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Two Parties, One Tux, and a Very Short Film about the Grapes of Wrath

by Steven Goldman

Published by Bloomsbury, 2008
307 pages
ISBN: 978𢴓99902715

Age 14 and older

Mitchell Wells is the kind of teenager who feels awkward just about all the time. He survives school and other social situations solely with the help of his best (and only) friend, David. When David shares that he is gay, Mitchell is sure that everything will be okay梑ut he begins questioning whether this means he抯 gay, too, and a new awkwardness develops in the boys friendship. Life at school is complicated by a claymation film Mitchell impulsively decides to submit in lieu of a required paper on the Grapes of Wrath. A classmate抯 parent registers a complaint against the film抯 commentary (揳 visual interpretation of biblical themes) as offensive. Could it have been the naked clay Eve with button breasts, or the dancing Steinbeck Ken doll? Plagued by worry over the school administration抯 response to the complaint, Mitchell has other concerns, too: he has a date to prom with the girl of his fantasies. . . but why does the popular beauty want to go with him? Meanwhile, David seems increasingly distant, Mitchell抯 sister Carrie is trying to set him up with a girl named Amanda, and Carrie抯 best friend M. C. is inexplicably evolving from a household fixture to a person of interest in Mitchell抯 life. Mitchell抯 voice is laugh-out-loud funny as he agonizes his way through junior year fixated on sex, friendship, and academic trials, with a culminating prom scene that steals the show.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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