- Hardcover: 106 pages
- Publisher: Orca Book Publishers (May 15, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1551435217
- ISBN-13: 978-1551435213
- List price: $14.99
- I finished this book on Jan. 29
The book was sitting on my desk because it is part of the Orca Soundings collection and I am going to create a display of them soon. Orca books are specifically designed to be appealing to kids and cover a wide range of hot topics. They are very low reading level, short and use simple vocab. They are, in other words, what we in the business call hi/lo (high interest/low reading level). Their topics range from graffiti to sports to crime to drugs and even prostitutes (that word makes me think of this: funniest song about hookers ever!) So, because I send kids away with them all the time I thought I should probably read one. (Leave it to your girl bee to find the only one about lesbians).
So, yeah. Lesbians. Hope is a hippie kid who grew up in a commune with hemp wearing, no meat eating, madly in love with each other parents. They ship her off to NYC to hang with her druggie, bitchy model sister when they decide to go on an anniversary trip. In short order she meets a young mother who wants to take her in as a nanny (and is, shockingly, a lesbian) and a pretty girl. She is crushing on the pretty girl and of course this raises the "Am I gay?" questions and Hope is pretty freaked out. In a matter of 106 pages our Hope is out and proud and kissing on the dreadlocked object of her affections. Being that it is short and a low reading level, the novel sort of works itself out like a Babysitters Club book or something, except I don't think the BSC ever outed anyone. There are lots of plot holes and of course all of Hope's problems wrap up painfully easy (not to mention how the problem that the girls live in two different states is never addressed). But I'm not mad, this is all more or less to be expected.
Reading this was like a jolly rancher: It's sweet and strong, over quick and leaves a vaguely weird taste in your mouth (don't worry, it doesn't turn your tongue green). I'm glad we have them and I think they are good for reluctant readers. Just as long as you don't pick them up expecting Shakespeare.