Monday, May 7, 2012
Tessa Masterson Will Go to Prom by Emily Franklin & Brendan Halpin
It doesn't take long for everyone in town to know Tessa turned Lucas down AND that she recently bought a man's tux for the prom (she is hoping to go with her co-worker, Josie). People protest in front of her family's small store that is struggling to survive against the massive new store that came to town. Her locker is vandalized at school. She is taunted and pelted with food. Tessa can't even talk to her best friend Lucas because he is not speaking to her anymore.
The school tells Tessa she cannot go to the dance with another girl or dressed in boy's clothes. What will the school board decide when Tessa's family files an official protest? What can they do since Tessa states that she will go to prom?
Ultimately, this is not just about whether Tessa can attend prom; it is about being accepted by friends, family and society as a whole. Having grown up in a small Indiana town similar to the one in this story (although mine was urban and not rural), I can only wonder what the reaction would have been if two teens of the same sex had wanted to go to prom. It was a different time for sure. No one was openly gay in my school, but I have no doubt there was someone who dreamed of going to the prom with a member of the same sex.
Although this book has a lighter tone that it could have, this is a serious real issue for many. With all the talk of bullying among young people, there are too many adults bullying young people and encouraging others to do the same. I hope this book continues to raise awareness that people are more the same than they are different and that acceptance of others is a great gift.
For more info about this book visit the Evergreen catalog or visit Emily Franklin's and Brendan Halpin's website.