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Saints of Augustine

by P.E. Ryan

Published by HarperTeen / HarperCollins, 2007
308 pages
ISBN: 9780060858100

Ages 14 and up

Once best friends, Charlie and Sam no longer associate with each other. After his mother dies, Charlie’s father buries his grief in alcohol, and Charlie tries to go on as if nothing has changed. He immerses himself in basketball, his girlfriend, Kate, and in taking care of his vintage Volkswagen bug. After his dad leaves the family, Sam tries to keep his anger in check as he struggles to get along with his mother’s new boyfriend. He knows his father has left the family to be with his lover, David, even though neither of his parents wants to talk about it openly. Both Charlie and Sam have secrets: Charlie is $500 in debt to a drug dealer who has let him buy pot on credit all year long and now wants him to pay up. Sam is realizing that he is probably gay himself, but he’s hesitant to come out since his father has left the family. He is most afraid of upsetting his mother, who has done nothing to stop her boyfriend’s frequent homophobic remarks. And he remembers every casual homophobic jeer Charlie has ever made. Sam and Charlie live parallel lives for the last few weeks of summer vacation before their senior year, until a crises in each boy’s life brings them both together again in a novel that offers a sensitive, in-depth portrait of two teenage boys, one of who is on the brink of coming out.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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