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Freaks and Revelations
     

Freaks and Revelations

4.6 13
by Davida Wills Hurwin
 

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This raw, moving novel follows two teenagers-one, a Mohawk-wearing 17-year-old violent misfit; the other, a gay 13-year-old cast out by his family, hustling on the streets and trying to survive. Acclaimed author Davida Wills Hurwin creates a riveting narrative told in alternating perspectives of their lives before and after the violent hate crime that changed both

Overview

This raw, moving novel follows two teenagers-one, a Mohawk-wearing 17-year-old violent misfit; the other, a gay 13-year-old cast out by his family, hustling on the streets and trying to survive. Acclaimed author Davida Wills Hurwin creates a riveting narrative told in alternating perspectives of their lives before and after the violent hate crime that changed both their futures. This tragic but ultimately inspirational journey of two polarized teens, their violent first meeting, and their peaceful reunion years later is an unforgettable story of survival and forgiveness.

This story is inspired by the real lives of Matthew Boger and Timothy Zaal, who have shared their story on The Oprah Winfrey Show and NPR.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Inspired by the true story of a vicious hate crime in Los Angeles in 1980, Hurwin (Circle the Soul Softly) traces the converging paths of two teenage boys. Thrown out of his home for being gay, 13-year-old Jason lives on the streets, where he turns tricks and finds community, but is later brutally beaten and left for dead. Though he survives, he is forever changed by that hatred (“Before the alley, I didn't understand that people could stop being human and still live”). Doug lives with an abusive dad and racist family that, along with his embrace of punk culture, help form his skinhead roots. Hurwin's descriptions of Doug's addiction to violence are especially riveting (“getting hit more and more, hitting back and feeling how that is, my fist on their flesh, always forward. It's awesome”), giving readers insight into the 17-year-old who savagely beats Jason, believing that he killed him. Sympathetic to both characters without shying away from brutality—physical or emotional—the finely crafted story leads to a powerful climax of hope and redemption that will stay with readers. Ages 15–up. (Nov.)
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Freaks and Revelations is based on a true story so emotionally detailed that it could easily be a memoir. Jason is 13 when he comes out to his Catholic middle-class family. His mother kicks him out and says he can return when he's done being gay. He learns to be homeless, and sells himself on the streets of San Francisco and then L.A. Doug is a 17-year-old neo-Nazi punk rocker. On March 27, 1980, he and a gang of other punks beat Jason nearly to death in the parking lot of "their" fast-food spot. The author saves the narrative from melodrama with masterfully sensitive and humanistic character development. Hurwin gets inside her characters' pain without sentiment; she presents each home and its horrors soberly. The story is set in episodes before and after the beating and unfolds with steady tension toward the climax. The seminal punk rock scene of late '70s Los Angeles is perfectly wrought, as are the excesses of pre-AIDS San Francisco. The author's prose is clear and incisive, and many chapters resonate like good short stories. Jason's narrative stands with Kathleen Jeffrie Johnson's Target (Roaring Brook, 2003) and Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak (Farrar, 1999) as a survivor's story. Doug's equally layered story—of coming full circle out of hate—sets it apart.—Johanna Lewis, New York Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
Tattooed, abused, racist, shaven-headed Doug smokes, drinks and travels with a pack of thuggish, troublemaking punks in Los Angeles. Kicked out of his religious mother's home for being gay, Jason lives on his own on the streets of San Francisco, earning his wages on street corners and befriending a pack of fellow teen male prostitutes. Chapter titles grimly count down to the two boys' inevitable and no doubt violent meeting. Hurwin's latest may sound like the perfect, gritty survival story that reluctant readers would love to sink their teeth into, but her motherly tone doesn't match either plotline or the voices of its characters, especially early on, in the emotionally tenderized descriptions of Doug's abuse by his father ("I hate that she says that word. It make me think that we're still not safe"). If readers can get past the schmaltz, they will find some genuine instances of street-smart edginess. Before they know it, the brutal climax-which should come as no surprise-is upon them. A sappy and cautionary denouement follows. A yawner of a story based on true events. (Fiction. YA)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780316071758
Publisher:
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
11/04/2009
Sold by:
Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
584,102
File size:
831 KB
Age Range:
15 - 18 Years

Meet the Author

Davida Wills Hurwin is the author of A Time for Dancing (an ALA Best Book for Young Adults) and The Farther You Run. She teaches theater at Crossroads School for Arts and Sciences and lives in Southern California with her husband and daughter.

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Freaks and Revelations 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Name More than 1 year ago
A book about two kids trying survive through the streets and at the end of the book I still can't believe this was a true story. This book has everything and is NOT for little kids. The whole book it seemed like everything was getting worse. But I still couldn't put it down as I was reading. This is one of my favorite books of all time. It was sad but it's true and shows how cruel and how others judge like in a snap. It made my mind how racism can be taken to whole new level. I suggest this book to ALL of young adults, it's a must-have!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book a few years back, I had checked it out of the library simply based on the cover....boy was I glad I judged THIS book by its cover! I couldn't put this book down at all, I was completely captivated by the story. I highly recommend this book to anyone who needs a little proof that sometimes bad experiances bring people (even enemies) closer together.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldent put it down its a must read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Truthfully it brings the lives of two different people together in a way you wouldnt ever imagine, it makes you appreciate it:) i really recommend this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great perspective of two different boys lives and the moment that brought them together:)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put this book down. What an amazing story!
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