Going, K.L. King of Screwups.
Harcourt Brace/Houghton Mifflin 2009 310p 17.00 978-0-15-206258-3 ms/hs
Liam is Mr. Popularity, a jock who dresses well and impresses everyone, except his overbearing father. When he is kicked out of his house, he goes to live with his father’s gay brother, Aunt Pete. Going once again manages to tackle difficult subject with humor and memorable characters. This time she tackles both parental abuse and homosexuality with such wit that readers will not be able to put it down. Liam’s ability to constantly disappoint his overbearing father, and his unlikely bond with his gay uncle, Aunt Pete, will resonate with readers. This novel will appeal to both male and female readers, and will be a good companion to Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson, as the characters both go on voyages of self-discovery and overcome overbearing father-figures.
This novel has the potential to follow in the footsteps of Going’s Fat Kid Rules the World. An enjoyable read for upper middle and high school students. With the great cover, even reluctant readers will pick this one up, and recommend it to their friends. Pat Naismith