Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Fight Back: H.S. Booktalk 3

When you’re the younger brother of an alpha male, you have to fight to maintain your sense of identity, especially when it’s an identity less respected and understood by others in your small town. Although Frankie is smart, quirky, decent looking, and funny, his older brother Steve is much, much cooler; unlike Frankie, Steve is highly respected both by the popular kids at school and by the local “cholos” he hangs out with. Steve’s a varsity athlete who will get a college scholarship, and Frankie likes to blow up anthills [they’re fire ants, relax] with his best friend, Zach, who likes to take out his glass eye and gross out his friends with it. Frankie’s fine with being his own person, until he and his brother have escalating conflicts with John Dalton, a rich, white boy who has it out for both of them, due in large part to the fact that Frankie managed to steal John’s girlfriend out from under his nose [way to go, Frankie!]. Unfortunately, the rivalry with John Dalton has now expanded, and it’s become a racially divided one. Frankie will have to decide at what point fighting back is actually worth it, because anger has a way of erasing your true identity. The Brothers Torres by Coert Voorhoes is thoughtful and laugh-out-loud funny.

The Brothers Torres by Coert Voorhees. 316 p. Hyperion Books [Disney], 2008. Booktalk to high school, adult.

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