Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Just read: "Stoner and Spaz" by Ronald Koertge

Just read: Stoner and Spaz by Ronald Koertge, 2002, 0763616087.

Good book. A short, 169 pages, YA book so it was a quick read. A good way to pad my list if I want numbers.

Teenager Ben (Spaz in the title) has cerebral palsy (CP) leaving him with a scrunched up left arm and a left foot he has to drag around. Ben is in a self-imposed exile in his high school; he considers himself freakish and does not talk or make friends with any classmates because he is convinced they will either reject him or pity him. Ben spends his free time at home, with his guardian Grandmother, and at the Rialto Theater watching revivals of old horror pictures and westerns.

One evening at the Rialto, Colleen - a high school classmate and the Stoner of the title - appears out of nowhere. High as a kite, Colleen sits next to Ben and promptly passes out. Ben was trying to avoid her in the theater but the experience of touching a girl, even one passed out on his shoulder, is thrilling. After the movie Colleen talks with Ben outside instead of staring and talking at him. Later, Colleen pukes out the window of Ben's Grandmother's car.

Good book. Ben and Colleen end up a couple, Colleen gets straightened out for a time, and Ben comes out of his shell and discovers most people don't give a rat's ass about his CP. Novel has a fair amount of coverage of their crappy LA high school and it's students. Because, you can't have a YA novel without talking about school and social problems. Oh, no.

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