Synopses & Reviews
Adonis is a jock. He's on the football team and he's dating one of the prettiest girls in school. Alan is the new kid. He wears lipstick and joins the Fashion Club. Soon enough the football team is out to get him. Adonis is glad to go along with his teammates . . . until they come up with a dangerous plan to humiliate Alan. Now Adonis must decide whether he wants to be a guy who follows the herd or a man who does what's right.
From critically acclaimed author Paul Volponi comes this discussable and finely wrought story of bullies, victims, and the bystanders caught in between.
"Message trumps story in this chronicle of homophobia set on the gridiron. High school jock Adonis (really), a formerly pudgy kid, operates cautiously, constantly worried he'll be the next target of the bullies on his team. But they've got their hands full torturing Alan, an openly gay transfer student who, perhaps bolstered by the fellow members (all girls) of the school's Fashion Club, has started wearing lipstick and dresses to school. This is more than the football players can abide, and a takedown is planned. For Adonis, it's a no-win situation. If he outs the planned attack, he'll become a pariah among his teammates; if he remains quiet, he'll alienate his sister and girlfriend, who know Alan through Fashion Club. While the bullying issue has gravitas and Volponi (Rikers High) creates a believable atmosphere of masculine one-upmanship and pervasive homophobia, his characters are stereotypes: Alan's father is a no-nonsense military colonel, while Adonis's mother preaches tolerance and acceptance. The denouement is predictable, and Adonis's sudden location of a moral compass by story's end meshes with the after-school special tone of the narrative. Ages 12 up. (June)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Paul Volponi is the author of the critically acclaimed young adult novel Black and White. From 1992 to 1998, he taught adolescents on Rikers Island in New York City to read and write. Mr. Volponi worked at a day treatment center like Daytop teaching students and helping them prepare for the GED. Mr. Volponi lives in New York City.