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The Porcupine of Truth

by Bill Konigsberg

Published by Arthur A. Levine Books / Scholastic, 2015
325 pages
ISBN: 978-0-545-64893-6

Age 14 and older

When Carson meets Aisha in the gift shop of ZooMontana, he is awed by her beauty and quick wit. Although initially disappointed to discover that Aisha, a lesbian, isnít the potential romantic partner heíd hoped, Carson realizes she has the friendship potential that he craves. Recently arrived in Billings from his New York City home, Carson and his mom intend to spend the summer caring for his terminally ill, alcoholic, long-estranged father. African American Aishaís father made her leave home after she came out to her parents. New information about his paternal grandfather (also estranged from the family) sends Carson and Aisha on a quest to track the man down and bring him back into his sonís life before itís too late. During a road trip that eventually takes them to San Francisco, the two teens struggle with difficult questions about religion, race, alcoholism, family relationships, and the sometimes rocky road to an open and equal friendship. Humor, honesty, and a willingness to explore important but often uncomforta-ble topics combine in this exceptional contemporary novel.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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