A very personal & honest look at a boys awakening sexuality. Peter is 15, a dirt bike rider & would-be photographer with the usual teen hang-ups about sex & fitting in. Then he spends a brief, unplanned afternoon with his brothers friend, David. David is 20, tall, good-looking & immaculately dressed everything Peter is not. And it turns out David is gay.
Reminiscent of Diana Wieler's Bad Boy , this initiation novel set in Australia convincingly describes a boy's confusion about sexuality and manhood. In order to be accepted by his peers--including a group of rough bikers--Peter, an honor student interested in photography, hides his sensitivity and his reluctance to have sex with a girl he does not love. The discomfort he feels playing the role of tough guy turns to panic when Peter finds himself drawn to David, a gay friend of his older brother. Matters become even more complicated when classmates start calling Peter a ``poof'' for refusing to break rules set by his mother. Many readers may be surprised by the chauvinistic attitude of Australian society as presented in this novel, and will have no trouble empathizing with Peter's emotional turmoil and ultimate victimization. Walker remains notably objective in her depiction of homosexuality, stressing that each person's attitudes and needs are different. At the end of this sensitively wrought book, Peter is still struggling with his identity; he has, however, learned to accept and respect himself as a growing individual. Ages 12-up. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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April 30, 2001
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