments are spliced with diary entries (T.C.'s are addressed to his mother, Al's to Jacqueline Kennedy); e-mails from and between parents, teachers and Al's former Secret Service agent; reprints of Augie's mother's hilariously excoriating theater reviews; transcripts of IM sessions. The characters are a little too good to be true, and there's a distracting and improbable subplot about a deaf motherless child obsessed with Mary Poppins. The protagonists sometimes sound more like 40-year-olds than teens; however, the results are unexpectedly positive, opening up the audience to adults as well as the target reader. Ages 12-up." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"The many characters are well-drawn and believable, and readers will care about them. The innovative format works well in relating the multiple love stories, and the story ought to appeal to a wide range of readers." Kirkus Reviews
Meet T.C., who is valiantly attempting to get Alejandra to fall in love with him; Alejandra, who is playing hard to get and is busy trying to sashay out from under the responsibilities of being a diplomat's daughter; and T.C.'s brother Augie, who is gay and in love and everyone knows it but him.
About the Author
Steve Kluger is a novelist and playwright who grew up during the Sixties with only two heroes: Tom Seaver and Ethel Merman. Few were able to grasp the concept. A veteran of Casablanca and a graduate of The Graduate, he has written extensively on subjects as far-ranging as World War II, rock 'n roll, and the Titanic, and as close to the heart as baseball and the Boston Red Sox (which frequently have nothing to do with one another). Since 1995, he has been a Jewish Big Brother to his all-time favorite 14-year-old, Avi. He lives in Santa Monica, California.
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