Saturday, August 13, 2011
CROSSINGLINES by Paul Volponi
Adonis is a popular football player with an attractive girlfriend. That's what he considers normal until he meets Alan. Alan is the new kid, and it is obvious from the start that he is different.
It turns out that Alan is popular with the girls but in a different way. He has a keen interest in fashion and all things feminine. When Adonis's sister and all her friends create an official high school Fashion Club, Alan becomes a loyal member. The girls accept him with open arms, and with their encouragement, Alan feels comfort enough to reveal his true self.
Alan has been the victim of taunts and teasing since the day he arrived, but the harassment escalates when he shows up one morning wearing bright, red lipstick. Adonis is shocked and confused that Alan would be so bold. He observes from a distance as his fellow football players make life miserable for Alan. Life becomes a delicate balancing act for Adonis as he tries to let his guy friends think he despises Alan as much as they do, while at the same time attempting to please his girlfriend and his sister who are staunch defenders of Alan right to display his transgender lifestyle.
The day Alan appears at school wearing a dress, the administration makes contact with his father. Finding no support at home, Alan moves out and the girls step up to offer him a place to stay and along with their continued support. Although, Adonis tries to remain on neutral ground about the whole situation, he finds his feelings changing. When he learns about a plan to humiliate Alan, Adonis fears he will need to take a stand on one side or the other.
Paul Volponi's novels are always a success with my students and CROSSINGLINES is sure to be popular, too. Bullying, especially when it involves gay and transgender topics, is an increasing problem with teens today. CROSSINGLINES will help teens struggling with their own sexual identity and how it frequently changes relationships. The story will also help teens struggling with how to interact with fellow students whose lifestyles differ from their own. I'm excited have this one in my classroom collection.