Synopses & Reviews
This raw, moving novel follows two teenagers-one, a Mohawk-wearing 17-year-old violent misfit; the other, a gay 13-year-old cast out by his family, hustling on the streets and trying to survive. Acclaimed author Davida Wills Hurwin creates a riveting narrative told in alternating perspectives of their lives before and after the violent hate crime that changed both their futures. This tragic but ultimately inspirational journey of two polarized teens, their violent first meeting, and their peaceful reunion years later is an unforgettable story of survival and forgiveness.
This story is inspired by the real lives of Matthew Boger and Timothy Zaal, who have shared their story on The Oprah Winfrey Show and NPR.
"Inspired by the true story of a vicious hate crime in Los Angeles in 1980, Hurwin (Circle the Soul Softly) traces the converging paths of two teenage boys. Thrown out of his home for being gay, 13-year-old Jason lives on the streets, where he turns tricks and finds community, but is later brutally beaten and left for dead. Though he survives, he is forever changed by that hatred ('Before the alley, I didn't understand that people could stop being human and still live'). Doug lives with an abusive dad and racist family that, along with his embrace of punk culture, help form his skinhead roots. Hurwin's descriptions of Doug's addiction to violence are especially riveting ('getting hit more and more, hitting back and feeling how that is, my fist on their flesh, always forward. It's awesome'), giving readers insight into the 17-year-old who savagely beats Jason, believing that he killed him. Sympathetic to both characters without shying away from brutality physical or emotional the finely crafted story leads to a powerful climax of hope and redemption that will stay with readers. Ages 15 up. Some treasured picture books from yesteryear are back to tempt new generations of readers." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
This raw novel follows two teenagers--one, a Mohawk-wearing 17-year-old violent misfit; the other, a gay 13-year-old cast out by his family. An acclaimed author creates a riveting narrative told in alternating perspectives of their lives before and after the violent hate crime that changed both their futures.
About the Author
Davida Wills Hurwin is the author of A Time for Dancing (an ALA Best Book for Young Adults) and The Farther You Run. She teaches theater at Crossroads School for Arts and Sciences and lives in Southern California with her husband and daughter.