Author: Dale Peck
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Price: US $16.99
Summary [from the publisher]:
When Sprout and his father move from Long Island to Kansas after the death of his mother, he is sure he will find no friends, no love, no beauty. But friends find him, the strangeness of the landscape fascinates him, and when love shows up in an unexpected place, it proves impossible to hold. An incredible, literary story of a boy who knows he’s gay, and the town that seems to have no place for him to hide.
Daniel Bradford (aka Sprout) is the new boy in school. He moved from Long Island to rural Kansas with his alcoholic father when he was twelve.
He dyes his hair green, has a way with words, makes new friends, and even finds a boyfriend.
This story was a little funny and a little sad. It dredged up some of my own painful memories of moving from the “Big City” to “the Country”). I can totally relate to Sprout’s feelings about having to adapt to a whole new way of life in a small town, his inability to fit in, and difficulty making friends.
At first, I felt Sprout’s voice was too adult and his vocabulary a little too advanced. As the story progressed, and I became closer to the character, I found him more believable. Because of his circumstances, Sprout has had to grow up a little faster than his peers with more ideal home situations.
Sprout is a quirky and, at times, sarcastic character. I liked being a part of his thought process, learning about his friends, his family, his teachers, and seeing him mature.
This is a great story for young and old alike. Those who have a hard time “fitting in” will surely relate.