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Book cover of Boy Girl Boy

Boy Girl Boy

by Ron Koertge

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Pages: 180
Paperback
ISBN: 9780152058654






Available to Buy

Overview of Boy Girl Boy

Larry, Teresa, and Elliot are so tight, there's no room in their circle for more than three: boy, girl, boy. And when they graduate, they plan to move to California to start their real lives—together.
    

But who are they fooling? Larry is gay and trying to come to terms with his sexuality. Teresa is tired of hanging out with boys she loves who don't want to be her boyfriend. And Elliot is realizing that he may like himself more if he isn't always in the shadow of his friends. This is a wry, surprising, and insightful story about three best friends who each learn how tough it is to be yourself.

    

Includes an interview with the author.

Synopsis of Boy Girl Boy

The witty and wrenching tale of three best friends in their final weeks of high school.

Publishers Weekly

As he did in Stoner & Spaz, Koertge once again creates intelligent, full-blooded teens grappling with their passage into adulthood. The book opens in smalltown Wendleville during senior year for Elliot, Teresa and Larry, who have been friends since childhood and who plan to move to California after graduation. Various flashbacks through their alternating first-person narratives help readers understand the history between the three. Elliot is a stunning jock, but his friendship with the other two bring out his more vulnerable side (they also help him with his studies). Teresa, obsessed with running, grapples with an eating disorder and her abandonment by her mother at age 13. Her quick wit (while running she describes the sites, one of which is the "we-love-Jesus-more-than-you-do Baptist church") makes for some clever repart e with Larry, who, at age 13, realized he was gay (he loves watching movies on TV: "Lo and behold, there's an old black-and-white Tarzan movie with the exquisite Johnny Weissmuller wrestling a fortunate crocodile"). A scene with a toxic homophobe on the basketball court with Elliot leaves no doubt of the trajectory here, but Larry's brush with near-death brings about some soul-searching for all three characters. The plot may hold no surprises, but the three stars and even the minor characters here will hold readers' interest. Ages 14-up. (Sept.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

About the Author, Ron Koertge

RON KOERTGE has written many highly acclaimed books for young readers, including Stoner & Spaz, Margaux with an X, The Brimstone Journals, Shakespeare Bats Cleanup, and Where the Kissing Never Stops. He lives in South Pasadena, California.

Reviews of Boy Girl Boy

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Editorials

Publishers Weekly

As he did in Stoner & Spaz, Koertge once again creates intelligent, full-blooded teens grappling with their passage into adulthood. The book opens in smalltown Wendleville during senior year for Elliot, Teresa and Larry, who have been friends since childhood and who plan to move to California after graduation. Various flashbacks through their alternating first-person narratives help readers understand the history between the three. Elliot is a stunning jock, but his friendship with the other two bring out his more vulnerable side (they also help him with his studies). Teresa, obsessed with running, grapples with an eating disorder and her abandonment by her mother at age 13. Her quick wit (while running she describes the sites, one of which is the "we-love-Jesus-more-than-you-do Baptist church") makes for some clever repart e with Larry, who, at age 13, realized he was gay (he loves watching movies on TV: "Lo and behold, there's an old black-and-white Tarzan movie with the exquisite Johnny Weissmuller wrestling a fortunate crocodile"). A scene with a toxic homophobe on the basketball court with Elliot leaves no doubt of the trajectory here, but Larry's brush with near-death brings about some soul-searching for all three characters. The plot may hold no surprises, but the three stars and even the minor characters here will hold readers' interest. Ages 14-up. (Sept.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

KLIATT - Michele Winship

To quote the review of the hardcover in KLIATT, September 2005: Kortege is back with another multiple-voice novel that focuses on the friendship of high school seniors Larry, Teresa and Eliot. They are at a turning point in their lives, ready to leave childhood behind and move into the adult world. They have decided that immediately following graduation, they are going to ditch their plans for college and move to California together, a decision that becomes more complicated by their changing feelings toward each other. Elliot is a jock who has lived the typical American middle-class life, with a father who is looking forward to his playing college basketball. But Elliot is not the best student and really doesn't want to go to college. And, he's started a relationship with Mary Ann that he might like to continue. Teresa runs. She runs from her past and her mother who left and her father who stays in the basement playing with model trains. Larry is a perfect best friend. He's bright, witty, athletic...and gay. Unfortunately, he lives in a town with bullies who get their kicks out of tormenting anyone who is different. Together, they have grown up and shared everything. Now, though, their plans for California just don't seem to be working out, and when tragedy almost separates them for good, they realize that maybe they each need to follow their own destinies. Once again, Kortege's talent for getting inside the heads of his adolescent characters creates a novel in which many different young people will see themselves.

KLIATT

Kortege is back with another multiple-voice novel that focuses on the friendship of high school seniors Larry, Teresa and Eliot. They are at a turning point in their lives, ready to leave childhood behind and move into the adult world. They have decided that immediately following graduation, they are going to ditch their plans for college and move to California together, a decision that becomes more complicated by their changing feelings toward each other. Elliot is a jock who has lived the typical American middle-class life, with a father who is looking forward to his playing college basketball. But Elliot is not the best student and really doesn't want to college. And, he's started a relationship with Mary Ann that he might like to continue. Teresa runs. She runs from her past and her mother who left and her father who stays in the basement playing with model trains. Larry is a perfect best friend. He's bright, witty, athletic . . . and gay. Unfortunately, he lives in a town with bullies who get their kicks out of tormenting anyone who is different. Together, they have grown up and shared everything. Now, though, their plans for California just don't seem to be working out, and when tragedy almost separates them for good, they realize that maybe they each need to follow their own destinies. Once again, Kortege's talent for getting inside the heads of his adolescent characters creates a novel in which many different young people will see themselves. KLIATT Codes: JS—Recommended for junior and senior high school students. 2005, Harcourt, 176p., Ages 12 to 18.
—Michele Winship

Kirkus Reviews

Three unlikely longtime friends-Elliot, the basketball star whose religious parents don't approve of his friends, Theresa, the photographer who secretly harbors a crush on Elliot, and Larry, the clever film aficionado who's slowly coming to terms with his homosexuality-plot a summer escape in the form of a road trip from their home in small-town Iowa all the way to California. As expected, Koertge creates fresh, familiar, multifaceted and well-rounded characters that provoke contemplation yet keep the reader turning the pages. In fact, it's the characters that are the primary driving force behind this instead of its flimsy plot, and herein lies the crux: The characters are so well developed that their thoughts and dreams create a tangle of mini-subplots. Each thread is interesting and true to the character, but as a whole they seem to lead in no clear direction. This scattershot effect may mirror human existence but doesn't necessarily make a story teenagers will want to read. Moreover, when Koertge does choose a place to move the plot forward, the result feels forced, especially after his delicate treatment of the characters' journey through self-discovery and acceptance. (Fiction. YA)

Booklist

A delightful, perceptive book about the dichotomy of teenage friendship and the struggle for individual identity

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